Sgt Grit Newsletter - 28 FEB 2013

In this issue:
• Complaining About The Heat
• Sands of Iwo Jima
• Perfection We Saw In Our DI

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As a long time Marine Corps family, a friend made this tribute for me, on Facebook.

PFC Donald Carson... Korea
L/Cpl Greg Sims... VietNam
Cpl Brad Sims... Persian Gulf
L/Cpl Scott Nokes... Afghanistan (2x)

I am also a LIFE MEMBER of the Marine Corps League and my NJ Plate shows it, now I am in Kentucky and I still have the Pride of the Corps on my newly adopted state plate.

4 Generations

L/Cpl Greg Sims USMC 1967-1969

Sands of Iwo Jima

I wonder how many Marines (and I knew a few like me) were influenced by the film "Sands of Iwo Jima" who decided on a tour as a Marine vice any other service mainly due to John Wayne representing what most Americans males decided was a "real" American warrior? I saw that movie on the late show for the first time when I was about 13 and decided it was the Corps for me because The Duke was what I wanted to be like when I grew up. My dad was career Air Force and my brother career Navy. I'm glad I earned the title "United States Marine."

Forged On The Anvil of Discipline

J. A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)

Bronze Iwo Jima Statue for Sale

Bronze Iwo Jima Statue dimensions

During 1983-1984 Gallagher Rule, a Korean era Marine Corps Major, decided to sculpt the Iwo Jima flag raising that took place during World War II. Gallagher, a resident of Newkirk, Oklahoma has also sculptured the bust of John Wayne, Chill Wills, Will Rogers and President Anwar el Sadat. This bronze statue was cast in 1984, and has the names of the Marines and U.S. Navy Corpsman inscribed in the bronze. According to Gallagher, 50 were to be cast but only 5 or 6 bronzes were actually cast due to the expense of casting.

This statue has been on display as the center piece in Chuck Gregg's collection at many Marine and Veterans functions during 1990-2010. It is the sole piece remaining in his collection and now needs a new home. For price and additional info, visit this page.

Complaining About The Heat

Vietnam 1969: As spring arrived and baseball practice started for my friends back home, a Marine named Foster was yelling at me. "Hiers, will you stop complaining about the heat! You Yankees don't even know what hot is. Why back home in Georgia we'd all be in the house now with the heat on," Foster said. Foster was from the south and enjoyed seeing the Marines from the northern parts of the United States suffering from the extreme heat in Vietnam.

That afternoon while Foster was down in the bunker taking a nap, I decided to make him feel at home. So while he slept on a canvas cot I divided a bar of C-4, a plastic explosive that comes in twelve inch lengths, into four equal parts. C-4 will only explode with a blasting cap but it will burn hotter than an acetylene torch when lit with a match.

I placed the four pieces of C-4 under Foster's cot and covered each piece with a can. Next, I punched holes in the cans to insure that the flames would be evenly spread under the gentleman from Georgia. I then lit the C-4 and sat back to watch Foster roast. As the self-basting process began, I called the other Yankees in to see the entree that I was preparing for dinner. The sight of Foster turning in his sleep as though he were on a spit was too much for the Marines from the north to take. They let out a roar that not only woke Foster, but I am sure it was heard all the way it Hanoi. Foster drank a lot of water in the next couple of days but never made fun of the Yankees again.

Jeff Hiers
B Co. 1/26 Marines
1969 -1970

1/4 Zip USMC Pullover Sweatshirt

Perfection We Saw In Our DI

Lately, there's been a lot of discussion as to which D.I. had the most memorable Cadence Call. They all had their own unique style, sound, and rhythm, but I would guess, for each of us, our favorite call was that of our own D.I. It's perfectly understandable; he was the Marine that molded and shaped us into Marines. He was the one man who gave us the skills and confidence to make it through the many islands of the South Pacific, to survive the rice paddies and come home from the various jungles, mountains and deserts of the world.

Just like most people have a favorite teacher that helped shape their lives, we Marines have our D.I. He inspired us, motivated us, guided us, and yes, at times, brutalized us and we each spend our lives and our careers trying to live up to that image. No matter what we do or accomplish, in our own minds we never quite attain that same perfection we saw in our D.I.

I went through Boot in '66, Platoon #1149. We even had our own Platoon song that our D.I. sometimes let us sing while marching (can't remember much of it, but it was to the tune of "Sink the Bismarck") SSgt. Norton was our Senior D.I. and he had played ball with the old Brooklyn Dodgers so he chose a career in the Corps over playing MLB. Sgt. Armor was one of our D.I.s and was not a great cadence caller - we were his first Boot Platoon out of D.I. school. When he got confused calling cadence, he took it out on us Boots. But Sgt Jester was the D.I. we had the most contact with. He was a short, wiry guy - like a steel coil. He was fair, even-keeled and tough as nails and the kind of Marine all Marines aspire to be. Out on the Grinder, there were many cadences being called but we only heard Sgt. Jesters and thought it was the best. I'm sure it was the same for all recruits.

William Reed
Cpl. E-4 '66-'69

Freedom Birds

I went to boot camp in San Diego in the summer of 1969, 1st Battalion. Our area butted up against the airport fence line. Evening class and daily learning review was deliberately held within unobstructed view of the fence. (We could watch the "Freedom Birds" depart.)

There was an aircraft company with a huge building (Hanger?). The sign on the building was huge, visible both day and night due to the Irish name of the company being well lit every night in bright neon green. I caught h-ll as my name is the same as that company name... I'm grateful that the Tom Hanks World War 2 movie was not made before my time...

So here is the question readers, who was in your platoon that caught h-ll for their name and why?

If Ddick, a great contributor, has that actual last name I'm sure he caught extra h-ll.

Semper Fi to all of my brothers & sisters
Private f-cking RYAN

Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

During rifle inspection in boot camp (MCRD) 1959, I was asked by my Senior Drill Instructor when was the last time I ran a patch down the bore of my rifle. (M1 Garand). I replied, "Sir, this morning Sir." He replied, "Bull Sh-t! There is a spider in there with 9 hash marks!"

Semper Fi
K.B. Andersen
Cpl 1959/1963

Sgt. Grit,

In the last newsletter S/Sgt Lionel Reed posted Vehicle Aroma Air Fresheners, but left out the sweetest aroma ever HOPPES #9 bore cleaner... loved the smell back in the day, and still use it today cleaning my weapons... Enjoy the newsletter.

Jim Scott
Cpl. '59-'65

Just wanted to mention, you probably already know about it... the Korean War Memorial being built adjacent to the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Maybe you can mention it in your catalog or in your ads. It replicates the Inchon Landing.

Larry Birch

I was in Platoon 216 in January 1966 with Cpl Larkin. Cpl Larkin, I was the one who painted the Marine Corps Flag and Ribbons on the sheet for the Platoon picture. One night after lights were out, SSgt Muldowney came into the barracks with another DI, shined his light on my painting, and said, "Ain't that beautiful". I was so proud. Throughout all these years, I've remembered that incident and the influence he had on my life.

David Morien
Cpl 2224061

For air freshener ideas, how about the scent of burning crappers in Vietnam. Especially when it wafted towards the messhall? LOL!

Gunny JJ

Sgt Grit,

For L/Cpl Mark Gallant, Nam '68, I arrived at Parris Island for boot camp in July 1962 and it was 13 weeks long at that time. Then, we went to ITR at Camp Geiger (Camp Lejeune) for 4 more weeks of advanced infantry training.

Semper Fidelis,
Mark Van Noy
Sergeant of Marines, USMC '62-'69
3rd MarDiv, Dong Ha, Nam '68-'69
Parris Island, Jul - Oct '62, Platoon 245

In response to SSgt Joseph Whimple's, 2/70 to 12/76, letter labeled "Lady I Never Met". Best letter I've seen, a very good response to Duty, Honor, and Country. Duck walking was the thing, everywhere Plt 1008, MCRD SD, 11/58 to 1/59 went.

DI's wore nothing, but their Campaign Hats. Praise to all US Marines, way back when, then, now, and present.

Cpl Waldo Searcy

Dan Buchanan, "Ancient 2531" talking about Gunny Kirk's sick call reminded me of our similar sick call. It went, "This is sick call for all the Sick Bay Commando's. All the sick, lame, and lazy, blind, cripple and crazy, fall out over here." Naturally nobody wanted in that group.

Larry, another ancient 2531

Be careful what you say about Hollywood Marines... There's a lot of us out here and we have the ribbons to prove it...

Jesse, M/Sgt ret.

Sgt Grit,

In response to Mike Benfield's comment about "Hollywood Marines", all I have to say is "There ain't no such thing".

Semper Fi
L Schilling
Cpl of Marines

MCRDSD: And then there were the surfing lessons. I got recycled on that course because I couldn't quite get the hang of "hang ten". San Diego was much more difficult than Pleasure Island.

Jerry D.

Have it on good authority that the reason that MCRD SD takes longer to complete than PI is because SD is right next to the San Diego Airport and the DIs have to stop talking whenever an airplane lands or takes off!

Dennis Warn
1955 - 1959
Sgt. E4

On The Beak

Platoon, 304 P.I., around February '72. The DI's had some spare time and decided to check the knowledge of the recruits. SSGT Raney stepped in front of me, shoved a clipboard into my chest, informed me that I would be keeping score for the inspection. He told me how to do it, where to stand and how to follow him in about 2 seconds, and also mentioned what would happen to me if I screwed it up. I remember thinking to myself "This isn't going to end well."

All went well until he stepped in front of a recruit from out West somewhere? I knew this because the DI's have noticed early on during the nightly inspections that he had the middle finger and middle toe on the same side cut off. He told them he had cut both off with a lawn mower at different times which prompted the question "Where are you from Crazy?" He told them he was a chicken farmer from Kansas or somewhere (don't remember).

He did ok with several questions until he was asked "Where do you mark your cover?" He answered loudly and with confidence "On the beak, Sir!" Did I mention he was a chicken farmer. SSGT Raney took his open palm, pressed the recruits nose flat against his face, pushing his head against the top rack, and began to smear his nose from chin to forehead and ear to ear, all the time screaming "This Here's Your Beak! Don't You Mean The Bill Private!" Needless to say six or eight recruits on both sides of him plus several across the way bust out laughing. I'm sure I laughed but standing to the right and one pace behind the SSGT I had composed myself by the time he swung around mentally noting all those laughing.

The amazing thing is all this took place in a heartbeat! Eighteen to twenty five recruits did pushups for the rest of the inspection. I had survived, he looked over my clipboard of notes and dismissed me back on line. I saw several funny things happen in the platoon but this was the best.

We became Marines in March. SSgt Breitenbach, Senior DI, SSgt Raney and Sgt. Winn were Assistant DI's. Note: SSGT Raney replaced an Assistant DI early on (Don't remember name) and was promoted to Staff Sargent while he was molding us.

Semper Fi,
Lionel Reed

Vet Plates

No decals on this plate - NH Vet plates all have the flag. Look closely enough and you'll see that the "I" is really a "1". "You people ain't a herd; a herd has a leader. You're a mob!"

Sgt 1959 - 65

NH Vet Plate


Shooters, with a magazine and 15 rounds this is your first stage of Marine Corps qualification. Firing 5 rounds sitting, 5 rounds kneeling and 5 rounds standing in a total time of 20 minutes. Ready on the left? Ready on the right? Shooters, you may commence firing once your able target appears!

Reach out grab a hold, palms up... Targets! Get all able targets in the air, rounds coming down range!

Sgt Rice
Bravo range '87-'90

Real Prayer

The only "Para Marine" I've ever known was Ramon Villadonga. He came from Argentina with his family to Tampa, Florida in the 30's. He had an Argentine accent you could "walk across". He was just about the most "Marine's Marine" I have ever been around. He could give "Chesty" a few pointers.

I knew him as Ramon, the things that he would do in an ordinary day would ruin lesser men in minutes. When I knew him he had served in the Corps during WWII and Korea. I know he was on Iwo Jima and I know he was with the 10th Amtracs when they landed at Inchon. I don't have any idea of where he was for any other part of his service.

Every time I see "Toys for Tots" I recall Ramon, every time. It was Reserve Marines like him that brought that idea to fruition. He died in the mid 50's on a blind turn crossing a railroad track after he completed some task that was part of the "Toys for Tots" that year. I truly believe that Marines do their Duty in the Life Everlasting. I was way out of my depth when I joined the Corps. Not that I ever had much a choice. My father was a Marine, 2nd Division (Saipan, Tinian... etc.) and then Inchon, Seoul, the Chosin, and Central Highlands. My father and Ramon were in the 10th Amtracs in 1950. Any pictures of any of those areas, during Korea, that I mentioned were probably taken by the Photographic Unit that was attached to "Fox Company, 7th Regiment", my father's outfit (SSgt Kerr, Sgt Wolf, PFC Six and Cpl McDonald).

When I finally got into all of the actual mechanics of going from whatever I was to whatever I would be as a Marine, I got a bit panicky. Parris Island wasn't like home. Mama was 500 miles South and happy knowing that her boy was being treated well. I did some real, and I mean, get down on your knees altar boy, real prayer. And who do you think I prayed to, First Sergeant Ramon Villadonga. Now I am not saying we should not consider Ramon for sainthood. But whatever miracle was performed in his name and with his permission, I got off of Parris Island alive and well and 100 lbs lighter then I was when I arrived. Six years and three stripes with cross rifles later, I joined the, been there done that Marine Corps.

Para Marines are one of the very first units that were in Special Operations. Just being a Marine in WWII was way beyond the "ordinary". And these men were even above that grade when compared to those Marines. And then there were the people that were a cut above that criteria.

Like I said, I can only recall meeting one WWII, Para Marine. And he was and still is the very best of what it is to be a Marine.

Thanks and God Bless Ramon Villadonga and all of his Marines.

Semper Fi,
Peter McDonald ('64-'70)
Sgt. 4th Amtracs "A" Co. 2nd Plt

Scarred Helmet Liners

Re: John Lorenz item on DI hats: I went through PI during July-Sept 1954, 2ndBn Plt 352. We had two God-awful DI's, one was a E-4 Sgt and the other a PFC. Both DI's wore lacquered and spit-shined helmet liners. We maggots wore scarred helmet liners. Since it was summer, we hardly wore the complete utility uniform; we, as did the DIs, wore utility trousers and the khaki uniform shirt. By the time we graduated, the utilities and Khaki uniforms no longer matched because of the faded appearance of shirt and trouser of the different uniforms.

As for the campaign hat, I have no idea when it came into use but I am proud to say that one of the most rewarding tours of my 20-year Marine Corps career was when I wore it at MCRD San Diego from July '65-Nov '66. Semper Fi my brothers and sisters. If any of my former recruits and any Marines who served with me read this, contact me at jhinojosa22[at]

GySgt JJ Hinojosa, USMC (Ret)
Marines believe in life, liberty and the pursuit of anyone who threatens it.

Boyhood Friend

SSgt. Jim Donegan: PFC Ronald Maiorana was a year younger than me and we went to school together in Oceanside, New York. After returning from Nam I was told he had been killed in a truck accident after only 12 days in-country, listed as a non-hostile death. Later I was told he drowned on or in an AMTRAC. After reading your story about K-3-1, I myself have obtained closure on how my boyhood friend gave his life for his country.

Rest assured that a beautiful monument was erected on the front lawn of the Oceanside Senior High School and Ronnie's name is proudly engraved in stone along with other brother Marines. When visiting the monument, I have to wonder if these students who pass it every day know or even care who these heroes were. They should only know that these great guys, Marines and Soldiers, walked the same hallowed halls some forty some odd years ago that they are privileged to walk today.

Semper Fi!
Joseph Alvino, Sgt.

The Marine Corps Emblem

I did, during my enlistment 1962-1966, call it "The Marine Corps Emblem" and still do. Although the emblem was described as "The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor" during that time, I do not recall it being commonly referred to as "The Eagle, Globe and Anchor" nor EGA. JMPE (just my personal experience)

Just because your Marine Corps did it that way, doesn't mean my Marine Corps did it that way.

Re: Campaign Covers for Drill Instructors - According to Wikipedia, - "The U.S. Marine Corps had their hats (campaign covers) authorized in 1956 by Commandant, General Randolph M. Pate. The cover was issued on 20 July 1956."

Note: A platoon picture of Platoon 213 in 1951 shows the Drill Instructors wearing Pith Helmets. 1952 platoon pictures show the Drill Instructors wearing covers appropriate to the uniform they're wearing (i.e. barracks or garrison covers for dress uniforms, utility cover for utilities).

The challenge coin is for 6th Motor Transport Battalion 4th FSSG which is a Marine Corps Reserve unit currently stationed in New Orleans, LA. History of 6th Motor Transport Battalion 4th FSSG, on 6 February 1966, the Headquarters of the 4th Force Service Support Regiment was activated at the Armed Forces Reserve Center in Midland, Texas. During January 1968, the headquarters relocated to the Marine Reserve Training Center, Orlando, Florida. The headquarters again relocated to the Navy and Marine Corps Reserve Training Center, Atlanta, Georgia during 1971. In May 1976, the unit was redesignated the 4th Force Service Support Group, Fleet Marine Force. In January, 1987, the headquarters relocated to Marietta, Georgia. The flag of the 4th FSSG was moved to its present site in New Orleans in February 1992.

Semper Fi,
Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966

First Shirt's Office


I just read the item from Gunny Rousseau in your weekly letter, and it reminded me of my first trip to Oki, in 1973. I had just signed on for a one year extension on the island after my initial 13 month tour there (I loved that place!). I was called into the First Shirt's office (not the chaplain's) and told to sit down and write to my mother. I asked him why I needed to do that again so soon, because I had written to her just a month, or six weeks before (I am not the world's greatest correspondent). He said that they had received a call from her saying that she had not received any letters from me since I had left over a year before.

Well, I wrote the letter to her and included some remarks about the previous letter that I had written. She swore that she never got it, and we argued about that for a couple of years. About two and half years later, she called me up, at camp Pendleton, to tell me that she had finally received my original letter from Oki! She said that it had postmarks from bases all over the world. Apparently, it had chased me, and a Colonel with my last name, from one duty station to the next, during all of that time. We determined that this had happened because the stamp had fallen off (or I never put one on).

So, the military post offices were attempting to send it back to me for postage. I guess they finally gave up trying to find me, and just sent it on to her. I believe that she still has that letter.

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82

A Few Sayings


Here's a few sayings you might want to consider for your closing items on the Newsletter. I always look forward to reading every Thursday. Great Job you do for us Marines. Thanks for what you do!

*It's not a problem, I've seen this done in the movies
*No, don't worry, they cleared this minefield days ago
*Ok, let's see if this thing is loaded
*Don't be silly. Of course I've disarmed it
*I'm sure it can't be that dangerous
*Let's see what happens when I mix these two highly volatile liquids together. What instructions?
*What happens if I press this?
*I'm an expert at this
*Don't worry, I've done this before
*He should have run out of ammo by now

Cpl Bob

And So It Goes

I have seen a couple of notes that have mentioned certain types of Cadence Calls. I have heard a few that were worthy of marching to but the one I remember is one that had nothing to do with me or my platoon.

In January of '64 disaster struck First Battalion. Our mess hall burned to the ground. Kaput, gone, dismissed and abandoned, it was horrible. My corpulent warm form was looking at eating canned "C" rations for the duration, tell me it isn't so! Our Drill Instructors wanted to know if there was anyone with pyromaniac tendencies either in the platoon or in one of the platoon's member's family. Nothing was left for chance. This might have been sabotage. The platoon was found "not guilty" by either act or association, at that time. But, when the call for chow would go forth the people in First Battalion would have to "beg" 2nd or 3rd battalion. Begging, pleading, eating leftovers and reheated refuse. Ahh, the humanity... to have to march over to those various places in all kinds of weather and at all hours. Hey, we all but had "room" service in First Battalion. Great cooks, delicious menus and a leisurely amount of time to eat and have discourse with our opposite numbers from the WM's. It was grand. And then, it all went up in smoke! A cruel stroke.

But, it's what was lurking out in "Disneyland" that gave all of this a real turn. It was a particular cadence call. And the first time I heard it, it sounded like the call of a banshee across the moors. It was January, cold, damp, foggy and 5-dark-thirty in the morning. There was the cracking of knuckles and the shuffle of boots as we were standing in front of the 3rd battalion mess hall, "Disneyland". In 1964 the first of the permanent barracks were put up. And the 3rd battalion had them. The rest of the Island was housed in "temporary" barracks. My father, who went through in 1943 lived in those very same temporary barracks. The one thing that happened when the permanent buildings were erected was the acoustical signature of the area changed. You could hear a pin drop from 50 yards away.

Out of the dark, came a quiet but incredible sound of a cadence call. It was music to march by. It was a sound that could only come from someone who knew at what pitch, at what decibel level, at what rhythm the human nervous system would respond to when given the command. "Forward march". And that is not what was impressive, not even close. What brought everyone to attention was the sound of one boot, one heel hitting the deck under the control of the one voice. Quiet, melodic, commanding and bouncing off of two or three surfaces at the same time. Stereo cadence calls, what will they think of next? All of this is in the dark. And then we see what is making that sound. It is a platoon of recruits. I see the number on the guidon and I think, hey, I'm in 119 and they are 317 or something to that effect. They aren't that far ahead of us. But they were a world away from any other platoon in their marching skill. Nobody was out of step. Nobody was diddy-bopping, heads and eyes to the front and then the noise of the boots in perfect sync with the cadence call. I knew I was real lucky having tone deaf and cadence challenged DI's. Thank God, I just felt so sorry for the poor wazoo that would mess up such a well-orchestrated ballet.

I even had words with that particular DI. He was 5'6 and I am 6'2" and so he puts his campaign cover just about up to my nose and explains to me the various mistakes that I made leaving the mess hall and passing him. And there were a few. The Sergeant was making his points in a verbiage and at a noise level that someone not conversant in Anglo-Saxon and were stone deaf would have heard and understood.

Sgt. Johnson was the name of the DI that could literally sing his cadence call. It is his call that I remember and sing in the confines of my car, at the top of my voice. I do this in his memory. A lot of the names on the Wall are former DI's, a lot of them. I have no idea if one of them is his. But I learned his name and how he was not from anything that happened when I went through. Oh no, it wasn't me. I only had that one conversation with Sgt. Johnson. It was my brother Paul. He had Sgt. Johnson for a SDI when he went through 6 months after me. And so it goes, brothers...

Semper Fi,
Peter McDonald (Sgt)
4th Amtrac Bn, A/Co, 2nd Plt
Tampa, Fla ('64 - '70)

Remember The First Time

In regard to Phil Cope's post last week: We had Sgt Williams as our Junior Drill Instructor in Platoon 2023. He must have just left this Cadre of Sharp, Squared-away Marines to go help snap all you pogeybaits out of all your cheap civilian Sh-t. I'm sure this is the same Drill Instructor, Great Big Black Marine and one of the most imposing figures I had ever run into.

I Agree, he was totally fair and all Marine. Could have been on any recruiting poster they had. I remember the first time he called cadence to the tune of the Marines' Hymn. We were about to graduate and it sure put some pep in our step. Other Drill Instructors on the grinder at the time halted their platoons and just watched as we went marching by.

Howard Spaulding
Sgt USMC '67-'71

I Never Understood

I was in Platoon 2011 at Parris Island from September-December, 1958. Our junior DI had a cadence that to this day, 55 years later, I never understood or was able to march to, which of course, caused problems for us boots. I remember that he went on to Vietnam and was awarded the Silver Star and ended his career as a Major. I still think about that cadence and have attempted to simulate it with no success whatever and my grandsons are tired of marching. Semper Fi and bless our troops in harms way.

Jim McCuen (1958-1962)

Lean Back Girls

All the stories of cadence calling really loosened the nostalgia cobwebs. Drill could be a real pain in the azs, especially those first weeks. If we weren't "bobbing; we be "weaving", but... probably during the weeks after range (Camp Matthews for us Hollywood types) for qualifying you could tell that we were getting better. The outbursts from our Platoon Commander (no Sr. DIs then) Gunny Melvin got further and further apart! He called good cadence and we all recognized his voice and could keep the DIs/platoons on the grinder with us separate.

WE knew when we were "cookin'"; you can feel it; then our Platoon Commander would start barking "lean back girls; LEAN back! Heels, Heels, Heels; I want to hear HEELS girls! We KNEW we were on a roll and we did not screw that command up! We gave him HEELS. Great feelings! And I noticed that the PCs cadence got mellower! You don't forget those moments; you started to become aware you were going to make it! You stood taller! Hard to explain, but I know our brotherhood understands!

Wayne Mailhiot 1980XXX
MCRDSD Plt. 175 C Co. 1st BN. RTR Sept 1961-Dec. 1961
C Co. 1st BN., 2nd ITR, Camp Pendleton Dec 14- Feb 2, 1962
H-3-11 2531 Fld. Radio operator Camp Pendleton Mar. 1962-Feb 1963
Comm-Elect School Bn. Mar 1962-Jan 1964
6641 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Jan 1964-Dec 1964
TAD Comm-Elect School Bn. Dec 1964-Mar 1965
5941 MACS 1 MCAS Yuma, AZ Mar 1965-Jan 1966

Dear John Club

The Martha and George "Dear John" story was a hoot. Here's an article from Stars & Stripes June 7, 1969.

Combat Marines are notorious for vengeance against the enemy. Members of Hq. Co. 3rd Bn. 11th Marines have a unique way of "retaliating" against a common "enemy" - the "Dear John" letter. They reply:

Dear :___,

Congratulations! Your Dear John letter has been chosen number one over many others and you have won the coveted "Dear John of the Month" award for the month of :____. This honor is bestowed upon you by the famous "Dear John Club" headquartered on Hill 55, 17 miles southwest of Da Nang, Vietnam. Out of a very select group of letters chosen for originality, effectiveness or subtleness, we are happy to announce yours as the winner in the :____ division of our contest. Your letter will now be kept along with all the other monthly winners until the end of the year when the "Dear John Club" selects the "Dear John of the Year" winner. Keep up the good work and good luck. May we expect to hear more from you?

Best Wishes
"Dear John Club"
3rd Bn., 11th Marines

I stopped in at Hill 55 only once to drop off a couple Marines and gas up the helo. My "Dear John" arrived in December, 1968.

Wayne Stafford
RVN '68-'69


Korea: 1952, I was a Company Wireman with How-3/5 on line near Panmunjon. My buddy and I (Last name Kell) were sent out to lay in comm wire on Outpost Bruce in front of the MLR with a platoon to man the OP for a week. While the platoon was picking out their individual bunkers and fighting holes, Kell and I were busy running phone lines. About 1500, the PLC told us we were done with work and to go find ourselves a "hooch" of our own. None were left on the hilltop so we found an old deserted one at the bottom of the hill on the reverse slope. The PLC said it was ok with him if we laid a line directly to him so he could get us in a hurry if the need arose.

Now comes my "bright" idea. Just outside our hooch was a small grove of pine saplings. I selected six of them and tied a grenade to each one of them, straightened the pins, and tied all the rings together on one piece of comm wire. We both went to sleep with confidence in our booby traps. Well, during the night the wind picked up. The saplings began to bend back and forth, the comm wire was pulling the grenade pins and both of us sat terrified in the bunker as the explosions went off. Needless to say, we locked and loaded and waited for a Chinaman to stick his head in the door. When the PLC found out what I had done, he reamed me a new one and the guys never let me forget that escapade.

MSgt J.D. Laurin, (ret'd)

Jack Lucas

RE: Joe Ross, setting the record straight...

As friend of the family, Capt "Jack" Lucas enlisted in the Corps at age 16. He was held over at Hawaii staging when his true age was discovered. He stowed away aboard a troop ship until it was too far out to return him to Pearl. He was wounded on the 3rd day on Iwo Jima at age 17.

He was presented the MOH 3 weeks after 18th birthday.

SSgt Newman
Nam '68-69'

"Old Breed" "New Breed" & "Old Corps"

Sgt. Grit,

Subject: "Old Breed" "New Breed" & "Old Corps"

When I went in The Corps in '53, I heard the phrase "Old Breed", "New Breed", etc. Also added to those phrases was "Then these guys!" Today I still hear the phrase "Old Corps" quite often, usually referring to a boot who joined in 60's, 70's, and even later etc. Now, I always felt that the Old Breed referred to those who served prior WWII as well as those who were in for most of WWII. I had the honor, and I truly mean honor, to serve with some who fought in the banana wars, etc., in the 30's. They were truly a breed set apart. They also treated me, a 'boot' Pfc, as a Marine. Also, when they told me to do something, I never hesitated. Those men had more respect than the C.O.

Now, the "New Breed" was for the Korean Era Vets, who proved themselves and achieved the same reputation for excellence as the "Old Breed" had done. They were younger of course. Remember, the Old Breed included the China Marines, and other outfits of notable distinction. The "New Breed" made their mark during the Frozen Chosin, Korea, etc. I served with some of them also.

"These guys" was reserved for those of us who were in when the truce went into effect. Can anyone add or correct my explanation of the terms? Even to this day, I hesitate to say I was in the Old Corps. That term, in my mind, is still revered for the "Old Breed".

When I see the Corps today, I think to myself this sure isn't the Corps I knew. For instance, we had only one four star General... The Commandant. And I could go on and on. Nevertheless, when I see the Silent Drill Team, etc. and other displays about the Corps, I sometimes get water in my eyes. I still wear my ball cap with the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor pinned on it.

Semper Fi
Bill M. 139--31 USMC

Ol' Smokey

To answer your question L/Cpl Mark Gallant... L/Cpl Ward was correct in the 9-10 weeks in Boot camp at San Diego. I was there in June '66 and the first week was breaking us down while we waited for either the graduation of some or others to join in our training. I was with Platoon 1048, honors platoon, that year and after Camp Pendleton and Ol' Smokey I was sent to VN, while it looks like it took you another year before you went to Nam. Hollywood Marines are all part of the Corps, tans or not.

A side note, there were three of us from Toledo and we were called by GySgt Strickland 'The Toledo T-rds'.

L/Cpl D.D. Sieler (Toledo, Ohio)

General Lewis Walt

"ATTENTION MARINES! Marine General Lewis Walt's (Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1968 – 1971) eldest daughter Joy has a request. The Marine Corps is dedicating a new Operations Building in Quantico, Virginia, in General Lewis Walt's name. She wants to collect personal stories from Marines who knew or who has served under him for the dedication. Please send your stories to Amanda Witte via email bandyroo[at]"

Semper Fi,
Gunny and Troy

Video link of tribute from the family to him.

Tribute To Gen Walt

You Still Have It

Every Thursday I drop my 14 year old son off at school, return home, pour cup of coffee, and read your newsletter. Today (2/21/13) made me chuckle several times.

Of curious note, my Recruiting Sergeant was Staff Sgt. KIND. My Senior DI at Parris Island (PLT 1066) was Staff Sgt. SWEAT. Both appropriate!

I graduated PI November, 1966, ITR, 2533 School MCRDSD, 5th Marine Division FMF, Camp Pendleton couple months, quick Vietnamese language course at 1ST MAR DIV Interrogation/Translation School Kaneohe Bay, RVN January 1968 – March 1969. Released from active duty September 1969, Quantico MB.

Entered college Fall 1969 at Univ. Tenn, Knoxville. Society then and through the 70's didn't like Vietnam Vets so I just blended in for several decades not really acknowledging my past. Occasionally I'd run into a Marine but not often. Very few of my friends over the years had been in the military much less to RVN. So it is with joy and newly gained pride that I read all the stories.

So, "All you Devil Dogs out there in cyber formation" (to quote a great letter from last week), stand at ease as I relate two:

After 5 or 6 months in VN (1968), I had an opportunity to try out as the driver for 7th Marines C.O. on Hill 55. Had the MRC-110 Comm Jeep all squared away for our convoy to DaNang. Got all the red dust off and had it looking really good.

Drove to top of hill, the Colonel got in, I made a radio check, and away we went. Driving past some ROK Marines looking on, I was thinking I had it made for the rest of my WESTPAC tour! Well, I forgot to latch the two hood latches on either side of the hood, which flew up as we gained speed and smashed on the jeeps front windshield. Needless to say, the Colonel was furious at me. Said he was embarrassed. Hard to believe, but back I went to my lowly RTO/PRC 25 duties.

Now advance many years in the future. Having married late in life to a wonderful Minnesota gal and having my first child in my early 50's, I was at Hilton Head Island, SC, for a week with friends having similar age kids. I thought it would be dandy to take my son (age 8) and another dad to PI for my first visit back and show them another type of SC resort.

After checking in at the front gate, being treated very respectfully by guards who learned I was there in 1966, mainside we went. Walking around I ran into a Master Sergeant who greeted me warmly and in our conversation he asked, "Sir, is this your grandson?" "No," I replied, "It is my son!" The MSgt looked at me with the biggest grin imaginable and bellowed "MARINE, You Still Have It In You!" I was all smiles as I held my son's hand walking around the base.

Thank you to all the Marines out there, young and old, Active Duty and Veteran for your service and sharing your stories. I am honored and I am humbled to be in the company of all you great men and women.

Keep up the great work, Sgt. Grit! SF

"Attitude is truly the only thing we can control in life."

Duke Hall
Cpl. of Marines
Johnson City, TN

Ten Thousand Gobs

Anyone have the full lyrics for this? Think it is from WWII, as my dad, a Sailor, told it to me:

"Ten thousand gobs
Lay down their swabs,
Just to l-ck one sick Marine,
While twenty thousand more
Stood on the shore,
'Twas a fight like they'd never seen."

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt.

Jack Lucas, MOH

Jack Lucas MOH Citation

Photo of Jack Lucas MOH

Sgt Grit,

I saw someone mention Jacklyn Lucas in the last newsletter. I thought I would share two pictures Jack signed for me about a year before he made the trip to Guard Heaven's Gates. He visited my National Guard unit, the 890th Cmbt Engr Bn, in Gulfport, MS, before we deployed to Iraq.

Semper Fi,
Tony Schlueter
3/7 H&S Co Comm Plat
1/10 HQ Btry Comm Plat
1-155th Inf Rgt HHC S3 PSD MSARNG
890th Cmbt Engr Bn (Hvy) HSC S3 PSD MSARNG

Sound of Your DI's Voice

It's been 56 years, and I still can remember our SDI S/Sgt. Gibbs calling cadence. There were always more then just our platoon on the Drill Field at the same time, and you had better remember the sound of your DI's voice. I remember one time about half way through training, we were at ease on the company street in front of our barracks, when we heard the command, "Attention!" Well, half of us came to attention, the other half knew it wasn't our DI's voice. We tried to cover it up, but it was too late. We knew we were in deep SH-T!

Then we heard, "So you people want to be in Sgt. Young's Platoon!" "Well do ya?" "No Sir!" "I can't hear you!" "No Sir!" "I still can't hear you!" "No Sir!" "Now drop and give me 100!"

PI '57/'60

Promoted to 13 Different Ranks

I went thru boot in 1957, Plt 172, at San Diego and at that time the normal boot was 13 weeks. However due to scheduling and the number of Marine enlistees, we were at Diego for 17 weeks. I went on to spend 20 years in my beloved (crotch) and after picking up a commission was promoted to 13 different ranks.

I retired in June of l977 at the rank of Captain. So let's not berate the Diego or as you call us Hollywood Marines. Can any of you PI Marines top this? I would love to hear from anyone who served with me.

Capt Kenneth W. Young
Retired USMC Forever

So Much For That

I went through boot at M.C.R.D. San Diego May 10, 1966, graduated July 1966, (eight weeks). They sent, I believe it was, fourteen of us from Cincinnati, Ohio. So much for P.I. I always thought it was because we were both smart and tough. Parris Island was just too flat. No mountains you know out there. We probably wouldn't even get our pulse up to 72. Ok... enough of the rivalry. I am honored to be going back to P.I. March 15th for the third time in three years for a Grandson's Graduation. It's hard to believe it's been almost forty six years since I stood on the grinder so proud!

Now the same pride comes again, and it's funny how your eyes get wet now. The title you earn... you keep for life whether you received it from P.I. or San Diego. Seeing these young men continue the Marine Corps history is amazing. Oh, by the way, all three of them always said they would never go into the Marine Corps... so much for that!

Proud Marine and Grandfather
Garry 2304160
Nam '67/'68

Signed The Papers

Reading the "Dear George" letter reminds me when I was serving with the MARINE DETACHMENT on board the USS Newport News CA148. My wife, at that time, sent me divorce papers. I went to ship's legal office to get advice from the legal officer about getting her check stopped. I couldn't get it stopped until the divorce was final. So, since I was not going to fight it, I signed the papers and mailed them back. SGT Ingram asked me what would she do once the divorce was final, I said she will probably go back to her old boyfriend George, from then on my new nickname was George. The last time I saw SGT Ingram was on the rifle range at Camp Lejeune Nov '60. He was from Tuscaloosa, AL.

Keep up the good work.

Semper Fi


Dear Sgt Grit:

Regarding the Firing Range Term "Lock and Load"... I read most of the replies and none reflected the term used while I was in the MC 1954-1978.

The command on the firing line "Lock and Load" meant to place your weapon in a safe unfireable condition, i.e. engage the safety and then proceed with the actions necessary to load your weapon, rifle, pistol or whatever. On the range, the next commands in order were, "All ready on the right, All ready on the left, All ready on the firing line". If all was in order and everyone was ready, then the next command was "Unlock" which meant to take weapon off safety and make it ready to fire. As soon as targets appeared, the command was given to commence firing.

I don't know about the origination of the command but that's how it was in my Marine Corps.

Not a distinguished shooter, but an Expert Rifleman every time I fired for qualification. Highest score ever 249, could never get that perfect score. Always pulled one off.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC (Ret)
Always a Marine in my heart.

Boot Camp Flashbacks

For the first time in over 30 years I will be walking onto MCRD to be there for a friend's son's graduation. Last time was when my son graduated from boot camp. I'm getting "boot camp" flashbacks already. Gunnery Sgt. Turpin was our Senior when I was in Plt 143. My buddy from high school, Ken Gigli, and I enlisted in the reserves as seniors and went active the day after graduation. San Diego airport was just one building back in June of 1958.

The statement is so true – "earned – never given". My son got out a Gunnery Sgt after two tours in Kuwait.

Semper Fi My Brothers,
Ron Davis
Cpl. E-4

Battle Cry

I was in PLT 251, 1st Bn at PISC in April 1951. I never did know what Company we were in. The DIs never wore the Campaign then. We had 5 or 6 different DIs.

In 1954 (Jan-March) the movie "Battle Cry" was filming some of the battle scenes on Vieques Island. I and some of the Marines in my unit (H&S Co, 2nd Marines) were filmed while landing in a Higgins boat #224 from the USS Randall APA 224. We also put on a night demonstration for the movie actors. (Van Heflin, Tab Hunter, Aldo Ray, and James Whitmore). Do any of you JarHeads remember any of this?

I sure would like to hear form anyone that was in my units.

Semper Fi,
Roy Lively Cpl 1194XXX
PLT 251, PISC (April- June 1951)
Guard Co, PISC (June-Oct 1951)
Wpns Co, 2nd Bn, 2nd Marines (Oct 1951-July 1953)
H&S Co, 2nd Marines (July 1953-April 1954)

P.S. Sgt Grit, your newsletter sure makes this old Marine happy... Please give my address to anyone that wants to contact me.

Naval Radio Summit Canal Zone

Good afternoon SGT Grit. Another outstanding info news. This is a reply to the message from S/SGT Nolan about his duty at Naval Radio Summit Canal Zone. The MARINES I was with left Brooklyn Navy Yard a few days after New Year's day of 1951 also on the General Hodges. It was a fast round trip for the ship. I was assigned to the 1st Section of 1st Guard Co. Capt Sterling was the C.O. I spent a year at Rodman then finished my tour at Summit. I was there with you. We had a M/SGT in charge of us, can't remember his nam, but he was from Georgia. We all wondered how an ugly old MARINE could have found such a beautiful wife.

Do remember a MARINE named Wynn from TX and a MARINE from VT named Verrault. Left Summit in Dec of '51 and was sent to 8th MARINES then got orders for the 33rd draft to 1st MARINE DIV. I got to Camp Delmar two days before the war was over and was put in Fox Co, 2nd BN, 4th MARINES. I did not get to Korea but got to see Vietnam twice both times with Echo Co, 2nd BN, 9th MARINES. I was WIA 23 Apr 69 and CAPT Sterling had made Col. and was C.O. of MARINE Barracks Guam, and he awarded my Purple Heart to me.

The COL. passed away in the late 70s if I remember. The MARINE that got his foot stomped was named Dywer. I was in and out of the MARINE CORPS three times and was retired medically in Jan. '70 with the rank of SGT.

SEMPER FI to everyone.

Ruben B Scott

Sing A Phone Book For Cadence

Hello Sgt Grit,

Sgt Chuck Brewer here. Sergeant, you had a story by Cpl Tom Utech a couple of Newsletters ago. He spoke of his Senior Drill Instructor, GySgt R.D. Gallihugh. Well, I came thru Boot Camp just one platoon ahead of him. I was at MCRDSD from October 1967 to January 1968. I was in Platoon 3302. I can still hear him, "PA'TOON 3302... On The Road! My God, that man inspired us recruits to do our very best, just because we loved this Marine (tho we would never say that out loud). We just did not want to disappoint him. He was tough as nails, but very fair.

Cpl Utech was 110 percent correct. Our Gunny Gallihugh could sing the phone book for cadence and make it sound like music.

Sergeant, he called me Son one day. Remember the vertical jump they had on the course where it was just railroad ties in a straight stack about, what, 8 feet high? You had to run straight at this, and you had to jump, get your arms over the top far enough to pull yourself up, and over the stack. But I am not describing anything for you Marines out there. I realize not everyone that reads these newsletters has been thru Boot Camp; family, friends, and the like.

One day, on the obstacle course, while running at that up-and-over obstacle, I waited just a half-step too long before bringing my arms up, and my knuckles, on both hands, raked right up the side of the obstacle. I was not able to make that jump on that try, so I came back down intending to take another run at it, and I did not know it, but I had ripped the skin off of my knuckles on both hands. Like I said, I did not look down and did not see what I had done. GySgt Gallihugh saw it and said, "Come over here, Private." He looks at my hands, and says "You had better go over to Sick Bay and have that taken care of, SON."

"Did I hear him right? Did he just call me SON?" Yep! That is just what he called me! Holy Cr-p! I felt like I had just been knighted or something! Maybe there was a heart buried somewhere down deep in the souls of these Machines that we called, DRILL INSTRUCTOR! Not long after arriving at MCRD, he was giving us one of his "FNG" talks. He told us that while there, HE would be our Sister, our Brother, our Father, and our Mother. And, he said, "when you pray, you pray to HIM, because HE would be our GOD!" He was quite the Bad Azs. And, we believed Every Word He Spoke TO US! Oh... how, to this day, I think of him and I admire him so much. He probably made a larger impact on my life than any other person that has ever been in my life. He was a good man to have on your side, no doubt.

Now, SSgt Hopkinson, and Sgt Fijak? They were monsters from some other dimension. But... THAT is another story.

I want thank him from the bottom of my heart for making me the Marine that I became; Sergeant in less than three years, even after LOSING my PFC stripe one time in AOA School. I will explain that later... in another Newsletter.

With the most Sincere Respect for you and your staff there at Sgt Grit.

Sgt. Charles "Chuck" Brewer
USMC 1967-1973, MOS 6511Aviation Ordnance,
Back Seat License F-4 Phantoms MCAS Cherry Point VMFAT-201
1968-1969, Nam 1969-1970, Door Gunner VMM-HMM-263, 1970

We Didn't Go Home

When we graduated boot camp we didn't go home for 10 days like they do now. We went straight to Camp Geiger and after that went home for some time and then reported to our duty station. Mine was to report to San Diego where I boarded the USS Barett to Okinawa. 1st MAW. Therefore, 13 months with a few flights to Nam and back. Came home and next duty station was MCSD Albany, GA. Stayed there about 2 months bored to death so, I signed up to go to Nam... back there with 1st MAW again at Chu-Lai and DaNang and remained until 68.

Main thing I miss is what we called a short timers stick I had made in Okinawa. My mom lost it through the years. It always reminded me of those years. I am 2nd row from top... 1st one on left. Can't believe I was once 18... lol. For those wondering if they can get their platoon picture, yes... you can from Parris Island. Took the woman 30 minutes to find it, but she did. They have copies of every company graduated since 1942.

Donald B. Everson

So Inferior

I served in the Marine Corps from December of 1961 until April of 1966. I went through Boot Camp at San Diego and my platoon number was 2003. I still remember my Drill Instructors name Gunny Meek, SSGT Ellis and SGT Enois. I went through Boot Camp 2-weeks behind "The Everly Bros" who made songs like "Wake Up Little Susie" & "Kathy's Clown". I did get to meet them and get to talk to them. They seemed like good guys. The thing that I find funny is that all these Marines that went through Boot Camp at P.I. call us Hollywood Marines and that we needed to work on our sun tans :-) Please tell me why if San Diego Marines are so inferior to P.I. Marines then why is P.I. the place The Marine Corps decided to train Women and not San Diego? :-) To me that sounds like the joke is on them and not San Diego Marines :-) By the way, my last duty station was at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, SC, only seven miles from P.I. and no one seemed any different to me :-)

There was a movie made at Marine Corps Air Station, Beaufort, S.C. about a F-4 Phantom pilot based on Pat Conroy's autobiography, who in the movie is LT. COL. Bull Meechum, played by Robert Duvall. His F-4 Phantom's engines caught fire and he crashed and was killed. The name of the movie is "The Great Santini" made in 1980 and what happened in the movie happened 3-months before I arrived there. The house in the movie that he lived in... I was in that house, and there are a lot of scenes in the movie of places that I remember seeing or being there. I've seen recent photos of The Air Station and it doesn't look anything like it did when I was there. :-)

Dennis Krug

The Only Real Difference

I would like to say to E-4 Hammershoy that you may be correct in what you are saying, however, I may as well in regards to Fox Hole vs. Fighting hole. During the time I was in I actually heard both terms used in the different units I was in. I was in a few different units and heard both terms used almost as they were interchangeable. I would like to pose the question to all the other Marines who were 0311 grunts on which term is considered to be the appropriate Fox hole or Fighting hole. My father was in the Corps in WWII, however, he was in the Air Wing. He referred to it as a fighting hole. So there may have been a change in the way it was referred to from prior to 1960 and after 1960.

You know I noticed some remarks about how hard it is in the PI boot compared to the Diego boot. I do not care which one you went through each had their own issues and their own difficult things they had to deal with. A Marine is a Marine and we all wear the same uniform with the same Eagle, Globe, and Anchor. Besides that, the only real difference between PI and Diego is that a Hollywood Marine is several IQ points higher than the PI sand flea Marine!

Semper Fi
SSgt. Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-70 / 12-76


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #4, #2, (FEB., 2014)

Every aviation unit in Vietnam had what was called a Recovery Crew. This was a group of some of the folks in the unit that were really good at what they did, or had some special skills. These guys, when needed, were called on to perform those duties anywhere, and anytime. I was on the A/C Recovery Crew because of my background and skills with explosives, having been in EOD (Explosive Ordinance Disposal) and prior to that I was a Demolitions Man while in Engineers. My services were always needed when we had to "booby trap" an aircraft that had to be left in the zone over night for one reason or another. Our team consisted of about 4 or 5 guys and the skills varied. S/Sgt George Kott was our Team Leader and I was the #2 guy. We weren't used very often, but when we were we never knew what we'd be faced with. Having said that, I'll fill you in on one of our responses to a downed aircraft outside of Qui Nhon.

This was an aircraft incident that happened either on the 19th or 20th of Feb. 1966 that involved one of HMM-363 Birds (YZ-67) in the out back from the base at Qui Nhon. If I recall correctly, there were two birds (H-34's) that were involved in the extraction of a Recon team that had been on a deep penetration reconnaissance mission and I believe that they lost power after they picked up the Recon team and settled in the the brush and foliage there by busting up the Rotor system. Nobody was hurt, but everybody was shaken up quite a bit. Of course busting up the rotors left the aircraft un-flyable, at least without extensive repairs. It didn't take long for us to determine that the repairs couldn't be made in the field especially with the VC in the general area. So, the decision was to dis-mantel the A/C and prepare it for an external lift out of the area. The OIC (Officer In Charge) was W.O. Chip Cippola and he made the decision to contact the Army and have them lift the downed A/C out the next day. Well, that meant that the A/C would be "Booby Trapped" and all the troops in the zone would be getting out of there because it was fast becoming dark and we didn't want to be in there any longer than we had to.

We got our tails in gear and made what preparations that we could while we still had daylight. Everyone except me and "The Gunner" and 2 Recon Guys stayed behind while I "Trapped" the A/C and then we went down the path to the clearing where our ride home would soon be there for our pick-up. We had to wait only a short time and we could hear a very familiar sound coming. The recon Guys set out a homing device so our ride could find us. By the time we got aboard and lifted off it was dark. Needless to say, we were glad to get back to the base. At this point, a "Cold Beer" was in order!

The next morning we gathered and boarded the A/C that took us out to the site after a ground element (Security Force) was first landed in the zone. Once we landed we went up the path and I first cleared the area of any enemy Booby Traps. I was very glad that their were no signs of disturbance, or new Booby Traps at the site which meant that the VC had not been in the area, plus we drew no fire, at least not then. That came later when we were leaving the area after the H-34 had been successfully lifted out of the zone. The damaged H-34 was taken back to Qui Nhon and set over in the corner of the Parking mat for further disposition. Several days went by and the word came down that the fate of the damaged bird had been determined and as suspected it would be transported back up to Schimiwa, (spelling?) Japan and the overhaul facility located there. It would be transferred to a ship for transport.

More Damage To Marines

Ka-Bar... the knife that has probably done more damage to Marines than to all enemies combined... damage from the knife, that is... Usually issued to those who carry a pistol... crew-served weapons folks, "management" (SSGT and up...), and so on... Most dangerous with the younger set, as during Super High Intensity Training in the field, there may be the occasional lull (be glad boredom is usually not fatal). Lacking Game Boys, PS2s, Wi-Fi reception, etc., the lads will revert to improvised stimulation... for example, the game "Stretch"... this is similar to "mumblety peg" or "mumble the peg"... a game dating to the first boys to have pen knives. Fer you city slickers who grew up on concrete, this game involves a whittled wooden peg that is driven into the ground with maybe a quarter inch showing. The two contestants face one another and take turns throwing a Ka-Bar, sticking it in the ground by the opponent... who is obligated to place the outside of his boot sole against the blade before picking it up and throwing it for his opponent to do likewise. When the opponent can no longer stretch out to touch the blade... he loses... and gets to pull the peg out of the dirt... with his teeth... Now, a Ka-Bar is nicely balanced and when thrown with enough force to stick in hard ground... will handily penetrate the instep of the finest of comboot bats... and the wearer's foot. That one is hard to blame on a misplaced footlocker in the barracks (another item of equipment that is high on the list of injury causes)...

Over the tac net: "get f-cked!"... Strongly worded message to follow...

"That friggin'map in your tent may be flat, but this grid square sure as h-ll ain't" (reply to a REMF urging faster movement over the radio... BT, DT...)

REMF = anybody whose hole is further to the "rear" than mine...

"Antenna forest"... infantry company CP group, especially when arty/air/naval gunfire/other teams attached... good place to avoid, tended to draw small arms fire...

"Came here to kick azs, take names, and chew bubblegum... pencil's broke, and I'm outta gum"

Unit supply NCO... "I ain't got any, you don't rate it, and besides that, I got'em counted..."

We got a new Commandant, who shall be nameless, but was a military aide to then VP R. Nixon earlier in his career... and he was ah, um... "stocky"... so the word got out there would be a new PFT, in which the run portion would be "three laps around the Commandant"...

"With a clip, and two truckloads of ammunition... lock and load" (for older timers only... reference is to the first two rounds of rapid fire with the M1... 200 and 300 yard lines... ten round course of fire, pulling the 8-round clip from the cartridge belt not much different from changing magazines today... except that the empty clip removed itself...(can still hear that 'bling')

"Column of files from the right... "forward", "stand fast", "stand fast" (and) "stand fast" (four squads in recruit LPM drill... three in the rest of the world)... after command of execution, "march", squad leader of squad next to the one on the right would command, "column half right, column half left, march"... remaining squads, in turn, had a little more time... getting the whole platoon in single file, 40" back to chest, and in step was a near miracle... former recruit squad leaders should remember that one... got a lot of them 'fired'...

When do you step off with the right foot first? (right step, march)...


Lost And Found

Hi my name is Charles E. Adams. I was in Platoon 1026 First Battalion. We graduated 13 Oct. 1967. I am now 65 years old, and still will never forget standing on the yellow foot prints, and my time while at Boot Camp. As I look back, I now understand I learned a lot from that experience, that has helped me throughout my life. Anyone still out there, that was in my Platoon? I would love to hear from you.

Thanks Charles


GySgt Francis "Frank" Cornell USMC Retired, age 79, died 02/19/13. Born in Allentown, PA. He lived in Gainesville, GA. He was very active in the MCL, and VERY active in Life. He is survived by his wife, 7 children, 24 grandchildren, and 43 Great Grandchildren. He was my good friend for 25 years and will be missed by many. He is headed for the Guardhouse in Heaven.

L/Cpl Mark Gallant


"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."
--George Orwell

"Without justice, courage is weak."
--Benjamin Franklin

"When vice prevails, and impious men bear sway, the post of honor is a private station."
--Joseph Addison

"Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun."
--Chairman Mao Zedong (The Little Red Book, 1964)

"The further a society drifts from truth, the more it will hate those that speak it."
--George Orwell (1903-1950)

"The more rules and regulations, the more thieves and robbers there will be."
--Lao-Tzu (570-490 BC)

"May the Hand of a MARINE always be Near You. Semper Fi"

"The FLAG does not fly because of the wind that blows it. The FLAG flies because each soldiers last breath blows by it."

"Those who beat their swords into ploughshares, will plough for those who don't!"

"Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!"

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

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

Sgt Grit

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7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
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