Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 MAR 2016

In this issue:
• Marine Corps Bikes
• Just Like Any Other Marine
• 50 Years Since I Graduated

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Tough Old Marine T-shirt & Hat Combo

Demolition Marines examining Japanese "Kaiten" suicide sub washed up in the surf.

Ulithi, Atoll, Western Caroline islands.

January, 1945.

John Ratomski

Ulithi Atoll Demo Marines inspecting Japanese submarine wreckage

Marine Corps Bikes

Marine Corps bike left profile view

One of the benefits of being old and retired is that you can take trips and see new things anytime you want to. The wife and I took a day trip across the valley to go see the new Harley Davidson dealer in Scottsdale. When we walked in the door, there were five motorcycles on display which were representative of the five branches of U.S. armed services.

I was admiring the Marine Corps version when a representative, named Nelson, asked if he could help me with anything. I asked if I could possibly get a few pictures of the bike to send to you. He was very eager to help and left and returned with Kameko Maurx, a manager. Together they moved the bike out of the display area and put it in the aisle so I could get some pictures. There was no rush and after I has thanked them for their help, they asked if I wouild like to see the owner's bike.

The owner's bike is equally impressive. It had his rank, MOS, ribbons earned, and exhaust that was made to look like mini guns. I asked who did the custom work on the bikes and I was told it was done at their custom shop one block away and was called "Spooky Fast". He told me to go down and I could have a tour.

We went down and was given a full tour of the entire facility by one of the staff. The owner, Bob Parsons had some more of his personal bikes there on display and all were done in Marine Corps themes. He was an 0311, a Lance Corporal, and with 26th Marines. All this information was done on all of his bikes. His pride did show.

All in all, Nelson and Kameko treated me like gold and made my visit nostalgic, fun, and well worth the trip. What a great group of guys.

SSgt Huntsinger

Technical Sergeant Stripes

I enlisted in November 1950, but due to some medical problems I didn't arrive at MCRD, San Diego until 2 January 1951. We didn't have the "yellow foot prints" then, but we were told and shown how to "fall in" for formation. After receiving barracks, we were assigned to Recruit Platoon 5/3 and housed in Squad Tents. We went to Camp Matthews for Rifle Qualification and we were housed in Quonset Huts. When we graduated from boot camp, I was quite surprised to see 2 of the recruits tacked on Technical Sergeant Stripes for graduation. It was then I found out that they were USMCR personnel.

Semper Fi
Floyd Quisenberry

Keep Moving

To Cpl MacDonald USMC,

I was in a reserve unit in Big Springs, Texas in the early 80's. We had our usually Marine Corps Birthday Ball in November of one of those years and your grandfather, Major Wells, was the guest speaker. He started out being cordial and nice to all the ladies present, then he stated emphatically that he was now going to speak to the Marines in the room directly. He was telling us of his experiences in the USMC but in particular on Iwo Jima. He had some stories to tell! He was also trying to teach us some lessons about combat. The number one lesson I got out of his lecture was to KEEP MOVING! Don't ever get stagnant and stay in one place. His example of this had to do with a Japanese soldier that popped out of a cave or spider hole up on the mountain side (where everyone could certainly see him) and he started to move/run along a slight ridge or trail from his cave to another cave. He said that every Marine in the area that could see him just started shooting at him but no one could bring him down because he was too fast and too hard to hit as a moving target, until he got to the entrance of the other cave/spider hole he was running for. For whatever reason, whether to thumb his nose at the Marines below or whatever, when he got to the entrance of the cave he was going to, he stopped for a brief moment, and then everything hit him all at once. Apparently he got shot to pieces once he stopped. So, the lesson, Marines, is KEEP MOVING! I vividly remember him and his lecture that evening. Glad to have had an opportunity to listen to him speak. I am sorry for your loss, but I am sure that you will be seeing him again when your time comes to go through the veil.

Now for my 2 cents on all the discussion about the yellow USMC sweatshirts. I went through Parris Island January 1973 through April 1973. We did have the yellow sweatshirts but they were just piled up and we were told to just grab one. We did and used it but had to give it back once the weather turned warmer. They were never issued to us.

Semper Fi,
SSgt Bob Tollison USMC and USMCR

Please Bring Back C-Rats


The essential value of C-Rats... C-Rats vs MRE... The essential value of C-Rats is a list I will share with you... because C-Rats are canned... they are FRESH... because of the various size cans... You have the choice of the following... you can make a heat tab stove... you can have a vessel to boil water... you can make a booby trap... using a can to hold an M-67 frag... you can add a couple drops of zippo fluid to the peanut butter... light it up... instant light AND heat... you can hang the empty cans on concertina wire... when you get real bored... cans make great targets to shoot at... or when long in the tooth around the holidays you can make great Xmas tree ornaments and gifts... Or if you're mechanically inclined you can patch bullet holes... fix hydrologic lines... impromptu plumbing repairs... the uses and applications are endless... Please bring back C-Rats!

Working with C-Rats cans allowed me to progress to this:

Sgt Hodder USMC

Dual MOS

In June 1959, I graduated from Parris Island platoon 117 and proceeded to ITR at Camp Geiger. Upon completion, I received orders to the Naval Training Center at Great Lakes where I completed 16 weeks of basic electronics training. We had Marine and Naval instructors. My DD214 has it listed as CommElecScol. After leave for Christmas, I proceeded to MCRD San Diego arriving just before the New Year. We had two classes of 20 leave Great Lakes and only one class arrived at MCRD San Diego. The other class received orders to their homes and were ordered to a guided missile school in the south. I'm not sure but I believe Alabama. Upon processing in at MCRD San Diego on a first come first choice basis, we could pick Ground Radio repair, Air Radio Repair or Radar repair. I selected Ground Radio Repair and attended 17 weeks of class listed on my DD214 as RadRepCrs.

My MOS was 2771 listed as RadTech on my DD214 and was informed I was a ground radio repairman. After completion of all classes I was stationed at Courthouse Bay in Camp LeJeune where the Amtrac CO required all Marines in Amtracs be a qualified crewman, so I had a secondary MOS of 1833(I believe). With dual MOS's I went on a Med cruise on LST 1174, USS Grant County satisfying the requirement as a crewman and the platoon radio repairman.

Matt Dzubak

The Long Goodbye

Book cover of The Long Goodbye

In the closing hours of the fight to hold the Khe Sanh Combat Base, after the longest and bloodiest battle of the Vietnam War, Tom Mahoney inexplicably walked away from his platoon, unarmed, and was shot to death by enemy soldiers hiding nearby. His fellow Marines made several desperate attempts to recover their well-liked comrade, but were finally forced to leave him behind―though never forgotten.

In The Long Goodbye: Khe Sanh Revisited, author Michael Archer (a high school friend who joined the Marines together with Tom) chronicles his exhaustive search for answers to his friend's mysterious July 1968 stroll into oblivion. This quest eventually leads to an improbable series of connections: from Tom's childhood friends and fellow Marines, past the frustration of ineffective attempts by the U.S. government to locate his remains, and eventually teaming up with a Vietnamese psychic intent on communicating with Tom's "wandering soul." Along the way, he discovered the unexpected compassion of several former mortal enemies from that battle, now wishing to help honor the memory of a lone American among the tens of thousands on both sides who were sacrificed in the great meat grinder of Khe Sanh. Swept up in this increasingly bizarre pursuit of clues, the author is soon drawn back to that infamous battleground and eventually tracks down and befriends the last remaining eyewitness to Tom Mahoney’s death―one of those who killed him.

Get a copy of "The Long Goodbye: Khe Sanh Revisited"

Just Like Any Other Marine

On my last tour of duty I was stationed with a newly formed Reserve Training unit, MATSG (Marine Aviation Training Support Group) on Whidbey Island, WA. As far as the dress and conduct of the Reserve Marines I trained, I found no difference between them and full AD Marines. They all were fresh out of their MOS school and before that, of course, Boot Camp. Since I was the Training NCO and ran the Weight Control/Military appearance programs, we did have some guys come in out of shape, but I'm not sure if that was any different than any other unit after Marines take a 30 day leave right after their MOS school and before reporting into their new Unit. I, myself was shocked when I reported to my first duty station at Camp Pendleton and ran a 3rd Class PFT (due to a 26:32 minute run) after sitting around the house and hanging out with High School buddies after my MOS school. My uniforms still fit me like a glove but all those 12 oz. curls on leave didn't help my conditioning, that's for sure. So after checking in and getting my rack and locker in the open squad bay barracks, I started running every night after work and doing things like swimming, playing basketball, etc. on my time for noon chow. I re-ran my PFT 2 weeks later and scored a 1st class, which I never lost again.

Some guys could go out and run just twice a year and do a 1st PFT every time, but I was not one of those people. So I ran at least 4-5 days a week and sometimes 7. At MATSG, I ran a minimum of 5 miles a day and spent many a Saturday running about 20 miles over cross country terrain. I figured as the Fitness Instructor, I'd better be in the best condition possible since I was setting an example for all the young troopers I trained. But as a whole, Reservists are just like any other Marine.


Three Year Men

I seem to remember the yellow sweatshirt, red shorts, and shower shoes as being the shower uniform. We would put on the shower uniform every evening, be marched to the showers and back, and then put on utility trousers and a skivvy shirt and report to the class room for more instruction before lights out. I can't remember wearing the yellow sweatshirt at any other time.

At the beginning of boot camp (14 Sept. 1965) we had several two year men in our platoon (379). Early on, all of the two year men were invited to a meeting. When they returned they were all three year men.

When we graduated in late '65, all those who had made PFC (not me) after boot camp were used to help with the new recruits coming in to San Diego. They reported back that there were several draftees in the group, and that they were not happy with their new situation.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines

University of Science, Music, and Culture

Sgt Grit,

As a young Marine stationed at Camp LeJeune in 1970 – '71 I didn't have a car to go off base easily, didn't have friends or family on the east coast to swoop to on weekends, and was disinclined to go into J-ville to buy over-priced drinks in bars, I was too young to get in anyway, so I availed myself to the recreational activities provided by the base. This meant that one day on most weekends a fellow Marine from Alaska and I would rent canoes for a quarter and paddle on the various channels and tributary creeks in the New River estuary. This was a total hoot. My friend and I got pretty good at handling canoes and would see just how far up the smallest, narrowest tributary streams we could get. With the overhanging foliage it often felt like being an extra in a Tarzan movie. Those experiences canoeing on the New River inculcated in me a life-long passion for paddle sports, and eventually led to a secondary career as a river guide. Just one of the many benefits I received from the "University of Science, Music, and Culture" (USMC).

The other thing that amazed me was the fact that, once I made Corporal, I could go to the NCO club and order alcoholic drinks even though I was underage according to North Carolina statutes. The Marine Corps trusted me with alcohol! This just amazed me. Corporal McInnis and I spent many wonderful hours drinking modestly and playing chess in the NCO club after hours. Good times.

Semper Fi, and thanks for the memories!

Robert Dickerson
1969 - 1971

Cpl Gallagher

On March 30, 1967, Cpl Patrick Gallagher was on his last patrol before rotating back home. Cpl Gallagher volunteered to be with his M60 Gun Team one last time to be with his buddies.

At 0813 hours with first platoon in the lead, second platoon, Hotel Co, Second Battalion Fourth Marines, brought up the rear. First platoon came under heavy small arms fire that killed eight Marines including Cpl Gallagher. A 9th Marine passed away the next day.

Earlier on July 18, 1966, Cpl Gallagher without hesitation saved fellow Marines by kicking out the first of four grenades thrown near or in their foxhole. Another grenade he threw himself on top of, but fortunately it did not go off. A third exploded as the men scrambled out of their foxhole. The fourth grenade, Gallagher was ordered by his platoon Sgt to throw it in the river.

For CPL Gallagher's selfish action of heroism. Marine Cpl Patrick Gallagher was Award the Navy Cross.

Cpl Gallagher's remains were escorted to his home town of Ballyhaunis, Ireland by Sgt Gary Moylan. Originally the large group of family, friends and towns people had anticipated and anxiously awaited their home town hero to return home for an Irish Celebration. Instead they gathered graveside with two Irish Soldiers and Marine Sgt Moylan who presented the Navy Cross, and the United States Flag that had draped Cpl Gallagher's casket to his mother. Standing nearby were mothers of two other soldiers who served in Vietnam and too sacrificed their young lives.

I was the Navy Corpsman in second platoon that fateful day which I switched platoons from first to second before we headed out that bright & sunny morning. Our mission to guard the local villagers while they harvested their crop of rice.

Years later I posted a Memorial on the Vietnam Virtual Wall website to Cpl Gallagher and the other nine Marines. I have thru that site re-united with Marines from our unit. My buddy Navy Corpsman and family members of one of the Marines who died in my arms.

Yesterday nearing St. Patrick's Day, I received an e- mail from a close friend of Cpl Gallagher's family including his mother who her mother went to school with. Kathy Raftery has asked me to share the story and perhaps find others who served or knew Cpl Gallagher.

Her contact is

Semper Fidelis
HM3 Frank Morelli

Investigate Serving My Country

With regard to the letter written by S/Sgt Richard T. "Jim" Holland Jr. That letter could have just as well been written by me, the similarities are uncanny. My dad was also a Platoon Sgt and a .30 cal machine gunner on Guadalcanal (Edson's Raiders) in WWII. Upon my graduation from Community College, he also gave me the advice to investigate serving my country via the Marine Corps Reserves. It was his opinion that the war in Vietnam was an unjust dirty war, inspired by greed and perpetuated by politicians, and of which there was no way in h-ll that we could win. I served my six years as an 0311 with Charlie Co./ 1st Bn / 25th Regt / 4th MARDIV. I too was offered a staff promotion if I shipped over, but at that particular time in my life, I felt that a promotion to civilian would be more appropriate. There is not a day that goes by, that I don't kick myself for that dumb-aszed decision. I too am a Life member of the Marine Corps League (Jeb Seagle Detachment, Lincolnton, NC).

Ron Morse (Sgt, 1969 - 1975)

Patriot Guard Bike


Attached are a couple of photos on how I am using the clips and a decal I just got from ya'll. One of the uses for my newest ride is as a Patriot Guard bike. I needed a way to attach my windshield banner when I ride with the PGR and yet be able to easily remove it when not. I chose your clips over the plain ones and mounted the decal center of windshield where it is always on display. I sent two photos of the clips, one a closeup and the other shows the decal and all 4 clips in use.

Dave Kirkpatrick

50 Years Since I Graduated

Cpl Cordova and Cpl Mayo at MCRD San Diego

March 15th, 2016, will be 50 years since I graduated MCRD in San Diego, CA, and on June 10th of the same year, I was graduating the Drill Instructor School. This is something I feel very proud and eternally grateful due to everything that I've lived as a professional and a person. Thanks a lot to my Drill Instructors who trained me and shaped me with their effort and military discipline. Our Drill Instructors did their best at sharing all the experience gathered in the swamps and forests of Vietnam; telling us what the real deal was.

As it happened, the fundamental basis for the "Peruvian Marines" were forged initially back in the 60's, when officers, sergeants and corporals from the Peruvian Marines were sent to train and study with the American troops being sent to the Vietnam. It was not easy for Peruvian Marines to make it to the US and train there; we had to pass several tests, physical and intellectual, to qualify for just a handful of vacancies. The then Lt. Peruvian Marine Jose Duffoo Boza was in charge of the tests, I will always remember those who, along my professional path, were part of my military experience.

There's a lot to remember about the many jobs done with the USMC whom we respect and appreciate in true camaraderie and sense of brotherhood.

Sgt. Grit, I will very much appreciate if you allow this note to be published in your prestigious newsletter, I am also attaching some pictures. I am hoping this note reaches out to some of my old brothers in arms from the Marine Corps.

In the main picture you will see from left to right the following persons:


USMC LT.COL. P.H. SIMPSON, Bt. Commander

USMC S/SGT. B.W. FROST, Platoon Commander


My email: davidisrael06[at]

Thank you so much,
SGT. MAJOR (r) David I. Cordova Cruz

The Move To 29 Palms

I have read with interest several of the stories relating to the 2800 MOS. I also went through Basic Electronics, Radio Fundamentals, and then Air Radio Repair after completing the Crypto Repair Course for the Nestor gear. My MOS was a 2851 and we performed repairs on the AN/TYA-11 vans for the Marine Tactical Data System. (MTDS). I believe you are correct in the assignment of MOS's. Ground Radio Repairman was a 2831 and Radio Relay was a 2841, with Air Radio Repair being a 2851. It was only 40 some years ago, but I was at San Diego when we made the move of Basic Electronics to 29 Palms in 1971. I also went back for the Advanced Courses and was awarded a Technician MOS as a 2866 with a secondary for ground of 2861. The 2866 MOS was eventually changed to a 5953, at least this is what I recall.

Gunny K

Chicken Was Really Seagull

In 1965, there were also three paths out of Radio Fundamentals: Ground Radio Repair – 2841, Aviation Radio Repair – 2851, and Radar Repair – (don't remember the MOS). Aviation Radio Repair didn't work on radios in planes, rather radios on the ground that could talk to planes. I remember spending a lot of time on TRC-75 (HF, SSB) and an ARC something VHF that could have been a radio from a plane but mostly I saw them used in ground to air comm.

When the Radar school would fire up their sets, all the fluorescent lights in the classrooms that were off would light up. Also it was common knowledge that the chicken in the messhall was really seagull that had flown in front of the Radar antenna behind the school. Someone from the messhall would catch it in a pan already cooked.

Glenn Talbott
SSgt USMC 1964-'68

Pigeon And Signal Handlers School

Sgt Grit,

Prior to 1961 the radio repair MOS started school at Treasure Island in San Francisco with the Navy. After basic electronics the students moved to MCRD San Diego. In 1961 they were all at Communications and Electronics Schools Bn, MCRD, San Diego. We started with a Basic Electronics Course. Mine started with 27 Marines the first week of January, 1961, and graduated 18 April 1962. Half of the class went into Radio Fundamentals and the other half into Radar Fundamentals; both were four week courses. The Radio Fundamentals graduates went to Ground Radio, Air Radio, or Radio Relay. The Radar graduates went into either Ground Radar or Air Radar. My Ground Radio class graduated in September 1961 with 15 U.S. Marines, four Korean Marines (two officers and two NCOs), and two Haitian Marines. Our MOS was 2771. I reported to the 1st Marine Division. At some point my MOS changed to 2841, but there was never an explanation. In December 1965, I was promoted to Sergeant and the MOS changed to 2861.

Later the entire C&E Schools Bn moved to 29 Palms. If you look at the lineage of the C&E Schools Bn you will see that it started as Signal and Pigeon Handlers Platoon. Now I may be old, but at least I missed the pigeons! Life is good.

John Mansfield
June 1961 to January 1966
Semper Fidelis

Didn't Chesty Say

Hey Grit,

Been noticing in some letters there been some mention of Honorable discharge to qualify as a Marine. To that I say BS! I got my Honorable when I reenlisted, it's the second enlistment that I got into trouble and was asked to leave with a BCD. Rather proud of that BCD and have the scars to prove it! I had a Corporal in my squad that wore four service stripes when we dressed out, the Gunny got into a little trouble too. Never gave the old man any grief, we were both Marines. Didn't Chesty say something about going to a brig to visit some real Marines after inspecting a Marine Barracks, so I heard.

Sgt O

Great Wailing And Gnashing Of Teeth

I went through bootcamp in 1958, San Diego Platoon 158. We also had reservists, including two who graduated with Sergeant (E4) stripes. They had been through bootcamp before but requested to go through again, then go on active duty. My ITR company picture L Co, 2nd Btn, 22 ITR, 22 Oct 1958 shows them setting with the training cadre. They caught the same "stuff" in bootcamp as everyone else. In IT they were treated as NCOs. Note on Sgt E4. In those days there was no LCpl so the rank structure was Pvt, PFC, Cpl (E3), Sgt (E4). On 1 Jan 1960 the rank structure changed with the addition of LCpl. That caused great wailing and gnashing of teeth for everyone above PFC when getting promoted. Cpl (E3) was promoted to Cpl (E4) and so on. I was one of those caught in that. I was on the Cpl list but was promoted to LCpl instead. This was 3rdMarDiv in the Far East. They didn't have the new stripes with crossed rifles so they issued the old stripes for the new pay grade. I was issued Cpl E3 stripes instead of LCpl. A few months later my tour was up, so I went back to the states and reported into my new duty station. It took them a few days to figure out I had the wrong stripes on. The 1st Sgt called me to his office and raised h-ll. After I explained what had happened he gave me until the next morning to get the correct stripes on my uniforms. I still have one of my shirts with Cpl E3 stripes on it.

Verle Randolph
Cpl E4 1958-1962

The Fight Is On

Reply to Martin W, re: "I hope you all know the answer when some other member service calls you a sea going bell hop." - It's usually 'The only belle I ever hopped was your Sister, and that was a lousy ride. Then the fight was on!

George Engel, Cpl
Dec '54-'57 1478XXX

Semper Fi, brothers and sisters. (I had to say that, I married a B_M... oops) the fight is on.

It Should Never Happen

Marines of the 998th Platoon, 1943 MCRD San Diego

In regards to Sgt Ted K. Shimono, concerning Marine officers training recruits: it will never happen and it should never happen. On my first West Coast monitor trip in 1979 with then LtCol Charles Krulak, Commandant Robert Barrow and SgtMaj of the USMC, SgtMaj Leland Crawford, I did some recon for myself at MCRD San Diego. I found that while some of the language was toned down when others were around, our Drill Instructors were maintaining our traditions and regulations the same as when I was a recruit in 1965. I did not know until later that SgtMaj Crawford did the same; he found where a platoon commander (and some series officers) were promulgating their own instructions on behavior of DI's that contradicted some of what the DI schools at both Parris Island and San Diego were teaching. That night, SgtMaj Crawford initiated a conversation with the Commandant explaining what he (SgtMaj) had observed. One of those things had to do with a platoon commander writing a memo to all DI's that "the DI's should refrain from speaking to recruits from an elevated platform or position reflecting a 'God like' presence to the recruits." The SgtMaj then asked the Commandant, "Do we still uphold and support the tradition that enlisted Marines, not officers, train Marine recruits?" General Barrow answered in the affirmative and before we left, all of those type memorandums were pulled in addition to some other corrective actions being taken. All of this was reported later to all the SNCO's at HQMC by SgtMaj Crawford during a debriefing at Henderson Hall. Policy and directives come from the top down, not the reverse. All Marine Corps officers are responsible for promulgating policy where needed and enforcing those polices and others that come from HQMC; SNCO's are responsible for carrying out those policies. I believe that the notion that our SNCO's and NCO's are not capable of carrying out these policies and that they lack leadership skills does a disservice to SNCO's, our DI school instructors and the individual drill instructors.

As an aside, my father was a World War II Marine who served under General Holland M. Smith in the Pacific theater and if you will check out the attached picture of my father's boot camp platoon (he's in the front row, third from the right) you will notice that all three drill instructors were PFC's. Many of the Marines in that picture did a pretty d-mn good job at Iwo Jima. Semper Fidelis!

Nuff said,
Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired



One of the "Frozen Chosin" Marines of the Korean War, Frank John Bengier, longtime resident of Richmond, Ohio, died on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Born September 21, 1931, in Hopedale, Harrison County, Ohio, he was the son of the late Peter and Constance (Kujawa) Bengier. He was preceded in death by his wife, Dolores (Toto) Bengier; his brothers, Stanley, Casimir, and Joseph Bengier; and sisters, Stella Stunda, Mary Anderson, Regina Bengier, Valeria Bicanovsky, Catherine Bengier and Anna Thomas. Frank worked for Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel, where he was a conductor and brakeman in the railroad department. He retired in 1993 after 40 years of service. Frank was known to enjoy a good joke or prank with his fellow workers. He was a member of St. John Fisher Catholic Church in Richmond. Frank and wife Dolores (Toto) were married for 49 years, and they raised six children in Richmond, Ohio. One of the most significant events of his life was the 39 months (beginning in 1949) that he spent as a U.S. Marine during the Korean War. Frank's unit, the 1st Marine Regiment, First Battalion, Able Company, participated in the surprise amphibious landing at Inchon on September 15, 1950. He was part of the Marine force that fought through the dense streets to retake the city of Seoul from the North Koreans. After capturing Seoul, his division was moved via sea to land (again) at Wonsan on the eastern Korean coast. The Chinese entered the war, and secretly moved 300,000 troops into Korea to surround the Americans. Then began the historic, brutal battle in freezing weather around Chosin Reservoir, where the 30,000 American troops (including the 14,000 Marines) were outnumbered more than two-to-one. In fierce fighting that lasted over six weeks, there were 15,000 U.S. casualties and an estimated 40,000 Chinese casualties. In order to finally escape being trapped in the mountainous terrain, the Marines needed to replace a blown-up bridge over a 2900-foot chasm south of Koto-ri. There occurred the last major engagement for Frank's company. To protect the bridge work by the Marine engineers, Able Company took the nearby summit of Hill 1081 on December 9th from the Chinese defenders, who fought to the last man. Frank's company then held the hill against counterattack to secure the exit through Funchilin Pass. All of the U.S. forces were then able to safely withdraw to Hungnam on the coast. During the Chosin Reservoir campaign, the Marines suffered nearly 1,000 dead or missing, 3,500 wounded, and more than 6,000 non-battle casualties, mostly frostbite victims, of whom one-third returned to duty. Historian Edwin P. Hoyt called the Marine's march from Chosin Reservoir "one of the greatest retreats in the course of military history." Frank mustered out of the Marine Corps in 1952, ending this significant chapter of his life, when he joined the brotherhood of Marines proud to call themselves the "Frozen Chosin."


Major Robert Carswell went to guard the Gates of Heaven Tuesday, March 1st, 2016. Those of us who were in Plt. 352 Parris Island July-October 1962 will remember him as Sgt. Carswell, the smallest of our DI's, but one tough cookie. I had the pleasure of making contact with him before the Christmas holiday thanks to fellow platoon member Art Girvin who provided me with his address and telephone number. Bob as he told me to call him didn't remember me of course, but he was interested in what I did with my life after serving in the Marine Corps. After telling him, I also told him that I had him and our other DI's to thank for all that they taught us during recruit training. The discipline served me well throughout the years as it still does today. He was pleased to hear that. Major Carswell suffered from aliments related to exposure to agent orange in Viet Nam. I was glad that I was able to make contact with him, but my only regret was that it took 54 years to do it.

Semper Fi,
Charlie Ducar
Cpl. of Marines USMCR

Short Rounds

Hello Sgt. Grit,

The latest story about the wearing of Pith Helmits in the Corps needs this update. As a prison chaser, TAD from 3/3, we wore the pith helmet at the Camp Butler Brig in 1959. It was a very distinguishing cover.

Jim Stant,Capt. USMC (Mustang)

I have read stories about "old Corps" vs. "new Corps" and Reservists vs. Regular Marines. However, I don't recall seeing anything about the draftees who, during Viet Nam, were CHOSEN out of the pile of draftees, to become Marines. Yes, the Marines had first pick. I served with one such Marine who, as a Grunt, was at least as good as those who had enlisted. As has been driven home so many times, if the title is earned and honorably discharged, a Marine is a Marine. Period!

0311 Sgt., USMC '65-'71

I was a 2811. Trained in 1967. Started TTRC (Telephone and Teletype Repair Course) in, I think July '67. Graduated in Jan. '68. Our class was on the fast track and we skipped the Basic Electronics and Radio Courses. I was in country (RVN) in Feb.'68. Now it's really clear as mud.

William Corley
Sergeant '67- '70

Read the letter from Peter A. Wierenga about Lt Col Laurence L. Scott and would like to let him know he can send for his service records at National Personnel Records Center, 1 Archives Dr., St. Louis, MO 63138 or go to (select Veterans Service Records). Make sure you put the years that he served and any other info you might have. Hope this helps.


"People think that they're free as long as they're not in jail."
--G. Edward Griffin, author

"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on defense. They've got really short hair and they always go for the throat."
--RAdm. "Jay" R. Stark, USN; 10 November 1995

"There's no Old Corps and there's no New Corps. There's just the Corps we've got right now."
--Lt. Col. William Corson

"And when you have served among good people, fellow Marines, some of whom you came to love with the same intensity as you do your own family, there are few others you will meet in your lifetime who can ever gain that same level of trust and respect."
--Senator Jim Webb, "A Time to Fight"

"American by birthright... U.S. MARINE by the Grace of GOD!"

"Pvt sh-t stain if u don't get squared away, I'm gonna recycle your azz back to the block, and you'll be suckin fartz outta hospital sheets for a livin'."

"Private, you got a Maggie's Drawers."

"Flip flop, hippity hop, mob stop!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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