Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• Ingenious Jarheads
• Get Off My Bus
• Parris Island 1958

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Semper Fi!

The attached photos are of my totally handmade Cornhole games. Custom Made Marine Cornhole Game I searched far and wide for a store made game set depicting Marine Corps lineage. Finally decided to build my own and adorn it with Sgt Grit decals. The decal story line on the boards tracks my time in the Corps from MCRD Parris Island (Sept '59) to assignment with the 1st MAW Iwakuni, Japan to Soc Trang, Vietnam and discharge rank E4 Corporal (Sept '63).

James T. Kline
1881xxx HO-RAH

Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.

Ingenious Jarheads

Browning Stinger 30 cal

Sitting here watching a Military Channel program on the Browning 'Stinger' 30-cal as used by the Marines in WW2 - very interesting story behind it; Marines took Browning A-2's out of damaged SBD's and used an M-1 rear stock, BAR rear sight, bipod, and carrying handle, plus a modified trigger and lighter barrel, to make a light machine gun. Showed re-enactment of Marine PFC Tony Stein using one to take out numerous bunkers and pillboxes on Iwo - kept running to and from the beach to replenish the 100-rd ammo belts... took off his shoes and socks to run better in the sand. Pretty neat little MG, supposed to have a 1300rpm rate of fire!

Gotta love those ingenious Jarheads! Wonder if they used any Johnson automatic rifles there as well?

I bet John Browning is still smiling...

Griffin Murphey

Marine Corps Books

Get Off My Bus

"Get off my BUS!", and I'm not a drill instructor!

Last year I was driving a bus. As a bus operator you're responsible for your passengers just like in the CORPS... we look out for our fellow Marines. I came to a complete stop and a passenger got off the bus and from my mirrors I saw huge flames from the rear of my bus. I had approximately 20 passengers on board. I quickly put the emergency brake ON, and went to neutral. I then yelled "Get off the Bus! All my passengers quickly left the bus without knowing what was going on. As my passengers were exiting my bus I quickly grabbed my COMM and loud and clearly stated the information. I then hung up the radio and ran inside the bus double checking for any passengers left behind. Just like we do in the CORPS we double check, and look out for Marines! Semper Fi!

Let me tell you, it was getting hot in the bus. I was running inside looking for any passengers left behind. It was all clear... good to go! I then grabbed my personal trash and walked out of the bus and dialed 911 and gave them an update. Within 5 minutes emergency personal arrived on scene. I was told it was the first time something like this ever happened. Someone, let's keep his name out of this, but he said "I'm glad it happened to you." Knowing I was in the Corps and very d-nm proud of it!

Semper Fi
Cpl V
From somewhere in California.

Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps

I joined the Women Marines in 1972 but didn't make it through OCS, so joined the Army as enlisted. Women Marines were almost unheard of in those days. I have some stories that I think are humorous. This is an example.

My first assignment in the Army was to the United States Military Liaison Mission in Potsdam, East Germany. We actually worked out of West Berlin, with an official "residence" in Potsdam. The USMLM personnel were approximately 2/3 Army, 1/3 Air Force, with a Navy mission that was so small a lone Marine was assigned to that slot and he normally did an Army mission.

On the day I arrived in May 1974, the Mission was receiving a unit award from the Commanding General of USAREUR. I had traveled overnight on the American duty train and was asked to mind the phones while the unit received the award in formation. Afterwards, at the luncheon that was served, the Mission Chief brought me up to the head table and introduced me to the USAREUR Commander (a 4 star) as "our newest member, sir, she just arrived this morning." The General began asking me all kinds of O-10 talking to an E-3 type questions, one of which "Why did you join the Army?"

When I sighed and answered "Well, sir, I got kicked out of the Marine Corps" the general jumped back about a foot and said, "Would you mind running that by me again?" Across the table, I saw an AF major, an Army SGT (both men) and another female PFC looking back and forth with gaping jaws.

I had the highest GT score of any person ever assigned to the Mission and our Marine member, Lt Col John J Guenther (a really good guy with a great sense of humor) had to put up with comments that I was kicked out because my IQ was too high (no offense meant).

A few weeks later, Marine BG Blaha (former enlisted like Lt Col Guenther) came for a visit. Lt Col Guenther introduced us and told BG Blaha the story of my encounter with the USAREUR Commander. At a later function, BG Blaha told me that since I was a former Marine, I had to smoke an after dinner cigar with him.

Smedley Darlington Butler is still my hero; the only Army General comparable to him is Sidney Schachnow of Special Forces. I will tell more in the next installment.

We all fought for the same flag.

Semper Fi

My First Experiences As A Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was eighteen years old when I joined the Navy. My first experiences as a Corpsman of the Marine Corps stand out like they were yesterday, and not thirty-five years ago. The first experience occurred when I was nineteen. I had been stationed on Camp Pendleton for four months. I decided to go hiking in to the hills. I had been walking along for a while. I was deep in the hills when I saw a sign hanging from a barbwire fence, that I could not read because of the distance. So I started walking toward it. When I finally got close enough to read it, it said, "Impact Area. Hearing Protection Required". It was then that I realized that I had walked into an area where shells and bombs could be dropped. At the time, I thought to myself, "well, as long as I didn't step over any fences, I should be safe." (The very idea that Marines would miss a target was absurd and never considered.) So I continued walking. I started to climb a hill. About three-quarters of the way up, I realized I could hear a roaring sound that was getting louder. When I crested the hill, an F-4 Phantom came booming over the hill at lower than tree top level, right over my head. MAN! That was loud. But I continued walking to the far side of the hill and saw a valley open up in front of me. There was a military exercise in progress. I saw lots of armed Marines on foot and I saw tanks, firing weapons. I sat down and watched our Nation's Finest on a typical day at the Office.

My second experience of "A Marine At The Office" occurred at Camp Pendleton, Area 21. Again, I was 19 years old. On my first night in the barracks at Del Mar, I couldn't sleep. So I decided to walk down to the beach. On my way to the waves, I saw a Marine standing guard duty over the AMTRAKS, walking away from me. So I kept going. I got to the beach and sat there watching the moon's reflection on the waves. When I got sleepy, I headed back to my barracks. No sooner had I passed the sentry, when I heard running footsteps. I heard, (for my first time), the sound of an M-16 bolt being locked and cocked. "Freeze!" I stopped and held my hands out to the side. "Turn around, Slowly!" I turned around and found the barrel of an M-16 (without a BFA) just a couple of feet from my face. "Identify yourself!" I told him my name. "Let me see your ID card!" I had forgotten it in my room. "How do I know you are military and not a civilian trespassing?" And the answer popped into my head. "Because I know you are following the Eleventh General Order; "To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging. To challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority." It was convincing. He said, "OK. You can pass". But he kept his rifle trained on the back of my head as I turned around and returned to my barracks."

Those first experiences, along with a life time of other experiences, provides me with confidence in the professionalism of Marines. For those of us who served in the military, we have a very different take on the arguments surrounding our 2nd Amendment Rights. It is an experience that civilians will never understand. Semper Fi!

My Current Mess Sergeant

I reported to the 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, in early 1968. I was a young PFC not that long out of boot camp. I was originally from Upstate New York and had never really had any allergy problems before. California, I was soon to find out, was not Upstate New York.

Well, I was almost immediately assigned 30 days mess duty and the first morning I reported at zero dark thirty sneezing every few seconds. I thought at first that I had somehow caught a cold on the plane ride to California, but other than sneezing and a runny nose I had no other symptoms. The sneezing wouldn't stop... all morning... all afternoon... until finally the Mess Sergeant sent me to Sick Bay where I learned that I had developed allergies. When I reported back to the Mess Sergeant he informed me that I was relieved of mess duty and to never darken his door again. In four years, I never did. I still have allergies but my current Mess Sergeant (wife) assures me that they will not get me out of "KP" anymore.

Tom Mahoney
Cpl ('76-'71)

15 Freeking Armorers

In 1959 I was selected the Chief Armorer for the AR15/M16 Test Series, a platoon of Marines were armed with the AR15 and a Platoon was armed with the M14. They fired their rifles for Qualification, Infantry Training, cleaning, taking apart, everything a Marine might use his rifle for. During the Test Series WE, everybody connected with the Test Series, were warned to not make any comments pro or con about the Weapons. However the troops started saying, "It's Swell, Made by Mattel", and a comment or two slipped through like a Range NCO said; "I know why they call it the AR15... It takes 15 Freeking Armorers to keep it firing." There was at least one Officer that was relieved, what he did I don't know.

When we tested it, we taught the Marines to fire rifle Grenades with it but that became a NO NO because it bent the barrels.

During the Test Series I asked for a "MAD MINUTE" which is where you fire as fast as you can for a minute, loaded mags are ready for you to grab after you dump the empty one. I put all my loaded mags in a bucket full of water, (remember the monsoons in Vietnam?) and in 45 seconds I had to stop firing because a bulge in the barrel was so bad the front sight was tipping forward. When we tried it the second time I had to stop firing in less time due to the same problem.

When we heard about the problems with the rifle in Vietnam and General Walt was CG of 3rd MAF, I sent him a letter asking him to get me there so I could help. His Letter back to me said to train Marines there at Camp Pendleton how to clear jams and cartridge cases frozen in the chambers. Marines in Vietnam were using Ka-Bars to remove frozen cases in the chambers. I don't know how many cleaning rods were broken trying to remove cases. We've had the rifle over 60 years and they are still trying to get it working like the M1 and M14, but the little cartridge makes that difficult.

Want to know the NOT SO funny part of all this, the rifle was adopted by General LeMaY, USAF Commander, so they could carry more rifles and ammo for the Rifles with the weight restrictions of aircraft, General LeMay adopted it for the Air Force and after Our Test series, though the Army and Marines rejected the Rifle, McNamara, Secretary of Defense said, "There will only be one weapons system in the United States Armed Forces!" So an Air Force General was responsible for us getting an Infantry Rifle. God Help Us from Politicians.

Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.

Hearing Loss

I just finished reading the latest newsletter about all the hearing loss suffered by my fellow Marines. I remember the cotton balls provided for "protection" on the range and how my ears would ring for hours after firing the M-14. I too suffer some hearing loss but not as bad as some. Anyway for those interested there is a product called TV Ears that is supposed to be an excellent product for the hearing impaired. A friend of mine that has 90% hearing loss raves about this product. It is a wireless system that hooks up to your TV and assists you in hearing the program you are watching. He claims he can hear everything said on the shows where he could hardly hear anything before. If anyone is watching with you they hear at the normal level coming from the TV while you get a different level wearing the ears, and they don't interfere with each other. I've never tried them myself as I am not at a point that I need them. For anyone interested they are sold at Radio Shack for about $90 and online at TV EARS, I think for $129.

Unfortunately they only help with TV and not normal conversations between people.

Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
Semper Fi

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Was in Cherry Point in Group Supply - two huge bay doors were open in the morning - facing the flight line - jets revving engines all day - planes going on the runway - take-offs and landings - the sound was intense - and we had no protection for our ears? Now the Old War Horse is pushing 69 and had his hearing checked, and it was determined that he definitely has a hearing loss NOW - I do not think it was from normal everyday age old factor of usage of normal hearing - but the bodacious - loud engine noise from many moons ago.

Alas - my Marines I don't think that the VA will consider this a Marine Corps related problem now after over 47 years...

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
CPL USMC 1963-1967

Do It Again, I Have No Regrets

Good morning,

As I was reading the new Sgt. Girt newsletter I came across a story about plt. 1006 in July 6, 1969 by Lanny Cotton. I was in plt. 1006 in late Nov. 1960 at PI and I was in the old wooden barracks. So it looks like maybe it is about nine years in between the same boot camp platoons (is that possible?) at P.I. as you can see it is almost fifty years ago and I would do again. I would really like to go down to P.I. to see how things have changed and where is the first battalion location? What are the barracks made of? Where are the parade grounds?

It would be a good day for me to see a series graduate and the new young Marines. My whole life is what I was taught by my D.I. and I have no regrets.

Semper Fi
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
Platoon 1006
I/3/4 & C/1/8

Parris Island 1958

July 1958 – 56 years ago.

The group I was in, about 20 of us, all from the Boston area arrived first at Yammasee by Pullman train. Then we were bused to Recruit Receiving and spent a night in a large barracks room. No DI's, just a Corporal who had the Duty.

Next morning we were assigned to platoons where we met Tech. Sgt. Laymance (E6) and Sgt. (E4) Roberts. What a pair of nice gentleman. So soft spoken and caring of all of us. So quick to respond to our every wish. LOL! (BTW, no yellow footprints) After some BS, we had haircuts, sent our civvies home, and then were issued uniforms. We did not get greens or tropicals then. All we got were herringbone utilities, brown high top and brown low cut boots (with fuzzy leather) and drawers, tees shirts, green or faded green color socks with cushion soles that the DI's made us wear inside out so we didn't get blisters, etc. (I have yet to figure that one out).

As far as the boots were concerned we were not allowed to polish them at all, let alone spit shine. I never heard any commands to spit shine boots, even after we went to the plain, smooth leather. I have heard people get some sh-t for spit shining boots and them being asked if they wanted to transfer to the doggie airborne! We applied lots of saddle soap to both high and low tops. We rubbed that SS in until we got the boots looking pretty good. We didn't wear the high boots until late in training. Wore the low-cuts all the time.

When we did get shoes and barracks caps, they were dark brown and we used KIWI Dark Brown Polish. I still have a can of it at home. It did give a great shine and if you put a coat of clear polish on over the dark brown, they would really shine. One of the hard parts was keeping your girlfriend, other friends, etc. from grabbing your barracks cap by the brim and smudging the shine!

Everyone in the platoon and probably the series got the heavy wool overcoat, brown leather winter gloves, and silk scarf. In fact I was elected to show the platoon how to wear it. Both items came in handy when we got liberty from Camp Lejeune in December back to Massachusetts!

No bloused utilities at PI then. And we wore "chrome domes" for covers 99% of the time, except to chow. They were simply helmet liners that had been painted silver to reflect the sun and ward off the rifle butt that occasionally fell from behind.

We went to black shoes in the 60's and most guys just dyed their brown shoes. We blamed the Army for having to change to black! BTW, tattoos were verboten then! I got out of the Reserves in 1968 and I still have and occasionally wear my brown, dyed black dress shoes and someone always comments on the spit shine!

So, that's the straight scoop from Platoon 174, July - October 1958, PI, SC.

Sgt. Philip E. Drugge USMCR
1/25 4th Mar. Div.

A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion

Marines of A Btry 3rd LAAM Bn at Reunion

Pic L-R: (Sgt) Pat McKenna, (Sgt) Charles "Buddy" Calhoun, (Sgt) Frank "Gunner Grabin Jr" Thompson.

This is a pic taken after our unit reunion. We had a reunion 27-29 Jun 2014 in Nashville, Tn. Great time and Great People.

I'm waiting for more Pics, but they are currently "Classified" and waiting for the clearance to see them.

Most at the reunion haven't seen each other for at least 30 plus yrs. That's why you have to Love the Marine Corps. It was like we never parted ways.

(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.

Embarrassment To Our Corps

In 1969 they Navy was looking for a Guard Chief for Camp David. The Navy wanted a MSgt and the Marine Corps said they would get a GySgt. Capt. Adkins for 3rd 8" ExO, Btry Cmdr. of 1stGuns was the interviewing officer from HQMC. I had interviewed at the Bn level, Regimental level and was nominated from the 10th Marines. When Capt. Adkins interviewed me he said he could stop right there and recommend me for the job. I told him no, I wanted to be evaluated along with all the other candidates.

A couple of weeks later one evening he called me from Chicago and said he selected a GySgt who was an Engineer who just return from WestPac and was selected for MSgt.

God was looking after me because I would have been at Camp David when the Marines were busted for smoking Mary Jane. So those who were busted were not exactly the cream of the crop, but a bunch of derelicts who were an embarrassment to our Corps.

William J Bock

Fair To A Fault

Sgt. Grit,

I enjoy your weekly newsletters more than I could possibly reiterate. They bring me back to a time at 19-years of age in 1960 when I entered those hallowed gates July 28th of MCRD - San Diego. "Platoon 271... on the road"... I believe was the sound most heard through the months of training. My drill instructors for the cycle were SSgt. Harris, Sgt's. Wright, Bulknight and Fuller. They were, and hopefully still are great role models. Some had combat experience from Korea. All were disciplined, tough, but fair to a fault. All veterans of every branch of service have and will continue to have their own unique twist on the stories we've all heard and experienced, but nonetheless we relish hearing them over and over again. I'll have a few to add in the years to come, but for now please continue to include me in your weekly mailings. I've been a follower of the email site since 2007.

Thank you in advance for all you do to keep the traditions alive.

Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx

Marine Ink Of The Week

Dress Blue Sgt Chevron under torn skin tattoo.

Submitted by David Harvey

Sgt of Marine Dress Blue Tattoo

Small Marine World

Last October, my wife, & I took a cruise down the Danube. Prior to said cruise, we stopped in Prague for 3 days. In Prague, I met with the NCOIC of the Marine Detachment there, a Gunny Ortizhartshorn. We developed one of those MSG/Marine Corps friendships that keep us in contact with one-another now.

Recently, he has just been made First Sergeant, and has taken over a Reserve Unit in Folsom, PA.

Last Wednesday, I sent him an E-mail... congratulating him on his promotion, and new job. In the same note, I told him that I had been invited to the Recruiting Headquarters Change of Command Ceremony here in OKC. An Infantry Major, Ryan B. Cohen would be replacing an Artillery Major, Richard H Robinson III as the Commanding Officer.

I sent the E-mail off.

Within 15 minutes, I received the following reply: "HOLY CR-P! Major Cohen is an extremely close battle buddy of mine. We know each other intimately. I knew he was taking over the station in OKC, but I didn't put two & two together with you there too. Feel free to throw my name out there. He knows me as "White Papa", which was my call sign when we fought side by side in Afghanistan together. Please tell him I said "congratulations, and Semper Fi".

At the conclusion of the CofC Ceremony on Friday, I told Major Cohen that I had a message for him from a friend of mine. "I was requested to tell you "Congratulations & Semper Fi from 'White Papa'." His eyes got as big as saucers, and his jaw dropped, and there was a long silence. Then he said: "How in the H-ll, do you know 'White Papa'? Never mind. When I am settled in in a couple of weeks, come to the office, and we will have a little talk."

I then went to the luncheon tables.

It's a small world.


Before There Was Rock And Roll

Sgt. Grit,

One young Marine Wrote about Mess Duty; when I went in we all had a week of mess duty after Rifle Range (in those days they paid us $5.00 monthly for Mess Duty), aboard ship they assigned a few of us to Mess Duty... when I went overseas in WWII our entire Replacement draft was assigned to a Flotilla of LSM's. I don't recall how many were assigned to each LSM, but we're allotted a space in the lower aft section of the ship. If you know LSM's they are round bottomed ships much smaller than an LST, the compartment we slept in was visited daily by a Sailor that opened a fuel tank that had a place to measure the amount of fuel which left the lingering smell of diesel oil in the compartment. The round bottom gave Rock and Roll to the ship before there was Rock and Roll. We were fed twice a day in our meat can and cover, for lunch we were issued "K" rations.

As usual there were men lining the rails relieving themselves of a meal with old time Marines and Sailors saying odd things like; "Don't waste food, swallow it" and such terrible comments. I have always felt lucky because I never got sea sick. But was thankful to get off the LSM's and get ashore. I was amazed at what the Navy did with some of its ships. The LSM became an LSM (R) which had a lot of 5 inch rocket launchers mounted on a deck which unleashed rockets on the island being attacked... many ships were damaged by the usually very accurate fire the Japanese sent. They also had the LCI (Landing Craft, Infantry) that carried troops ashore and they ran off platforms on each side, however in the Pacific War they used the LCI as a Mortar Ship that had 4.2 Mortars that got in close to shore and fired the mortars. The LCI (G) was another ship used to get close to shore and deliver accurate fire at the enemy. However, if you want to read a tale of remarkable Heroism of the Navy, on LCI (G) Flotilla... Three that went in on Iwo Jima, I don't recall all the remarkable damage that happened, but at least one LCI had to be towed from the beach area, all the LCI's were hit with artillery fire with many dead and wounded. One LCI Captain earned a Medal of Honor and there were lots for medals awarded this LCI (G) Flotilla 3 group that went into Iwo to unloaded their share of destruction on the enemy. Don't put the Navy Down because they did some remarkable things to get us ashore. Being a Coxwain on a Peter Boat carrying Marines ashore and making return trips seems to need remarkably Brave Men. There is a Book; "Iwo Jima Recon" that deserves reading by Marines about the Heroism of the Navy at Iwo.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


(Vol #7, #2)

I asked this gorgeous lady why she had looked at me so peculiarly when I picked up her son out front. She said, "His father would NEVER have picked him up when in uniform and I don't believe he would have been able to do that anyway. He wasn't very strong." I asked "Was he more concerned about his uniform than his son?" She replied "I'm sure he was!" I told her "He should turn in his uniform and get his priorities in order."

The waitress handed me the check. I was looking at it. It was for $7.45. She pulled it from my hand and said, "I'll take care of this." I told her I would take care of the tip. Back then a proper tip was 10%. I left $2.00 on the table. We left the restaurant and I then saw the Camp Lejeune tag on her car for the first time. It was an officers tag #O-38). I knew the sequences of the tags (#O-1 to 10 were for General officers, #O-11 to 30 for Colonels and #O-31 to 60 for LtCols). They were issued in early 1950 and all of these were in order of seniority. #O-38 went to the 8th highest ranking LtCol on the Post. That told me more that I did not know.

It must have been about 1720 and I was certain that all the north- bound enlisted men had passed us. We resumed a leisurely trip to Washington. Our next stop would be at the American station in Petersburg for the absolute best full service anywhere. We had a very nice conversation all the way. We got there at about 2030. I told Kitty to "Just watch the service you get at this station. We all got out of the car. I had to take S: to the restroom. She watched as 5 men serviced the car (1 to fill the tank, 2 to wash ALL the windows outside, 1 to check the tire pressure and the 5th to check the fluids under the hood). I returned and got S:_ back in the car. She was watching the man checking everything beneath the hood. The station owner was standing next to her. When he saw me he said, "Your car went through about half an hour ago." I asked, "Did he pay the tab?" He said, "No... that you would get it when you came through. Do you want to pay it now or next time?" I said, "I may as well do so now." He went into his office to get the check. When he returned he asked, "Is this your wife?" She heard what he said and was looking at me. I said, "No, Not Yet!" - I got another one of those big, broad smiles. When everyone had completed their jobs he wrote a check for the gas. She said, "I'll take that." She paid it and gave him a $5.00 tip. He said, "Oh No. We do not charge for our service." She replied, "I have never seen such excellent service. I want you to give each of your men $1." He said, "Okay. I will do that. I am certain they will appreciate it. He said to me, "When is the wedding?" I got another one of those beautiful smiles - and we moved on north.

'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #9 (Sept. 2019)

Part #2: (VMO-6 cont.)

Another MARINE first was the deployment of four (4) Atlantic TA-1 and TA-2 Transports, which were American built versions of the Dutch Fokker F-VII tri-motored transports. Withe these aircraft the MARINES of VO-6M developed, implemented and refined large-scale aerial supply operations to cope with the lack of infrastructure on the ground. In 1931, after returning to Quantico, VM-6O assembled a team of six F8C dive bombers called the "Hell-divers", which represented MARINE aviation at U.S. Events such as, the National Air Races in Cleveland, Ohio. Soon, the team expanded to nine aircraft and continued to favorably exhibit MARINE tactical flying presentations to national audiences. Unfortunately, a re-organization of Naval (and thus MARINE) Aviation in 1933 determined that a MARINE squadron had to be dis-assembled to make way for a new dive bombing squadron, and VO-6M was disbanded at the end of June of that year. Eleven years later, World War II was entering it's final phase of combat in the Pacific, and in November 1944, MARINE observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6) was reactivated at Quantico. It's original missions were to conduct aerial observation and artillery direction for ground troops while flying in OY-1 Sentinel Light aircraft, similar to the civilian Stenson 105 Voyager. The squadron participated in the Okinawa assault in early April 1945, coordinating artillery fire and delivering messages to ground commanders. Two months later, VMO-6 began making casualty evacuation flights in their OY-1's. Ultimately, the squadron flew 460 "Combat Missions" and evacuated 195 causalities at Okinawa.

After World War II's end in Sept. 1945, VMO-6 was moved to China for fifteen months to report on communist Chinese operations and support U.S. Operations within the Country. VMO-6 was then moved to California's Camp Pendleton in January of 1947, and for three and one half years the squadron trained with west coast MARINES and Navy units perfecting radio procedures and even participating in "Cold Weather" exercises with their OY-1's. Then suddenly everything changed. The Korean War erupted in June of 1950. Almost immediately, VMO-6 was called upon to support the MARINE Brigade that was being sent across the Pacific Ocean. Helicopters and men from Quantico's HMX-1 test unit were operationally attached for their combat debut, Sikorsky HO3S helicopters joined OY-1 Sentinels aboard and aircraft carrier that arrived in Japan on the last day of July in 1950. Three day's later, the aircraft and men were in action in Korea, the fixed wing aircraft were flying reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions and the helicopters were evacuating causalities from the front lines.

Aircraft with the "WB" tail code would become familiar sights with MARINES on the ground, throughout the war.

Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Inspection by CG FMF PAC, Marine Barracks, NAHA

Another inspection at Marine Barracks, Naha... the inspecting officer is Lt.Gen Alan Shapely, at the time the CG, FMF PAC. On December 7th, 1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona, as a Major, and had just been relieved the previous day as the CO of Arizona's Marine Detachment. He had stayed aboard, as his Marines were scheduled to play in a championship baseball game that Sunday. He was aloft, with a cup of coffee, when the Japanese struck. He was blown, naked, into the water... and helped others swim ashore on Ford Island. Note, if you can see the detail, that those are brass claws, just above my left hand... meaning that we had leather slings... field marching pack, one canteen...

The officer behind him appears to be Major Nick Capelleto (sp?)... who would have been freshly promoted... he was the Barracks XO as a Captain when he arrived... saw him years later with FSR at Chu Lai... CO of Ordnance Maintenance Co. as I recall...

When drafting the text to go with the picture of LtGen Alan Shapely... (taken at Marine Barracks, Naha)... I neglected to mention that as CO of the 4th Marines, he was decorated for... taking the Japanese airfield... at Naha... Wikipedia has a decent bio on the gentleman...

A favorite Marine SNCO story of mine... usually set at 29 Palms (my three tours there having absolutely no influence... nor my few months as a SNCO)... anyway, if you can provide your own slightly southern accent for the characters, it goes like this: Pitcher night at the SNCO club, quite coincidentally timed to fall on a payday... two Gunnies hit the club at 1600, quickly go through a first pitcher... then a second... then a third... after which the younger of the two allowed it was time for a head call. The elder of the two opined that his acolyte should just go ahead by himself, as he (the elder) had no need. This scenario repeated itself throughout the evening, and up to the National Anthem playing on the backbar TV... at which point the club manager insisted that these seasoned warriors depart his premises. As they wended their wobbly way out the front sidewalk, the elder Gunny said "Wait jush a minute... I gotta p-ss." His friend, still having at least a few functioning brain cells, and some recognition of their possible location at the moment, exclaimed: "Gunny! You can't p-ss here!"... to which his now BFF pointed off in the distance, and explained: "I'm not gonna pish here... I'm gonna p-ss WAAAAAY... over there!"

(well... maybe you had to be there?)


Short Rounds

My first morning at PI was 50 years ago right NOW! I arrived at the front gate on the bus at 3:30 the morning of 2 July 1964.

Skipper Mercer
USMC #xxx3982

How Marines Are Made!

Parris Island: Cradle of the Corps.

I was reading your latest catalog and I told Connie it looked like a friggin' magazine. She answered: Marines don't read magazines... they empty them.

She's a keeper!


"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
--Thomas Jefferson

"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
--Herbert Spencer, Essays [1891]

"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--Lt.Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC

"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan, 1985

"Heads up, Shoulders back, Strut, Strut, Strut!"

"You little maggot, I'm gonna screw your head off and sh-t in the hole!"

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

"You look like Alley Oop with a head full of hair-er"

"Are you looking at me boy?"
"No Sir!"
"Yeah you are, I think you like me!" "Do you like me boy?"
(no good answer here so you say YES SIR) "You like me?"
"Liken' leads to loven' and loven' leads to f---'n."
"You want to f--- me boy?"
(And round we go)

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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