Sgt Grit Newsletter - 03 APR 2014

In this issue:
• Photo From World War I
• Marines Get The Job Done
• Old French Resort In BaNa

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M73 front angle view

M73 inside view

This is a frame-off restoration of my 1953 Dodge M37 that took 2-1/2 years. All components of the vehicle have been restored and overhauled to new Mil Spec or better condition. All old paint and rust was removed down to bare metal and repainted. The hard top was removed and converted to the current soft top now in place. In addition specific depot installed items found on USMC vehicles were fabricated and installed. With the exception of some welding and the machine work on the engine, all work was done in my garage. Just shows what a stubborn old Marine and some wrenches can do.

Larry LaBahn S/Sgt.
K Battery 4/14 1970-1978

Photos From World War I

Oscar Steiner King WWI Marine Veteran on military Harley

NCOs of 78th Company, 2nd Bn, 6th Mar

I have been given the honor of maintaining the personal items that belonged to my paternal grandfather, Oscar Steiner King, USMC 1917 - 1919. Among them are a number of photos from WWI and what appear to be some official U.S. Marine Corps photo post cards taken during boot camp. My grandfather was with the 78th Company, 2nd Marines, 6th Battalion. He was part of the 2nd Replacement Battalion which replenished the 2/6 after the Battle of Belleau Woods.

Here are two photos from the collection. One is a photo of my grandfather taken April 1918 at Quantico, VA, on a military Harley Davidson prior to leaving for France. The second was taken September 1918, between the battles of St. Mihiel and Blanc Mont. It is a photo of the NCOs of the 78th Company. My grandfather is in the middle of the photo, second row, holding his Garrison cover. According to the list of names on the back of the photo, the man in the front row, 2nd from the right, is Corporal John H. Pruitt, who was awarded the Medal of Honor and was later killed at the Battle of Blanc Mont Ridge.

Stephen C. King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982

Young Marine Wife

I am a young Marine wife, married my husband at 19 and now I am 23. He did his tour in Iraq and now is done, but I wanted to say thanks.

We look forward to type newsletters and reading the stories together. And looking at the new tee shirt designs of course. So thank you, to all of you at Sgt grit and all the men and women who have served our beautiful country. It's the little things that make it all worth it.

Warmest regards,
Pamella Sprung
Marine Wife. :)

USMC Brotherhood T-Shirt Special USMC Sisterhood T-Shirt Special

Proud Dad Of A U.S. Marine

Sgt Grit bumper stickered truck of Jeff Smejkal

Dear Sgt Grit,

I put these on my truck in November when my son LCPL Vincent Smejkal, US Marine was deployed to Afghanistan. Lots of people make comments, some good - some not so good, but that's why my son is there to allow people their freedom to say what they want. There are a few names I've written down of those that have made fun of what I have on my truck... I plan to have my son pay a visit to them when he gets back to discuss it.

Proud Dad of a United States Marine.

Jeff Smejkal

Check out all of Sgt Grit's Bumper Stickers.

Mix/Match Utility Uniforms

If my memory serves me correctly, we were not allowed to wear any rolled up - sleeved utility jackets until we were on Okinawa in 1966. Some of us had our sleeves cut off to make them like short sleeved shirts. Our C.O. had no problem with that either. In late 1966 when I got transferred to Nam it didn't take me long to find out that you had a mix/match of about everything in the line of utility uniforms depending on where you were and what your job was at any given time.

Bob Mauney
Cpl of Marines
Nam 1966/1967

No Flaming Beauty

Sgt Grit,

I want to thank you for the free lunch I had today. Confused? Well, not to be.

I stopped by a Cracker Barrel today for lunch and as I was waiting for the check to come, my waitress came by and said that my lunch had been paid for. I know that I'm no flaming beauty, so it sure as heck wasn't my good looks that did it. And, while I had at one time in my earlier years been a heavy weightlifter, when I cold-turkey quit, my huge shoulders and chest seemed to go south, thereby enlarging the 32 inch waist I had been hauling around for years. So who paid for my lunch and why? Then I realized I was wearing one of your wonderful products - a bright red cover with a large USMC and Eagle, Globe and Anchor on the front. I've been wearing that hat (one of many I've gotten from you since your five mimeographed pages of a catalog) and have received numerous "thanks for your service", "Ooooh-rah", or "Semper Fi", a term preferred by we Old Corps troops. So, thanks to a popular Sgt. Grit product, I had a free meal today. Thanks, Semper Fi.

On another note, yesterday when I was talking with another old timer, a story long put away in my memory bank arose. I had been in Japan for a year or a little longer, holding down a bummer of a job - three hours a day I had to run the base gas station. The rest of the time was mine although I couldn't slip out on liberty during the day and had to stay aboard the base. So, one of the things that took up my time was learning judo and playing pool. One day, as I stepped out into the street from the poolroom, a First Lt. walked by and I instinctively bowed to him and said "good morning, Sir." With a look of total surprise on his face (and not surprisingly, a rather sheepish look on mine), he asked how long I'd been stationed there. Then we both got a good laugh out of my somewhat non-military salute.

Believe I'll keep my lucky red cover on all the time now, but I may swap it for a white one or one of my Korean-era utility covers and see if they're worth a free meal also.

Chris Vail
Sgt., 1952 - 1958

Harry Kari and His Six Saki Sippers

Sgt. Grit,

World War II brought about Armed Forces Radio Service and got popular and unknown singers and others to perform songs, record them and play them for us in the far corners of the earth. Wherever we were, Armed Forces Radio was there blaring out music and all kinds of entertainment for us. Singers like The Andrews Sisters, Count Basie, Glen Miller, Jo Stafford and a host of others sang songs like; "It's been a Long, Long Time, Atchison, Topeka and Sante Fe, Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy, That Old Black Magic and they even stole songs from the Germans like; "Aud Weidersehn Sweetheart". Many of us came back with a song meaning more. Then Korea came along with smaller radios and other songs like; Candy, G.I. Jive but also some Japanese performers were sending out their songs to enliven our days, like; Yokohoma Momma, Con Con Mousimai, Tokyo Boogie Woogie, Gomenasai, played by that king of Japanese Swing; "Harry Kari and His Six Saki Sippers.

Shortly after Korea Rock and Roll came into being and we blasted the Jungles of Vietnam with it. The funny part of this is that music was always a big part of our fighting wars and it would seem that the museums of today would have a place where you could hear the music that was played during the Battle for Iwo Jima and Okinawa, the Battle for Seoul and Frozen Chosin, even going into Vietnam and the Tet Offensive with all the helicopters and planes even blasting music during their going into battle.

Now today the new Soldiers, Sailors, Marines and Airmen have new songs and music they burn the ears of the enemy, who believe the music is the music of the Devil.

If you're asking how do I remember this minuscule parts of war. Well my Wife said, "You have to get rid of some of that junk, none of the kids want it." I find records of Hari Kari and his Six Saki Sippers, Glen Miller, Betty Hutton and others. Most haven't been played in over 40 or 50 years, but reading the title of the records bring back the memories.

I gave most of my War Souvenirs and Marine Collection to a Museum, this was stuff they didn't want so I sat in the garage, listened to old music with some Cold Beer.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Marines Get The Job Done

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Just a little reminder of Marine Humor at its best!

One day while working for an Investment Bank as a clerk (after I was Discharged), a Marine officer who serves in Korea who was a big boss at my firm - told some of us that we should have some boxes removed from the hallway and one of the storage closets. The next day the boxes were still there! He was mad and started to berate all of us - and he said, "I will make a sign as you guys are useless as t-ts on a bull!" The sign said, "Please discard this rubbish immediately!" The next day he was like a lunatic saying that the Porters would be in the brig if they were in the Armed Forces? The next few days the trash stayed as well.

He then said to me, "Bruce - You are a Marine - Handle this?"

I asked some Puerto Rican messenger to speak with the porters and get the trash removed? The next day the trash was gone - the Captain was happy - and asked me the particulars - so I asked the messenger? He made signs that said, "Throw this sh-t out." Marines Get The Job Done...

Bruce Bender
Cpl 1963-1967
Vietnam Era Marine

She Also Noticed The Attitude

Tropical Worsted Utilities worn by Fred Gonzales

Sgt. Grit story on Summer Dress Uniforms, Green Field Scarf and Best Duty Station.

Like many other Marines, I start off my Thursday mornings reading your Sgt. Grit Newsletter. And I want to express my appreciation and thank you for providing such a great service! I know that editing the Sgt. Grit Newsletter takes a tremendous amount of time and a whole bunch of love. Thanks for Loving our Corps and fellow Marines!

The recent letters about the Summer Dress Uniform, Green Wool Shirt, Field Scarf (Forest Green in Color) and Best Duty Station prompted me to jump into the discussion. As with the other Marines who graduated from San Diego Boot Camp, Platoon 338, in September 1962, I was issued three sets of Summer Dress Uniforms. I think that we referred to them as Tropical Worsted or TW's, instead of Khaki Tropical Summer. (They were a Gabardine Worsted Wool material). We were also issued the Green Field Scarfs along with a Green Overcoat, which we called a "Horse Blanket". To my memory, those are the only two Sea Bag issued items that I never used while in the Corps! A couple of months ago I found my Field Scarf and it is still marked with my name in White Ink. While stationed at 29 Palms, from 1962 – 1965, all the men in 2nd LAAM Bn, were issued the Wool Green Shirts. We wore them under our utilities during cold weather. It was a unit issued item and the shirts had to be returned to supply when we left the unit. In the attached picture, I am on the left wearing the green wool shirt and Cpl. Clark is on the right, without the shirt! This picture was taken in February 1964, on the deck of the USS Noble, as we were headed for amphibious training.

The Best Duty Station I ever had was at was Ft. Belvoir, VA, an Army Post! I was sent there for training, from MCB, 29 Palms, CA. I traveled in the Summer Dress Uniform, with tie and Garrison Cover and it was a sharp looking uniform. The 8 weeks that I spent there were the most enjoyable of my 3 year tour! I was one of four Marines that were attending courses in the Army Engineering School located there. All the Marines attending the Enlisted Courses were billeted in the same barracks with the Army students. During the day we wore Utilities and our Marine Corps Cover, which always made us stand out in the group of soldiers. And since we were on an Army post, each one of us made it a point to always look "sharp", act professionally and bring honor to our Corps! The soldiers that were fellow students were always respectful of Marines and in some case they were a little bit awed. Of course we never embellish any of our USMC training!

Upon reporting to Ft. Belvoir, I discovered that Washington, D.C. was very close by. For just a quarter in bus fare, we could be in downtown Washington, DC in just a few minutes. I was really excited as I was looking forward to sightseeing and exploring our nation's capital and absorbing our Country's History! Then in the second week after arriving at Ft. Belvoir, I discovered that the Army would send 2 - 3 buses to the Washington USO on Tuesday nights. The buses would be loaded with single girls who worked in the many offices in DC, and take them to the Ft. Belvoir Enlisted Man's Service Club for dances. At the end of the evening the buses would take them back to DC. And yes, they were watched very closely to insure that all of them got back on the buses!

A fellow Marine and I decided to go to the Service Club and hopefully expand our circle of friends. Wearing our Tropical Worsted Uniforms, we walked into the roomful of soldiers wearing their khakis and black ties, we looked "Sharp"! As we walked in, I was very confident that every lady in the place would be so impressed that the Marines had landed! My first dance partner let the wind out of my sail, when she asked me "How long have you been in the Army?" We stopped right in the middle of the dance floor and I informed her that I was a United States Marine! I then educated her on the uniform differences that would help her identify a U.S. Marine and I am pretty sure she also noticed the Attitude! After a very short 8 weeks, having completed my training the Corps sent me back to 29 Palms, CA. And it was just in the nick of time! I am sure that if I had stayed much longer, I would have had to apply for Junior Enlisted Married Quarters upon return to 29 Palms! As we use to say – If the Corps wanted me to have a wife, the Corps would have issued me one!

Freddy R. Gonzales
Cpl, 1999xxx USMC
1962 - 1965

Jog Their Memories

Being a former FDC man (0844) and arriving in country December '67, I was assigned to 1st Field Artillery Group / Task Force X-ray at Phu Bai beginning of Tet. I had two more seven month extensions with HQ 3/11 on Hill 55, An Hoa and LZ Baldy (Hill 65?). Having spent this amount of time in country, I came across numerous call signs while performing a number of chores within the Fire Direction Center. I actually still possess a "flick" of the watch officer, one Capt. Lasanti. Displayed over his right shoulder is a "fire cap" board with the call signs of some ten or twelve units, too small to read. Sadly, time has "curbed" my memory, but I am able to add several more; at Phu Bai, 1st FAG had the call sign of "Hallmark", Lima 4/11 I believe was "Lunga Point" Lima, I recall another as "Sandhurst" and another as either "Page Boy" or "Blue Boy". Periodically, call signs were changed for obvious reasons. Daniel Y Davis, Capt. T.L. Johnson and Mike Felch, I do recall both "Beechnut" and "Carnival Time". 3/11 is holding a reunion in San Diego this Sept. I might send a challenge to all members and ask to "jog" their memories and see what we come up with. Love this "stuff".

Cpl Terry Kelly
Vietnam '67 - 3/'70

Shamrock Platoon

Marines of Shamrock Platoon

Sgt Grit,

Attached you will see a picture of when I was at Parris Island, SC. March 17, 1951. Approximately 60 of the men came from Connecticut. We went as a group and were called "The Shamrock Platoon". Most of the men were assigned to Korea, as I was one of them. We were a Honor Platoon.

Edward Gawlak
Sarasota, Florida

My Recruiting Officer

Sgt. Grit,

I just read Jim Holden's letter in the recent newsletter. He stated he went to Los Angeles in Mid 1964 as a Recruiting Officer. I joined the Marine Corps on August 28, 1964 in Los Angeles. My Recruiting Officer was Staff Sgt. Chester Raymond Pavey, I am sure Jim Holden knew him. Staff Sgt. Pavey called my home after I had sent in the post card I had receive in the mail about the Marine Corps. He ask if he could come over and talk to me, I said sure. He drove me to Los Angeles from Redondo Beach, where I was sworn in to start my journey as a Marine.

It was with great sorrow that I learned years later, that Gunnery Sergeant Pavey was killed in action on March 25, 1967 at Quang Tri Province, RVN. Gunny Pavey and I both came to California from Indiana, something I also learned later. He was 37 years old when he was killed, it seems so young now.

Semper Fi
John M. Hunter
Cpl. E-4
RVN 1965-1966

One Of These Days

Sgt. Grit,

The quote in this weeks' newsletter was particularly interesting. I was a part of the Amphibious Landing Team that sat offshore during the First Gulf War keeping the Republican Guard in place. Served with Weapons Platoon, Kilo Co. 3/2.

It seems that the Corps does not remember what we did during that particular dust up. I toured PI with my family not long ago and the display there did not even have our unit on the board of Marine units serving in theater. Sad to be ignored since we never saw any action. We spent exactly 9 months on board ship with a few training operations and liberty stops. Heck, we even had a few Steel Beaches after being at sea for 32 consecutive days. Not many people know that the Navy has beer on board and each Marine/Sailor is allotted two beers per cookout. Just a way to break-up the monotony.

Hope one of these days the omission is corrected...

Former Cpl. of 0351 Marines
Christopher Steere

"Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops."
--Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff During Operation Desert Storm

Old French Resort BaNa

Old French Resort in BaNa outside

Old French Resort in BaNa inside

Dear Sgt. Grit,

In your 27 March newsletter, Jim Mackin provided a great report on the old French resort at BaNa which 1st Recon (and 1st MarDiv) used as a radio relay site. I thought you and your readers might be interested in a couple of pictures of the resort as it was in about 1968. It was a great radio relay site and an informal in-country 'R&R' site for war-weary Recon teams.

Fred Vogel

My Story About Two Beers

I donated blood for the first time at MCAS Beaufort in 1965. A friend told me that if I gave a pint, I could get drunk on two beers, so I gave it a shot. Didn't work.

One or two days later, the Red Cross sent me my donor card showing my blood type as AB+. My dog tags, made at Parris Island, said O+. I called the Red Cross and they told me to get over to sick bay and be re-typed. The Corpsman I saw said, "What'd the Red Cross say you have?" I said, "AB+." He immediately changed my medical record and told me to have new dog tags made.

About twelve years after my discharge, when I had donated a dozen or so gallons, I was invited with a group of other heavy bleeders to a forum hoping to encourage more people to donate.

The first question was, What caused you to donate blood for the first time?" Around the table, donors told stories about relatives being involved in serious accidents or responding to passionate televised pleas about blood shortages at Christmas time, etc.

When it came to my turn, I told my story about two beers. I was met by stares from around the table. Then, the Red Cross representative said, "What was the real reason?" So I told them again.

Bob Fajardo
Sgt 1965 - 1969

Note: Civilians just don't get it. Never have, never will!

Sgt Grit

Panama, Agent Orange

Sgt Grit,

I need your help if you possibly can. Way back in 1970 - 1971, I served at Marine Barracks Rodman Canal Zone Panama. Unbeknownst to myself at that time it appears that Agent Orange had been sprayed somewhere in the Canal Zone area. Fast forward thirty years and I'm helping a Korean War Era Marine Veteran sell some raffle tickets for our American Legion post. Out of the clear blue sky he tells me about AO being sprayed in Panama in 1970. Seems that he was a civilian employee there at the same time I was stationed there. Talk about being shocked. I was totally for sure. Thought that I had not been exposed since I had not been anywhere near Vietnam. I had only served in Virginia, California and Panama during my tour of duty.

Well, I went to the VA a couple of days later to find out what I needed to do to start the ball rolling. I was told by a counselor that if I had type 2 diabetes, erectile dysfunction, cataracts, high blood pressure, and one or two other maladies that I could be eligible for benefits due to exposure to AO. Well, the VA asked me for proof that it had been sprayed there. They also asked for my medical records and subjected me to some tests for the next two years. Eventually, I was told that the DOD was saying that AO had not been sprayed in Panama and therefore I would not be eligible for any benefits. Needless to say I didn't pursue it any further at that time.

Now, I've gotten some emails from a veteran in California claiming that he has substantial proof that it did happen and that his barracks was right over the storage site at Ft. Gulick. He has asked me to help him by contacting anyone that may have been in Panama and might have any info about this also.

So what I'm asking is if you could put this in your newsletter and include my email address so that any Marines or Corpsmen or anyone else that was in Panama during the 1970s could contact me. I honestly don't remember the stuff having been sprayed there at all. For all I know we might have been told that they were spraying for bugs which I do seem to remember that happening a lot from time to time.

Thank you, and Semper Fi.

Carl Conkling

Worst Work Detail

What was the worst work detail you were ever assigned to?

Work Detail

CAP Units History

Dear Sgt Grit,

I have recently been awarded a research grant by the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to write a commemorative history of the Marine Corps Combined Action Platoons in the Vietnam War. I have estimated that it will take me six months to complete this project and it will be written under the auspices of the Marine Corps Historical Center. When finally completed and approved it will be published and become a permanent part of Marine Corps history and most likely be the last official written historical record of the CAP units. I already have a lot of source material including the Command Chronology Reports for every Marine Corps Unit in Vietnam, but I also need individual Marines' accounts of their experiences in CAP units to include a written or oral interview and any pictures they might have. If any of our CAP veterans would like to contribute to this effort, please email me at: for details and submission requirements. Please don't email me your stories and pictures until I respond to your first email.

By way of background, I am a retired Marine MSgt and I served from 1965 to 1986. I was a member of the Marine Aircraft Group 12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai most of 1968, and I had some interaction with the CAP units in the Chu Lai area including Tam Ky. You can read more about me and the books I have written at my author page at Gene Hays Author Page.

Thanks for your assistance.

Semper Fidelis
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired

Thumping In Boot Camp

"Thank you Sir, may I have another!"

Those familiar with the movie "Animal House", know this line from Kevin Bacon as he gets his fraternity initiation swats. Boot camp is no fraternity but yes, myself & others were "thumped". I never found it cruel, more of an attention getter, and it worked every single time. I was always a favorite for doing PT in the pits.

Many people don't realize that these guys played roles. Much like the "good cop, bad cop" routine.

Your Platoon Commander was the father figure. He didn't want to THUMP you, in most cases he did not. He would have you do bends & 'futher muckers.

Your Senior Drill Instructor was a hard case. He would scream, shout, jump up & down get into your face. Laying hands on you was NOT a problem and we never told on him, as we knew we deserved it. As you figured out the duty rotation, you knew when your Senior Drill Instructor would be on duty.

The Junior Drill Instructor was the older brother. While he was not as tough as the Senior Drill Instructor, he would lay hands on you as well as put you in the pits. He did not WANT to be wicked to you, but it was sometimes necessary and for your own good.

I did 10 months in the Corps before going home on leave. Before going home, I went back to MCRD San Diego to look up my Drill Instructors. I was only able to find and meet my Senior Drill Instructor. We talked for about an hour over beers, and I was proud to buy. He remembered me and said that with some encouragement and a couple of quiet moments, he could recall almost all of his recruits. I asked about the "THUMPING" and got an interesting answer. "Ryan, you would not believe how many kids come to us without having EVER been in a fist-fight. I asked about the time in the pits the 'Squat Thrusts, Until My Mother-In-Law Dies!" Again, I got an interesting answer. "H-ll Ryan, you were so scrawny we had to put you on double rations! Then you had to be doing PT to keep all that chow and carbohydrates from turning you into Pvt. Pyle!"

A quick aside here; the order of recruits in line for chow was regular rations, double rations & half rations. Pvt. Bhitsird got regular rations one scoop / piece of each item. Pvt. Scrawny got double rations two scoops / piece of each item. Pvt. Pyle got one half of what Pvt. Bhitsird received one half scoop/ piece of each item.

My Senior Drill Instructor asked me early on perhaps week three how stupid I was.

My response was:

"Sir this private is the stupidest creature on two legs; the chicken was insulted by the comparison, Sir!"

His response was:

Oh, you think you are funny don't you Pvt. Ryan?"
You are now my Personal Jester when I want to know how :____ you are, you better have a few funny and filthy answers locked & loaded.

"Jokes, I want jokes too, if they ain't funny you will be doing all of the squat loopies in the known universe plus another for the Corps, the Commandant & Chesty."

Yes, I have read those who holler about abuse, get over it you are alive and well enough to b-tch. I am sure and certain that Marine Corps training had a greater effect upon me than did my parents. I recently found out that My Junior Drill Instructor has died, cancer from his Agent Orange exposure.

But, I close now with this tribute.

My great thanks and hardy congratulations to you three fine gentlemen. I am one of your many surviving "sons". Those things you taught served me well then and now. I have passed these teachings to my children and grandchildren. (Minus the "THUMPING"). Thank you to SSgt. Pardee, SSgt. Watson and Sgt. Dennington. (R.I.P.)

P.S. I recently found out that SSgt. Watson nearly got himself in trouble defending a sick recruit against Navy Docs & hospital men. A recruit "Fell out" on a run, the Senior DI had "Laid hands" on this recruit helping him to his feet and getting him taken to sick bay. By touching him to give him first aid to get him moving he knew this kid was sick. Later that day the recruit was returned to active duty. SSgt Watson knew he was dealing with a pneumonia patient, so he took this sick recruit back to the dispensary. I am told that only God Himself saved medical personnel from his wrath. The recruit was dropped from our platoon and admitted to the hospital.

It wasn't ALL bad. I'll write on another occasion about the Sunday afternoon "Tea Party", Senior Drill Instructor, Guide, Squad Leaders, House Mouse & Personal Jester...

Some very funny stuff happens in boot camp can we hear about yours?

Best regards & Semper Fidelis
Personal Jester

No Longer Green

Field Scarf from 1966 that is no longer green

Sgt Grit,

Here is a photo of my Scarf which was green in 1966, the year that I join Marine Corps, this item was part of uniforms issued to us at MCRD, I never wore it while I was in the Marine Corps. But, just as Sgt Reeder stated... it was (rayon or ??). This item was a pain in the wazoo during a Junk on the Bunk inspection because it tended to literally crawl off the display. It is 11"x 48".

As you can see it is no longer green after 40 plus years and a few washings, I must say that it has come in handy on cold mornings when riding my motorcycle.

R. Ybarra USMC 1966-1969
M Co, 3/26, A Co 1/9

My WWII Veteran Father

Reading the latest edition of the newsletter, I had to chuckle when EAS shared his 'F' bomb experience and was reminded of my own slip of the tongue.

I enlisted August of '69 and after Boot and ITR, I got my first leave in January 1970. Since it was only a few weeks after Christmas my family held the family Christmas dinner for my return. Sitting around the dining table was my Grandmother, Aunt, Mother and Father. After Grace I opened my yap amidst the clamor with, "Pass the F'ing salt." The chatter immediately stopped and it was so quiet that you could hear a VC crawling through the elephant grass. Finally my mother incredulously asked, "What did you say?" There was an eternity of silence when my WWII veteran father hauled my tail out of the proverbial fire with, "You heard him. He said pass the f'ing salt!" That was the first time I ever heard that word come out of his mouth and needless to say, I got the salt and we all went on like nothing happened.

Thanx Dad!


L Co 3/5 RVN Feb 1970-Feb 1971

Visiting With The Duke

Sgt Grit,

Pith helmets were worn by Drill Instructor's and recruit's in Jan. 1942 when I went thru boot at PI. It is not unusual for Drill instructors to serve some time at PI and San Diego Marine Corps Recruit Depot's, I did and I know of a few others.

In regards to the bellyacher's about John Wayne not being a real Marine let me help to inform the ignorant. (Duke) John Wayne suffered a severe spinal injury as a teenager playing football, that is why he walked the way he did (as he used to say with a hitch and a get along). He tried many times to enlist in the military, many times the Marines but was always turned down because of this. However He did more for the Marine Corps than you will ever know, raising money for this cause or that cause and using his influence to change some things and acquire new and better equipment for the Marines instead of the handme downs from the Army.

I spent a whole lot of time visiting with Duke when he was shooting movies in Hawaii, at the Stump, and at Camp Pendleton. The back pain was not easy for him in the Westerns and Marine movies but he did them because it made a living. He did not like to ride horses. What he wanted most in life was to be able to go thru Marine Corps Boot Camp. Hope this satisfies some of you.

Pray For our Troops!

MGYSGT.W. Schroeder 111XXXX


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #8, #7 (JUL, 2018)

When we left the last issue which was #6 we had just experienced a situation that took the wind out of our sails, but after thinking about it for about 2 seconds it turned out to be funny. Just try to picture or imagine two grown adults being flipped around in a small travel trailer and scaring horses. The part that I haven't covered yet was the part where we tried to scramble around enough to get to the door which was on the back right hand side without flipping the wife on the floor and out of the bunk area. Just the movement that I made in the direction of the door caused the trailer to rotate on the wheels and the front flipped up and threw me to the area by the exit door. By this time I was ready to get off of this ride and I finally got the door opened and the wife came tumbling to the "Low Side" of the trailer. It was still raining and I found some more logs and built a support that would hold a tank if it needed too. By this time the horses came back down to the feed troughs and just stood there and looked at me with the damnedest look on their faces. The folks over in the house never knew all this went on during the night, but laughed themselves silly the next day when we told them what had happened. At least there weren't any cow's involved here... THANK Goodness!

I have to stop here and say that what I'm writing is about my life and the adventure that it has been. Someone recently asked me if these stories are true, or are they made up! I have to pause here and confess that these stories are true and as accurate in detail as I can remember, plus my wife goes over each one and where and when she was involved she voices her opinions, if I'm in error. I will also say that when I could over the years that I could, I would take her with me. I really don't know how many guy's can attest to that fact, or make that sort of a claim. She has been a constant companion and has helped where ever she could. I can't remember anyone that I knew that would take his wife out into the field to fix an aircraft. I don't mean to say that this happened every time, but as often as I could, I would. Enough Said!

I'd better get back to the old grind and continue with my task. The weekend was coming to an end and it was time to get back to Olympia, Wash for work on Monday.

I also might add, before I forget, that I paid income taxes on the work that I was paid for. The reason that I say that is because someone challenged me one time only to find out that they were in the wrong.

The trip back was UN-eventful, boring and tiring as usual. It was a good 8-hour drive one way and the heat didn't help make it pleasant.

It was several weeks before I got another call from my friend and he indicated that he needed some support in the near future and the reason was that he was planning on buying several UH-1B's (Hueys) and he'd like me to come over and bring them up to date for long line logging. My response was as always. When and Where!

More Liberty Than Money

Rusty, I know for sure Pith Helmets were an item of issue at Marine Barracks, Naha (Okinawa) in '60,'61, and '62... worn on duty in summer, when the Uniform of the Day was khakis when on duty... 4 on, 8 off, day on, day off. I think over the years they were used mostly in that sort of situation, where the sun is bright and hot. Properly scrubbed, with hand soap and a nail brush, they would acquire a certain salty near-whiteness that indicated you had some time 'on the Rock'. The Barracks existed only for a few years, and was there solely to guard nukes for the Navy's VP-4 patrol squadron, that monitored the Taiwan Straits... flying P2V aircraft... "two turnin', two burnin'... had two prop engines, two jet engines slung under the wing... The P2 (I dunno if they had the 'V' yet at the time) held the long-distance flight record for a number of years... in '44 or '45 or so, one had made it from Australia all the way to Ohio without landing for fuel... the crew had 55 gallon drums of avgas in the fuselage, and a manual transfer pump... always wondered if the junior squid had to crawl out on the wing with a fuel hose, take off the cap, etc. and wipe the windshield while his partners pumped gas? I think you may also hear from some stationed at Gitmo who wore the pith helmet, and have heard they were at times on the rifle range at PI. BTW... the bulletin board at VP-4 operations shack on the Naha flight line had a picture with caption, exemplifying 'devotion to duty'... a sea-going Marine, at parade rest with his M-1, standing on the pier at White Beach (other side of Okinawa)... behind him is the US St. Paul, at the time the flagship of the 7th fleet, standing out to sea. He had been posted to guard the forward brow (gangplank), when the ship got short notice orders to sail... he had not been properly relieved... always wondered what happened to his Corporal of the Guard, tho...

On uniforms... Khakis were OK... when you had the Okinawan laundry ladies to starch them for you... took three guys and two footlockers to get the trou on, tho... one to hold the trou open, one on either side on the footlocker to lower you into them... looked sharp... until you bent over or gawdforbid... sat down. (pretty good duty there for the four Corporals who stood Sgt of the Guard watch... four day training week, sections alternated weekends, Cpls alternated with their section... which meant that twice a month, you were off duty from Thursday noon, to noon Monday... had more liberty (not 'passes'... sheesh!) than there was money for...


Lost and Found

As my husband is now deceased for over 12 years, I am trying to piece together his Marine Corps history regarding his action in Viet Nam of which I cannot find any evidence for. However, he was stationed at 8th&I Barracks with the Drum & Bugle Corps after Field Music School, after graduation on PI in June 1967. In December 1969, he got transferred to Pendleton for training for Vietnam, but on the way he was stationed at Kadena AFB in Okinawa arriving 31 March 1970. While on Okinawa, he was part of 3 snare drummers that performed at village schools (Kin Elementary), military functions and for a TV show with Teresa Graves On November 4, 1970. Drummers Three was part of the 3rd Marine Division Band, which was directed by 1st Lt. William H. Cox.

My husband always told me he went to Viet Nam but never told me the dates, only that he was part of a Combined Action Patrol, CAP and their small 12 man unit was ambushed in a cemetery, taking heavy wounds to their Navy Corpsman and radio operator. He advised me he was attached to the 3rd Marine Division, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines during this time. If there is anyone in your reading audience who was a member of the Drummers Three on Okinawa in 1970 or with my husband in the CAP unit in Vietnam in 1970 or early 1971, they can email me at deemann408[at]

Thank you.

Dee Mann
Wife of Orin Daniel Mann, SGT, USMC, 1967-1971, nickname "Herbie".

Sgt. Grit,

(Special request) My name is Cpl. Ted Hetland, Newport R.I. I am looking for a 1957, Plt. 56. Graduation book for a good friend who lost her husband in a accident. She wants a class book for herself with picture of her husband, Pvt Mederios. I was on the Island in Plt. 23, 1957. Still talk to my Drill Instructor.

Semper Fi
Cpl. T.E. Hetland
Email: cplhet200[at]

Short Rounds

One of my favorites from the movie "The D.I." starring Jack Webb; "Gonzales, you're surrounded by 500 enemy what do you do?"
Reply: "Kill 'em Sir!"


In 1968 my first fleet assignment was with 2nd AT's at Camp Lejeune. The radio call sign was 'Black Bear'. In Viet Nam with 3/7 the call sign that I remember was Benchmark.

Semper Fidelis
Dave Coup

I went to P.I. in 1980, I wasn't brutalized, but I did get punched good once or twice.

Mark Taylor


"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
--George Washington, General Orders, 1776

"The wonderful love of a beautiful maid,
The love of a staunch true man,
The love of a baby, unafraid,
Have existed since time began."

"But the greatest of loves, The quintessence of loves.
even greater than that of a mother,
Is the tender, passionate, infinite love,
of one drunken Marine for another.
"Semper Fidelis"

--General Louis H. Wilson, Commandant of the Marine Corps Toast given at 203rd Marine Corps Birthday Ball Camp Lejeune, N.C. 1978

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Marine Division Chaplain Korean War

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

"Keep your interval!"

Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle...Then:

"Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!"

Fair winds and following seas
Sgt Grit

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