Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 JAN 2014

In this issue:
• Almost Always Had Good Chow
• The Point Of A Dress Blue Uniform
• Anyone More Tickled

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Re: GySgt Rousseau letter on leggings. The Marines of WWII and Korea were not issued leggings to be worn with utilities. That's what made us Leathernecks different vs Army boots which took time to tuck in and lace up and could be deadly, as GySgt Rousseau pointed out.

Sgt Jack Strumpf Korean War Vet

I was in the Corps during and after the Korean War and don't remember being issued leggings or high boots. We wore "boondockers" which were high-topped shoes but not high enough to tuck in trousers. (see attached photo). It may not have been as neat, but it was the Marine way.

Jack Strumpf
Sgt USMC 1952-56

Long Sleeve Semper Fi Thermal and Beanie Special

Almost Always Had Good Chow

Sgt. Grit,

In my Marine Corps I almost always had good Chow. Now here's the facts, There's Officers Mess, Staff NCO Mess, NCO Mess, and the Mess Hall where we went to eat CHOW, call it what you want, it was Chow. I have to admit I grew up during the Depression and my Mother couldn't afford great lunches, but going into the Corps didn't enlightened my life by finally getting better food.

Open Claymore Mine

Mother told me when I married (and was making but $50.00 a month) "no matter what happens, no matter where you are, Make sure your family has a Steak at least once a week. One good meal helps make a week," and I followed her advice, it did make many a week.

Now Marine Corps Chow in my time went like this, Breakfast, SOS, fried potatoes, Fried eggs, toast and coffee oatmeal (for the mush lovers). It could vary with bacon or ham (even fried horse c-ck), medium boiled eggs, but always toast and coffee. Lunch could be a lot of things, horse c-ck, bread with some veggies, and coffee, even soup with crackers. Supper ran the field with Steak, Pork chop, Ribs, all kinds of meat dishes with potatoes and gravy, other veggies and stuff. Usually a great meal after running over the hills of Pendleton, Lejeune, PI or SD.

Most guys couldn't get away from the way their Mother cooked their meals for them, WOW, Rare steaks, mashed spuds, Turnips, carrots and peas, then after that they got, MOM's Apple Pie, ain't no where you can get better than that... join the Corps and Mom's apple pie comes in a big flat tray like affair and you usually got a 4 inch slab on your tray, but (and you gotta admit this) you could get some of the best Ice Cream in the World Popped on your tray (or a slice of cheese). Chow down.

The Marine Corps always tried to feed you a healthy meal, but it wasn't always what you wanted. I remember in my whole time overseas, War or not, dipping my canteen cup into a garbage can full of cold water and apple jelly mixed in. Never got used to it but also didn't dislike it mainly because it was cold and refreshing.

In my 26 years, I remember traveling from here to there on an APA or MATS ship, having beans for breakfast on Wednesday and Sunday mornings. I, Also, remember Steak and Eggs for breakfast, the so-called Invasion Breakfast and seeing it all over the floor of a LCVP or AMTRAC prior to landing.

I remember "K" Rations, "C" Rations and "MREs". "K" Rations had their time and are gone, "C" Rations were changed so many times and just from WWII to Korea the change was awesome to a few and not so much by a few more. Vietnam Rats were different again, and in my book were better than we had before, but for MREs... I really relished the Korean MREs.

Coming in out of the cold in Korea and getting my MESS Kit filled with "C's" the cook had dangerously started the stoves of the day and heated the rations for us which warmed the icy hands and feet plus going on to warm the cockles of your heart. Korea was a journey into nothingness with mountains tall and rice patties rank and smelly. Sleeping in a bunker in Korea during winter was your time in h-ll because of the cold. Sleeping in a bunker in Vietnam was your time in H-ll with the Heat. The "C" Rats were always there and some even heated their C's with the explosives in a Claymore Mine set on fire, (note picture). So the "C's" can't be too bad for someone to heat like that.

GySgt F.L. Rousseau, USMC Ret.

The Point Of A Dress Uniform

Mike Benfield's essay on the gaudy Dress Blues vs. Greens misses the point of a dress uniform. All the services have them for formal occasions. I wear mine on Veterans Day to the many functions my city and schools provide to honor veterans like Mike. The response that uniform gets from the children, parents and other veterans solidifies what the Marine Corps means to the people of the United States.

My American Legion Post 182 visited a nursing center that was sponsoring a Veterans Day program for the vets living there. Heads lifted and eyes brightened as we arrived to greet the vets and the widows. A Marine vet that had been in the Chosin fight waved me over and tried to get up from his wheel chair to shake my hand. He thanked me for wearing, "The best looking uniform there is. I always wanted one." So I will continue to wear my Dress Blues even into my casket. Looking my best for "Final Inspection".

Henry Hisel
Sgt. 1962-1968
USMC Reserve

Wounded Marine Banner

Waiting For Me

I joined the Navy in '66, went to boot at San Diego, then med school and then 5 weeks training with the Marines at Camp Del Mar (Pendleton) and never saw the Navy again. My tour in Viet Nam was '68/'69, and served with 3rd tanks, 1/9 and 9th Amphib.

As a Corpsman, Marines were 'my' Marines and in country we took care of each other... we were (are) family. I have never spent time with such great men as my Marines, and to this day keep in contact with several from that era. When my 6 months was done in the field I had the opportunity to go to a Battalion Aid Station in Quang Tri, but chose to say with my field family.

To all who read this newsletter I thank you for your service and allowing me to serve you as well. Most of my time was going on ops from Vhinn Dai just east of Cam Lo on Hwy. 9. To those in my group and throughout the Corps who made the total sacrifice, I never say I 'lost' a brother but rather 'I have a brother waiting for me.' You saved my azs so I could save yours.

I am forever grateful to have been called 'Doc'... an honor to be sure.

Semper Fi all
Doc Finch USMC

As a Marine, I don't suffer from insanity... I enjoy every minute of it...

Anyone More Tickled

In the 50's I was in the air wing as an Aerial Photo Tech (4611), but I had also been picked up for the 3rd Wing rifle and pistol team. I spent nearly every weekend going to a match someplace. Eventually I was assigned TAD to the rifle range as an instructor. During one week of requal, there was a 1st Lt (pilot) who was having a terrible time with the M-1. I talked with him on Wednesday after shooting and asked the problems? He said he had pleaded with his Skipper to qualify with the M-1 and after much pleading and sniveling, he was allowed to go to the range with the admonition if he didn't qualify he was going to be OIC of the head detail for the rest of his tour in that squadron.

I told him if he'd do as I said I thought I could get him qualified. We spent several more hours doing drills, snapping in, and talking about shooting the M-1. On pre-qual day, I told him not to worry about score, but to focus on the fundamentals we had practiced the day before to see how well they worked. He still fired a cr-p score, but we spent another couple of hours afterwards discussing what he did right/wrong and did some more drills and snapping in.

The next day was Qual day, I coached him between strings of fire, and when the day was done, he had fired Expert. I don't remember anyone more tickled than he was.

Fast forward to 1984 at the Western Division matches at Camp Pendleton. My wife and I were both allowed to shoot the match as civilians with our established competition shooting histories. I was asked by the Match Executive Officer if I would coach his team as they didn't have one. I ended up with 12 shooters total in rifle and pistol which included my wife. As coach, I didn't have to pull targets which was part of the deal. At the end of the matches, of my 12 shooters, 11 placed for medals in either rifle or pistol including my wife who was 2nd silver/pistol. That was one of my proudest moments and matched my satisfaction of winning the pistol match that year.

Rocky Kemp 143XXXX
Distinguished Pistol, Presidents 100

It Was The Dress Blues

SSgt Howerton and his wife in Wedding Photo

SSgt Howerton and his wife in Wedding Photo 2

In response to Mike Benfield's statement that Dress Blues are too ostentatious, I guess to some that may be true. Personally, I've always thought Blues are snazzier than any uniform in existence, even when you see Army and Navy personnel in their dress uni's with a chest full of medals they got for things like cleaning the head, completing a course in Underwater Basket-weaving, etc. Dress Greens look good, as does any uniform a Marine wears because they are always squared away. But, if you show anyone in the world a picture of a U.S. Marine in Greens or Cammies, chances are they'll think it's a Dogface. If you show them an individual wearing Dress Blues, they know it's a United States Marine. It is the one uniform that sets us apart from armies all over the world.

My wife requested I wear Blues for our wedding. She looked beautiful in her wedding gown and I sure looked a lot sharper than I would have if I'd just worn a tux. My son's fiancee has requested I wear my Blues for her wedding, which I will of course do. Besides looking good, the best thing about Dress Blues is you had to earn the right to wear them and everyone knows it.

Regarding my earlier comment about other Service's members wearing medals for all kinds of unimportant things they didn't really have to do anything difficult to be awarded, I was recently watching a game show and a Navy Petty Officer was on wearing his dress uniform. He must have had on 15 medals and 5 ribbons. The senior (highest award) medal he had on was a Navy Achievement Medal, of which I am a recipient. Since I was active duty from 23 Jun 77 plus 12 years, I missed 'Nam by 3 years and the first Gulf War by less than a year. I have two medals (N.A. & Good Conduct) and two ribbons (Presidential Unit Citation & Sea Service Deployment). I don't really get how someone can have so many medals without seeing combat, especially with the highest award being the N.A. Medal. In my mind the award of superfluous medals cheapens awards since the general public can't differentiate between a Silver Star and a Marine Security Guard Ribbon. And I thought my D.I. was kidding when he said the Army gave it's recruits a ribbon for successfully throwing a grenade in boot camp. I guess they figure it's better to give the kid a ribbon rather than a casket. Speaking of which, I'll make a sharp looking corpse in my Dress Blues at my funeral. I've attached a couple of pics of the big day. If you're wondering how an ugly Jarhead got such a beautiful bride, it was the Dress Blues.

Respectfully Submitted,
J. A. Howerton II
SSgt USMC (Ret)

Leggings Continued

Sgt Grit,

I'd like to comment on the letter mentioning leggings.

Late 1960 I have survived boot camp, ITR and was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st MarDiv at Camp San Mateo on Camp Pendleton going into Lock-Down training prior to being shipped overseas to Okinawa.

I've always been a history buff with the Marine Corps being my main objective since I was a younger kid, so I knew something about Marine Corps uniforms.

While in Oceanside on liberty one Saturday, I chanced into a surplus store and saw a pair of leggings for sale. Bought them and took them back to base. The next day as we were preparing to hike into the hills of Pendleton to practice squad tactics I donned my new leggings over my boon-dockers. (I had been issued the boon-dockers in boot camp along with a pair of regular boots and assumed leggings could be worn with them. New guys never had the opportunity to make rough side out boondockers into spit shined boots. Many hours of working Shinola into what can only be described as rough suede has its satisfaction when a shine actually happens.

We fell out for inspection to make sure we had all of our 782 gear, rifles and needed equipment ready for our day in the boonies. Gunny Sgt Baptiste was my platoon Sergeant and as he walked past me, he stopped. Looking down at my leggings he did a double take as he struggled to come up with the right words to say. I'm standing there all proud of wearing gear that Korean War and WWII Marines wore (My issued 782 gear and M1 rifle was the same exact equipment the Marines that went ashore on Iwo Jima wore!)

The Gunny finally said, "Harris, take those leggings off and get your boots on. You are not authorize to wear those."

Chastised and embarrassed I ran back into the barracks, donned my spit shinned regulation boots that had been saved for a junk on the bunk inspection and ran back to the formation much to the laughter and hooting from my platoon.

Needless to say, the boon-dockers were replaced by a regulation pair of boots and I have no idea where my leggings went. Yet, to this day, whenever I see a pair of leggings in a surplus store, this story comes to mind.

Trying to become an Old Salt and lived long enough to do so, Cpl Harris 1960-64.

PS: I totally enjoy the Thursday letters. Like someone already said, I stand taller and walk a little prouder after reading them. Semper Fidelis!

The Marine Look

Sgt. Grit,

I would like to respond to Mike Benfield of Charlotte, NC, who is less than impressed with the Marine Corps Dress Blue Uniform.

Semper Fi, Mike. However, I cannot disagree with you more about the "Blues". Every item of the Marine Corps Dress Blue Uniform has been chosen to represent the Marine Corps and the Marine wearing it with the Esprit for which we are known and have been known for 238 years.

I have worn just about every version of the "Marine Look" during the last 50 years, from red shorts and shower-shoes in Receiving Barracks, jungle utilities, ghillie suits, tunnel rat fashions (t-shirt & utility pants only) as well as Dress Greens, Khakis and Summer Wool. That's not to mention mess duty and MP uniform. You name it and I've probably worn it (often with flak jacket & EK commando knife). All of these I have worn with pride and highest regard, including the VVA & Marine Corps League Life Member Uniforms I now am privileged to wear (as well as my "Once a Marine, Always a Marine" ball cap that you would have to try to RIP off this Marine's head.)

However, I most highly regard those times when, by uniform order or by choice, I have worn my Dress Blue Uniform. I'm sure it is the most recognizable uniform in the world and that when people see it, it gives hope and succor to our friends and strikes deadly fear into our enemies. Every time we wear the Dress Blue Uniform, we honor every Marine that has gone before us, The United State Marine Corps and The United States of America.

Just one Marine's opinion. Saepe Expertus. Semper Fidelis, Fratres Aeterni.

Will Pendragon 2815/0317

Adamant Last Request

My Father was a proud Marine, having served in the South Pacific in WWII. Being a teenager in the 60's, part of my Fathers interrogation of any boy passing our threshold to pick up his daughter for a date was, "have you thought about joining the Marines"? That certainly cut down the number of second dates.

In reply to a previous writer, my Fathers most fondly, albeit, remorseful reminiscence, was of losing his "Dress Blues" in a cr-p game on a ship on his way home. How he loved those Dress Blues. His most adamant last request was to be buried with his Marine belt buckle. As Dad always said, "Once a Marine, always a Marine"

Semper Fi, from a very proud daughter of a Marine!


Only Do This Once

I was just reading the most recent issue of the newsletter from Sgt. Grit and would just like to add my two cents worth on the matter of Dress Blues.

I graduated from MCRD San Diego in 1963 and went home on leave afterward in Dress Blues. I fired high rifle score during my qualification and platoon 204 was squared away. I can still remember the hours we spent doing exercises with sand buckets! "Hold those arms out straight or we will be here all day." I am fast approaching the big 70, but was taken aback by one writer who started out by saying, back in the ole Corps in '64. In my mind the ole Corps was those guys who won WWII or fought in Korea, but I guess time waits for no man, even Marines. When I did my tour on Okinawa for thirteen months, I wore herringbone utilities, because they were more salty. Even had them tailored in the ville to fit. I even have an original yellow boot camp sweat shirt that I sweated in many a time during boot camp drills.

As I sit here reminiscing, I've got to give credit to those gyrenes who served before us, as well as in the other branches. I had three half-brothers from another father, who were all older than me. One was a Sailor in the Pacific, another an Air Force pilot and the oldest was in the Army, all during the last World War. There wasn't anything left for me but to enlist in the USMC and to tell you the truth, I've never regretted it since. Oh, there were times that I sang the cadence song along with the rest, "GI beans and GI gravy, gee I wish I'd joined the Navy," but deep inside we were still proud of what we were and we still are. "Once a Marine, always a Marine" is not just a motto, it's a way of life and I hope that never changes in any generation.

So to all you fellow, brothers-in-arms out there I salute you and say, "Semper Fi" do or die, because we only do this once.

Wayne A. Bartrow, 2541
Corporal 1963-1966

Being The Oldest Marine

Cpl Jackson and his wife at 238th Birthday Ball

I served from June of 1956 through September 1959. I had the distinct pleasure of serving directly for Commandant General Randolph McCall Pate. My office was directly across from the Commandant's and four doors down from the first Sergeant Major of the Marine Corps Wilbur Bestwick. I have an album that contains many pictures, letters, and Christmas cards from Generals, Colonels, etc. What a duty for a Corporal! I would have reenlisted and been a career Marine, but unfortunately my wife and I had a son that the good Lord decided to take home two days after his birth 28 days before my discharge date.

Enclosed is a picture of my wife and I at the 238th birthday ball held at the Sheraton Ball Room at the Cleveland Hopkins Airport. I had the distinct honor of being the oldest Marine there (75 and a half) and joined in the celebration of cutting the cake and serving the youngest Marine there. He was 18 years old and just home from Parris Island for '2' days. I was honored to meet him.

Thanks and SEMPER FI!

William E. Jackson

Any Clime And Place

Note Left At Recruiting Office in Indiana

This week's most popular post on the Sgt Grit Facebook page featured a photo taken at the Armed Forces recruiting station in South Bend, IN, where the air temperature was -12 degrees and a reported wind chill of -39 degrees. The document on the left was left by an Army recruiter stating, "All military branches are closed today." The document on the right was left by a Marine recruiter and states, "The Marines are working. The Army doesn't speak on our behalf. Any Clime and Place. Semper Fi."

As you might have guessed this generated a good amount of interservice comments. Even a prior service Soldier felt the need to express her thoughts, but as it turns out this was not a good decision on her behalf just as the document left by the Army recruiter was not to great of a decision either.

Below are some of the 204 comments received in reference to this post.

Ray Robinson - And why not be working! Remember the Chosin! Semper Fi!

Andy Shambaugh - This isn't no big thing like some seem to think it is. The guy got to work to see a sign on the door saying his office is closed. There was two options at that point. 1. Take the sign down and put a sign up saying all offices except the Marines are closed. 2. Post a rebuttal, and why not have some fun with it.

Supa Mario - We ALWAYS mess with the Army guys, it's part of what we are, it does not mean we can't fight in the same fighting hole or share an MRE. I love my brothers in all branches, but if I can bust their b-lls you best believe I will. Grow some thick skin, as a matter of fact you would not understand because you have never served. Wife of a soldier is not the same as being a soldier. No offense to the military wives we need you.

Steve Copeland - I am an Army vet. Don't you have a ship that needs to be cleaned? Seriously, when the sh!t hits the fan, your brother in arms will stand beside you, no matter the branch (well, maybe not AF, Lol) The inter-branch rivalry, as Kevin will attest to, is overblown. When the SHTF, we all stand together, not apart. The rivalry keeps things interesting though!

Sabrina Simpson Tucker - I come from a proud Marine family (Dad - Vietnam; Sister - Bosnia) as well as Uncles (both retired) from the Army & Air Force. There is never anything personal about the little jabs between branches. Like Steve Copeland said, all branches have a mutual respect for each other. But off the field it's game on. Obviously Katrina you were not in long enough to know this. Maybe you are the reason we all call Army personnel "pukes". Just saying. Btw... don't get all bunched up over that one. It's just a joke, just in case you needed it explained :-/ Just like the pic. It's just a joke!

Steve Copeland - I was Army in the 80's, and this sign is F-ckin hilarious! Go get em Marine... Love it!

Deshaun Caples - This is my recruiting station. I am one of the Marine recruiters here. So if you want questions answered about this picture feel free to ask. To answer your question Jennifer yes we all share the same door at this location. For everyone else, yes we get a long with the Army still. Yes we have gotten calls from officers all over the MC. Yes the Army has gotten calls about this too. The rivalry here is all in good fun. If you are not in the military and you have not worked side by side with another service then I don't expect you or anyone else to understand the rivalry. There is no hate here people. "Any clime or place, -Semper Fi" (I just had to offer some perspective on this picture, take care everyone) #goarmy LOL!

Read more of the 204 comments made about this post on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.

Drug Of Choice

In response to the medication distribution of the Use of APC's as the drug of choice to treat all.

In the field (combat) my time '67, '68 in Country the drug of choice for various reported ailments were APC's. Usually treated for headaches (which were frequent) leg pain or "PIA" pain. For more serious pain, morphine was administered if necessary. In addition Demerol 75 mg for pain in between. Band aides one size fits all. Water purifying tabs or 190 proof added and mixed with Kool aide helped the digestive system while drinking rice paddy water. Malaria tabs were issued daily to help with the growth of a certain part of the anatomy. "Salt Peter" was mixed in with the "fruit cocktail". Ham & MF were high in Fiber. Much needed today. You missed out, sorry.

"Corpsman" I don't remember any "Clowns" responding to this cry of desperation. Not in the Marines.

Semper Fi to all my Buddy's and to all the Corpsmen/Medics who put their lives on the line to respond to "Corpsman Up". My heartfelt thanks and appreciation.

To my fellow Marines who stood shoulder to shoulder. Provided cover while I ran forward to The sound of agony.

P.S. Keep your feet dry to ward off jungle rot. Your mouth closed to keep the noise & bugs out, and have a "APC" 81 mg daily to prevent heart attacks. You "will be fine", "trust me" I am the one called "Doc" if proven.

Semper Fi
Frank "Doc" Morelli

Way After My Time

Sgt Grit,

Come April, I will be on a flight back to San Diego, first time since 1986. Trying to decide where to stay, I considered MCRDep "billeting", but located the Navy Lodge at NAS, North Island and one at the Naval Base, 28th & Harbor Blvd.

When I initially called DoD Reservations, I spoke with a young lady (actually located at NAS, JAX) and when she asked my pay grade, I told her, "E7", USMC, and then added, "Uncle Sam's Misguided Children". She said that was the first time she had ever heard that expression.

I have been retired since 31 January 1970, and for many years before that, the term was used to describe "us", among others we have all heard.

Semper Fi, (I don't do the 'oooo-rah' stuff, it was way after my time).

James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)

Pivotal Moment In Our Lives

I began boot camp on 26June69 in San Diego. Platoon 1120. S/Sgt Plumlee and Dyer and Platoon Commander Gunnery Sgt Casabar. Funny how we don't forget those names.

It was about the 4th week and we were up for inspection with the Battalion Lt. Colonel. I had volunteered to take over as 4th squad leader a few days prior to this inspection. Yes, I can hear all of you thinking, "that private was a fool" volunteering for anything in boot camp.

Now, Gunny Casabar had been slow to attain his rank. You could hear the other DIs talking about it around the duty hut. So, the Gunny had a chip on his shoulder. He was also one bad azs Samoan who liked his martial arts and was not above using privates as his personal punching bags.

The platoon commander had another DI visiting our platoon this particular morning. I don't know who it was and never saw him again. I was called out from the Quonset hut by the platoon commander demanding to know why my squad was so slow getting ready for the inspection. Then out of nowhere, he sucker punched me right in the gut. He must have hit my bladder as I started p!ssing all over myself and could not stop it. While I am p!ssing my pants, the visiting DI is all in my face about how he knows I want to fight the Platoon Commander, and I should go for it and yadda yadda yadda. I was thinking, you bet I would. However, after just 4 weeks in boot camp I had learned a little something.

So, here I am with wet pants from my crotch to my boot top and about twenty minutes before we were to be standing tall in front of the Colonel. I am going into overdrive on what I am going to say if my pants don't dry out and the Colonel asks me what had happened. "The Gunny slugged me in the gut and knocked the p!ss out of me" was not a good choice. Then I started fantasizing about the Platoon Commander being in a world of sh!t for slugging a recruit and then having to explain this up the chain of command.

Well, none of this happened as my utilities dried out just in the nick of time. Do you think the Platoon Commander was sweating it out wondering what this private was going to say if he was asked why he had wet trousers? I hoped so.

I finished boot camp as the guide. I will say the Gunny was consistent. It seemed like I took a beating every day. The only mystery was when it was going to happen.

I wouldn't take a million bucks for my experience in the Marines. For those of us that survived the experience, it was the pivotal moment in our lives.

Semper Fi,
Sgt Hog Hougher

Marine Raiders

Sgt Grit,

We read a lot today about the Navy's Seal Teams and their accomplishments. During the Asian war heard about the Marine Recon Battalions and the Long Range Recon Marines and their accomplishments, but we do not hear how these elite groups evolved. The idea came from the Marine Raiders of World War II. The four battalions of Raiders only existed for two years (1942 - 1944) and were the first elite, handpicked fighting force that swept down on the enemy with speed and stealth, and struck with deadly force. The Japanese told their troops that to be a Marine Raider the American had to kill a member of his own family! This, of course, was not true, but this was the impression the enemy had due to the Raider Battalion's valor.

Marine Raiders were trained to hit and run, keeping the enemy off balance until the regular units of Marines and the Army could finish the job. They were the first force of this type to be established by the United States during the war. Raiders earned eight Medals of Honor, ninety Navy Crosses or DSC Crosses, and numerous Silver Stars, Bronze Stars and Purple Hearts. Raiders will live forever in the hearts of freedom loving Americans and serves as an inspiration to future generations.

Raiders were the first to take the offensive to the Japanese in Feb 1942, (my father went from a 17 year old kid stocking shelves in a Safeway Supermarket in Newark, N.J. in Jan. of 1942 to a Marine Raider in May of 1943). The average age of a Raider was 19. The four battalions of Raiders struck fear in the enemy throughout the South Pacific. Actions on Guadalcanal, Russel Islands, New Georgia, and Bougainville carried the offensive momentum into late 1943. By 1944, the face of the war had changed. The need for the Raiders as such was no longer needed. With that the re-activation of the 4th Marine Regiment took place. The new 4th came from the 4 battalions of Raiders and distinguished itself in the assaults on Guam and Okinawa. As mentioned, the traditions of the Raiders lives on today through the Recon Battalions and the Long Range Recon Marines.

The Raiders of WW II were the first to wear camo, if they did not have camo utilities, their green utilities were dyed black. Their boots were high top sneakers. Raiders were swift, silent, and deadly.

If anyone wants to know more about the first elite fighting force, read "Our Kind of War" by R.G. Rosenquist, (3rd Raider Bn), Martin J. Sexton, USMC retired, and Robert Buerien. The above info is credited to that book.

P.S. Am I proud of my father, an Edson Raider during WW II? You bet I am!

P.S.S. Although my service was with the Army, I have the deepest respect and admiration for all Marines, past, present, and future...

Angelo Mesce

I Forgot To Thank Her

Cpl Bill Reed photo of Ann Margret

In reference to Sgt. John Clary's post about the Bob Hope show, here's a picture of Ann-Margret leaving the venue after the show.

As you can see Sarge, I got pretty close to her. A few years ago, I got even closer. She did a show at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino where I was a Security Officer. It was my pleasure to be her escort after the show; taking her through the back hallways to the service elevators and up to her room. Let me assure you that she was just as beautiful and sexy as ever and as nice as can be. My only regret is that I was so busy doing my job; guiding her around hazards and spills and making sure she wasn't accosted, that I forgot to thank her for Da Nang.

Cpl. Bill Reed
1st LAAM Bn. in Da Nang '68-'69


Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #7, #10 (Oct., 2017)

This is a continuation from Vol. #7, #9:

I'll start off by indicating the 43 in the designation stands for the Design sequence number and it falls after the H-34, H-37 and before the H-46 and the H-53. The MARINE CORPS never moved to acquire the H-43 because I believe that it was just too fragile an Aircraft to withstand the types of operations that we expected and demanded out of our equipment. Let's face it, wooden rotor blades and a light weight airframe plus, the rotor design would have not allowed any RAL's (Rough Area Landings) without a large flat area. A/C approach hazards would also be a problem. But, The rotor design was great if you were looking to carry a lot of weight at altitude. That's what caught our eye when I worked at the State of Wash.

I also have to indicate that once the logistic support (available parts) ran out we would have to go through the same drill as we had at the onslaught of this program. Rotor Blades were a major concern as they were only good for 600 flight hours between overhauls and we had no intentions of getting into the overhaul business, but we fixed several sets while they were in our inventory but we didn't do any "Heavy Repairs". I'm going to expound on the rotor system a little bit because this A/C did a real good job for us and I think it deserves a little extra publicity. So, that being the case I'm going to talk a little about the Rotor Blade construction and makeup.

The -2 Maintenance Manual for the H-43 states that the blades are made from the highest quality spruce, and maple woods, birch plywood, fiberglass, balloon cloth and spruce main spar, maple lamination's for grip installation with spruce ribs and birch, maple plywood, plywood skin covered with balloon cloth and dope. Now, after stating that you can and should understand our reasoning for not wanting to get in to the Overhaul business. The inventory for this Aircraft was wide spread throughout the Country and not abundant, so I was granted a GSA Surplus Screener's card through the Forestry Service which allowed me to travel around the States to find parts and acquire them to help support our operation.

There was an adjustable flap that was on the rear of each blade that if and when adjusted properly would cause the Main Blade to fly in track or if not adjusted properly it would cause the blade to not track properly there by causing a rotor system Vibration and subsequently a rough ride. This condition would also cause other Flight characteristics to perform abnormally. The blades were weighed by adding or subtracting the Metal weights in the very end of the blades. They were made of "Fan Steel" which is heavier then regular steel. Plus, the blades were weighed from the Blade cuff or root end which was another reason that we preferred to acquire another Aircraft after this program sort of dried up. The next Helicopter chosen was the UH-1 B. The engines were the same as the Kaman so we had some spares and the blades were metal. THANK GOODNESS!

Lost And Found

I Graduated Boot Camp in PI, PLT 505 in Nov 1952. I was one of the lucky ones and was awarded PFC. WE were the BN Honor Plt. Any of us still around?

John J Morra Ret 1SG


Remember Jerry Coleman. He died yesterday. When the Army and the Navy come to look on heaven's scenes, they will find the streets are guarded by United States Marines.

Semper Fi, Jerry. Semper Fi.


A Great Marine.

I came across a picture of me taken 1 Sept 1967 at S-2, 2/5, An Hoa SVN. The S-2 tent is in the background and I believe it is MGYSGT Bill Wolf in the doorway. He was the 1st Marines S-2 Chief and we and the 5th Marines were involved in Operation Union. I was assigned to S-2 Hq Co, 1st Marines and worked for Top Wolf. I rotated about 29 Sept 1967 and Top Wolf stayed on for the move to Hue.

Picture of James Kanavy with MGySgt Wolf in background

When he came home he retired and taught at the Marine Academy in Harlingen, TX. He later became the City Safety officer for Harlingen. When he died his remains were placed at the foot of the Iwo Jima Memorial at the Marine Academy. He was the recipient of two Navy Crosses and fought in WW-II, Korea (Navy Cross) and Viet Nam (Navy Cross). We kept in contact by mail and telephone until his death. It was a privilege and an honor to know him, a consummate Marine.

James Kanavy

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Short Rounds

As to M1 or M14 - I've owned a 1943 model Garand for 30 years. Nice rifle. It's been glass bedded and I've added National Match sights. This rifle is a SHOOTER.

I'll be buying a new safe in a couple of months, and there should be a new rifle to go in this safe, so I'm thinking it's going to be an M1A National Match.

I'll let you know which is better - if either.

BTW, reading that line after a live fire demo - "Police up that brass and move back to the 500 yard line" - that's a great one!

Earl Needham
Clovis, New Mexico USA
MCRDSD Alumnus, 1977

Many times I encounter a Navy vet who usually tries to poke fun at a Marine. I have started to respond with "hey, I was in the Navy too; But they put me in the men's division!" This usually gets a good laugh and then a conversation ensues. I always tell them that we always enjoyed the ride we got from them, but often wonder why they never came back for us!

We just lost one of the Everly brothers. Let us not forget that they are both Marines. I was stationed with them in 1962. We were in "A" Company, at 2nd ITR in Camp Pendleton, CA. I have pictures and autographs to prove it. None of the lame stream media mentioned in their obit. stories that they are Marines. Our fellow Marines should know this.

Jim Brower (1977xxx)
MOS: 2533, 0849


"The most perfect freedom consists in obeying the dictates of right reason, and submitting to natural law. When a man goes beyond or contrary to the law of nature and reason, he becomes the slave of base passions and vile lusts; he introduces confusion and disorder into society, and brings misery and destruction upon himself. This, therefore, cannot be called a state of freedom, but a state of the vilest slavery and the most dreadful bondage."
--Samuel West (1776)

"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 Mattis

"It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson (1781)

"We signed up knowing the risk. Those innocent people in New York didn't go to work thinking there was any kind of risk."
--Pvt. Mike Armendariz-Clark, USMC; Afghanistan, 20 September 2001 As reported on page 1 of the New York Times

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

"Maggot... if you don't get outta my sight NOW!... we will need a 5-man funeral detail... two handles on the sh!tcan, two for road guards, and one to count cadence..."

"Make a hole and make it wide, part like the red f-----n sea!"

"This is my rifle. There are many other, but this one is mine..."

"I pulled mess duty at the last supper. I was assigned to the Marine Detachment on Noah's Ark!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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