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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 13 NOV 2014

In this issue:
• Hill 34
• Percy Pride
• Seabees

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Sgt Grit

We bought these baby dress blues from you before this little guy was even born. I am so proud of my Marines and hope that the little one follows in Pop's and Dad's footsteps!

Patricia H. Hayes

Make sure that your Devil Pup is ready for inspection with a set of their own!

Dress Blues Baby 2 Piece Set


Korea Then And Now

Hi Sgt Grit,

Here are a couple pictures of me going through Seoul, Korea. One from 1953 and one from what it looks like today. I was in 4.2 Mortar Co. and in SDMD, Platoon 16...

Sgt Bob Holmes
1359XXX

​

Hill 34

It has been 44 years sinse we last saw each other, but we finally made connection. We were in Viet Nam together in 1969-1970 hill 34 An Hoa. We were with 1st 175mm Gun Btry, Self propelled. It's been a long time, but here we are. We live just 225 miles apart so now we can see each other more often.

This is me (Robert Haney) Left, known as doc but I wasn't a corpsman and (Robert Goodman) Goody on the right. If you were with us you can contact me at: rjhaney175@sbcglobal.net. We need to get together.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to all MARINES!

Robert Haney


Happy Birthday Marine Corps

On behalf of my father, MSgt William Hauser (Ret), Korean War - 1st Marine Division, Happy Birthday Marine Corps - SEMPER FI!

Also please send wishes and prayers for he is not doing so well these days.

Thanks so much.

(My father is front row, left side)

Andrea Hauser


November 10, 1960

Camp Gieger, Company B, ITR

It was a cold, rainy night in the woods of North Carolina on my first birthday. It was so dark you couldn't see the person next to you. The only protection against the elements was our utilities and 782 gear. We marched off into the gloom and were told to dig foxholes on a sandy hill facing a barely visible tree line to wait for an attack from a RECON platoon that was in training at the same location. Each of us was armed with our M1s from boot camp, with a clip of blanks. So we started digging in the sand. When I figured my hole was deep enough, I discovered my piece was missing. I buried it. The "attack" never came. After we were all sufficiently miserable, the instructors ordered us to rise up and attack the tree line we were facing and fire as we moved. It didn't take me long to dig out my M1 that was now jammed with sand, but when I tried to jack a round in the chamber it made a most disconcerting sound, sort of like crushing a plastic bottle. I wasn't the only one, most of the company had the same problem. Our charge of the tree line only produced spotty gunshots here and there, more like an arcade game in a carnival than an assault by a Marine rifle company.

After our unsuccessful assault through the woods, the instructor(s) had us fall in in platoon formation, force a round into our weapons, hold them straight up over our heads and pull the trigger. I think most of us expected the rifles to explode because of the sand in the mechanisms and barrels. They didn't explode, but several didn't fire. This precipitated a lengthy discourse on the care and cleaning of the M1 while standing in the cold rain in the dark woods of North Carolina. Afterwards, we marched back, in two lines along a dirt road in route step, several miles back to the barracks. The Lieutenant set the pace between the ranks. As we were trudging along he shouted out that this day was the Marine Corps Birthday and that we were to answer his cadence loudly. It went like this:

"Sir! One Hundred and Eighty Five Years of Death H-ll and Destruction! United States Marine Corps! Gung Ho! Gung Ho! Gung Ho!"

Never forget it and always keep my rifle ready.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl, 1960-1964


Marine Training

My husband was and is a Marine. He joined up when he was a junior in High School during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Dropped out of High School and he went to Camp Pendleton in California. After basic boot camp and training, he was sent to Vietnam, lived in a fox hole for 13 months, back in '64-'65. When he came back to California, we met in church. (Some of the Marines came, I think to meet girls) but we hit it off and were married a few months later. When he was released from service, he worked full time and attended college. We both went to a community college and then to California State at Fullerton where we got our degrees, his a BS and mine a BA. We worked our way through college with help of VA education and loans. Bob was accepted at UCLA in Medical School where he worked as a teaching assistant and received high marks.

Bob received his Phd in Bio-Chemistry in 1976. During that time we ate a lot of hot dogs, chicken pot pies (when you could buy them 5 for $1.00.) When I told him we qualified for food stamps, he looked at me with his typical jaw out and said, "you have a roof over your head? you have enough to eat?" When I said yes, his reply was, "we don't need food stamps!" Marine training! After that he accepted a position for 3 years in a post-doc research position.

Finally in 1979 he had a "real job". He was 36. It took a lot of work and I am so proud of him. He is a scientist and has many patents to his name. We have been married for 48 years. I know the Marine Corps had a huge part in shaping his life and making him the man he is today. He is a great husband, father and grand-father and still thinks he is 25, while he buys soccer shoes and runs with 2 of his grand-kids all over the soccer field.

God bless America and the Marine Corps for the opportunity we have had and continue to share in this the United States of America.

Respectfully,
Kathleen A Stout
Wife of a Marine


Get A Drag

Hey Grit,

February 1969... SSgt Blankenship, Platoon 3011, MCRD San Diego... "The smoking lamp is lit for one cigarette (all smokers fumbling for their smokes)... I said one cigarette... start it with the guide, pass it on and every one had better get a drag... there better be no non-smokers." Needless to say, the fire on that Winston was real long by the time the last recruit put his lips to it, and we made sure the Guide had 100mm cigs for the future in case this ever happened again.

Cpl A.C. Deck NCOAD (not currently on active duty)
3rd 8 inch Howitzer Battery (SP)
11th Marines, 1st Marine Division (RVN)


Percy Price

Dec. 1962, while staying an additional month for Guard duty in Gitmo. We would go to the EM club for brews. We also used our own troops for MP duty at the club. One night I had a little too much to drink, and felt quite brave. The call came to close up the club, but I had a couple of beers left and I wasn't going to leave them. The voice came from behind me to leave, and of course I wasn't about to leave the beer there. I told the voice behind me I would leave when I was finished! A hand appeared on my shoulder and I (having enough liquid courage) stood up and looked into the eyes of Percy Price, Marine Corps Heavy Weight champion, and having been the only one at that time to beat then Cassius Clay, (now Muhammad Ali). I of course left my beer. I believe the Great Percy Price has gone to his eternal reward. R.I.P. Percy.

Jim Logan


Belleau Wood

Here are some more photos of Belleau Wood that were taken in June of 2014.

Thank you all for your service. For those hardball players in the southeast asia league welcome home. Happy Birthday!

KDT


Japan

Just a note to PFC Keith about HQ-4-12. I was there in 1960-61. Big Red Ebert was 1st Sgt. I was a 2533 radio man, then when I made E-4, was a radio chief. My call sign was Zookeeper 28. We lived in Quonset huts at camp Hague, except when we went to Camp Fuji, Japan for live-fire exercises. Then we lived in tents. We did that twice. Those were the good old days. Liberty in New Koza, Okinawa and Tomoho, Japan, right outside North camp Fuji.

Cpl. Paul Lindner
1959-1963


Welcome Home

"Welcome Home" is a new series being produced by Sleeping Dog Productions, Inc. It tells the story of Vietnam Veterans, from all branches of the service.

This is a trailer from a documentary that is supposed to air next year... 40 years after the fall of Saigon. It is scheduled for release in 2015, the 40th anniversary year of the end of the War.

Watch the Welcome Home movie trailer.

​

Seabees

Sizable detachments of Seabees, who stormed ashore with Marine assault troops in the first, second, and third waves to land on Bougainville in the Solomon Islands, distinguished themselves by the skill and valor with which they filled their combat assignments.

As the invasion forces approached the enemy beaches, the Seabees manned machine guns on Higgins boats, tank lighters and landing craft. Dare-devil builders leaped ashore from the first boats to nudge into the sand, and unloaded fuel, ammunition, rations and packs while heavy fighting broke out all about them on the beaches. Then, as the Japanese were driven back into the jungle, the Seabees manned beach defenses side-by-side with the Marines.

In addition to these activities, which were beyond the normal call of duty, the volunteer group of 100 Seabee officers and men who landed with the first wave also were credited with additional acts of bravery performed with complete disregard for their personal safety.

Landing craft from one transport had to pass through a narrow channel between two small islands just off Bougainville. Japanese machine gun nests on the inside of both islands had been firing upon every boat that attempted to move through the channel until Seabees manning landing craft guns effectively liquidated them. The Seabee sharp-shooters also helped drive away Japanese Zeroes that attacked the mother ship.

On landing, the rugged construction men rushed supplies from landing craft to combat line. Seabees carried ammunition and water to the front, and as was learned later, kept a group of Marines from being wiped out because of lack of supplies.

One Seabee jumped aboard a crippled tractor after its Marine driver had been shot off, hauled large quantities of ammunition, and helped place 20-mm anti-aircraft guns. Another group of the aroused builders riddled enemy pillboxes while Marines moved in to remove the Japanese with hand grenades. Still other Seabees moved a Marine heavy artillery battery to the front.

Without thought for their own safety, the Navy Construction men carried wounded from the front lines to the landing craft which would return the casualties to the transports for immediate evacuation. The Seabees scooped out foxholes, not only for themselves and the Marines, but for the injured who were unable to dig their own.

When one of the landing craft was hit by heavy artillery fire, a Seabee officer helped unload the wounded and badly needed supplies while other Seabees held the Japanese at bay.

The medical department set up a first aid station and treated men on the front lines (which were still the beach) with morphine and bandages carried in their packs. The first night of the landing, the Seabee detachment was assigned the defense of a portion of the beach. The volunteer group continued to hold this area for the next twenty-four days.

For days after the landing, the battling builders teamed up with Marine patrols to locate and neutralize Japanese snipers infiltrating through the lines.

From the small galley they had set up on the beach, Seabee cooks served hot meals to men on the front lines a few hundred yards away.

The only difference between an M-4 tank and the caterpillar Seabee W.I. Robertson,"MMLC, drove thru a hail of machine gun fire the day the Marines landed on Bougainville is that the tank would have had guns," wrote Marine Combat Correspondent Sergeant William Burnett from the battlefront.

"Within an hour after the first Marine stepped ashore, our 'cats' were on the beach and up to their radiators in work," Burnett quoted the Seabees. 'We were' supposed to keep the beach cleared, sorting supplies and keeping rolling stock from sticking in the sand. But ammunition was running low with the men moving inland, so we also got the job of dragging sleds loaded with shells to them thru the heavy jungle and swamp. We made our own roads as we went."

The bulldozer operators were Landing under fire at Empress Augusta Bay, Bougainville, Seabees first joined with Marines in defending the beaches against counter-attack, then got busy on construction of military roads feeding front lines. The fighting builders ran one of their roads 700 yards in advance of the Marines' front lines before the Leathernecks yelled for them to hold up a while, forced to the ground by heavy fire many times, according to Robertson. The Seabee said his cat still shows bullet marks on its blade and track. He recalled that when night came and a beachhead was secured, his mates used their bulldozers to knock over the Jap pill boxes and cover up the dead.

Submitted By
John Ratomski


I Am A Marine

I found this on FaceBook. I think your readers (me being on of them) will appreciate it. Lots of us peacekeepers still on watch.

I Am A MARINE

I am a Marine.
I served in no war, although I was prepared for it.
I did not see combat, although I was trained for it.
I did not receive orders to fight, but I was ready to follow them.
I did not see any of my friends die, but I feel the pain when any of my brothers are hurt.
I no longer wear the uniform on my body, but it is still a part of me.
A life, of Service, of Honor, of Integrity.
True to the Corps.
By my actions throughout life, people I encounter will know, "He is a Marine."
When I leave this Earth, my friends will say, "He was a Marine."
For a quiet eternity, the stone will read, "Marine."
Semper Fidelis
I am a Marine.

Tony Pisarek
United States Marine

--John H. Hardin


MACS 5

Sgt.Grit,

I wonder if anyone is still around re 1954 stationed at this landing field. It was about 125 miles north of Cherry Point. I wonder if anyone is still around from MACS 5 motor pool? The base was small but very active. The landing strip was so shaped as a carrier deck with trip wires in one section of it. If I remember the planes were AD 4 Sky raiders Single prop jobs who practiced landings. Marine Air Control Squadron 5 was a radar outfit that brought the planes home and ground control took over to land them. In the motor pool were the diesel generator sets for electric power. The generator sets had to run at exactly 60 cycles not more not less or good by radar sets. I know the base closed before 1957. I know 60 years is a long time ago, but it would be nice to hear from somebody who was at Edenton, NC.

Just read in the most recent letters of a Marine who still has his MCRD platoon red book about the same time period as me. I pulled out the book and went through it. It sure did bring back memories to me. I remember the first night as I was in the rack saying to myself, well stupid what did you get yourself into this time for four years. But no regrets it made a man out of me.

Semper Fi
Sgt Robert (Ski) Nowicki


He Would Never Talk

Dear Mark,

My father, Billy Ray Shelton, was also in the 2nd Marine Division on Tarawa. He too, died young of cancer (48), caused by a lifetime of smoking. He was about 16 when he joined the Marines, (he lied about his age,) and was proud of his Marine service, but other than some general positive stories, he would never talk of the horror he must have experienced. It is only now when I am middle-aged that I am fully realizing the extent of their sacrifice and experiences during that time. My Dad was a country boy from Natchitoches, Louisiana. I suppose lots of divisions had boys from the same part of the country. I found your article fascinating but sad, but it filled in a lot of blanks. Thanks for that. I only wish he was alive when I had sense to ask him some questions. At least you had a chance to thankfully.

Kathy Tweedale
Somerset, England


It Wasn't Pretty

I met one of the people that played on the 2nd Marine Division football squad. He was a classmate of mine in high school. This was the summer of '64 so it wasn't football season. I had just gotten back from my "recruit leave" and was going into Amtrac School at Courthouse Bay.

I really don't remember what a Private would say to a Corporal by way of polite conversation but we had one. It was so nice to meet a Marine that I could actually talk to just like if he was a regular guy.

We talked for 10 minutes or so and the conversation got around to his football career in the Corps. I was quite surprised that Marines were allowed to bash heads with people that weren't Marines. It seems that the 2nd Division played some of the local college level teams and other military unit's teams. The Corporal was a down lineman. He said that it was a fairly "rough" game at that level. So I asked, "how rough"... and he showed his leg. I must say, it wasn't pretty.

It seems that at that level of competition there was a certain amount of "allowable" cannibalism. Remember, this was right around the end of June. Football season was at least 5 months before. But there on his leg was the unmistakeable imprint of a good many teeth bites. I mean entire dentures were represented on his calf. I might have said something to effect... "Did it or does it, hurt... or... Mother of God what the H-ll happened to you?"

Well, it was nice to see a familiar face. I was real happy I could recognize it. But, I made up my mind that Marine Corps Football would be the last thing on my Bucket List.

If memory serves, we didn't have those back then but it was on it and it was in last place!

Later...
McDonald,P.B. (E/5)
4th Amtrac Bn, "A" Co 2nd Plt
1964 to 1970


One Man Bunker

Sgt. Grit,

LCpl Terry Lee Campbell's photo at the bottom of your latest advertisement (2 Dec14) showing the 1968 Birthday cake on Hill 65, reminded me of my brief stay on that hill from around 5 June until 1 August, 1967... when I was transferred to the HQ Battery of 3rd 8-Inch Howitzers out west of DaNang. After spending about six months with the "grunts" of Lima 3/7 as their art'y FO, I was called back to the battery to take over the Fire Direction Center.

My "sleeping quarters" which was a small one-man bunker just outside the entrance of the FDC, had a scenic view of the various rolls of concertina wire strung out along the eastern side of the hill. Most of my time while there was spent inside the FDC bunker.

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a Captain, USMCR; Always a Marine.


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #11, #2)

On Monday morning I walked into my office 10 minutes early as usual. Mr. Dyer (CWO4) and the two civilians were already at their desks... as usual. Louise Harbin, the wife of the Gunny that was the Golf Pro at Paradise Point - where you stayed in 1949 - gave me a beautiful smile. I then announced "Well, the Hudson is no more!" Louise asked "What happened?" I told everyone the same story I just told you. I got out the Onslow County yellow pages and looked for 'Automobile Dealers - New Cars'. There were very few listed and none were Hudson dealers. In 1950 there were only three dealerships in J'ville, a Ford, Chevrolet and Buick. I called the dealer I had purchased the Hudson from in Mt. Holly, N.J. and spoke with George Hodgson himself. I told him what happened and asked if he had another Hudson. He said "Hudsons are a hot commodity. Have you been following the stock car races?" I said that I had not, but that I knew quite well there was nothing else on the road that could catch a Hudson. He said "I only have one at the moment and it's a club coupe. I doubt that you are interested in it." He asked "How many miles did you have on your car?" I said "Just over 121,000." He asked "And how long did you have it?" I replied "Just over 18 months." He said "You must have done a lot of driving." I told him "Just over 1500 miles a week." He gave me the names and phone numbers of four Hudson dealers in N.C. The one in Wilmington only had a club coupe. The dealers in Charlotte and Raleigh were sold out. And the one in Asheville was too far away. I didn't even call that one. Louise and her husband agreed that I could use their car to go into J'ville. He picked her and I up after work and went home. Joe handed me the keys and said "Be careful." I went into J'ville and to the Buick dealer. They had only one car in stock, a 1950 Buick Super Riviera in two-tone green. It sat in the middle of the showroom floor. It was a sharp looking car. It was a new model for 1950. They didn't have to sell me on Buicks. I kept thinking about my choices at the moment. I had few. I decided to get this Buick. They said I could pick it up Tuesday evening... if my credit was approved. I told them that my Hudson was financed thru Union Trust in Mt. Holly, N.J. GMAC would finance the car and they would handle the insurance, too. I knew everything was good and the dealer called me at work a little before noon on Tuesday to tell me "Union Trust said your Hudson was financed in your father's name; not as a cosigner on your note. He said there was a notation on the note that it was for you and that you would be making the payments. He said that you had paid two payments when the first installment was due and then made monthly payments to date; that the account was always paid 30 days or more in advance; thereby establishing an excellent credit rating. Your credit is 'impeccable'.

I told them I would come in to pick up the car at about 7:00 PM. My tags were on the Hudson up in Weldon, so I got a 10 day paper tag. Joe and Louise went with me to get the car. They really liked it. That Dyna-flow transmission was r-e-a-l-l-y smooooooth, an absolute gem.

Semper Fi. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Short Rounds

​

I ws not a smoker in boot camp. I felt sorry for he guys that were. It was a week or more if not more before they got their fist smoke! As for me, I was dying for a coke.

B. Otis
Platoon 266
PI '57/'60


Born on 10 November 1961, I am a Corpsman who had the privilege to have served my country, but had the HONOR to have served with the United States Marine Corps.

I retired after 15 and a half years, served 11 and a half with 1st MARDIV (Echo Co. 2Bn/7th Marines, 1stBn/4th Marines, and 1st Mar Regiment) Operation Desert Shield/Storm.

Happy Birthday Brothers & Sisters! Semper Fidelis!

Doc Noll
HM1 (FMF), Retired


A grunts job... locate the enemy, close with him, and destroy him by any means possible.

Semper Fidelis,
Ray Kelley


I was at MCRD San Diego from 28 June 1962 to 18 Sept. 1962. We used clothespins (I think the squared off models with the spring in the middle but don't hold me to that). I suppose, along with the steak & lobster dinners once a week, surf boards, suntan lotion and sun glasses that's just one more thing to make the Pleasure Island graduates feel superior to San Diego.

Jerry D.


Hey Sarge... sure enjoy your newsletters. I went thru USMC boot camp September, 1953. We had a Cpl (Cpl Wise) and two PFCs as our DIs.

My Dad went thru USMC boot camp in 1917... so, I couldn't hold a candle to his stories.

Semper Fi!
Lawrence D. Morrell PhD
Albuquerque


With all the comments about tie ties I'm surprised no one has mentioned that our skivvies drawers did not have elastic waistbands. There were sewn on tie ties on each side which you used to adjust the size and also hang them on the clothes line.

Also, a common expression when the DI didn't want to allow a head call "Use a tie tie on it".

M Oakes
USMC 1956 to 1980


Enjoyed reading the story from Sgt D.B. Whiting about his life at MCRD Plt 295, 1953-1956. I also was at MCRD at the same time in Plt 284, Sgt Wind was my D.I. I too still have my red book from that time. Brings back many stories of my first time away from home, (PRICELESS).

Sgt. G.D. LAISURE


Love these newsletters! My late husband was a proud 30 year Marine! I also enjoyed seeing the picture of Commandant Hagee - knew him from 29 Palms. Happy birthday, Marines! Semper Fi.

Karen Balske


I don't know any alternate words to the Hymn, but do recall in the early 1960's guys singing the Hymn to the tune of two popular songs. One was "Ghost Riders In The Sky" and the other was "Running Bear".

George


Quotes

"[T]he whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by an endless series of hobgoblins, most of them imaginary."
--H.L. Mencken, [1918]


"When Gen. Abrial arrived to relieve me as the supreme commander, only don't ask, don't tell kept me from hugging and kissing him."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"You are part of the world's most feared and trusted force. Engage your brain before you engage your weapon."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of Marines. Lord, how they could fight!"
--MGen. Frank E. Lowe, USA; Korea, 26 January 1952


"You came into my Marine Corps to become a road guard! Outstanding, now that's a man with a plan."

"What the holy h-ll is that recruit? You in some kinda glo-belt beauty pageant? Drop and give me 50 maggot!"

"Who's the slimy little Communist sh-t, twinkle-toed, c-cksucker down here who just signed his own death warrant?!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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