Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute
• Hearing The Phantom Sounds
• The Marine Karate Kid

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Here is a cute picture of my granddaughter Abby Smith at a 4th of July parade in Morgan Hill, California. Her daddy, uncle and Godfather are all US Marines. I thought maybe you would like it for your magazine. My family loves your magazine.

Thank you.

Lorie Smith

Lorie Smith's granddaughter Abby at 4th of July Parade


The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute

Once again I find Ddick and I share some common ground. In November of 1960, Platoon 181 was selected series Honor Platoon. We stood an Honor Guard for the Commandant, Gen. David M. Shoup at Main Side MCRD San Diego. We came to attention and as the entourage made its way down the ranks, one of the first persons to square in front of me was MajGen. Victor H. Krulak (not a tall man, I was shocked) then came Gen. Shoup (even shorter?) I came to inspection arms and he snatched my M1 in the convincing manner of a Drill Instructor. All I could see was the Quatrefoil on the top of his cover as he looked into the receiver of my weapon. When he handed my rifle back to me I looked directly into his eyes (glasses), God forgive me!

Cpl. Selders


Agent Orange Sprayed and Betrayed T-shirt Special


Hearing The Phantom Sounds

Sgt. Grit,

Just finished reading last week's newsletter finally and cracked up laughing at Gunny Rousseau's post on hearing loss. I think I accidentally deleted the website so I missed several weeks of newsletters and as such missed any earlier post on hearing loss, but have one of my own stories to post.

All Newsletters are archive at:
Archived Newsletters

I was an 0331 machine gunner back in the early 80's and they did provide us with hearing protection, but being the dumb-azs that I was, I did not use them, or I should say I rarely used them. Upon discharge I received my physical which included a hearing test and the Corpsman or Navy doctor who tested me confirmed that I had frequency hearing loss, but had me sign a waiver and told me that in time, I would regain the hearing that I lost, but because it was not immediately noticeable to me I was not overly concerned and signed the waiver like the dumb-azs that I was. Anywho, after leaving the Corps I worked for about 5 years as an electrician and then got on with Baltimore Gas and Electric as an overhead line mechanic or "Lineman". Because we worked around loud construction vehicles and loud tools and equipment the company provided us with fairly regular hearing test. An Audiologist would come to the service centers in a mobile hearing test station that was equipped with three to four sound-proof booths. When it was my turn to be tested the very first time, I entered the booth and put on the headphones and picked up the two "plungers" in my hands and immediately I started banging away on the little buttons. The lady came back and opened the booth and said, "What are you doing, I did not start the test yet." "I will go back and restart the test and this time don't hit the buttons until you hear the sounds." I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and concentrated like I was studying for a history test... and started banging away on the buttons. She came back again, but this time she was p-ssed and said, "what are you doing – are you messing with me?" I replied that I was not and she told me she was going to reset the test one more time. This time I gritted my teeth and hunched up tight to really concentrate and must have looked like I was trying to get a constipated cr-p out... and started banging away on the buttons once again. The Audiologist came charging back and opened the door and said, "were you in the military?" "Yes ma'am," I replied, "the Marines." "What did you do in the Marines?" "Machine gunner", I replied. "Why didn't you tell me", she yelled. "I have to test you separately, you have frequency hearing loss and the sound you hear is not the test tones, but a constant ringing in your ears."

I learned from her that my hearing loss would never improve and that it would only get worse as time goes on. Eventually I realized that I could not even hear the tone from an alarm on a wristwatch and it's to the point now that I have to really concentrate to hear someone that speaks quietly. My hobby is wood-working and I do wear very good hearing protection at all times, but I suspect in time I will require hearing aids. My wife and daughter know I have hearing loss, but I sometimes think they think I use it as an advantage so that I can "pretend" not to hear them! LOL!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Jarheads and God bless all of you fighting for our freedom!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


The Marine Talk, The Marine Walk

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I remember the salty NCO's, Staff NCO's and the Officers who knew how to express themselves and the silver tongues that these bits of wisdom flowed off of.

One night after I was out of the Corps a few months - and on a blind date (the girl was a looker - but naive - and stubborn to boot - and opinionated as well.) She was driving me crazy arguing about everything - as she knew everything! I realized that this would be a one and only date with her - so in my best Marine Corps Tradition - I calmly told her that - she, "Was a lying sack of sh-t." My drill instructor would have been proud of me I am sure.

Another time I ordered something and had it delivered to my house, unfortunately my Ma was visiting me at the time and the wrong item was sent. I told my neighbor who had come over for a beer - (before my Ma showed up) Without realizing my mother was in my living room - I calmly told the my pretty next door neighbor - that the, "Dumb Dufus Mother F-cker sent the wrong item?"

Another time, I was at a local neighborhood bar and trouble was brewing around me - My fellow Servicemen friend - (from the U S Navy) politely told the clowns that if they were serious about fighting us - that maybe - "they should go outside first and practice falling down a few times to make it a fair fight!"

A Sergeant from my unit - was in Korea - and said when the sh-t hit the fan - all Marines were riflemen - the Mess personnel put down the serving spoons and picked up rifles and clips of ammo - for the M-1's. Mess Sgt told a Lieutenant - "Tubby you will not have the luxury of a jeep" - "and please Sir try to keep up with the us lowly enlisted ranked Marines." The Sgt. became a paper pusher with a load of stories about how cold and rough it was in Korea.

Amazing how the stories were told to me by many a Marine in harm's way - "The eyes were far away, and the expressions were a cross between catatonic and a hypnotic look - like they were reliving the moment. A few thanked me for listening to the stories - some guys in the squad bays had bad nightmares - we lived through a lot - and took care of each other. We Were MARINES!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967 (USMC)


The Marine Karate Kid

I have written a book "Mr. Miyagi and Me" available at Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

I began my practice of karate as a young Marine in 1963 while stationed in Okinawa with the 12th Marines, and my teacher was and still is Mr. Takeshi Miyagi. So, in reality, there is a real life Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.

In his 60 years of teaching, Mr. Miyagi has promoted only three Americans to the rank of Black Belt and all are United States Marines. I was the first to be promoted to Black Belt and currently hold the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt, which I received in August 2011. The others were Len Neidert, my best friend in the Marine Corps who passed away in November 2000 and David Crull who received his black belt in 2001.

When I first approached Mr. Miyagi about joining his class he told me that I would be like all other Americans and quit. He said no American lasted three months in his class because he was much too tough, much too disciplined for Americans. He also said that even if I came to his class I would never be promoted to any rank and would always remain a white belt (beginners belt). But, if I wanted to learn and learn the right way to come back and he'd teach me.

I returned the following night and promptly found myself in Mr. Miyagi's version of Parris Island. I was put through a training program that was solely for the purpose of making me quit. Oh, I was learning, but I was being treated to some very brutal conditioning drills that most would walk away from. I stayed in spite of the treatment and finally earned his respect and that of his students.

To this day we remain friends and as teacher and student. I will be returning to Okinawa this month to train and take part in a memorial for two Grand Masters.

Semper Fi
Jim Lilley

Get this book at: Mr. Miyagi and Me


Elegant Tailor

Elegant Tailor in Da Nang Vietnam

A lot of Marines bought clothes, mostly suits and sport coats at a place like this around Da Nang. I got four. Three suits and a sport coat. Measured and tailored to my fit. They were made in Hong Kong. I had mine sent directly home. They fit perfectly and I wore them for years, all gone now as I've put a few pounds on. But my wife still remembers one of them and to this day kids me about the blue plaid suit. She didn't like it. She's probably right but I will never admit it.

If I remember correctly I got all four for about $250. Clothing like this, cameras and stereo gear were the largest purchases Marines made in Nam.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit


American and Marine Pride

Bill wearing USMC Sweatshirt and shaking hands with Governor

The attached photo is at the 4th of July Parade, Centerville, OH and shows myself, wearing my Sgt Grit Black USMC Hoodie (I've purchased five of these this week from you) shaking the hand of Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Semper Fi,
Bill Hamon

Get the pictured hoodie at:

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt


Marine Corps League Annual Picnic And Fundraiser

Your Customer Relations representative Kristy is superb! She outfits our Marine Corps League Detachment (#1335 Bellingham, WA) each year with our raffle and auction items. This is our major fundraiser each year. The "Regan Quote" K-Bar is going to be one of many featured SGT Grit items in the silent auction and general raffle. Of course you are invited if you happen to be in the area as is any other Marines or Corpsman who happen to be visiting the Bellingham area.

Your motto is right "If you don't have it, Chesty wouldn't want it." Thank you for all the fine items in your catalog, your generous support of Detachments like ours, other veterans organizations and your continuing "OOORAH!" spirit and that of your employees. Please extend a hearty "Bravo Zulu" to Kristy from a truly grateful customer and share this freely with all of your employees who make SGT Grit what it is.

Marines & FMF Corpsman (Current and Former), Wives, Significant Others, Families, Kids, Friends of and Supporters of Marines:

Saturday, 26 July, It's that time of year again for our League's Annual Picnic!

Start Time 12:00 Noon 'til whenever. This year it will be at the Bellingham American Legion Post 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Rd. (out by the Airport and over by Mykonos Restaurant).

Semper Fi and Thank You Again!

CAPT (0302) Mac
RVN (as a Corporal) '69-'70
0341
d.a.mcmaster[at]att.net


Marine Ink Of The Week

Force Recon with jump wings with skull and cross KA-BARs.

Submitted by Rafael Ortiz

force recon tattoos


It's Standing Up And Believing

(story from February 17, 2005)

This is the kind of thing that PMO! Did you earn it? Have you earned it! H-ll! I did twenty years in the Marine Corps, retired for Christmas sake, and I don't know that I've still have earned the right to call myself a Marine! Not when you think in terms of those that have gone before me and those that have come after me! I know, that each and every day that I crawl my azz out of the rack, I've got to go out and earn it again! I'm big on Honor and Integrity! You question my Honor, my Integrity, my honesty, my truthfulness, my fidelity, I get fighting Mad! You would have come out better calling me something else! That's the thing! Once you've made it through boot camp, that doesn't make you a Marine! What makes you a Marine is how you're going to get you're azz out of the rack every day for the rest of your life and live your life by what the Marine Corps taught you! Trained you to do, and to be!

Everything that you need to get through, to survive in this life, the Marine Corps has taught you! EVERYTHING! We can start with HONOR and INTEGRITY! It's called doing the right thing - in all things and with all things and with everyone that you come across in life! It's standing up and being counted for, and calling BS, BULLSH-T! It's standing up and believing in something greater and larger than yourself, if it's nothing else but the guy next to you! Forever more it's about sacrifice, and putting those less fortunate and weaker than you before yourself! It's about acknowledging that life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid! It's about growing, and about continuously learning, and about being tested! It's about never being complacent! Never satisfied! That your best is never going to be good enough! Perhaps to your parents, to your wife, to your children, but never to yourself! And before God! It's about never quitting, no matter how hard it gets! It's about not whining! No matter how tough it gets! It's about sucking it up, and giving 110% each day, every day! It's about living up to the standard! And the bar is set pretty d-mn high! It's meant to be! If it was easy, H-ll, everyone would be a Marine!

That's the thing that a lot of Soldiers and a lot of Sailors, and a lot of Airmen don't get! Once you become a Marine, the discipline is self-perpetuating! The discipline of the Corps becomes you're self-discipline! Many, and I mean many fall to the wayside! I truly believe, that the final and ultimate test as to whether or not you're a Marine, comes the day you report into Heaven with your PCS orders, and Saint Peter tells you, "Enter Marine!" To me, whether you did 2 years or 20 or more, the test of whether you're a Marine or not is how you live your life! Did you make a difference? Or did you lay your Honor, your Integrity, your spirit, your soul upon the alter of the almighty dollar, or (fill in the blank). Can you go to your grave and before God, and honestly say, "I did my absolute best! I gave all!" Can you stand before God come Judgment Day and say, "I am righteous and I did righteous, and I fought for righteous all my life!"

You need not lay your life down nor become crippled from the physical wounds of war! The fight to be fought, is the fight of righteousness! Did you do right! Did you do the right thing, in all things! Did you stand up for the down-trodden? Did you defend the weak? Did you defend the less fortunate?

It matters not that you did two nor twenty in the Marine Corps, what matters is that you applied that which the Marine Corps taught you! What matters is that you stood on the side of Lady Justice, and Righteousness! What matters is that you made a difference in your life and for being in this life!

The fact that you enlisted in the Marine Corps speaks volumes! Most young Americans these days don't enlist into the military! H-ll! They won't even enlist into the Army Reserves or even the National Guard! Let alone the Marine Corps! The fact that you did, speaks volumes thus far about your character! VOLUMES! But that is nothing more than a foundation for which to build the rest of your life!

Do you measure up? No! You don't! And the day that you believe that you do, you're done as a Marine! I did 20 years in the Marine Corps, retired! Guess what? I still don't measure up! Why? Because you're best isn't and never will be good enough! You do the 3 mile PFT run in 19 minutes, then you need to have you azz out on the road, working on 18:59! You shoot 245 on the rifle range, then you need to start working on 246! You get a noteworthy on an inspection, than you need to get working on "beyond noteworthy"!

Every day that you're in the Marine Corps is a "test"! I've seen Marines that had 12-14 years in the Marine Corps, and kicked back on their heels, thinking that they had it made! You Don't! Guess what? Those guys, got kicked out! You can do everything to perfection for 18 years, and you screw up one time and it's your azz!

That's the way it has to be! You don't get paid for screwing up! You don't get paid for saying, "My mistake! I forgot! I screwed up, nor My Bad!" Why? Because in most of the MOS in the Marine Corps, you screw up you get someone killed! Just that plain, just that simple!

But, you know what? That's the way it is out here in civilian life! Even more so! Either be part of the solution, or part of the answer or,... BE GONE! That's why Marines excel so well out here in civilian life,... we understand that!

Where I work at now, we've got two part-time college students working for us, in less than a week, I've heard from both of them, "It's not my problem, I'm not going to worry about it!" Well guess again Slick! It IS your PROBLEM!

Attitude is everything! Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of your attitude! It's all about how you perceive it! How you look at it! It's not so much about what you've been through, nor what you're going through, it's about "What the H-ll are you going to do about it, and how are you going to handle it!"

That's the thing about being a Marine! Marines are renown for finding themselves in a world of sh-t! The thing about Marines is that they get off their azz and get busy doing something about it! It might not be pleasant, it might not be pretty, and it might not be fun, but they do something about it! They get busy! Marines aren't known for sitting around and holding "pity party's"... They get busy getting "BUSY"!

Marines aren't too big on "sympathy". If you're looking for sympathy, about the only place you're going to find it in this world or lifetime is in the dictionary! Get use to that fact and you'll do well in life! For every problem you've got, I promise you, someone has got it worse! For every trouble you've got, I promise you someone is worse off! You may be uglier than h-ll, I promise you! There's someone uglier than you! You may be dumber than a fence post, but I promise you, there's someone dumber than you! You may be dirt poor, but I promise you there IS someone poorer than you!

When you find yourself counting your troubles and your sorrows, etc., etc., etc. STOP! Count your blessings!

Gunny376
From the Sgt Grit Bulletin Board


Old Corps WWI Photos

The U.S. Marine painting in WWI Era Manual

Machine Gun Nest Marines WWI Era Manual

Grit,

I have attached some pages from a Marine Corps Manual from WW I era. It was given to me from a friend of mine (who happens to be a Captain USMC who no longer serves) and it was given to him by a neighbor whose father was in the Marines Corps long ago. Maybe you could pick a few pages to show. I know Ddick and Gunny Rousseau might still have theirs!

T Buse
Sgt USMCR
4th FSSG, 4th Maint Bn, 4th Marines


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #3)

There was no Route I-95 in 1950. It was Route 1 to Washington, D.C. - and it wasn't much. We continued our conversation most of the time. Kitty told me that after she and Bette moved out it left two large rooms vacant and her mother decided to rent them and she was very selective to whom she rented these rooms. It seemed as though she only wanted well employed men that she thought were good choices to be husbands for her daughter - and maybe herself. (She had divorced her 2nd husband). That helped with her expenses. Kitty's eldest half-sister, Mary Claiborne, was well employed with the State Department, working at the U. S. Embassy in Algiers, and her room, too, was temporarily empty. The youngest of the 4 girls was Kimberly, a junior in high school.

I told her my parents had owned the 2nd largest egg producing poultry farm east of the Mississippi - until April 1945 - when it was put out of business by the O.P.A. If dad had been able to hold on for just 5 more months - when WWII ended - he would still have it. But as they say "That's the way the cookies crumbled." Dad was now a lumber broker - buying in the south and selling up north. I had two brothers that had been in WWII, one was a Captain in the Army and the other a 1stLt in the Army Air Corps; and a sister that had screwed up and married a 'swab jockey' who beat her badly.

Kitty told me "I was up quite early this morning and can hardly hold my eyes open. Would you mind if I took a short nap?" I told her "I would not mind at all. Make yourself comfortable." She got a small pillow from the back seat and put it between her head and the door. Several times either the pillow slipped down or her head fell off the pillow and she bumped her head on the door. Finally, I said to her "I have a suggestion that will stop that. You just slide over this way and put your head on my shoulder." There was some hesitation and she replied "I - don't - think - so." After her head hit the door a couple more times she asked "Is your offer still good?" I told her it was and she turned around and put her head on my shoulder. I put my right arm around her and she said "That is not part of the deal. Put your hands on the wheel." I told her that most of the time I am traveling with a beautiful woman my arm is around her. She said "I suppose you are right" and she went to sleep. When we approached Martha Washington Wayside - outside Fredericksburg - I stopped. She awoke and asked "What are you stopping for?" I told her "I am stopping for 3 reasons: To fix the flickering light in the dash, To clear your perfume from my head and to kiss you. Is that okay with you?" She said "The light in the dash has been flickering since we first got this car; I have never had a complaint about this perfume before; and as for the 3rd one - I - don't - think - so!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #10 (Oct. 2019)

Part # 3: (VMO-6 cont.)

On the evening of Aug. 8th, 1952, the MARINE CORPS first night causality evacuation was successfully accomplished by a VMO-6 Aircraft and crew. OY-1's began another new MARINE aviation mission, psychological warfare by dropping surrender leaflets over enemy positions from their unarmed light planes. Both fixed and rotary winged aircraft were present at the Inchon Landings and participated heavily in the bone chilling cold during the Chosen Reservoir breakout too. Rescuing downed aircrew became a critical mission for VMO-6, the helicopters rapidly proved their worth in Korea. A series of improved Sikorsky HOS and Bell HTL helicopters arrived during 1950 and early 1951 expanding the Squadrons capabilities with longer endurance and increased capacity. The Stenson OY-1's were replaced with more capable Cessna O1-E "Bird Dogs" soon thereafter. Capt. Ed McMahon. later a well known radio and television host flew 85 Combat missions and earned 6 Air Medals during the last four months of the war flying VMO-6 Bird Dogs. After the fighting the unit moved back to California, they soon traded their Bell and Sikorsky helicopters for the more capable Kaman "HOK" Husky. Training with their mixed fleet of observation planes and helicopters continued at a steady pace, interrupted by a brief deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962.

Shortly after the deployment the squadron was tasked with exploring methods employing armed escort aircraft to assist helicopter borne troop transport and received some T-28C trainers configured as close air support aircraft. During the summer of 1964 the squadron received the first Bell UH-1E Huey helicopters which soon replaced all of the Kaman HOK's, Cessna OE "Bird Dog's" and T-28's with the Huey's. VMO-6 developed techniques for armed helicopter escort and landing zone fire support that would serve them well into the rest of the next decade. In 1965, VMO-6 was among the MARINE GROUP that sail to Vietnam. The next month, transport, gunship, airborne forward control and Med-e-vac missions were being flown on a daily basis. Using the call signs "Klondike" and later "Seaworthy". VMO-6 crews fought valiantly losing numerous Aircraft and men in the process. On Aug. 19th, 1957, Capt Stephen Pless and three other MARINES flew a rescue mission in their UH-1E gunship that earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the others "The Navy Cross" for their gallantry. The citation reads in part that "Under intense enemy gunfire, Capt Pless used his helicopter to shield four wounded American soldiers as the were assisted into his helicopter all the while beating back repeated enemy attacks." The over loaded helicopter then limped out to sea and escaped the enemy.


Short Rounds

Customer Howard LePine wanted to say hello to you and let you know that you have been doing a great job. He is a China Marine and today is his 85th Birthday!

Semper Fi,
T'Keiah Randle
Returns and Exchanges Department
Sgt Grit Marine Corps Specialties


Corporal Walter T. Stevens was a 20 year old Marine from Scranton, Pennsylvania when he earned the Silver Star as a squad leader with A/1/9 on May 13, 1967. During this action he personally killed three of the enemy. He is mentioned in my book "Marines, Medals and Vietnam'. I also have a copy of the Silver Star citation.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
USMC 1906xxx


Morning Sgt Grit,

Some great stories. Thanks for Sharing.

Sgt John Zing, 1963


Just wanted to follow up on the TV Ears for $129. If you are in the VA system and have a hearing loss, let the folks in Audiology know and they can have the same product issued to you free of charge. Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge


Did you ever want to know the history of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego?

Check out this documentary:
http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365231188/


What the h-ll is going on in the Marine Corps? In my days in the Corps ('66-'69) I have no doubt that the CG of MCRD would NOT let a Marine rot in a Mexican jail for over 100 days. This problem could be resolved very easily if the CG of Camp Pendleton and the CG of MCRD made liberty in Mexico off-limits.

Time for the Commanders to step up and take care of their Marines.

Kim B. Swanson


Quotes

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1823


"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."
--Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Images flash through my mind – and I speak from my heart of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth. His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, The U.S. Marine Corps."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades Beautiful Marines... And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could live."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must, in practice, be a bad government."
--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833


"Shoot - Move - Communicate!"

"Screw with the Best, you go down with the Rest!"

"Survive the eighteen weeks and you get to call yourself a Marine, and everyone else calls you a Marine. I must be a Marine. You are a Marine. It took eighteen weeks to change you into a Marine. You will never change back into non Marine. It's inside you. It's all over your character. You can taste it. You are in the Crotch forever. The only classifications of Marines are, Active & Inactive. You see once you're in this wonderful, and proud chickens - outfit you can't get out. and besides who would want to? We are all proud to be Marines."

"Every day is a holiday. Every meal is a banquet. Every night is a Saturday night. And every formation is a family reunion. Why would anyone NOT want to be a Marine."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 17 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute
• Hearing The Phantom Sounds
• The Marine Karate Kid

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

Request a catalog
Facebook Twitter Sgt Grit Blog Sgt Grit's RSS Feeds

Here is a cute picture of my granddaughter Abby Smith at a 4th of July parade in Morgan Hill, California. Her daddy, uncle and Godfather are all US Marines. I thought maybe you would like it for your magazine. My family loves your magazine.

Thank you.

Lorie Smith


The Eyes Of The 2-Star Brute

Once again I find Ddick and I share some common ground. In November of 1960, Platoon 181 was selected series Honor Platoon. We stood an Honor Guard for the Commandant, Gen. David M. Shoup at Main Side MCRD San Diego. We came to attention and as the entourage made its way down the ranks, one of the first persons to square in front of me was MajGen. Victor H. Krulak (not a tall man, I was shocked) then came Gen. Shoup (even shorter?) I came to inspection arms and he snatched my M1 in the convincing manner of a Drill Instructor. All I could see was the Quatrefoil on the top of his cover as he looked into the receiver of my weapon. When he handed my rifle back to me I looked directly into his eyes (glasses), God forgive me!

Cpl. Selders


Hearing The Phantom Sounds

Sgt. Grit,

Just finished reading last week's newsletter finally and cracked up laughing at Gunny Rousseau's post on hearing loss. I think I accidentally deleted the website so I missed several weeks of newsletters and as such missed any earlier post on hearing loss, but have one of my own stories to post.

All Newsletters are archive at:
Archived Newsletters

I was an 0331 machine gunner back in the early 80's and they did provide us with hearing protection, but being the dumb-azs that I was, I did not use them, or I should say I rarely used them. Upon discharge I received my physical which included a hearing test and the Corpsman or Navy doctor who tested me confirmed that I had frequency hearing loss, but had me sign a waiver and told me that in time, I would regain the hearing that I lost, but because it was not immediately noticeable to me I was not overly concerned and signed the waiver like the dumb-azs that I was. Anywho, after leaving the Corps I worked for about 5 years as an electrician and then got on with Baltimore Gas and Electric as an overhead line mechanic or "Lineman". Because we worked around loud construction vehicles and loud tools and equipment the company provided us with fairly regular hearing test. An Audiologist would come to the service centers in a mobile hearing test station that was equipped with three to four sound-proof booths. When it was my turn to be tested the very first time, I entered the booth and put on the headphones and picked up the two "plungers" in my hands and immediately I started banging away on the little buttons. The lady came back and opened the booth and said, "What are you doing, I did not start the test yet." "I will go back and restart the test and this time don't hit the buttons until you hear the sounds." I closed my eyes, gritted my teeth and concentrated like I was studying for a history test... and started banging away on the buttons. She came back again, but this time she was p-ssed and said, "what are you doing – are you messing with me?" I replied that I was not and she told me she was going to reset the test one more time. This time I gritted my teeth and hunched up tight to really concentrate and must have looked like I was trying to get a constipated cr-p out... and started banging away on the buttons once again. The Audiologist came charging back and opened the door and said, "were you in the military?" "Yes ma'am," I replied, "the Marines." "What did you do in the Marines?" "Machine gunner", I replied. "Why didn't you tell me", she yelled. "I have to test you separately, you have frequency hearing loss and the sound you hear is not the test tones, but a constant ringing in your ears."

I learned from her that my hearing loss would never improve and that it would only get worse as time goes on. Eventually I realized that I could not even hear the tone from an alarm on a wristwatch and it's to the point now that I have to really concentrate to hear someone that speaks quietly. My hobby is wood-working and I do wear very good hearing protection at all times, but I suspect in time I will require hearing aids. My wife and daughter know I have hearing loss, but I sometimes think they think I use it as an advantage so that I can "pretend" not to hear them! LOL!

Semper Fi to all my brother and sister Jarheads and God bless all of you fighting for our freedom!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon


The Marine Talk, The Marine Walk

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I remember the salty NCO's, Staff NCO's and the Officers who knew how to express themselves and the silver tongues that these bits of wisdom flowed off of.

One night after I was out of the Corps a few months - and on a blind date (the girl was a looker - but naive - and stubborn to boot - and opinionated as well.) She was driving me crazy arguing about everything - as she knew everything! I realized that this would be a one and only date with her - so in my best Marine Corps Tradition - I calmly told her that - she, "Was a lying sack of sh-t." My drill instructor would have been proud of me I am sure.

Another time I ordered something and had it delivered to my house, unfortunately my Ma was visiting me at the time and the wrong item was sent. I told my neighbor who had come over for a beer - (before my Ma showed up) Without realizing my mother was in my living room - I calmly told the my pretty next door neighbor - that the, "Dumb Dufus Mother F-cker sent the wrong item?"

Another time, I was at a local neighborhood bar and trouble was brewing around me - My fellow Servicemen friend - (from the U S Navy) politely told the clowns that if they were serious about fighting us - that maybe - "they should go outside first and practice falling down a few times to make it a fair fight!"

A Sergeant from my unit - was in Korea - and said when the sh-t hit the fan - all Marines were riflemen - the Mess personnel put down the serving spoons and picked up rifles and clips of ammo - for the M-1's. Mess Sgt told a Lieutenant - "Tubby you will not have the luxury of a jeep" - "and please Sir try to keep up with the us lowly enlisted ranked Marines." The Sgt. became a paper pusher with a load of stories about how cold and rough it was in Korea.

Amazing how the stories were told to me by many a Marine in harm's way - "The eyes were far away, and the expressions were a cross between catatonic and a hypnotic look - like they were reliving the moment. A few thanked me for listening to the stories - some guys in the squad bays had bad nightmares - we lived through a lot - and took care of each other. We Were MARINES!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967 (USMC)


The Marine Karate Kid

I have written a book "Mr. Miyagi and Me" available at Amazon.com in Kindle and Paperback.

I began my practice of karate as a young Marine in 1963 while stationed in Okinawa with the 12th Marines, and my teacher was and still is Mr. Takeshi Miyagi. So, in reality, there is a real life Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi.

In his 60 years of teaching, Mr. Miyagi has promoted only three Americans to the rank of Black Belt and all are United States Marines. I was the first to be promoted to Black Belt and currently hold the rank of 9th Degree Black Belt, which I received in August 2011. The others were Len Neidert, my best friend in the Marine Corps who passed away in November 2000 and David Crull who received his black belt in 2001.

When I first approached Mr. Miyagi about joining his class he told me that I would be like all other Americans and quit. He said no American lasted three months in his class because he was much too tough, much too disciplined for Americans. He also said that even if I came to his class I would never be promoted to any rank and would always remain a white belt (beginners belt). But, if I wanted to learn and learn the right way to come back and he'd teach me.

I returned the following night and promptly found myself in Mr. Miyagi's version of Parris Island. I was put through a training program that was solely for the purpose of making me quit. Oh, I was learning, but I was being treated to some very brutal conditioning drills that most would walk away from. I stayed in spite of the treatment and finally earned his respect and that of his students.

To this day we remain friends and as teacher and student. I will be returning to Okinawa this month to train and take part in a memorial for two Grand Masters.

Semper Fi
Jim Lilley

Get this book at: Mr. Miyagi and Me


Elegant Tailor

A lot of Marines bought clothes, mostly suits and sport coats at a place like this around Da Nang. I got four. Three suits and a sport coat. Measured and tailored to my fit. They were made in Hong Kong. I had mine sent directly home. They fit perfectly and I wore them for years, all gone now as I've put a few pounds on. But my wife still remembers one of them and to this day kids me about the blue plaid suit. She didn't like it. She's probably right but I will never admit it.

If I remember correctly I got all four for about $250. Clothing like this, cameras and stereo gear were the largest purchases Marines made in Nam.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit


American and Marine Pride

The attached photo is at the 4th of July Parade, Centerville, OH and shows myself, wearing my Sgt Grit Black USMC Hoodie (I've purchased five of these this week from you) shaking the hand of Ohio Governor John Kasich.

Semper Fi,
Bill Hamon

Get the pictured hoodie at:

Black/red Zip Up USMC Hooded Sweatshirt


Marine Corps League Annual Picnic And Fundraiser

Your Customer Relations representative Kristy is superb! She outfits our Marine Corps League Detachment (#1335 Bellingham, WA) each year with our raffle and auction items. This is our major fundraiser each year. The "Regan Quote" K-Bar is going to be one of many featured SGT Grit items in the silent auction and general raffle. Of course you are invited if you happen to be in the area as is any other Marines or Corpsman who happen to be visiting the Bellingham area.

Your motto is right "If you don't have it, Chesty wouldn't want it." Thank you for all the fine items in your catalog, your generous support of Detachments like ours, other veterans organizations and your continuing "OOORAH!" spirit and that of your employees. Please extend a hearty "Bravo Zulu" to Kristy from a truly grateful customer and share this freely with all of your employees who make SGT Grit what it is.

Marines & FMF Corpsman (Current and Former), Wives, Significant Others, Families, Kids, Friends of and Supporters of Marines:

Saturday, 26 July, It's that time of year again for our League's Annual Picnic!

Start Time 12:00 Noon 'til whenever. This year it will be at the Bellingham American Legion Post 7, 1688 W. Bakerview Rd. (out by the Airport and over by Mykonos Restaurant).

Semper Fi and Thank You Again!

CAPT (0302) Mac
RVN (as a Corporal) '69-'70
0341
d.a.mcmaster[at]att.net


It's Standing Up And Believing

(story from February 17, 2005)

This is the kind of thing that PMO! Did you earn it? Have you earned it! H-ll! I did twenty years in the Marine Corps, retired for Christmas sake, and I don't know that I've still have earned the right to call myself a Marine! Not when you think in terms of those that have gone before me and those that have come after me! I know, that each and every day that I crawl my azz out of the rack, I've got to go out and earn it again! I'm big on Honor and Integrity! You question my Honor, my Integrity, my honesty, my truthfulness, my fidelity, I get fighting Mad! You would have come out better calling me something else! That's the thing! Once you've made it through boot camp, that doesn't make you a Marine! What makes you a Marine is how you're going to get you're azz out of the rack every day for the rest of your life and live your life by what the Marine Corps taught you! Trained you to do, and to be!

Everything that you need to get through, to survive in this life, the Marine Corps has taught you! EVERYTHING! We can start with HONOR and INTEGRITY! It's called doing the right thing - in all things and with all things and with everyone that you come across in life! It's standing up and being counted for, and calling BS, BULLSH-T! It's standing up and believing in something greater and larger than yourself, if it's nothing else but the guy next to you! Forever more it's about sacrifice, and putting those less fortunate and weaker than you before yourself! It's about acknowledging that life is tough, but it's tougher if you're stupid! It's about growing, and about continuously learning, and about being tested! It's about never being complacent! Never satisfied! That your best is never going to be good enough! Perhaps to your parents, to your wife, to your children, but never to yourself! And before God! It's about never quitting, no matter how hard it gets! It's about not whining! No matter how tough it gets! It's about sucking it up, and giving 110% each day, every day! It's about living up to the standard! And the bar is set pretty d-mn high! It's meant to be! If it was easy, H-ll, everyone would be a Marine!

That's the thing that a lot of Soldiers and a lot of Sailors, and a lot of Airmen don't get! Once you become a Marine, the discipline is self-perpetuating! The discipline of the Corps becomes you're self-discipline! Many, and I mean many fall to the wayside! I truly believe, that the final and ultimate test as to whether or not you're a Marine, comes the day you report into Heaven with your PCS orders, and Saint Peter tells you, "Enter Marine!" To me, whether you did 2 years or 20 or more, the test of whether you're a Marine or not is how you live your life! Did you make a difference? Or did you lay your Honor, your Integrity, your spirit, your soul upon the alter of the almighty dollar, or (fill in the blank). Can you go to your grave and before God, and honestly say, "I did my absolute best! I gave all!" Can you stand before God come Judgment Day and say, "I am righteous and I did righteous, and I fought for righteous all my life!"

You need not lay your life down nor become crippled from the physical wounds of war! The fight to be fought, is the fight of righteousness! Did you do right! Did you do the right thing, in all things! Did you stand up for the down-trodden? Did you defend the weak? Did you defend the less fortunate?

It matters not that you did two nor twenty in the Marine Corps, what matters is that you applied that which the Marine Corps taught you! What matters is that you stood on the side of Lady Justice, and Righteousness! What matters is that you made a difference in your life and for being in this life!

The fact that you enlisted in the Marine Corps speaks volumes! Most young Americans these days don't enlist into the military! H-ll! They won't even enlist into the Army Reserves or even the National Guard! Let alone the Marine Corps! The fact that you did, speaks volumes thus far about your character! VOLUMES! But that is nothing more than a foundation for which to build the rest of your life!

Do you measure up? No! You don't! And the day that you believe that you do, you're done as a Marine! I did 20 years in the Marine Corps, retired! Guess what? I still don't measure up! Why? Because you're best isn't and never will be good enough! You do the 3 mile PFT run in 19 minutes, then you need to have you azz out on the road, working on 18:59! You shoot 245 on the rifle range, then you need to start working on 246! You get a noteworthy on an inspection, than you need to get working on "beyond noteworthy"!

Every day that you're in the Marine Corps is a "test"! I've seen Marines that had 12-14 years in the Marine Corps, and kicked back on their heels, thinking that they had it made! You Don't! Guess what? Those guys, got kicked out! You can do everything to perfection for 18 years, and you screw up one time and it's your azz!

That's the way it has to be! You don't get paid for screwing up! You don't get paid for saying, "My mistake! I forgot! I screwed up, nor My Bad!" Why? Because in most of the MOS in the Marine Corps, you screw up you get someone killed! Just that plain, just that simple!

But, you know what? That's the way it is out here in civilian life! Even more so! Either be part of the solution, or part of the answer or,... BE GONE! That's why Marines excel so well out here in civilian life,... we understand that!

Where I work at now, we've got two part-time college students working for us, in less than a week, I've heard from both of them, "It's not my problem, I'm not going to worry about it!" Well guess again Slick! It IS your PROBLEM!

Attitude is everything! Life is 10% of what happens to you, and 90% of your attitude! It's all about how you perceive it! How you look at it! It's not so much about what you've been through, nor what you're going through, it's about "What the H-ll are you going to do about it, and how are you going to handle it!"

That's the thing about being a Marine! Marines are renown for finding themselves in a world of sh-t! The thing about Marines is that they get off their azz and get busy doing something about it! It might not be pleasant, it might not be pretty, and it might not be fun, but they do something about it! They get busy! Marines aren't known for sitting around and holding "pity party's"... They get busy getting "BUSY"!

Marines aren't too big on "sympathy". If you're looking for sympathy, about the only place you're going to find it in this world or lifetime is in the dictionary! Get use to that fact and you'll do well in life! For every problem you've got, I promise you, someone has got it worse! For every trouble you've got, I promise you someone is worse off! You may be uglier than h-ll, I promise you! There's someone uglier than you! You may be dumber than a fence post, but I promise you, there's someone dumber than you! You may be dirt poor, but I promise you there IS someone poorer than you!

When you find yourself counting your troubles and your sorrows, etc., etc., etc. STOP! Count your blessings!

Gunny376
From the Sgt Grit Bulletin Board


Old Corps WWI Photos

Grit,

I have attached some pages from a Marine Corps Manual from WW I era. It was given to me from a friend of mine (who happens to be a Captain USMC who no longer serves) and it was given to him by a neighbor whose father was in the Marines Corps long ago. Maybe you could pick a few pages to show. I know Ddick and Gunny Rousseau might still have theirs!

T Buse
Sgt USMCR
4th FSSG, 4th Maint Bn, 4th Marines


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #3)

There was no Route I-95 in 1950. It was Route 1 to Washington, D.C. - and it wasn't much. We continued our conversation most of the time. Kitty told me that after she and Bette moved out it left two large rooms vacant and her mother decided to rent them and she was very selective to whom she rented these rooms. It seemed as though she only wanted well employed men that she thought were good choices to be husbands for her daughter - and maybe herself. (She had divorced her 2nd husband). That helped with her expenses. Kitty's eldest half-sister, Mary Claiborne, was well employed with the State Department, working at the U. S. Embassy in Algiers, and her room, too, was temporarily empty. The youngest of the 4 girls was Kimberly, a junior in high school.

I told her my parents had owned the 2nd largest egg producing poultry farm east of the Mississippi - until April 1945 - when it was put out of business by the O.P.A. If dad had been able to hold on for just 5 more months - when WWII ended - he would still have it. But as they say "That's the way the cookies crumbled." Dad was now a lumber broker - buying in the south and selling up north. I had two brothers that had been in WWII, one was a Captain in the Army and the other a 1stLt in the Army Air Corps; and a sister that had screwed up and married a 'swab jockey' who beat her badly.

Kitty told me "I was up quite early this morning and can hardly hold my eyes open. Would you mind if I took a short nap?" I told her "I would not mind at all. Make yourself comfortable." She got a small pillow from the back seat and put it between her head and the door. Several times either the pillow slipped down or her head fell off the pillow and she bumped her head on the door. Finally, I said to her "I have a suggestion that will stop that. You just slide over this way and put your head on my shoulder." There was some hesitation and she replied "I - don't - think - so." After her head hit the door a couple more times she asked "Is your offer still good?" I told her it was and she turned around and put her head on my shoulder. I put my right arm around her and she said "That is not part of the deal. Put your hands on the wheel." I told her that most of the time I am traveling with a beautiful woman my arm is around her. She said "I suppose you are right" and she went to sleep. When we approached Martha Washington Wayside - outside Fredericksburg - I stopped. She awoke and asked "What are you stopping for?" I told her "I am stopping for 3 reasons: To fix the flickering light in the dash, To clear your perfume from my head and to kiss you. Is that okay with you?" She said "The light in the dash has been flickering since we first got this car; I have never had a complaint about this perfume before; and as for the 3rd one - I - don't - think - so!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #10 (Oct. 2019)

Part # 3: (VMO-6 cont.)

On the evening of Aug. 8th, 1952, the MARINE CORPS first night causality evacuation was successfully accomplished by a VMO-6 Aircraft and crew. OY-1's began another new MARINE aviation mission, psychological warfare by dropping surrender leaflets over enemy positions from their unarmed light planes. Both fixed and rotary winged aircraft were present at the Inchon Landings and participated heavily in the bone chilling cold during the Chosen Reservoir breakout too. Rescuing downed aircrew became a critical mission for VMO-6, the helicopters rapidly proved their worth in Korea. A series of improved Sikorsky HOS and Bell HTL helicopters arrived during 1950 and early 1951 expanding the Squadrons capabilities with longer endurance and increased capacity. The Stenson OY-1's were replaced with more capable Cessna O1-E "Bird Dogs" soon thereafter. Capt. Ed McMahon. later a well known radio and television host flew 85 Combat missions and earned 6 Air Medals during the last four months of the war flying VMO-6 Bird Dogs. After the fighting the unit moved back to California, they soon traded their Bell and Sikorsky helicopters for the more capable Kaman "HOK" Husky. Training with their mixed fleet of observation planes and helicopters continued at a steady pace, interrupted by a brief deployment during the Cuban Missile Crisis, in 1962.

Shortly after the deployment the squadron was tasked with exploring methods employing armed escort aircraft to assist helicopter borne troop transport and received some T-28C trainers configured as close air support aircraft. During the summer of 1964 the squadron received the first Bell UH-1E Huey helicopters which soon replaced all of the Kaman HOK's, Cessna OE "Bird Dog's" and T-28's with the Huey's. VMO-6 developed techniques for armed helicopter escort and landing zone fire support that would serve them well into the rest of the next decade. In 1965, VMO-6 was among the MARINE GROUP that sail to Vietnam. The next month, transport, gunship, airborne forward control and Med-e-vac missions were being flown on a daily basis. Using the call signs "Klondike" and later "Seaworthy". VMO-6 crews fought valiantly losing numerous Aircraft and men in the process. On Aug. 19th, 1957, Capt Stephen Pless and three other MARINES flew a rescue mission in their UH-1E gunship that earned him the Congressional Medal of Honor and the others "The Navy Cross" for their gallantry. The citation reads in part that "Under intense enemy gunfire, Capt Pless used his helicopter to shield four wounded American soldiers as the were assisted into his helicopter all the while beating back repeated enemy attacks." The over loaded helicopter then limped out to sea and escaped the enemy.


Short Rounds

Customer Howard LePine wanted to say hello to you and let you know that you have been doing a great job. He is a China Marine and today is his 85th Birthday!

Semper Fi,
T'Keiah Randle
Returns and Exchanges Department
Sgt Grit Marine Corps Specialties


Corporal Walter T. Stevens was a 20 year old Marine from Scranton, Pennsylvania when he earned the Silver Star as a squad leader with A/1/9 on May 13, 1967. During this action he personally killed three of the enemy. He is mentioned in my book "Marines, Medals and Vietnam'. I also have a copy of the Silver Star citation.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
USMC 1906xxx


Morning Sgt Grit,

Some great stories. Thanks for Sharing.

Sgt John Zing, 1963


Just wanted to follow up on the TV Ears for $129. If you are in the VA system and have a hearing loss, let the folks in Audiology know and they can have the same product issued to you free of charge. Semper Fi!

Julian Etheridge


Did you ever want to know the history of Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego?

Check out this documentary:
http://video.kpbs.org/video/2365231188/


What the h-ll is going on in the Marine Corps? In my days in the Corps ('66-'69) I have no doubt that the CG of MCRD would NOT let a Marine rot in a Mexican jail for over 100 days. This problem could be resolved very easily if the CG of Camp Pendleton and the CG of MCRD made liberty in Mexico off-limits.

Time for the Commanders to step up and take care of their Marines.

Kim B. Swanson


Quotes

"Laws are made for men of ordinary understanding and should, therefore, be construed by the ordinary rules of common sense. Their meaning is not to be sought for in metaphysical subtleties which may make anything mean everything or nothing at pleasure."
--Thomas Jefferson, 1823


"A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one."
--Alexander Hamilton, Founding Father


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Images flash through my mind – and I speak from my heart of an Eighth & 'I' parade in honor of John Glenn who remarked that night: He had been a Marine for 23 years... but not long enough. That was from a man fought in WWII & Korea and was the first American to orbit the earth. His wingman in Korea, baseball legend Ted Williams, put it well when asked which was best team he ever played on. Without hesitation he said, The U.S. Marine Corps."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"On evenings like this most of us will remember the tragedy of losing comrades Beautiful Marines... And we remember them, everyone, who gave their lives so our experiment called America, could live."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"Because every Marine, if he was in a tough spot – whether a bar fight, or tonight in Helmand River Valley, our fellow Marines would get to us, or die trying."
--General Jim "Mad Dog" Mattis


"A feeble executive implies a feeble execution of the government. A feeble execution is but another phrase for a bad execution; and a government ill executed, whatever may be its theory, must, in practice, be a bad government."
--Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution, 1833


"Shoot - Move - Communicate!"

"Screw with the Best, you go down with the Rest!"

"Survive the eighteen weeks and you get to call yourself a Marine, and everyone else calls you a Marine. I must be a Marine. You are a Marine. It took eighteen weeks to change you into a Marine. You will never change back into non Marine. It's inside you. It's all over your character. You can taste it. You are in the Crotch forever. The only classifications of Marines are, Active & Inactive. You see once you're in this wonderful, and proud chickens - outfit you can't get out. and besides who would want to? We are all proud to be Marines."

"Every day is a holiday. Every meal is a banquet. Every night is a Saturday night. And every formation is a family reunion. Why would anyone NOT want to be a Marine."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 JUL 2014

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

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Semper Fi!

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

James T. Kline
1881xxx HO-RAH

Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.


Ingenious Jarheads

Browning Stinger 30 cal

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

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

I bet John Browning is still smiling...

Griffin Murphey


Marine Corps Books


Get Off My Bus

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Cpl V
From somewhere in California.


Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We all fought for the same flag.

Semper Fi


My First Experiences As A Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


My Current Mess Sergeant

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

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

Tom Mahoney
Cpl ('76-'71)


15 Freeking Armorers

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

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

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

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

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

Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.


Hearing Loss

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

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

Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
'65-'68
Semper Fi


Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
CPL USMC 1963-1967


Do It Again, I Have No Regrets

Good morning,

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

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

Semper Fi
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
1960-1964
Platoon 1006
I/3/4 & C/1/8


Parris Island 1958

July 1958 – 56 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion

Marines of A Btry 3rd LAAM Bn at Reunion

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

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

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

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

(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.


Embarrassment To Our Corps

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

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

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

William J Bock


Fair To A Fault

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx


Marine Ink Of The Week

Dress Blue Sgt Chevron under torn skin tattoo.

Submitted by David Harvey

Sgt of Marine Dress Blue Tattoo


Small Marine World

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

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

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

I sent the E-mail off.

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

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

I then went to the luncheon tables.

It's a small world.

Denny


Before There Was Rock And Roll

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #2)

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

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

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

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

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

Part #2: (VMO-6 cont.)

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

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

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


Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Inspection by CG FMF PAC, Marine Barracks, NAHA

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

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

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

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

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

Ddick


Short Rounds

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

Skipper Mercer
USMC #xxx3982


How Marines Are Made!

Parris Island: Cradle of the Corps.


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

She's a keeper!


Quotes

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 10 JUL 2014

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

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Semper Fi!

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

James T. Kline
1881xxx HO-RAH

Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.


Ingenious Jarheads

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

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

I bet John Browning is still smiling...

Griffin Murphey


Get Off My Bus

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

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

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

Semper Fi
Cpl V
From somewhere in California.


Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We all fought for the same flag.

Semper Fi


My First Experiences As A Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

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


My Current Mess Sergeant

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

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

Tom Mahoney
Cpl ('76-'71)


15 Freeking Armorers

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

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

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

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

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

Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.


Hearing Loss

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

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

Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
'65-'68
Semper Fi


Dear Sgt. Grit,

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

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

Semper Fi,
Bruce Bender
CPL USMC 1963-1967


Do It Again, I Have No Regrets

Good morning,

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

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

Semper Fi
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
1960-1964
Platoon 1006
I/3/4 & C/1/8


Parris Island 1958

July 1958 – 56 years ago.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion

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

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

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

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

(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.


Embarrassment To Our Corps

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

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

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

William J Bock


Fair To A Fault

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx


Small Marine World

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

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

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

I sent the E-mail off.

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

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

I then went to the luncheon tables.

It's a small world.

Denny


Before There Was Rock And Roll

Sgt. Grit,

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

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

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #2)

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

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

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

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

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

Part #2: (VMO-6 cont.)

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

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

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


Favorite Marine SNCO Story

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

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

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

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

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

Ddick


Short Rounds

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

Skipper Mercer
USMC #xxx3982


How Marines Are Made!

Parris Island: Cradle of the Corps.


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

She's a keeper!


Quotes

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


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


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


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


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

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

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

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

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

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 03 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• Life At War
• The Mustang... Somewhat A Maverick
• Easiest Job On Mess Duty

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Back of Jimmy SUV

Front of Jimmy SUV

Added some of your stickers (decals?) to my Jimmy... I was in Gitmo Bay October - December 1962...

Robert Heathorn


Life At War

Train Guards

Sgt. Grit,

One of the best times of being a Ordnance Man is when you take ordnance material back from the front lines to a rear Area where it will be repaired. In Korea, at the Punch Bowl, we took some tanks back to Masan, Korea where 1st Combat Service Group was. I was appointed one of the Train Guards and got to ride the train all the way back. Now as there were Guerrillas about we sometimes rode inside the tanks (mostly just for something to do) but when the train stopped to refuel coal and water we had the luxury of using the steam let off pipe to warm our "C's". We put them in an empty water expeditionary can and pulled the can up over the steam let off pipe. Then the engineer turned on the steam and heated our rations so hot we had to wait to open them. I took advantage of being a Train Guard by having my picture taken with the engineer (of course, he didn't want anything to do with it and sat on top). Korea was the first time, as I recall, it was legal to carry a camera, you weren't supposed to in WWII but guys did any way. I can still remember the bullets zinging off after hitting the Tank. How easy it was to enjoy the little things in life at War!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Cell Phone Accessories


In The Best Military Decorum

Having made many amphibious landings via the dreaded cargo net descent, with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, in late 1959, all of 1960 and part of 1961, the one landing that stands out in my memory, is the landing on Kodiak Island in operation Totem Pole, November 1959.

As a member of the weapons platoon, I was a gunner on the 3.5 rocket launcher and was attached to the 1st platoon. We had been instructed by our platoon leader Lt. Robert Crabtree, a Marine's Marine,(Mustang) that we were to carry our launchers at sling arms down the cargo nets at the disembarkation station. The machine gunners were to send the .30 cals down via a line.

At zero-30 dark as h-ll hours we were in the first wave, therefore the first at the disembarkation station. The Navy Ensign at the station told me to lay my launcher on the deck. The Navy would tie it to the line and it would be lowered to the landing craft. I informed him that my orders were to carry the launcher down the net. His response was typical of an Ensign on his first maneuver, "I am ordering you to have it lowered with the machine guns."

A few minutes later as I was about half way down the net, I heard people yelling "heads up". A second later, even though it was dark outside I saw a 3.5 rocket launcher falling into the Bering Sea. I turned to a squad leader of first platoon, who happen to be to my right and I said, "Corporal I will give you 3 guesses whose launcher that was." Of course I was correct.

Returning to Camp Pendleton later that year, my squad leader and I were ordered to Battalion Headquarters for an inquiry on what had happened to my launcher. The Captain holding the inquiry insinuated because it was my launcher that was missing, I could possibly be responsible to pay for it. In the best military decorum that I could muster, I told the Captain that I followed orders of the Ensign and with all due respect the Ensign's pay was bigger than mine and the Marine Corps would get their money for the launcher faster from his pay. Never heard another word about the incident. I might add that in all subsequent landings we carried our launchers at sling arms down the nets.

Floyd White 1860xxx


I Remember Never Being So Happy

Greetings,

In response to Billy Myers letter in the last newsletter of 6-25 and Junior Helmers from the Newsletter of 6-18-14: The entire year, save December of 1969, I had the distinct honor of serving with HQ 11th Marines. In addition to 'The Grit', I count Junior Helmers among the friends I made in 1968 and 1969. Another dozen or so are also weekly readers of the Newsletter. Many of us, especially those who stood watch in the FDC, knew Lt. Brophy. I had the distinct HONOR of seeing him fly over my forward position on Band Hill the morning of 23 Feb 69. He and his Army WO Pilot and Army Gunner flew over our POS, quickly followed by a Gunship, and they gently rocked their rotors to let us know they saw us and were there to take care of the 6 of us.

The night before was the very first time I saw combat and it was the most frightening night, no make that the event of my life. I remember never being so happy as I was the morning of the 23rd. The first color I saw that day was a yellow flower. I picked it, put it in my helmet band, and I still have that flower to this day.

A month later I met Grit (I think Junior was already busy playing basketball with me) and some other dear dear friends who remain in constant contact over all the years.

Lt. Brophy was a real cut-up. Quick with a smile and quip. As mentioned, quite a few of us saw him almost daily in the FDC.

I just am still searching for the truth as to how, on or about 28Sept69 WO-1, Rennie (USA) 'lost' his LOH. Smile! It just vanished, but returned a day or so later. I seem to remember that there was a Mr. Butz involved in that disappearance as well.

OH, the good old days. I bet we all have some funny 'war' stories.

Fuller


Independence Day Special

Sgt Grit Gift CertificateStop by our showroom in Oklahoma City through Saturday, July 5th and receive a $10 gift certificate towards a future purchase when you spend $40 or more on your order. The gift certificate has no expiration date, but will not be valid until Monday, July 7, 2014.


This Mustang... Somewhat A Maverick

I recently was informed that Richard O. Culver has passed away at age 77. He was a career Marine and rose up through the ranks to become an officer. This "Mustang" was a colorful and outspoken character whose views often got him into trouble. I got to know him as he graciously agreed to let me interview him as I was putting together my latest book, "Marines, Medals and Vietnam". Major Culver served three consecutive tours in Vietnam that included the years 1966 to 1968. He was featured in the late Keith William Nolan's great book about Operation Buffalo which occurred in July of 1967. Culver was the commanding officer of H/2/3 during this action and earned the Silver Star.

Culver was somewhat a "Maverick" and he frequently expressed his disdain for the M-16 rifle that was forced upon the Marines in the early spring of 1967. The early ones simply did not function well in combat and cost many Marines their lives. My book contains a chapter about the problems of the M-16 in which Dick Culver is the major contributor. He hated that rifle and finally came to the conclusion that even the much improved current ones are nothing more than a "varmint rifle".

Major Culver spent his final years roughing it on a small ranch near Couer d'Alene, Idaho.

Rest in peace Marine for you surely earned it.

Semper Fidelis!

William L. "Billy" Myers
USMC 1960-1964


Easiest Job On Mess Duty

Enlisted ranks from E-1 to E-3 were subject to 90 days of extra duty detail a year in 30 day segments. These extra details were mess duty, guard duty, and barracks detail. Thirty days of guard duty at Kaneohe meant you would be assigned to the guard barracks and issued a .45 or riot gun to walk patrol around certain facilities such as the hangars at night or the special weapons depot. On barracks detail you would be assigned janitorial duty in your barracks for thirty days. The most odious of these extra duties was thirty days of mess duty... my number came up for thirty days mess duty.

As a mess man, morning muster was at 0400 which meant reveille was at 0300, and the work day went until 2000, seven days a week under the supervision of a mess sergeant. We were not allowed to quit for the day until the mess sergeant inspected the final clean up. This could stretch quitting time to much later. The work was dirty and unrelenting with hardly a break.

Our duties consisted of food preparation and clean up of three meals a day for the troops on the air wing side of the base. My first assignment was to the pot shack. As the name implies, this was where the pots and pans got scrubbed. One night, after the last meal and we were cleaning up, a late arriving group showed up for chow, the base basketball team just back from a local tournament. The mess sergeant had to open the doors for them, but we had already cleared the food from the serving carts. Most of the left-over food had been dumped into garbage cans and moved to the loading docks for trash disposal. The mess sergeant ordered us to open the garbage cans, sort through the slop, and spoon it back onto the serving trays for the late arrivals. They never knew what they were eating. This incident actually was very fortunate for me as it led to an easiest job on mess duty.

The absolute worst job in the pot shack was cleaning the large, flat pans used when they served fried chicken. It took major elbow grease to clean off the baked and hardened pieces of chicken and batter that stuck to the pans and utensils. One day after one of these meals, I had finally finished the cleaning job and called the mess sergeant over for inspection. This was the same sergeant who ordered slop to be fed to the late arrivals. He went over each pan and utensil before he found a microscopic piece of fried chicken stuck to a pair of tongs. He ranted and raged as if I were trying to poison the troops and told me to start all over cleaning every pan and utensil in the building. By now I was pretty salty and determined that I was not going to be intimidated by this guy, so I reminded him of his serving of slop from the garbage and strongly suggested that he reconsider his orders to me as the officer of the day would be very interested in the story. He stepped back a bit and told me to secure and go back to the barracks without doing what he had ordered. Next day he reassigned me to be the outside man, the best job in the mess hall, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges in the fresh air and sunshine. I was lucky enough to never get another extra detail duty after that!

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Holier Than Thou

Sgt Grit,

In reply to "A Sad Story" about a draftee tricked into the Marine Corps. Remember, it doesn't matter how you got sent to boot camp, we all had to EARN the title MARINE. I served with enlisted, fellow draftees and court ordered MARINES. They are all MARINES. Many a draftee, due to only 2 years of service were grunts and did much of the fighting in Viet Nam. I know at least 5 who served with me who are on the wall and a fellow draftee, Walt Stevens, Sgt, 1/9, who earned the Silver Star. I was 0311 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon among others. The Viet Cong and NVA didn't really care how I got there. The recruiter, who I knew from the same neighborhood and knew I was being drafted picked four of us, two volunteered and only one of the volunteers was chosen. I was picked because I had talked to him about enlisting but didn't like the 3 or 4 year stint.

We have a little too much "Holier than Thou" attitude going around from time to time. We are all Marines who served where the Marine Corps thought we were needed. It doesn't matter if you were a grunt, air wing, sea going, headquarters, clerk or recon. Let's stick together and save our criticism for the others.

J Kanavy, Cpl. USMC


Marine Ink Of The Week

1 Oorah! My tribute to my time in Iraq.

Submitted by Bart Kirchner

Patriotic Back Piece


Noise And Hearing

Seen some articles about hearing loss. These stories are true.

I was in 4.2 mortars for three years and most of it was as a gunner. Two of use would be only about a foot away from the blast. No hearing protection in 1953. Needless to say, hearing gone, a roaring sound all the time. But it just came with the job. I just wish we had today's type of hearing protection...

Semper-Fi

Sgt. Bob Holmes 1953-1956


Sgt. Grit,

In your last newsletter, Sgt. Gill wrote about being at Rifle Range, Camp Lejeune, where I spent quite a bit of my Time as 2nd MarDivRifle/Pistol Team Armorer. He said he had a hearing loss from shooting and some suspect he failed to use hearing protection the Marine Corps demanded of shooters at the time. However as a Rifle Team Armorer for many years I, also, have hearing problems... did I use Hearing Protection all those years... H-ll! I don't know!

I, too, have high Frequency hearing loss (with or without Tinnitus, as you will) and I have hearing aids which are about as useless as other things I have had to buy and use... BUT... they are great when you say, "WHAT?" because the people see the Hearing Aid and they automatically assume you are deaf and need further information. I'm not knocking hearing aids, H-ll I have to wear them and keep my ears clean and put drops in them because you are putting something into your ear and it automatically doesn't like anything shoved into them.

Most of the time they are a hindrance rather than an asset, as an example, watching TV, there are more clicks coming out of TV than you can imagine unless you are wearing hearing aids.

So what do you do? You wear the d-mn things and pretend you are happy with them and soon someone will invent a Hearing Aid that will help us, then we'll be happy as clams at a party.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Regarding the comments about Tinnitus: my first MOS was 0811... mine is so bad it wakes my WIFE up at night!

Pete Dahlstrom (currently mistakenly assigned to the civilian world)


Re rifle coach. Coach? Campaign hat?

I was a "Rifle Instructor" at Camp Lejeune most of 1953, never saw a campaign hat, had no hearing problems, then or now. Fired in "NRA High Power Rifle Regional Championship", 1953. 1st place 200 yd. rapid fire, 1st place 300 yd. rapid fire, tied for 1st place 300 yd. slow fire. All in my classification. Still no hearing problems, or cotton. Sorry for your problem.

Sgt. Conner, '51 to '54, 1161


SSgt Gill's submission about hearing loss brings back some "painful" memories for me, as with many other Marines, I'm sure.

I participated with the MCAS, Yuma, AZ rifle team during 1965 and '66, using a match-conditioned M1.

Got to travel all over Arizona and into Colorado for a lot of matches, usually sponsored by civilian rifle clubs. A couple of times we made the match at Black Canyon, outside of Phoenix. Received some "dust collector" awards there from the 1,000 yard line for "iron sights". Needless to say, I also have some hearing losses. Stuff some cotton in your ears and listen to the crack of the firing on each side of you.

Paul, if we could have come with the idea of the electronic ear protection used today, we would be millionaires by now!

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt (1949-1970)


Sergeant Grit,

Staff Sergeant Gill asked about other Marines suffering from High Frequency Sound Hearing Loss, similar to his experience. This Marine served during the same time frame as Gill. He also suffers from the same hearing losses, although DOD has never declared it a disability.

As did Gill, I too took advantage of the G I Bill benefits. During the enrollment process, in college, I was given a hearing test, which I failed, due to high frequency deafness. I was referred to a doctor of Otorhinolaryngology. This medical doctor asked me: "Did you serve the Marine Corps?" Answer: "Yes sir!" His response: "Your PMI instructed you to stuff cotton in your ears, right." "Yes sir!" "Well that, so called protection, did you absolutely no good at all." "Your hearing was not afforded any safeguard against the lifelong hearing damage and high frequency loss, which you now suffer from; it is irreversible."

So, the good doctor conveyed the following wisdom: "From now on, protect your hearing, whenever you are to be exposed to any noise levels, above 90 dB (A), wear industrial ear plugs and also wear, isolation around the ear, earmuff protection whenever you are around firearms anytime... protect what little high frequency hearing you have left."

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray
Corporal of Marines
1958 – 1962


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #1)

This produced a very broad smile as she looked into my eyes and tried to think up an answer to my question. There were no words spoken for 3 to 4 minutes while we looked into each others eyes. I clearly had the advantage during this period. She was looking into a pair of fairly common, hazel colored eyes of a farm raised, Parris Island trained, Marine Sgt. But I was looking into a pair of large, medium blue eyes of a gorgeous blonde with attributes of which would make Venus jealous. Finally, she spoke. She said "When we were growing up nobody could tell us apart - not even our mother. After our father died we moved to Washington and bought the house on Garfield St. My mother re-married and had two more girls about 6 years apart. Neither my step-dad or these girls could tell us apart. We usually wore identical clothes when we went to school. Our classmates and teachers were confused. We were not allowed to date until we were 16 and we had many suitors. We usually double-dated and sometimes were known to switch between dates without them being the wiser. When the Junior-Senior Proms came around Bette and I were the finalists when it came time to choose a Prom Queen. The judges could not make a final decision between the two of us so we ended up with 2 Prom Queens each year, Bette and myself. In 1943 we were Cherry Blossom Princesses in the National Cherry Blossom Festival. And again the same thing was about to happen but the judges said there could not be 2 Queens. We voluntarily agreed to withdraw from the pageant - to let the next in line become the Queen. After we did this we were told that if only one of us had withdrawn the other would have been chosen Queen - but it was too late at that point. Does that answer your highly complimentary question?" I replied "I think it does."

Our escorts in the Pageant were seniors at the Naval Academy and we married them in a dual ceremony on graduation day. My husband had decided to become a U. S. Marine and Bette's husband, who had studied dentistry at the Academy, decided he was not interested in a military life. He was discharged and opened a dental practice in Arlandria, VA. "Do you know where that is?" I told her that I did. I told her "I did not see a picture of your husband in your wallet. She took out her wallet again and produced a picture from inside. When she showed it to me I could hardly believe my eyes. I asked "Why didn't you go down to see him off when he left?" She replied "How do you know I didn't?" I told her about my experience with the Troop Train Commander on Train #17. She was not surprised and said "That's Tommy!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #8 (Aug 2019)

Well, in my continuing efforts to keep everyone informed as they can be on MARINE Aviation and especially the Helicopter portion of the family, and some of it's beginnings. I was sent, what I thought was a very good article either posted or written by a gunny by the name of Gy/Sgt. Paul Moore, or, a gentleman by the name of Ken Kula which was posted by him for an online publication by the name of Photo recon. Now, I know that a lot of the readers of this Newsletter will never read what was posted on that site because it doesn't pertain to them. Nor, will they read what may appear on another helicopter orientated site entitled Pop-A-Smoke so, I thought that I'd send this offering off to Sgt. Grit for those oriented towards the ground forces to read. I might add that it's a little lengthy to read, so it may take several issues to get the entire story. I also want it clearly known that I deserve "no credit" for this article and it's contents. I've made contact with its author Gunny Moore, but not Ken Kula. And, I did receive Gunny Moore's blessings to go forward with my project. So, with that said, "Let's get this baby off the ground."

Historic Marine VMO-6 Flying Unit Gone, Not Forgotten

Marine Observations Squadron Six (VMO-6) can trace its origins back to it's formative years of MARINE Aviation. Active for less than half a century of MARINE CORPS aviation the squadron served during the 1920's Nicaraqua Campaign, World War II, the Korean War and finally through the 1960's in Vietnam. Thirty five years after it ceased operations, and in celebration of MARINE CORPS aviation's 100th anniversary, a monument to VMO-6 was dedicated in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va. It Honors 66 men from VMO-6 who died as a result of hostile actions during the four aforementioned conflicts. Not only was the ceremony a tribute to those who had given their lives to their Country, but it was reunion of many Veterans who help make VMO-6 more then just a page in a history book. The direct lineage of VMO-6 begins in 1920 when 39 MARINES and a mixed bag of (6) six biplanes of Flight 'E', 3rd Air Squadron of the U.S. Marine Corps was activated at Quantico Barracks, VA. Their primary duties consisted of observation and providing training for MARINE Aviators. In July 1927, the unit was renamed MARINE Observation Squadron 6 (VO-6M) and early the following year, the unit was shipped to Nicaragua to assist in fighting the Sandinista rebels. During it's Nicaragua operations, VO-6M's duties grew to include visual and photographic reconnaissance, infantry liaison and message delivery, and emergency resupply of troops. Newly developed attack and dive bombing tactics were honed in support of MARINES on the ground.

To be continued in next week...


Operation Colorado

Operation Colorado, August, 1966, 1/5 and 3/5, and don't recall who all else. I had left MCRD SD with orders to Staging Bn, etc. earlier in the year... and a couple of other DI's that I knew got orders to the I-I staff with the Reserve Engineer company that was based at Fort Omaha... smallish installation, mostly brick buildings, probably has some interesting history. My pregnant wife and toddler daughter were to be well cared for, as her parents had plenty of room at their house in Omaha, basically just a mile or two up 30th from the Fort. So far, so good... then, on the 9th of August, somewhere northwest of Tam Ky, in the wee hours, we took mortar and recoilless rifle fire. Long story short, I managed to make an up close and personal connection with a few mortar fragments... not a BFD (although Joe B might have thought so), and it was what used to be recorded as "WIANE" or "Wounded In Action, Not Evacuated". (have hurt myself worse when shaving with a hangover... and a 'safety razor') However... I had neglected to check the "Do Not Notify NOK in case of... whatever... box on the old RED. (Record of Emergency Data) form... so... that meant the finely functioning bureaucratic chain would swing into action, because our Doc filled out a medical tag, generating a TWIX (Naval Message) to the Casualty Assistance folks nearest my NOK (Next Of Kin)... that being, of course, the I-I staff at Fort Omaha. These guys are Marines... and we take care of our own... goes without saying. Soooooo... when the TWX is on the message board first thing in the morning, the guys read it... and since it happens to be someone they know, they swing into action immediately!... by calling the house, identifying themselves, and asking my wife if she is going to be home later in the morning because they need to come talk to her... at about 06:30 in the morning... as she is standing there with my daughter hanging on to her nightgown, holding my by then six-day old son in her arms. They showed up in a sedan promptly at 0800. Wife has always referred to that period as the longest hour and a half in her life... had the name on the TWX been unfamiliar, I am sure that they (the CACO team) would have handled the situation in routine professional fashion... but when it's somebody you know... it's a little different. At the time, I could have gone full Gy Ermey on them... later, as an I-I, having to make injury/death notifications, gained a new understanding of one of the hardest assignments (IMHO) that the Corps can assign.

Commandant Inspection Naha Circa 1961

Commandant Inspection Naha Circa 1961

One of the Marines in these pictures was awarded the MOH for his actions on Tarawa (hint... the older one)... the younger one has proved that cameras do lie, as I would never, ever, have had my thumb sticking up like that when returning an M-1 to order arms. (General Shoup, Commandant, inspecting Marine Barracks, Naha... circa 1961.)

Can also assure you that the bore of that rifle in the other picture was clean...

Ddick


Taps

Hi Sgt. Grit,

I found out last night that Chuck Tatum passed away at the age of 87.

As you may know already, Chuck wrote his account of the Iwo Jima campaign in the book 'Red Blood, Black Sand' which was made into a documentary on the History Channel, and was used as a reference in 'The Pacific' mini-series. In fact, Chuck was portrayed in 'The Pacific' by the red haired Marine trained by John Basilone in the fine art of machine guns! Chuck survived all that and lived a life many of us envied, as a sports car racer, designer and builder. It was through road racing that I met Chuck (his son is still racing) and he will be missed greatly. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions on Iwo Jima. He was also the past president of the Marine Corps Club in Stockton, CA.

Rest in Peace, Marine.

Dean Stoker
Sgt., MARPAC '56-'62


Lost And Found

Graduating class Platoon 256 Parris Island, SC. I am second row, third from right. If any Marine classmates would be interested in contacting me I can be reached at kat.gunny[at]comcast.net. I would really like to hear from you and catch up on old times.

Herbert P. Davis Jr. (GySgt USMC)

Plt 256 MCRD PI 1963


Doc Hall

Sgt. Grit,

I just finished reading this week's (25/26 June) newsletter, and in response to "MARINE Jim McCallum's (the ole gunny)" post concerning corpsmen, I thought I'd share a photo of "Doc" Hall. He was the ranking corpsman assigned to Lima 3/7 during the approximately six months (late December '66 to early June '67) that I had the privilege of serving as that company's Artillery Forward Observer from India 3/11. With a little luck, maybe one of your readers also served with him, and can give me an update on him.

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
1963-75 "for pay purposes:"
PLC candidate, summers of '63 & '65, while in college
Officer Basic School Class 4/66; USA Artillery School (Ft Sill, Ok) Class 5/66
Vietnam 4Dec66-18Dec67-- I/3/11: FO/FDO; 3d 8" How Btry HQ Unit: FDC WatchO
HQ Bn, FMFLant, Norfolk Va., ?Jan.1968-31May'69: Asst. Bn S4/EmbarcO Reserves Aug69-Oct75: C & D 4th Recon Bn (later combined and redesignated "C," 1/23), NAS Corpus Christi, TX (ExO of C Recon, CO of D Recon, second CO of C/1/23


Short Rounds

Thank you for providing the selection of options you have gave me. I just got the Chesty Puller book and so far it's one of the best books I've ever read.

David Kamp


Was good reading in the morning and now, it is great reading at the end of a rough day.

Thanks for a great letter.

Semper Fi
"Top C"
2154


I was with Golf 2/26 and we went "down" the nets in 1966! Nice start to my first tour!

Clyde Salley, USMC (Ret.)


"My Rifle is my Weapon, My Rifle is my Life, and when I go to sleep at night my Rifle is my Wife!"

Respectfully,
"For God and Country"
United States Marine Corps
"Semper Fi"


Previous issue you had the question "what do you miss most about the Corps?"... I think (Lt.Col) Ollie North nailed that one a while back, when he said he didn't miss the Corps, but he sure missed the Marines... works for me...

Ddick


Quotes

"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!"
--Maj.Gen. Frank Loww, U.S. Army


"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788


"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
--Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776


"[A] mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands."
--James Madison


"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines."
--Captured North Korean Major


On the phone: "motor pool... two-bys, four-bys, six-bys, and big ones that bend in the middle and go pshew!... if you can't truck it..."

"Hey diddle-diddle, straight up the middle."

"Close it up, close it up, azsholes to belly button, azsholes to belly button".

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 03 JUL 2014

In this issue:
• Life At War
• The Mustang... Somewhat A Maverick
• Easiest Job On Mess Duty

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Added some of your stickers (decals?) to my Jimmy... I was in Gitmo Bay October - December 1962...

Robert Heathorn


Life At War

Sgt. Grit,

One of the best times of being a Ordnance Man is when you take ordnance material back from the front lines to a rear Area where it will be repaired. In Korea, at the Punch Bowl, we took some tanks back to Masan, Korea where 1st Combat Service Group was. I was appointed one of the Train Guards and got to ride the train all the way back. Now as there were Guerrillas about we sometimes rode inside the tanks (mostly just for something to do) but when the train stopped to refuel coal and water we had the luxury of using the steam let off pipe to warm our "C's". We put them in an empty water expeditionary can and pulled the can up over the steam let off pipe. Then the engineer turned on the steam and heated our rations so hot we had to wait to open them. I took advantage of being a Train Guard by having my picture taken with the engineer (of course, he didn't want anything to do with it and sat on top). Korea was the first time, as I recall, it was legal to carry a camera, you weren't supposed to in WWII but guys did any way. I can still remember the bullets zinging off after hitting the Tank. How easy it was to enjoy the little things in life at War!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Independence Day Special

Stop by our showroom in Oklahoma City through Saturday, July 5th and receive a $10 gift certificate towards a future purchase when you spend $40 or more on your order. The gift certificate has no expiration date, but will not be valid until Monday, July 7, 2014.


In The Best Military Decorum

Having made many amphibious landings via the dreaded cargo net descent, with Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, in late 1959, all of 1960 and part of 1961, the one landing that stands out in my memory, is the landing on Kodiak Island in operation Totem Pole, November 1959.

As a member of the weapons platoon, I was a gunner on the 3.5 rocket launcher and was attached to the 1st platoon. We had been instructed by our platoon leader Lt. Robert Crabtree, a Marine's Marine,(Mustang) that we were to carry our launchers at sling arms down the cargo nets at the disembarkation station. The machine gunners were to send the .30 cals down via a line.

At zero-30 dark as h-ll hours we were in the first wave, therefore the first at the disembarkation station. The Navy Ensign at the station told me to lay my launcher on the deck. The Navy would tie it to the line and it would be lowered to the landing craft. I informed him that my orders were to carry the launcher down the net. His response was typical of an Ensign on his first maneuver, "I am ordering you to have it lowered with the machine guns."

A few minutes later as I was about half way down the net, I heard people yelling "heads up". A second later, even though it was dark outside I saw a 3.5 rocket launcher falling into the Bering Sea. I turned to a squad leader of first platoon, who happen to be to my right and I said, "Corporal I will give you 3 guesses whose launcher that was." Of course I was correct.

Returning to Camp Pendleton later that year, my squad leader and I were ordered to Battalion Headquarters for an inquiry on what had happened to my launcher. The Captain holding the inquiry insinuated because it was my launcher that was missing, I could possibly be responsible to pay for it. In the best military decorum that I could muster, I told the Captain that I followed orders of the Ensign and with all due respect the Ensign's pay was bigger than mine and the Marine Corps would get their money for the launcher faster from his pay. Never heard another word about the incident. I might add that in all subsequent landings we carried our launchers at sling arms down the nets.

Floyd White 1860xxx


I Remember Never Being So Happy

Greetings,

In response to Billy Myers letter in the last newsletter of 6-25 and Junior Helmers from the Newsletter of 6-18-14: The entire year, save December of 1969, I had the distinct honor of serving with HQ 11th Marines. In addition to 'The Grit', I count Junior Helmers among the friends I made in 1968 and 1969. Another dozen or so are also weekly readers of the Newsletter. Many of us, especially those who stood watch in the FDC, knew Lt. Brophy. I had the distinct HONOR of seeing him fly over my forward position on Band Hill the morning of 23 Feb 69. He and his Army WO Pilot and Army Gunner flew over our POS, quickly followed by a Gunship, and they gently rocked their rotors to let us know they saw us and were there to take care of the 6 of us.

The night before was the very first time I saw combat and it was the most frightening night, no make that the event of my life. I remember never being so happy as I was the morning of the 23rd. The first color I saw that day was a yellow flower. I picked it, put it in my helmet band, and I still have that flower to this day.

A month later I met Grit (I think Junior was already busy playing basketball with me) and some other dear dear friends who remain in constant contact over all the years.

Lt. Brophy was a real cut-up. Quick with a smile and quip. As mentioned, quite a few of us saw him almost daily in the FDC.

I just am still searching for the truth as to how, on or about 28Sept69 WO-1, Rennie (USA) 'lost' his LOH. Smile! It just vanished, but returned a day or so later. I seem to remember that there was a Mr. Butz involved in that disappearance as well.

OH, the good old days. I bet we all have some funny 'war' stories.

Fuller


This Mustang... Somewhat A Maverick

I recently was informed that Richard O. Culver has passed away at age 77. He was a career Marine and rose up through the ranks to become an officer. This "Mustang" was a colorful and outspoken character whose views often got him into trouble. I got to know him as he graciously agreed to let me interview him as I was putting together my latest book, "Marines, Medals and Vietnam". Major Culver served three consecutive tours in Vietnam that included the years 1966 to 1968. He was featured in the late Keith William Nolan's great book about Operation Buffalo which occurred in July of 1967. Culver was the commanding officer of H/2/3 during this action and earned the Silver Star.

Culver was somewhat a "Maverick" and he frequently expressed his disdain for the M-16 rifle that was forced upon the Marines in the early spring of 1967. The early ones simply did not function well in combat and cost many Marines their lives. My book contains a chapter about the problems of the M-16 in which Dick Culver is the major contributor. He hated that rifle and finally came to the conclusion that even the much improved current ones are nothing more than a "varmint rifle".

Major Culver spent his final years roughing it on a small ranch near Couer d'Alene, Idaho.

Rest in peace Marine for you surely earned it.

Semper Fidelis!

William L. "Billy" Myers
USMC 1960-1964


Easiest Job On Mess Duty

Enlisted ranks from E-1 to E-3 were subject to 90 days of extra duty detail a year in 30 day segments. These extra details were mess duty, guard duty, and barracks detail. Thirty days of guard duty at Kaneohe meant you would be assigned to the guard barracks and issued a .45 or riot gun to walk patrol around certain facilities such as the hangars at night or the special weapons depot. On barracks detail you would be assigned janitorial duty in your barracks for thirty days. The most odious of these extra duties was thirty days of mess duty... my number came up for thirty days mess duty.

As a mess man, morning muster was at 0400 which meant reveille was at 0300, and the work day went until 2000, seven days a week under the supervision of a mess sergeant. We were not allowed to quit for the day until the mess sergeant inspected the final clean up. This could stretch quitting time to much later. The work was dirty and unrelenting with hardly a break.

Our duties consisted of food preparation and clean up of three meals a day for the troops on the air wing side of the base. My first assignment was to the pot shack. As the name implies, this was where the pots and pans got scrubbed. One night, after the last meal and we were cleaning up, a late arriving group showed up for chow, the base basketball team just back from a local tournament. The mess sergeant had to open the doors for them, but we had already cleared the food from the serving carts. Most of the left-over food had been dumped into garbage cans and moved to the loading docks for trash disposal. The mess sergeant ordered us to open the garbage cans, sort through the slop, and spoon it back onto the serving trays for the late arrivals. They never knew what they were eating. This incident actually was very fortunate for me as it led to an easiest job on mess duty.

The absolute worst job in the pot shack was cleaning the large, flat pans used when they served fried chicken. It took major elbow grease to clean off the baked and hardened pieces of chicken and batter that stuck to the pans and utensils. One day after one of these meals, I had finally finished the cleaning job and called the mess sergeant over for inspection. This was the same sergeant who ordered slop to be fed to the late arrivals. He went over each pan and utensil before he found a microscopic piece of fried chicken stuck to a pair of tongs. He ranted and raged as if I were trying to poison the troops and told me to start all over cleaning every pan and utensil in the building. By now I was pretty salty and determined that I was not going to be intimidated by this guy, so I reminded him of his serving of slop from the garbage and strongly suggested that he reconsider his orders to me as the officer of the day would be very interested in the story. He stepped back a bit and told me to secure and go back to the barracks without doing what he had ordered. Next day he reassigned me to be the outside man, the best job in the mess hall, mowing the lawn and trimming the hedges in the fresh air and sunshine. I was lucky enough to never get another extra detail duty after that!

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Holier Than Thou

Sgt Grit,

In reply to "A Sad Story" about a draftee tricked into the Marine Corps. Remember, it doesn't matter how you got sent to boot camp, we all had to EARN the title MARINE. I served with enlisted, fellow draftees and court ordered MARINES. They are all MARINES. Many a draftee, due to only 2 years of service were grunts and did much of the fighting in Viet Nam. I know at least 5 who served with me who are on the wall and a fellow draftee, Walt Stevens, Sgt, 1/9, who earned the Silver Star. I was 0311 and earned the Combat Action Ribbon among others. The Viet Cong and NVA didn't really care how I got there. The recruiter, who I knew from the same neighborhood and knew I was being drafted picked four of us, two volunteered and only one of the volunteers was chosen. I was picked because I had talked to him about enlisting but didn't like the 3 or 4 year stint.

We have a little too much "Holier than Thou" attitude going around from time to time. We are all Marines who served where the Marine Corps thought we were needed. It doesn't matter if you were a grunt, air wing, sea going, headquarters, clerk or recon. Let's stick together and save our criticism for the others.

J Kanavy, Cpl. USMC


Marine Ink Of The Week

1 Oorah! My tribute to my time in Iraq.

Submitted by Bart Kirchner


Noise And Hearing

Seen some articles about hearing loss. These stories are true.

I was in 4.2 mortars for three years and most of it was as a gunner. Two of use would be only about a foot away from the blast. No hearing protection in 1953. Needless to say, hearing gone, a roaring sound all the time. But it just came with the job. I just wish we had today's type of hearing protection...

Semper-Fi

Sgt. Bob Holmes 1953-1956


Sgt. Grit,

In your last newsletter, Sgt. Gill wrote about being at Rifle Range, Camp Lejeune, where I spent quite a bit of my Time as 2nd MarDivRifle/Pistol Team Armorer. He said he had a hearing loss from shooting and some suspect he failed to use hearing protection the Marine Corps demanded of shooters at the time. However as a Rifle Team Armorer for many years I, also, have hearing problems... did I use Hearing Protection all those years... H-ll! I don't know!

I, too, have high Frequency hearing loss (with or without Tinnitus, as you will) and I have hearing aids which are about as useless as other things I have had to buy and use... BUT... they are great when you say, "WHAT?" because the people see the Hearing Aid and they automatically assume you are deaf and need further information. I'm not knocking hearing aids, H-ll I have to wear them and keep my ears clean and put drops in them because you are putting something into your ear and it automatically doesn't like anything shoved into them.

Most of the time they are a hindrance rather than an asset, as an example, watching TV, there are more clicks coming out of TV than you can imagine unless you are wearing hearing aids.

So what do you do? You wear the d-mn things and pretend you are happy with them and soon someone will invent a Hearing Aid that will help us, then we'll be happy as clams at a party.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Regarding the comments about Tinnitus: my first MOS was 0811... mine is so bad it wakes my WIFE up at night!

Pete Dahlstrom (currently mistakenly assigned to the civilian world)


Re rifle coach. Coach? Campaign hat?

I was a "Rifle Instructor" at Camp Lejeune most of 1953, never saw a campaign hat, had no hearing problems, then or now. Fired in "NRA High Power Rifle Regional Championship", 1953. 1st place 200 yd. rapid fire, 1st place 300 yd. rapid fire, tied for 1st place 300 yd. slow fire. All in my classification. Still no hearing problems, or cotton. Sorry for your problem.

Sgt. Conner, '51 to '54, 1161


SSgt Gill's submission about hearing loss brings back some "painful" memories for me, as with many other Marines, I'm sure.

I participated with the MCAS, Yuma, AZ rifle team during 1965 and '66, using a match-conditioned M1.

Got to travel all over Arizona and into Colorado for a lot of matches, usually sponsored by civilian rifle clubs. A couple of times we made the match at Black Canyon, outside of Phoenix. Received some "dust collector" awards there from the 1,000 yard line for "iron sights". Needless to say, I also have some hearing losses. Stuff some cotton in your ears and listen to the crack of the firing on each side of you.

Paul, if we could have come with the idea of the electronic ear protection used today, we would be millionaires by now!

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt (1949-1970)


Sergeant Grit,

Staff Sergeant Gill asked about other Marines suffering from High Frequency Sound Hearing Loss, similar to his experience. This Marine served during the same time frame as Gill. He also suffers from the same hearing losses, although DOD has never declared it a disability.

As did Gill, I too took advantage of the G I Bill benefits. During the enrollment process, in college, I was given a hearing test, which I failed, due to high frequency deafness. I was referred to a doctor of Otorhinolaryngology. This medical doctor asked me: "Did you serve the Marine Corps?" Answer: "Yes sir!" His response: "Your PMI instructed you to stuff cotton in your ears, right." "Yes sir!" "Well that, so called protection, did you absolutely no good at all." "Your hearing was not afforded any safeguard against the lifelong hearing damage and high frequency loss, which you now suffer from; it is irreversible."

So, the good doctor conveyed the following wisdom: "From now on, protect your hearing, whenever you are to be exposed to any noise levels, above 90 dB (A), wear industrial ear plugs and also wear, isolation around the ear, earmuff protection whenever you are around firearms anytime... protect what little high frequency hearing you have left."

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray
Corporal of Marines
1958 – 1962


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #7, #1)

This produced a very broad smile as she looked into my eyes and tried to think up an answer to my question. There were no words spoken for 3 to 4 minutes while we looked into each others eyes. I clearly had the advantage during this period. She was looking into a pair of fairly common, hazel colored eyes of a farm raised, Parris Island trained, Marine Sgt. But I was looking into a pair of large, medium blue eyes of a gorgeous blonde with attributes of which would make Venus jealous. Finally, she spoke. She said "When we were growing up nobody could tell us apart - not even our mother. After our father died we moved to Washington and bought the house on Garfield St. My mother re-married and had two more girls about 6 years apart. Neither my step-dad or these girls could tell us apart. We usually wore identical clothes when we went to school. Our classmates and teachers were confused. We were not allowed to date until we were 16 and we had many suitors. We usually double-dated and sometimes were known to switch between dates without them being the wiser. When the Junior-Senior Proms came around Bette and I were the finalists when it came time to choose a Prom Queen. The judges could not make a final decision between the two of us so we ended up with 2 Prom Queens each year, Bette and myself. In 1943 we were Cherry Blossom Princesses in the National Cherry Blossom Festival. And again the same thing was about to happen but the judges said there could not be 2 Queens. We voluntarily agreed to withdraw from the pageant - to let the next in line become the Queen. After we did this we were told that if only one of us had withdrawn the other would have been chosen Queen - but it was too late at that point. Does that answer your highly complimentary question?" I replied "I think it does."

Our escorts in the Pageant were seniors at the Naval Academy and we married them in a dual ceremony on graduation day. My husband had decided to become a U. S. Marine and Bette's husband, who had studied dentistry at the Academy, decided he was not interested in a military life. He was discharged and opened a dental practice in Arlandria, VA. "Do you know where that is?" I told her that I did. I told her "I did not see a picture of your husband in your wallet. She took out her wallet again and produced a picture from inside. When she showed it to me I could hardly believe my eyes. I asked "Why didn't you go down to see him off when he left?" She replied "How do you know I didn't?" I told her about my experience with the Troop Train Commander on Train #17. She was not surprised and said "That's Tommy!"

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #8 (Aug 2019)

Well, in my continuing efforts to keep everyone informed as they can be on MARINE Aviation and especially the Helicopter portion of the family, and some of it's beginnings. I was sent, what I thought was a very good article either posted or written by a gunny by the name of Gy/Sgt. Paul Moore, or, a gentleman by the name of Ken Kula which was posted by him for an online publication by the name of Photo recon. Now, I know that a lot of the readers of this Newsletter will never read what was posted on that site because it doesn't pertain to them. Nor, will they read what may appear on another helicopter orientated site entitled Pop-A-Smoke so, I thought that I'd send this offering off to Sgt. Grit for those oriented towards the ground forces to read. I might add that it's a little lengthy to read, so it may take several issues to get the entire story. I also want it clearly known that I deserve "no credit" for this article and it's contents. I've made contact with its author Gunny Moore, but not Ken Kula. And, I did receive Gunny Moore's blessings to go forward with my project. So, with that said, "Let's get this baby off the ground."

Historic Marine VMO-6 Flying Unit Gone, Not Forgotten

Marine Observations Squadron Six (VMO-6) can trace its origins back to it's formative years of MARINE Aviation. Active for less than half a century of MARINE CORPS aviation the squadron served during the 1920's Nicaraqua Campaign, World War II, the Korean War and finally through the 1960's in Vietnam. Thirty five years after it ceased operations, and in celebration of MARINE CORPS aviation's 100th anniversary, a monument to VMO-6 was dedicated in the Semper Fidelis Memorial Park at the National Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, Va. It Honors 66 men from VMO-6 who died as a result of hostile actions during the four aforementioned conflicts. Not only was the ceremony a tribute to those who had given their lives to their Country, but it was reunion of many Veterans who help make VMO-6 more then just a page in a history book. The direct lineage of VMO-6 begins in 1920 when 39 MARINES and a mixed bag of (6) six biplanes of Flight 'E', 3rd Air Squadron of the U.S. Marine Corps was activated at Quantico Barracks, VA. Their primary duties consisted of observation and providing training for MARINE Aviators. In July 1927, the unit was renamed MARINE Observation Squadron 6 (VO-6M) and early the following year, the unit was shipped to Nicaragua to assist in fighting the Sandinista rebels. During it's Nicaragua operations, VO-6M's duties grew to include visual and photographic reconnaissance, infantry liaison and message delivery, and emergency resupply of troops. Newly developed attack and dive bombing tactics were honed in support of MARINES on the ground.

To be continued in next week...


Operation Colorado

Operation Colorado, August, 1966, 1/5 and 3/5, and don't recall who all else. I had left MCRD SD with orders to Staging Bn, etc. earlier in the year... and a couple of other DI's that I knew got orders to the I-I staff with the Reserve Engineer company that was based at Fort Omaha... smallish installation, mostly brick buildings, probably has some interesting history. My pregnant wife and toddler daughter were to be well cared for, as her parents had plenty of room at their house in Omaha, basically just a mile or two up 30th from the Fort. So far, so good... then, on the 9th of August, somewhere northwest of Tam Ky, in the wee hours, we took mortar and recoilless rifle fire. Long story short, I managed to make an up close and personal connection with a few mortar fragments... not a BFD (although Joe B might have thought so), and it was what used to be recorded as "WIANE" or "Wounded In Action, Not Evacuated". (have hurt myself worse when shaving with a hangover... and a 'safety razor') However... I had neglected to check the "Do Not Notify NOK in case of... whatever... box on the old RED. (Record of Emergency Data) form... so... that meant the finely functioning bureaucratic chain would swing into action, because our Doc filled out a medical tag, generating a TWIX (Naval Message) to the Casualty Assistance folks nearest my NOK (Next Of Kin)... that being, of course, the I-I staff at Fort Omaha. These guys are Marines... and we take care of our own... goes without saying. Soooooo... when the TWX is on the message board first thing in the morning, the guys read it... and since it happens to be someone they know, they swing into action immediately!... by calling the house, identifying themselves, and asking my wife if she is going to be home later in the morning because they need to come talk to her... at about 06:30 in the morning... as she is standing there with my daughter hanging on to her nightgown, holding my by then six-day old son in her arms. They showed up in a sedan promptly at 0800. Wife has always referred to that period as the longest hour and a half in her life... had the name on the TWX been unfamiliar, I am sure that they (the CACO team) would have handled the situation in routine professional fashion... but when it's somebody you know... it's a little different. At the time, I could have gone full Gy Ermey on them... later, as an I-I, having to make injury/death notifications, gained a new understanding of one of the hardest assignments (IMHO) that the Corps can assign.

One of the Marines in these pictures was awarded the MOH for his actions on Tarawa (hint... the older one)... the younger one has proved that cameras do lie, as I would never, ever, have had my thumb sticking up like that when returning an M-1 to order arms. (General Shoup, Commandant, inspecting Marine Barracks, Naha... circa 1961.)

Can also assure you that the bore of that rifle in the other picture was clean...

Ddick


Taps

Hi Sgt. Grit,

I found out last night that Chuck Tatum passed away at the age of 87.

As you may know already, Chuck wrote his account of the Iwo Jima campaign in the book 'Red Blood, Black Sand' which was made into a documentary on the History Channel, and was used as a reference in 'The Pacific' mini-series. In fact, Chuck was portrayed in 'The Pacific' by the red haired Marine trained by John Basilone in the fine art of machine guns! Chuck survived all that and lived a life many of us envied, as a sports car racer, designer and builder. It was through road racing that I met Chuck (his son is still racing) and he will be missed greatly. He was awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions on Iwo Jima. He was also the past president of the Marine Corps Club in Stockton, CA.

Rest in Peace, Marine.

Dean Stoker
Sgt., MARPAC '56-'62


Lost And Found

Graduating class Platoon 256 Parris Island, SC. I am second row, third from right. If any Marine classmates would be interested in contacting me I can be reached at kat.gunny[at]comcast.net. I would really like to hear from you and catch up on old times.

Herbert P. Davis Jr. (GySgt USMC)


Sgt. Grit,

I just finished reading this week's (25/26 June) newsletter, and in response to "MARINE Jim McCallum's (the ole gunny)" post concerning corpsmen, I thought I'd share a photo of "Doc" Hall. He was the ranking corpsman assigned to Lima 3/7 during the approximately six months (late December '66 to early June '67) that I had the privilege of serving as that company's Artillery Forward Observer from India 3/11. With a little luck, maybe one of your readers also served with him, and can give me an update on him.

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; always a Marine
1963-75 "for pay purposes:"
PLC candidate, summers of '63 & '65, while in college
Officer Basic School Class 4/66; USA Artillery School (Ft Sill, Ok) Class 5/66
Vietnam 4Dec66-18Dec67-- I/3/11: FO/FDO; 3d 8" How Btry HQ Unit: FDC WatchO
HQ Bn, FMFLant, Norfolk Va., ?Jan.1968-31May'69: Asst. Bn S4/EmbarcO Reserves Aug69-Oct75: C & D 4th Recon Bn (later combined and redesignated "C," 1/23), NAS Corpus Christi, TX (ExO of C Recon, CO of D Recon, second CO of C/1/23


Short Rounds

Thank you for providing the selection of options you have gave me. I just got the Chesty Puller book and so far it's one of the best books I've ever read.

David Kamp


Was good reading in the morning and now, it is great reading at the end of a rough day.

Thanks for a great letter.

Semper Fi
"Top C"
2154


I was with Golf 2/26 and we went "down" the nets in 1966! Nice start to my first tour!

Clyde Salley, USMC (Ret.)


"My Rifle is my Weapon, My Rifle is my Life, and when I go to sleep at night my Rifle is my Wife!"

Respectfully,
"For God and Country"
United States Marine Corps
"Semper Fi"


Previous issue you had the question "what do you miss most about the Corps?"... I think (Lt.Col) Ollie North nailed that one a while back, when he said he didn't miss the Corps, but he sure missed the Marines... works for me...

Ddick


Quotes

"The safest place in Korea was right behind a platoon of MARINES. LORD, how they could fight!"
--Maj.Gen. Frank Loww, U.S. Army


"Let us recollect that peace or war will not always be left to our option; that however moderate or unambitious we may be, we cannot count upon the moderation, or hope to extinguish the ambition of others."
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 34, 1788


"Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed."
--Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776


"[A] mere demarcation on parchment of the constitutional limits of the several departments, is not a sufficient guard against those encroachments which lead to a tyrannical concentration of all the powers of government in the same hands."
--James Madison


"Panic sweeps my men when they are facing the American Marines."
--Captured North Korean Major


On the phone: "motor pool... two-bys, four-bys, six-bys, and big ones that bend in the middle and go pshew!... if you can't truck it..."

"Hey diddle-diddle, straight up the middle."

"Close it up, close it up, azsholes to belly button, azsholes to belly button".

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Liberty May Commence
• Old Japanese Zero Pilot
• Great Mustang Officer

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CMOH recipient Cpl William Kyle Carpenter

On 19 June 2014, Cpl William Kyle Carpenter, USMC (Ret.) was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on 21 November 2010 while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with F Co, 2d Bn, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st MarDiv (fwd), I MEF (fwd), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Carpenter is a shining example of what it means to be a United States Marine. Upholding Marine Corps customs, courtesies, and traditions that are the fabric of our illustrious history that is best defined by our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, KJV).

Job well done Marine. As every Marine knows, just as our title and rank are earned, so too are our awards and decorations.

Semper Fidelis CMOH Marine!

(Photo taken by Cpl. Michael C. Guinto)


Deep Sixed

Cpl Selders on Amtrack Operations off of an LST

Ddick: Once again Ddick has become my Muse regarding Amtrack operations off an LST. The one part of the launch he doesn't mention (because it's not apparent to those riding inside is the "deep six" portion which involves the tractor accelerating down the ramp and actually going 5 or 6 feet under water before bobbing to the surface (hopefully) and heading for the rendezvous circle. This is a little intimidating the first couple of times its done, but being Marines we would see how deep we could go. I think I've related this story before but here it is again. A second LT. platoon leader pulled me aside and asked where the driest place was inside when we launched because the cargo doors on top of the tractor weren't water tight and became a torrent while getting off the ship. I assured him that the driest place would be sitting on the machine gun platform in the front. Just above the platform was the machine gun turret with the gun taken out, it was rotated to the rear and a redwood plug was inserted where the barrel went. I told my crewman to rotate the turret to the front and remove the plug. As we "deep sixed" off the ramp a solid stream of cold seawater shot from the hole into the chest of the 2nd. LT. I kept my eyes glued to my vision block but snuck a peep to see how it went. He was staring at me with fire in his eyes but I'm sure he never asked to be kept dry while part of his platoon was getting wet. Ya gotta love 'em!

Ddick is right on the traffic signals on LST's, the older ships had them mounted horizontally over the ramp door. On the newer (post Korea) ships it was on the driver's side and mounted vertically. The WWII LST's had no turn table so you had to drive the tractor just in front of the ramp where a sailor would heave a "monkey fist" connected to a throw line that was in turn connected to two haul lines that the Amtrack crew would place on the rear cleats. You were then literally hauled to the ramp by the ship's crew until contact was made with the ramp and you reversed aboard. The newer ships had "turn tables". You drove straight up the ramp, through the bow doors and onto the "turn table". The table turned the tractor around and you backed into your slot on the tank deck. We carried "Grunts", chow, Artillery, Mortars anything that needed to go ashore. The picture is for SGT. GRIT, the cannon cocker.

Cpl. Selders


USMC Auto Accessories


Liberty May Commence

Thursday was field day in the barracks. After work at the hangar everybody had to turn to and clean the barracks. No liberty allowed until the OD inspected and approved the field day. Thursday was also linen survey day when we turned in our old sheets and pillow cases. It usually lasted about an hour, but one day we had a particularly chickensh-t OD who walked into each squad bay wearing white gloves. He raised one white gloved index finger, swiped it as if testing the air, and declared the barracks filthy. "Do it over" he said, turned around and left the barracks, telling the duty NCO to call him when he thought it was clean enough and not to issue liberty cards until he approved of the field day. This had the natural effect of p-ssing off the troops, but one of the guys took it to the next level. He went outside and collected palm branches and cut some twigs and vines from the foliage in the yard and wove them together making a green garland several yards in length. Then he strewed this over the wall lockers and racks in his cubicle just before the OD came back for another inspection. When the OD (a fresh lieutenant) got to his cubicle he just stood there for a minute or so, almost apoplectic, and stammering. Our hero just stood by his rack at ease. Luckily, this time around the Lt. was accompanied by our Maintenance officer, a mustang Major who was older and wiser. The Major was a former enlisted man who appreciated the humor of the situation and got a great laugh out of it. He declared field day over and liberty may commence.

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


We All Marched A Little Differently

The story told by Cpl. Bender of a recruit getting some encouragement in rope climbing at the point of a bayonet reminded me of an incident that happened while I was in boot camp at San Diego.

My platoon had a similar sh-tbird who was not able to do anything correctly except shoot. After the rifle range where he shot the highest score of anyone he was given a lot of slack by the DIs. During our final PT test we were to climb a thick rope that had knots in it. We also wore a full field combat pack, carried an M-1 rifle & wore a helmet. When you get to the top you hit the cross bar with your hand and then climb down within a given time. When our platoon sh-tbird tried, he got near the top and we were all yelling at him to hit the cross bar. He did, but he used both hands. This caused him to slide down the rope causing each knot to hit his jewels. He was unconscious when he hit the bottom. The Corpsmen took him to the hospital where he stayed for a couple of days. Upon his return we were all concerned and even the DIs took a "little" pity upon him. That night, when we took our showers, we could not help but notice the black & blue sack that was the same size as you would see on a bull used for breeding. When we marched back to our platoon area I think we all marched a little differently so we could give our jewels a little extra room.

He was a good person, never once dropped out of anything, always gave a full measure. Like many of us he was overweight. But unlike the rest of us, he never lost any weight. He was uncoordinated and a can or two short of a six-pack, but he was a near perfect shot with an M-1. He shot in the high 270s out of 300. A perfect Marine rifleman.

Sincerely,
Jim Brower - 1977---
L/Cpl 1961-64


High Frequency Sound Hearing Loss

I was a rifle range coach and block NCO from the fall of 1955 until the spring of 1957 at Camp Lejeune (yes, back in those days, coaches wore campaign hats just like the DIs). The only thing we had to protect our hearing back then was cotton and sometimes that wasn't available. From the fall of 1957 until the spring of 1958 I was a member of the Third Marine Division Rifle and Pistol Team. Once again I was around rifle and pistol fire every day with no good way to protect my hearing. Suffice it to say I developed a hearing loss (inability to hear higher frequency sounds). I really wasn't aware of it because it only affected me at certain times. After four years of active duty and eight years of active Reserve time the problem became more apparent, but no Corpsman ever raised the issue with me.

Beginning in 1964 most of us expected to be activated for Viet Nam just as the Reserves were for Korea in 1950 but we never were. Secretary of Defense McNamara apparently decided against calling up the Reserves for fear that the American public might think we were in a real war. I often wondered if we had been activated how I would have fared with my hearing loss in a combat situation. Of course, I'll never know. I felt grateful for the GI Bill which gave me the opportunity for a successful career in higher education and my disability did not especially hinder me in my work. Hearing aids would have been of no help since they only amplified the low frequency sounds I already could hear fine. Of course I frequently had to ask people to repeat what they said and that usually made them angry.

At a party with a lot of background noise I could hardly hear anything someone was telling me and usually that just meant nodding affirmatively to whatever was said. But sometimes the person really didn't want me to agree with what he/she said (i.e. "I guess I'm just a no-good SOB" to which I would nod affirmatively). I was just wondering if anyone who was a coach or a team shooter during the 1960s or 1970s might have had similar experiences.

Paul E. Gill
S/Sgt. 1954-66

Note:

It is called Tinnitus. Not much they can do for it. I have it also, from artillery, and constant radio squelch in the ear when on watch. I have been going to the VA for 40 years every few years to have my ears checked. Nothing new to correct or abate.

Sgt Grit


A Marine

This is from my Vietnam tank company 1st Sgt.

A MARINE can build a house from the roof down.
When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from a MARINE.
Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of MARINES is called Logic.
A MARINE doesn't call the wrong number. You answered the wrong phone.
There used to be a street named after the MARINES, but it was changed because nobody crosses the MARINES and lives.
Most Marines have a grizzly bear carpet in their room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.
The MARINES have already been to Mars; that's why there are no signs of life.
Some magicians can walk on water, MARINES can swim through land.
Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell MARINE CORPS stories.
A MARINE and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.
A MARINE can cut through a hot knife with butter.
A MARINE once urinated in a semi truck's gas tank as a joke... that truck is now known as Optimus Prime.
A MARINE doesn't flush the toilet, he scares the sh-t out of it.
Death once had a near-MARINE experience.
A MARINE counted to infinity – twice.
The MARINES are the reason why Waldo is hiding.
A MARINE won American Idol using only sign language.
Once the cop pulled over A MARINE... the cop was lucky to leave with a warning.
A MARINE can slam a revolving door.
A MARINE won the World Series of Poker using Pokemon cards.
When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for US MARINES.
A MARINE will never have a heart attack. His heart isn't nearly foolish enough to attack him.
A MARINE can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
A MARINE once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.
A MARINE once got bit by a rattle snake... After three days of pain and agony... the rattle snake died.
There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals The MARINES allows to live.
When A MARINE does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.
A MARINE can light a fire by rubbing two ice-cubes together.
A MARINES' hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
A MARINE doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
When a MARINE throws you into a bottomless pit, you hit the bottom.
A MARINE doesn't wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.
A MARINE does not sleep. He waits.
A MARINE once made a Happy Meal cry.
Prisons don't keep society safe from criminals. Prisons keep criminals safe from the MARINES, for now.
Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with US MARINES.
When a MARINE is born, the only person crying was the doctor. You NEVER slap a MARINE.
If A Marine's weapon were to ever run out of ammo, his weapon would continue to fire out of fear of disappointing the MARINE.
A MARINE called 911 to order Chinese food and got it.
Guns are warned not to play with the MARINES.
A MARINE runs until the treadmill gets tired.
A MARINE doesn't mow his lawn, he dares his grass to grow.
A MARINE can give aspirin a headache.

Sgt John Wear


First lieutenant Daniel Robert Brophy

Sgt. Grit,

First lieutenant Daniel Robert Brophy earned the Silver Star medal while flying as an Aerial Observer with the 11th Marines on the morning of 23 February, 1969. He was flying aboard an Army helicopter when he distinguished himself on a dangerous recon mission. I have a copy of the citation and his name appears in my latest book about Marines in Vietnam entitled "Marines, Medal's and Vietnam".

Semper Fidelis!
William L. "Billy" Myers 1906xxx


I read with interest Doug Helmers story about Lt. Brophy. Could Lt. Brophy have been a drill instructor in 1963 at San Diego? We had a Sgt. Brophy. I saw him later in 1967 with 1st Lt. bars on him at Camp Pendleton. I heard later from a former drill instructor friend of mine that he thought Lt. Brophy was injured badly in Vietnam.

I remember Sgt. Brophy had us recruits hold our M-14's out in front of us with both arms extended, while he held out an M-14 with just one arm extended. He held it out until all of us dropped our arms. He was tough.

Sgt. C. Jones 1963-67
RVN 1966


Marine Corps Beer Bottle Art

Drink them dry, Semper Fi!

Sgt John Wear

Empty beer bottles formed to resemble Eagle, Globe, and Anchor


Old Japanese Zero Pilot

I have been a collector of Military stuff for a lot of years, before I retired, and remembering some of the stuff I worked with I wish I had saved some of the stuff I've been issued, like the Khaki uniform Blouse. After I retired I collected some Marine Corps Items at Gun shows and Military Shows.

At one of the Gun Shows years ago I met a Japanese Military Collector who had been a Zero Pilot during the War. Now I gotta tell you that when we were going to Korea, the ship dumped us in Japan and we took a train to the Japanese coast closest to Korea and during that two week period in Japan, waiting and riding the train, I met all kinds of Japanese that told me they had been Zero Pilots. Even one of the Conductors on the train said he had been a Zero Pilot and I am always suspicious of a Japanese who says he was a Zero Pilot, but Kelly Okha had been and I saw lots of things that showed me he had been what he said, he even flew a plane in the movie "Tora, Tora, Tora".

Kelly Okha (my wife always called him Mr. Okha because he always looked so distinguished) collected Military items including some very valuable items, like he had a NIB "Nambu" pistol. Kelly and I had a friendship going back many years and during the gun shows he would come to our table and rest and sometimes leave stuff under our table so he didn't have to carry it. At one Gun Show Pappy Boyington was there selling his Book, I watched two old pilots chatting up a storm, who could interrupt that?

A few years back Kelly called me and asked me to meet him at his storage locker. When I got there he looked a bit tired, he said, "Frank I want you to sell some of my Military stuff, I've got to get rid of some of these items." In the next few weeks I sold a lot of his collection of American, Japanese and German Military gear. I sold several Japanese Pilot Uniforms (Made with rabbit fur), guns, even ejection seats from more modern aircraft.

He called one day at my house and said he had some more stuff for me to pick up could I come over. I told him I would be there the next day, but when I got there I found he had died the night before. I had met only a son and for just a moment, so didn't know his family and I was really down about it. My Wife said, "What did you do when you lost a friend before, do it again." So, I saluted his memory and have it tucked into my mind about an Old Japanese Zero Pilot who became my Very Good Friend.

Frank Rousseau


Let Out A Whoop

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Worked in HDQRS MC, Wash. DC a long time ago it seems. The Marines had a way to get things done - maybe not completely orthodox - but do-able just the same. We would load up a truck for supplies for various destinations Monday to Friday - as each day was a different location - and the system worked for us Marines - we also received deliveries from various civilian shippers as well. A happy harmony was met with the two opposite ends of our society.

Unfortunately both went out of kilter at the increase of escalation for the situation in Vietnam here in the states - we had emergency situations even in our supply chain?

First the Civilian end - Jacobs Transfer had a motto - "We will transfer anything - anywhere at any time?" One driver told me when he started his run in Baltimore, Md. one morning with a loaded truck - and 5 stops - the last for us - all went well until the truck swayed and almost turned over on the Beltway! He looked in the back of the truck and saw an elephant struggling with being chained to the sides of the truck?

We in the Marines had a lesser problem - but a serious problem as well - We had REMF - toadies - asz kissers - promising the world to all senior to them - and we the low NCO's had to deal with unusual aftermath as well. We had a schedule and the system worked - as we went to the Naval Weapons Plant one day - one day Henderson Hall - and the rest of the week we delivered to the Naval Annex - but our asz kissing retired Master Sgt. promised the world to everyone and screwed up our system? Hey, we even went to the Pentagon on occasion - and caused an incident as well - The Secretary of the Navy wanted a new chair with his new desk - sooooo we Marines had to pick up the old chair and deliver a new one the same day? It screwed up our schedule that day - but RHIP (rank has its privileges) A Navy Captain rode our aszes from the delivery dock to the office of (His Highness).

We delivered the chair and a Captain even sat in it behind the desk and had us adjust the settings on the chair. We left with an escort of some entourage of an Ensign and a petty officer who were afraid we would tell someone that the SECNAV got a new chair? Well my fellow Marines I was with Crazy Willard Ranson - and my fellow Marine decided that he would like to ride the chair down one of the Rings or sloped walkways between levels? He Jumped In The Chair and Let Out A Whoop - and pushed my hands away and went barreling down the sloped walkway - the Ensign and the petty officer went apesh-t, and I was laughing my asz off - Willie almost took out a few senior civilians as well as some officers and one pretty Wave? The MP's escorted us out of the Pentagon to our truck - and the Ensign (who was a cool guy - told us not to worry) he would take care of us - but in the future I was told leave Willie at home for the next visit!

As I said in prior articles, You can't make this SH-T up. Hope you enjoyed this and I know all of us have funny incidents to relate about our experiences as well!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963- 1967
Vietnam Era Marine


IOD Sites

Sgt Grit at IOD site in Vietnam

Here is your intrepid editor standing watch at one of the IOD sites 40+ years ago. I don't remember which one. Actually I don't remember the names of any of them. I visited all of them over a 4 week period to help with comm issues. Does anyone remember the names of these hills with the IODs. There would be 8-10 grunts, a Sgt or SSgt and a Lt. Usually a couple of 60's and a .50 Cal., that was it.

Sgt Grit


Marine Math

The Korean War, in which the Marine Corps fought and won some of its most brutal battles, was not without its gallows humor.

During one such conflict a ROK (Republic of Korea) commander, whose unit was fighting along with the Marines, called legendary Marine General Chesty Puller, to report a major Chinese attack in his sector. "How many Chinese are attacking you?" asked Puller." Many, many Chinese!" replied the excited Korean officer.

General Puller asked for another count and got the same answer, "Many, many, many Chinese!"

"X*#dammit!" swore Puller, "Put my Marine liaison officer on the radio."

In a minute, an American voice came over the air: "Yes sir?"

"Lieutenant," growled Chesty, "exactly how many Chinese you got up there?"

"General, we got a whole sh-t load of Chinese up here!"

"Thank God." exclaimed Puller, "At least there's someone up there who knows how to count."

Willy Carroll
'63 - '89


Great Mustang Officer

Grit,

The best Mustang, and best officer for that matter, that I ever worked for (on Okinawa) was Gary O. Thompson. When I first met him, he was a Warrant Officer and we all called him "WOGOT" (except when the higher brass was around). Then, when he was commissioned, we called him "LiTGOT". And when he made Captain, we called him "CAPGOT". But, when he made Major, nobody ever dreamed of calling him "MAGOT"!

Another great Mustang officer that I worked with, not for, at Pendleton, was a female LT named Linda. I can't recall her last name at the moment. She was extremely intelligent (our computer security officer), beautiful (she had been a winner in the miss Florida beauty contest), and one heck of a quarterback for our weekend flag football group. And, with a great personality as well, this lady had it all!

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82


A Very Sad Story

I heard a very, very sad story at Camp Lejeune during one of my stints there. I ran into a guy at a slop chute who was called to his draft center. He, along with many others, were sitting in a large room when an Army Sergeant walked in and earnestly asked, "Is there anybody here who really doesn't want to be in the Army?"

He and five others raised their hands. "Come with me. You six are now in the Marine Corps."

Rick Feinstein, Sgt USMCR '63—'69


Goodnight Chesty

I was in platoon 1006, formed July 6, 1969, at PI. One of my junior DI's was a Sgt McKeon. He was a helo mech and wore combat air crew wings. This meant a lot to me because I had joined as an aviation Marine. One night, Sgt. McKeon told us the story of his father, the famous SSgt McKeon who led the Ribbon Creek night patrol, in 1956, which resulted in the drowning of 6 recruits. He said Chesty Puller was a character witness at his father's court martial. This only endeared this DI to me even more.

That is my close encounter with Chesty Puller.

Goodnight, Chesty, wherever you are.

Lanny Cotton
Sgt - USMC 1969-1973


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #4)

I got out of the car and went around to open her door. She got out and her son had climbed over the back of the front seat to follow her. I closed the door. They were standing on the sidewalk. I walked over and picked her son up and tossed him onto my shoulders. He started laughing and she gave me a rather peculiar look. We headed for the restaurant and I told S_____ to lean down. I ducked down, too, so he would not bump his head. As soon as we entered a hostess said to S_____ "I see your Dad is giving you a ride." 'Kitty' laughed at that. She asked if we preferred a table or a booth. I answered "A booth please." She led us to a booth. 'Miss Kitty' sat down first and her son sat next to her. I sat facing them. The waitress said "Our specialty is Burgers and Fries and tonight we do have AUCE Fish and Chips - or we have a full menu if you prefer." Kitty asked for a menu. Her son said "I want the Burger and Fries." She looked at the childrens part of the menu and said "Wouldn't you rather have Mac and Cheese?" He said "Oh, yes, I'll have that." She chose a Turkey Club on white toast. And the waitress looked at me. I said "The Calves Liver sounds good. How much would I get?" She said "We have two sizes, a lunch portion is 8oz with bacon OR onions and mashed potatoes for $2.25 or a dinner portion is 12 oz with bacon AND onions and mashed potatoes for $2.75." I said "I'll have the dinner portion." We had two iced teas and a small Pepsi. But no desserts.

While we were waiting for our food she asked me "What is the reason you go to Washington every weekend?" I responded "I'll let you in on a secret. I don't go to Washington every weekend - but I tell everyone I do because that is as far as we are supposed to go on a regular weekend. My home is 140 miles further in New Jersey. But even that is not the end of the line. My high school sweetheart, with whom I have been going steady for 4 years, is a model in New York City - another 88 miles - and I get there at 0200 every Saturday morning. And then at 0600 we drive south 88 miles to our homes. We reverse this at 1400 on Sunday. I drive 1500 miles each weekend." She was absolutely amazed at this.

Our food arrived. While eating, she said "You must have a picture of your girlfriend?" I said "Yes" and I took out my wallet to show her. She gave her the once over and said "She sure is pretty - isn't she" - as she showed the picture to her son. He was only 5 but said "Wow! Yes!" I said "I've shown you my pictures. Now you show me yours. She took out her wallet and showed me pictures of her sisters. She had three of them. I looked at them closely and said "This one is of you." She said "No. That is my twin sister. I just looked at her for a moment or so and said "Can you look me straight in the eye and tell me that there really is another woman on this planet as beautiful as yourself?"

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #7 (Jul, 2019)

I had already planned on stopping here and not doing any more copies of "the Flight Line" when I received the latest issue of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter. After one of the most recent issues there was a note from him (Sgt. Grit) that indicated that he'd like to have some different stories about MARINES that had help shape their lives and he was looking for other then D.I.'s. I really didn't think anymore about it until in the next few days I got an E-mail from an old Squadron Mate and it eluded to the feats and attitudes of the Navy Corpsman assigned to our units. Now, these E-mails were of a general nature and no specific names (just two) were given. Plus, they were in circulation with a picture of a Corpsman and under it was the caption "Corpsman" because, "Bad Mother F—k-r" isn't an official job title in the Navy.

Well, that got me to thinking. Those Corpsmen that I served and flew with were without a doubt, angles that were assigned to watch over all the MARINES that they could. I don't have to tell any of you that you could always count on the "Doc" to take care of you when things didn't go the way that they were planned. He'd be right there by your side thru the whole ordeal, and he'd find you, and stay with you, when you needed him most. Now, I was fortunate enough never to need the services that "The Doc" provided, but I've seen them perform their magic on the many unfortunate souls that I transported during Med-e-vacs. These guy's should all be given the highest awards that there are, just for doing their job. I also remember when I was on Recruiting Duty I had one young man came into the office and all he wanted to be was a MARINE Medic like his friend was. But, little did he know that we didn't have MARINE MEDICS, instead, we had Navy Corpsman. Now, once he found that out, he wasn't as enthused as he was in the beginning. But, we later got him hooked up with our sister service Recruiter (Navy), and all was well after that. I talked to him later when he was on leave and he did get assigned to the Field Medic Course at Camp Del Mar and later became one of the most called upon guy's in the unit. But, that's what he wanted to do, why not... I'm also sure he made a good "Doc". It seems that they all do.

Now, in my 20 years in the Corps you'd think that I'd remember at least one of the "Doc's" that I served with, but I've shaken the ole "Brain Bucket" and there has been not one name that has surfaced. All that I remember is that you always want one of these angles near you when "that famous brown commodity hits the whirling blades".

I'd like to close this by saying that I and many like me feel that the CORPS and it's Corpsmen are the team to beat, but you'd better be ready for a hell-of-a fight. Many a MARINE will say Thank GOD For NAVY CORPSMEN! An asset to any unit, and the CORPS.


Oblate Spheroid Reproductive Organs

About 1960 (and for a few years thereafter) there was a small Marine Barracks, attached to a Naval Air Facility which was on an Air Force Base on Okinawa... Naha, specifically. (We also had an Army Nike missile battery aboard... gotta remember, this was at the height of the Cold War.) We Marines, 57 in all, were there to guard the Navy's nuclear weapons, stored on a small island just off the southwest corner of the runway. The island, Senaga Shima by name, could ordinarily be accessed by either of two slightly elevated causeways that ran across the coral tidal flats from the main part of the base, meeting in a 90 degree corner just at the corner of the Navy ammunition storage area. This area contained the AUW shop (Atomic Underwater Weapons... tricky name, huh?. At the time, the US more or less owned the island, and we really didn't care, only 15 years after the end of WWII, whether the Japanese knew we had nukes there or not... (we did... I think... never actually saw one during a 18-month tour). Along with the AUW shop, there was a magazine area, which looked a great deal like one of those self-storage rental places... flat roof, roll-up garage type doors... and two small buildings for the sentries use. The sentry building at the gate was two story, had bullet-proof glass and steel doors. The sentry on the topside post locked himself in, had both a radio and a telephone, and a pretty snazzy alarm panel that could indicate the presence of an intruder within ten feet of the electric fence that ran around the whole place. The sentry on the deck worked the sally port and the main gate... after you presented your magic ID, along with the day's password. He would walk back inside to check the ID under a special light, then 'buzz' you in.

Duty was four on, eight off, day on, day off, with the guard sections being the Port and Starboard sections. Each of the three reliefs consisted of four (later five, when an outside post was added) sentries, a supernuts (supernumerary) and a Corporal of the Guard. In a rather unusual arrangement, the Corporal of the Guard would muster his relief, then drive them from the barracks (actually a collection of six Quonset huts, one being the head/showers) to the island, relieve the preceding watch, then return the three miles or so to the guard shack to man his desk, where he had a radio and a telephone. The island checked in every fifteen minutes, alternating between the radio and the landline. If they missed, or were late, the Corporal of the Guard triggered an alarm in the duty section barracks... this caused an azzhole and elbows evolution, whereby the other two reliefs and the Sergeant of the Guard grabbed their weapons... M1's, and for the SOG, the .45 he wore, along with a big box, somewhat like a carpenter's tool box, full of ammo, piled into the relief trucks and headed out to reinforce the on-watch relief. There were two routes to get there... one around the north end of the runway, the other parallel to the flight line, base headquarters, etc. and across the shorter causeway. Both entries to the causeways had gates, which were manned by Okinawan civilian guards... in uniform, armed with a .30 caliber carbine... and a big, toothy German Shepard. Routinely, the vehicle stopped, and all hands displayed their passes, and the guard would open the gate. They were trained to just open the gate and get out of the way if the approaching vehicle was running its roof-mounted rotating red light. One of the vehicles was a Dodge van (no side windows) with bench seats along both sides, and the other was a Suburban type with 3 rows of seats. The SOG had a '58 Chevy half-ton pickup. There would be the occasional report of the lights having been turned on for no reason other than messing with the gate guard... usually resulted in a threat of office hours and a lecture from the Gunny...

We would periodically have reaction drills... and when it was a drill, even with the lights on, the speed limit was 35MPH. The fact that it was a drill and not Mongol Hordes coming across the tidal flats and up the seawall, was not known until the trucks were loaded... when we'd be advised over the radio, and then proceed (at 35 MPH) to the island, take up defensive positions, etc.

Starboard section was 'on' one fine day, and Cpl (E-3) Keefe and his relief had the 8 to 12, when the Guard Officer walked into the guard shack and told Keefe to sound the alarm for a drill... so he did... but... he neglected to advise the trucks that it was a drill!... The drivers chose the shorter route... right past the Base HQ, just as the AF Colonel who owned the joint happened to be walking out, in time to see two Navy gray trucks with gumball machines alight, pass him at an oblate spheroid reproductive organs against the vertical bulkhead speed. This seemed to pique his curiosity... so he walked back inside, grabbed a phone, and called the Marine Barracks. Keefe, being on duty, got the phone call... and, shifting the roughly half-package of Red Man to the other cheek, of course, answered "Marine Barracks... Corporal Keefe speaking, Sir"... the Colonel identified himself, and inquired as to what was going on? (I don't think AF Colonels use the same kind of language in those situations as a Marine Colonel might... but I digress)... Keefe, nonchalantly confident that 'his boys' had things well under control, said "Oh, it's just a drill, sir"...

The Colonels' next call was to our CO... have never seen a Major doing a rug dance in front of a Colonel, much less an Air Force type... but I'm sure it wasn't pretty...

Keefe survived... and fortunately for me, the Port Section Leader, he, and the other culprits, were in Starboard section... my counterpart, CPL (E-4) Roy Knight's section... and the weapons were still secure.

Ddick


Short Rounds

We never want to forget our POW/MIAs. Since 1990 I've worn a POW/MIA bracelet - 1st LT William C. Ryan Jr., MIA 11 May 1969. Time passes & things fade away. Just want to remind everyone not to forget these men. Semper Fi.

Glenn A. Shaw
Sgt USMC 1966 - 1970
Viet Nam 1968 - 1969


The USS Constellation (CVA-64) is to be taken out of the mothball fleet and disassembled for scrap. I was aboard this ship from March 23, 1963 to Sept 17, 1963. This was the first WestPac Cruise for the Constellation. I was TAD from Torii Station, Okinawa. (Naval Security Group, Communications).

I boarded her at Subic Bay, P.I. and stayed aboard until she docked in San Diego at the end of the cruise. Just a note to all the Marines that served aboard her.

Cpl J.W. Riner
2575


Morning fellow Marines. This might read like a losing battle, but that never stopped us before. Well, because of going home on emergency leave during my tour in VN. 1966, Chu Lai, I left my seabags with my unit, security platoon, 5th Marines. It's been bugging me for years, What Happened To Unclaimed Seabags Left With The Corps? Please don't laugh, any ideas? Let me know please.

Sincerely,
Cpl. J. Velazuez, Jr.


Grit,

I remember you from the Last Supper... good duty.

Do you remember Christ saying, "All you guys get on this side of the table. Michelangelo is going to take our picture?"

Reddog '45-'57


I was at MCRD San Diego in early 1957. Sgt. Grube (the bad DI) would always say to one of us who screwed up: "I'm tired of your cheap civilian bullsh-t." I still use that term today and chuckle over it. For all of his hardazsed bearing, he had a sense of humor.

James V. Merl
1655XXX


Quotes

"In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins."
--Ulysses S. Grant


"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bast-rds won't get away this time!"
--Chesty Puller, USMC


"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--GEN. John Vessey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs


"Retreat h-ll! We just got here!"
--CAPT. Lloyd Williams, USMC


"I've surveyed more sea bags than you've surveyed socks.
My first office hours was for buffalo sh-t on my spear.
Is that your service (or serial) number... or the national debt?"

"When the Lord said let there be light, I was the firewatch (who turned them on)."

"I've used more ink signing payrolls than you've drunk coffee in the mess hall."

Morning formation: "two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't be here if I could get special liberty... all present and accounted for..."

"Fall in, alphabetically, by rank."

"Smmeeedly!" (DI's cry for the recruit messman who waited on DI's at recruit messhalls... tough job...).

Fair winds and following seas.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Liberty May Commence
• Old Japanese Zero Pilot
• Great Mustang Officer

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On 19 June 2014, Cpl William Kyle Carpenter, USMC (Ret.) was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions on 21 November 2010 while serving as an Automatic Rifleman with F Co, 2d Bn, 9th Marines, Regimental Combat Team 1, 1st MarDiv (fwd), I MEF (fwd), in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Cpl. Carpenter is a shining example of what it means to be a United States Marine. Upholding Marine Corps customs, courtesies, and traditions that are the fabric of our illustrious history that is best defined by our core values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment.

"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13, KJV).

Job well done Marine. As every Marine knows, just as our title and rank are earned, so too are our awards and decorations.

Semper Fidelis CMOH Marine!

(Photo taken by Cpl. Michael C. Guinto)


Deep Sixed

Ddick: Once again Ddick has become my Muse regarding Amtrack operations off an LST. The one part of the launch he doesn't mention (because it's not apparent to those riding inside is the "deep six" portion which involves the tractor accelerating down the ramp and actually going 5 or 6 feet under water before bobbing to the surface (hopefully) and heading for the rendezvous circle. This is a little intimidating the first couple of times its done, but being Marines we would see how deep we could go. I think I've related this story before but here it is again. A second LT. platoon leader pulled me aside and asked where the driest place was inside when we launched because the cargo doors on top of the tractor weren't water tight and became a torrent while getting off the ship. I assured him that the driest place would be sitting on the machine gun platform in the front. Just above the platform was the machine gun turret with the gun taken out, it was rotated to the rear and a redwood plug was inserted where the barrel went. I told my crewman to rotate the turret to the front and remove the plug. As we "deep sixed" off the ramp a solid stream of cold seawater shot from the hole into the chest of the 2nd. LT. I kept my eyes glued to my vision block but snuck a peep to see how it went. He was staring at me with fire in his eyes but I'm sure he never asked to be kept dry while part of his platoon was getting wet. Ya gotta love 'em!

Ddick is right on the traffic signals on LST's, the older ships had them mounted horizontally over the ramp door. On the newer (post Korea) ships it was on the driver's side and mounted vertically. The WWII LST's had no turn table so you had to drive the tractor just in front of the ramp where a sailor would heave a "monkey fist" connected to a throw line that was in turn connected to two haul lines that the Amtrack crew would place on the rear cleats. You were then literally hauled to the ramp by the ship's crew until contact was made with the ramp and you reversed aboard. The newer ships had "turn tables". You drove straight up the ramp, through the bow doors and onto the "turn table". The table turned the tractor around and you backed into your slot on the tank deck. We carried "Grunts", chow, Artillery, Mortars anything that needed to go ashore. The picture is for SGT. GRIT, the cannon cocker.

Cpl. Selders


Liberty May Commence

Thursday was field day in the barracks. After work at the hangar everybody had to turn to and clean the barracks. No liberty allowed until the OD inspected and approved the field day. Thursday was also linen survey day when we turned in our old sheets and pillow cases. It usually lasted about an hour, but one day we had a particularly chickensh-t OD who walked into each squad bay wearing white gloves. He raised one white gloved index finger, swiped it as if testing the air, and declared the barracks filthy. "Do it over" he said, turned around and left the barracks, telling the duty NCO to call him when he thought it was clean enough and not to issue liberty cards until he approved of the field day. This had the natural effect of p-ssing off the troops, but one of the guys took it to the next level. He went outside and collected palm branches and cut some twigs and vines from the foliage in the yard and wove them together making a green garland several yards in length. Then he strewed this over the wall lockers and racks in his cubicle just before the OD came back for another inspection. When the OD (a fresh lieutenant) got to his cubicle he just stood there for a minute or so, almost apoplectic, and stammering. Our hero just stood by his rack at ease. Luckily, this time around the Lt. was accompanied by our Maintenance officer, a mustang Major who was older and wiser. The Major was a former enlisted man who appreciated the humor of the situation and got a great laugh out of it. He declared field day over and liberty may commence.

Cpl. Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


We All Marched A Little Differently

The story told by Cpl. Bender of a recruit getting some encouragement in rope climbing at the point of a bayonet reminded me of an incident that happened while I was in boot camp at San Diego.

My platoon had a similar sh-tbird who was not able to do anything correctly except shoot. After the rifle range where he shot the highest score of anyone he was given a lot of slack by the DIs. During our final PT test we were to climb a thick rope that had knots in it. We also wore a full field combat pack, carried an M-1 rifle & wore a helmet. When you get to the top you hit the cross bar with your hand and then climb down within a given time. When our platoon sh-tbird tried, he got near the top and we were all yelling at him to hit the cross bar. He did, but he used both hands. This caused him to slide down the rope causing each knot to hit his jewels. He was unconscious when he hit the bottom. The Corpsmen took him to the hospital where he stayed for a couple of days. Upon his return we were all concerned and even the DIs took a "little" pity upon him. That night, when we took our showers, we could not help but notice the black & blue sack that was the same size as you would see on a bull used for breeding. When we marched back to our platoon area I think we all marched a little differently so we could give our jewels a little extra room.

He was a good person, never once dropped out of anything, always gave a full measure. Like many of us he was overweight. But unlike the rest of us, he never lost any weight. He was uncoordinated and a can or two short of a six-pack, but he was a near perfect shot with an M-1. He shot in the high 270s out of 300. A perfect Marine rifleman.

Sincerely,
Jim Brower - 1977---
L/Cpl 1961-64


High Frequency Sound Hearing Loss

I was a rifle range coach and block NCO from the fall of 1955 until the spring of 1957 at Camp Lejeune (yes, back in those days, coaches wore campaign hats just like the DIs). The only thing we had to protect our hearing back then was cotton and sometimes that wasn't available. From the fall of 1957 until the spring of 1958 I was a member of the Third Marine Division Rifle and Pistol Team. Once again I was around rifle and pistol fire every day with no good way to protect my hearing. Suffice it to say I developed a hearing loss (inability to hear higher frequency sounds). I really wasn't aware of it because it only affected me at certain times. After four years of active duty and eight years of active Reserve time the problem became more apparent, but no Corpsman ever raised the issue with me.

Beginning in 1964 most of us expected to be activated for Viet Nam just as the Reserves were for Korea in 1950 but we never were. Secretary of Defense McNamara apparently decided against calling up the Reserves for fear that the American public might think we were in a real war. I often wondered if we had been activated how I would have fared with my hearing loss in a combat situation. Of course, I'll never know. I felt grateful for the GI Bill which gave me the opportunity for a successful career in higher education and my disability did not especially hinder me in my work. Hearing aids would have been of no help since they only amplified the low frequency sounds I already could hear fine. Of course I frequently had to ask people to repeat what they said and that usually made them angry.

At a party with a lot of background noise I could hardly hear anything someone was telling me and usually that just meant nodding affirmatively to whatever was said. But sometimes the person really didn't want me to agree with what he/she said (i.e. "I guess I'm just a no-good SOB" to which I would nod affirmatively). I was just wondering if anyone who was a coach or a team shooter during the 1960s or 1970s might have had similar experiences.

Paul E. Gill
S/Sgt. 1954-66

Note:

It is called Tinnitus. Not much they can do for it. I have it also, from artillery, and constant radio squelch in the ear when on watch. I have been going to the VA for 40 years every few years to have my ears checked. Nothing new to correct or abate.

Sgt Grit


A Marine

This is from my Vietnam tank company 1st Sgt.

A MARINE can build a house from the roof down.
When Alexander Bell invented the telephone he had 3 missed calls from a MARINE.
Fear of spiders is arachnophobia, fear of tight spaces is claustrophobia, fear of MARINES is called Logic.
A MARINE doesn't call the wrong number. You answered the wrong phone.
There used to be a street named after the MARINES, but it was changed because nobody crosses the MARINES and lives.
Most Marines have a grizzly bear carpet in their room. The bear isn't dead it is just afraid to move.
The MARINES have already been to Mars; that's why there are no signs of life.
Some magicians can walk on water, MARINES can swim through land.
Ghosts sit around the campfire and tell MARINE CORPS stories.
A MARINE and Superman once fought each other on a bet. The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.
A MARINE can cut through a hot knife with butter.
A MARINE once urinated in a semi truck's gas tank as a joke... that truck is now known as Optimus Prime.
A MARINE doesn't flush the toilet, he scares the sh-t out of it.
Death once had a near-MARINE experience.
A MARINE counted to infinity – twice.
The MARINES are the reason why Waldo is hiding.
A MARINE won American Idol using only sign language.
Once the cop pulled over A MARINE... the cop was lucky to leave with a warning.
A MARINE can slam a revolving door.
A MARINE won the World Series of Poker using Pokemon cards.
When the Boogeyman goes to sleep every night, he checks his closet for US MARINES.
A MARINE will never have a heart attack. His heart isn't nearly foolish enough to attack him.
A MARINE can win a game of Connect Four in only three moves.
A MARINE once kicked a horse in the chin. Its descendants are known today as Giraffes.
A MARINE once got bit by a rattle snake... After three days of pain and agony... the rattle snake died.
There is no theory of evolution. Just a list of animals The MARINES allows to live.
When A MARINE does a pushup, he isn't lifting himself up, he's pushing the Earth down.
A MARINE can light a fire by rubbing two ice-cubes together.
A MARINES' hand is the only hand that can beat a Royal Flush.
A MARINE doesn't read books. He stares them down until he gets the information he wants.
When a MARINE throws you into a bottomless pit, you hit the bottom.
A MARINE doesn't wear a watch. HE decides what time it is.
A MARINE does not sleep. He waits.
A MARINE once made a Happy Meal cry.
Prisons don't keep society safe from criminals. Prisons keep criminals safe from the MARINES, for now.
Outer space exists because it's afraid to be on the same planet with US MARINES.
When a MARINE is born, the only person crying was the doctor. You NEVER slap a MARINE.
If A Marine's weapon were to ever run out of ammo, his weapon would continue to fire out of fear of disappointing the MARINE.
A MARINE called 911 to order Chinese food and got it.
Guns are warned not to play with the MARINES.
A MARINE runs until the treadmill gets tired.
A MARINE doesn't mow his lawn, he dares his grass to grow.
A MARINE can give aspirin a headache.

Sgt John Wear


First lieutenant Daniel Robert Brophy

Sgt. Grit,

First lieutenant Daniel Robert Brophy earned the Silver Star medal while flying as an Aerial Observer with the 11th Marines on the morning of 23 February, 1969. He was flying aboard an Army helicopter when he distinguished himself on a dangerous recon mission. I have a copy of the citation and his name appears in my latest book about Marines in Vietnam entitled "Marines, Medal's and Vietnam".

Semper Fidelis!
William L. "Billy" Myers 1906xxx


I read with interest Doug Helmers story about Lt. Brophy. Could Lt. Brophy have been a drill instructor in 1963 at San Diego? We had a Sgt. Brophy. I saw him later in 1967 with 1st Lt. bars on him at Camp Pendleton. I heard later from a former drill instructor friend of mine that he thought Lt. Brophy was injured badly in Vietnam.

I remember Sgt. Brophy had us recruits hold our M-14's out in front of us with both arms extended, while he held out an M-14 with just one arm extended. He held it out until all of us dropped our arms. He was tough.

Sgt. C. Jones 1963-67
RVN 1966


Old Japanese Zero Pilot

I have been a collector of Military stuff for a lot of years, before I retired, and remembering some of the stuff I worked with I wish I had saved some of the stuff I've been issued, like the Khaki uniform Blouse. After I retired I collected some Marine Corps Items at Gun shows and Military Shows.

At one of the Gun Shows years ago I met a Japanese Military Collector who had been a Zero Pilot during the War. Now I gotta tell you that when we were going to Korea, the ship dumped us in Japan and we took a train to the Japanese coast closest to Korea and during that two week period in Japan, waiting and riding the train, I met all kinds of Japanese that told me they had been Zero Pilots. Even one of the Conductors on the train said he had been a Zero Pilot and I am always suspicious of a Japanese who says he was a Zero Pilot, but Kelly Okha had been and I saw lots of things that showed me he had been what he said, he even flew a plane in the movie "Tora, Tora, Tora".

Kelly Okha (my wife always called him Mr. Okha because he always looked so distinguished) collected Military items including some very valuable items, like he had a NIB "Nambu" pistol. Kelly and I had a friendship going back many years and during the gun shows he would come to our table and rest and sometimes leave stuff under our table so he didn't have to carry it. At one Gun Show Pappy Boyington was there selling his Book, I watched two old pilots chatting up a storm, who could interrupt that?

A few years back Kelly called me and asked me to meet him at his storage locker. When I got there he looked a bit tired, he said, "Frank I want you to sell some of my Military stuff, I've got to get rid of some of these items." In the next few weeks I sold a lot of his collection of American, Japanese and German Military gear. I sold several Japanese Pilot Uniforms (Made with rabbit fur), guns, even ejection seats from more modern aircraft.

He called one day at my house and said he had some more stuff for me to pick up could I come over. I told him I would be there the next day, but when I got there I found he had died the night before. I had met only a son and for just a moment, so didn't know his family and I was really down about it. My Wife said, "What did you do when you lost a friend before, do it again." So, I saluted his memory and have it tucked into my mind about an Old Japanese Zero Pilot who became my Very Good Friend.

Frank Rousseau


Let Out A Whoop

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Worked in HDQRS MC, Wash. DC a long time ago it seems. The Marines had a way to get things done - maybe not completely orthodox - but do-able just the same. We would load up a truck for supplies for various destinations Monday to Friday - as each day was a different location - and the system worked for us Marines - we also received deliveries from various civilian shippers as well. A happy harmony was met with the two opposite ends of our society.

Unfortunately both went out of kilter at the increase of escalation for the situation in Vietnam here in the states - we had emergency situations even in our supply chain?

First the Civilian end - Jacobs Transfer had a motto - "We will transfer anything - anywhere at any time?" One driver told me when he started his run in Baltimore, Md. one morning with a loaded truck - and 5 stops - the last for us - all went well until the truck swayed and almost turned over on the Beltway! He looked in the back of the truck and saw an elephant struggling with being chained to the sides of the truck?

We in the Marines had a lesser problem - but a serious problem as well - We had REMF - toadies - asz kissers - promising the world to all senior to them - and we the low NCO's had to deal with unusual aftermath as well. We had a schedule and the system worked - as we went to the Naval Weapons Plant one day - one day Henderson Hall - and the rest of the week we delivered to the Naval Annex - but our asz kissing retired Master Sgt. promised the world to everyone and screwed up our system? Hey, we even went to the Pentagon on occasion - and caused an incident as well - The Secretary of the Navy wanted a new chair with his new desk - sooooo we Marines had to pick up the old chair and deliver a new one the same day? It screwed up our schedule that day - but RHIP (rank has its privileges) A Navy Captain rode our aszes from the delivery dock to the office of (His Highness).

We delivered the chair and a Captain even sat in it behind the desk and had us adjust the settings on the chair. We left with an escort of some entourage of an Ensign and a petty officer who were afraid we would tell someone that the SECNAV got a new chair? Well my fellow Marines I was with Crazy Willard Ranson - and my fellow Marine decided that he would like to ride the chair down one of the Rings or sloped walkways between levels? He Jumped In The Chair and Let Out A Whoop - and pushed my hands away and went barreling down the sloped walkway - the Ensign and the petty officer went apesh-t, and I was laughing my asz off - Willie almost took out a few senior civilians as well as some officers and one pretty Wave? The MP's escorted us out of the Pentagon to our truck - and the Ensign (who was a cool guy - told us not to worry) he would take care of us - but in the future I was told leave Willie at home for the next visit!

As I said in prior articles, You can't make this SH-T up. Hope you enjoyed this and I know all of us have funny incidents to relate about our experiences as well!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963- 1967
Vietnam Era Marine


IOD Sites

Here is your intrepid editor standing watch at one of the IOD sites 40+ years ago. I don't remember which one. Actually I don't remember the names of any of them. I visited all of them over a 4 week period to help with comm issues. Does anyone remember the names of these hills with the IODs. There would be 8-10 grunts, a Sgt or SSgt and a Lt. Usually a couple of 60's and a .50 Cal., that was it.

Sgt Grit


Marine Math

The Korean War, in which the Marine Corps fought and won some of its most brutal battles, was not without its gallows humor.

During one such conflict a ROK (Republic of Korea) commander, whose unit was fighting along with the Marines, called legendary Marine General Chesty Puller, to report a major Chinese attack in his sector. "How many Chinese are attacking you?" asked Puller." Many, many Chinese!" replied the excited Korean officer.

General Puller asked for another count and got the same answer, "Many, many, many Chinese!"

"X*#dammit!" swore Puller, "Put my Marine liaison officer on the radio."

In a minute, an American voice came over the air: "Yes sir?"

"Lieutenant," growled Chesty, "exactly how many Chinese you got up there?"

"General, we got a whole sh-t load of Chinese up here!"

"Thank God." exclaimed Puller, "At least there's someone up there who knows how to count."

Willy Carroll
'63 - '89


Great Mustang Officer

Grit,

The best Mustang, and best officer for that matter, that I ever worked for (on Okinawa) was Gary O. Thompson. When I first met him, he was a Warrant Officer and we all called him "WOGOT" (except when the higher brass was around). Then, when he was commissioned, we called him "LiTGOT". And when he made Captain, we called him "CAPGOT". But, when he made Major, nobody ever dreamed of calling him "MAGOT"!

Another great Mustang officer that I worked with, not for, at Pendleton, was a female LT named Linda. I can't recall her last name at the moment. She was extremely intelligent (our computer security officer), beautiful (she had been a winner in the miss Florida beauty contest), and one heck of a quarterback for our weekend flag football group. And, with a great personality as well, this lady had it all!

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82


A Very Sad Story

I heard a very, very sad story at Camp Lejeune during one of my stints there. I ran into a guy at a slop chute who was called to his draft center. He, along with many others, were sitting in a large room when an Army Sergeant walked in and earnestly asked, "Is there anybody here who really doesn't want to be in the Army?"

He and five others raised their hands. "Come with me. You six are now in the Marine Corps."

Rick Feinstein, Sgt USMCR '63—'69


Goodnight Chesty

I was in platoon 1006, formed July 6, 1969, at PI. One of my junior DI's was a Sgt McKeon. He was a helo mech and wore combat air crew wings. This meant a lot to me because I had joined as an aviation Marine. One night, Sgt. McKeon told us the story of his father, the famous SSgt McKeon who led the Ribbon Creek night patrol, in 1956, which resulted in the drowning of 6 recruits. He said Chesty Puller was a character witness at his father's court martial. This only endeared this DI to me even more.

That is my close encounter with Chesty Puller.

Goodnight, Chesty, wherever you are.

Lanny Cotton
Sgt - USMC 1969-1973


The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #4)

I got out of the car and went around to open her door. She got out and her son had climbed over the back of the front seat to follow her. I closed the door. They were standing on the sidewalk. I walked over and picked her son up and tossed him onto my shoulders. He started laughing and she gave me a rather peculiar look. We headed for the restaurant and I told S_____ to lean down. I ducked down, too, so he would not bump his head. As soon as we entered a hostess said to S_____ "I see your Dad is giving you a ride." 'Kitty' laughed at that. She asked if we preferred a table or a booth. I answered "A booth please." She led us to a booth. 'Miss Kitty' sat down first and her son sat next to her. I sat facing them. The waitress said "Our specialty is Burgers and Fries and tonight we do have AUCE Fish and Chips - or we have a full menu if you prefer." Kitty asked for a menu. Her son said "I want the Burger and Fries." She looked at the childrens part of the menu and said "Wouldn't you rather have Mac and Cheese?" He said "Oh, yes, I'll have that." She chose a Turkey Club on white toast. And the waitress looked at me. I said "The Calves Liver sounds good. How much would I get?" She said "We have two sizes, a lunch portion is 8oz with bacon OR onions and mashed potatoes for $2.25 or a dinner portion is 12 oz with bacon AND onions and mashed potatoes for $2.75." I said "I'll have the dinner portion." We had two iced teas and a small Pepsi. But no desserts.

While we were waiting for our food she asked me "What is the reason you go to Washington every weekend?" I responded "I'll let you in on a secret. I don't go to Washington every weekend - but I tell everyone I do because that is as far as we are supposed to go on a regular weekend. My home is 140 miles further in New Jersey. But even that is not the end of the line. My high school sweetheart, with whom I have been going steady for 4 years, is a model in New York City - another 88 miles - and I get there at 0200 every Saturday morning. And then at 0600 we drive south 88 miles to our homes. We reverse this at 1400 on Sunday. I drive 1500 miles each weekend." She was absolutely amazed at this.

Our food arrived. While eating, she said "You must have a picture of your girlfriend?" I said "Yes" and I took out my wallet to show her. She gave her the once over and said "She sure is pretty - isn't she" - as she showed the picture to her son. He was only 5 but said "Wow! Yes!" I said "I've shown you my pictures. Now you show me yours. She took out her wallet and showed me pictures of her sisters. She had three of them. I looked at them closely and said "This one is of you." She said "No. That is my twin sister. I just looked at her for a moment or so and said "Can you look me straight in the eye and tell me that there really is another woman on this planet as beautiful as yourself?"

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #7 (Jul, 2019)

I had already planned on stopping here and not doing any more copies of "the Flight Line" when I received the latest issue of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter. After one of the most recent issues there was a note from him (Sgt. Grit) that indicated that he'd like to have some different stories about MARINES that had help shape their lives and he was looking for other then D.I.'s. I really didn't think anymore about it until in the next few days I got an E-mail from an old Squadron Mate and it eluded to the feats and attitudes of the Navy Corpsman assigned to our units. Now, these E-mails were of a general nature and no specific names (just two) were given. Plus, they were in circulation with a picture of a Corpsman and under it was the caption "Corpsman" because, "Bad Mother F—k-r" isn't an official job title in the Navy.

Well, that got me to thinking. Those Corpsmen that I served and flew with were without a doubt, angles that were assigned to watch over all the MARINES that they could. I don't have to tell any of you that you could always count on the "Doc" to take care of you when things didn't go the way that they were planned. He'd be right there by your side thru the whole ordeal, and he'd find you, and stay with you, when you needed him most. Now, I was fortunate enough never to need the services that "The Doc" provided, but I've seen them perform their magic on the many unfortunate souls that I transported during Med-e-vacs. These guy's should all be given the highest awards that there are, just for doing their job. I also remember when I was on Recruiting Duty I had one young man came into the office and all he wanted to be was a MARINE Medic like his friend was. But, little did he know that we didn't have MARINE MEDICS, instead, we had Navy Corpsman. Now, once he found that out, he wasn't as enthused as he was in the beginning. But, we later got him hooked up with our sister service Recruiter (Navy), and all was well after that. I talked to him later when he was on leave and he did get assigned to the Field Medic Course at Camp Del Mar and later became one of the most called upon guy's in the unit. But, that's what he wanted to do, why not... I'm also sure he made a good "Doc". It seems that they all do.

Now, in my 20 years in the Corps you'd think that I'd remember at least one of the "Doc's" that I served with, but I've shaken the ole "Brain Bucket" and there has been not one name that has surfaced. All that I remember is that you always want one of these angles near you when "that famous brown commodity hits the whirling blades".

I'd like to close this by saying that I and many like me feel that the CORPS and it's Corpsmen are the team to beat, but you'd better be ready for a hell-of-a fight. Many a MARINE will say Thank GOD For NAVY CORPSMEN! An asset to any unit, and the CORPS.


Oblate Spheroid Reproductive Organs

About 1960 (and for a few years thereafter) there was a small Marine Barracks, attached to a Naval Air Facility which was on an Air Force Base on Okinawa... Naha, specifically. (We also had an Army Nike missile battery aboard... gotta remember, this was at the height of the Cold War.) We Marines, 57 in all, were there to guard the Navy's nuclear weapons, stored on a small island just off the southwest corner of the runway. The island, Senaga Shima by name, could ordinarily be accessed by either of two slightly elevated causeways that ran across the coral tidal flats from the main part of the base, meeting in a 90 degree corner just at the corner of the Navy ammunition storage area. This area contained the AUW shop (Atomic Underwater Weapons... tricky name, huh?. At the time, the US more or less owned the island, and we really didn't care, only 15 years after the end of WWII, whether the Japanese knew we had nukes there or not... (we did... I think... never actually saw one during a 18-month tour). Along with the AUW shop, there was a magazine area, which looked a great deal like one of those self-storage rental places... flat roof, roll-up garage type doors... and two small buildings for the sentries use. The sentry building at the gate was two story, had bullet-proof glass and steel doors. The sentry on the topside post locked himself in, had both a radio and a telephone, and a pretty snazzy alarm panel that could indicate the presence of an intruder within ten feet of the electric fence that ran around the whole place. The sentry on the deck worked the sally port and the main gate... after you presented your magic ID, along with the day's password. He would walk back inside to check the ID under a special light, then 'buzz' you in.

Duty was four on, eight off, day on, day off, with the guard sections being the Port and Starboard sections. Each of the three reliefs consisted of four (later five, when an outside post was added) sentries, a supernuts (supernumerary) and a Corporal of the Guard. In a rather unusual arrangement, the Corporal of the Guard would muster his relief, then drive them from the barracks (actually a collection of six Quonset huts, one being the head/showers) to the island, relieve the preceding watch, then return the three miles or so to the guard shack to man his desk, where he had a radio and a telephone. The island checked in every fifteen minutes, alternating between the radio and the landline. If they missed, or were late, the Corporal of the Guard triggered an alarm in the duty section barracks... this caused an azzhole and elbows evolution, whereby the other two reliefs and the Sergeant of the Guard grabbed their weapons... M1's, and for the SOG, the .45 he wore, along with a big box, somewhat like a carpenter's tool box, full of ammo, piled into the relief trucks and headed out to reinforce the on-watch relief. There were two routes to get there... one around the north end of the runway, the other parallel to the flight line, base headquarters, etc. and across the shorter causeway. Both entries to the causeways had gates, which were manned by Okinawan civilian guards... in uniform, armed with a .30 caliber carbine... and a big, toothy German Shepard. Routinely, the vehicle stopped, and all hands displayed their passes, and the guard would open the gate. They were trained to just open the gate and get out of the way if the approaching vehicle was running its roof-mounted rotating red light. One of the vehicles was a Dodge van (no side windows) with bench seats along both sides, and the other was a Suburban type with 3 rows of seats. The SOG had a '58 Chevy half-ton pickup. There would be the occasional report of the lights having been turned on for no reason other than messing with the gate guard... usually resulted in a threat of office hours and a lecture from the Gunny...

We would periodically have reaction drills... and when it was a drill, even with the lights on, the speed limit was 35MPH. The fact that it was a drill and not Mongol Hordes coming across the tidal flats and up the seawall, was not known until the trucks were loaded... when we'd be advised over the radio, and then proceed (at 35 MPH) to the island, take up defensive positions, etc.

Starboard section was 'on' one fine day, and Cpl (E-3) Keefe and his relief had the 8 to 12, when the Guard Officer walked into the guard shack and told Keefe to sound the alarm for a drill... so he did... but... he neglected to advise the trucks that it was a drill!... The drivers chose the shorter route... right past the Base HQ, just as the AF Colonel who owned the joint happened to be walking out, in time to see two Navy gray trucks with gumball machines alight, pass him at an oblate spheroid reproductive organs against the vertical bulkhead speed. This seemed to pique his curiosity... so he walked back inside, grabbed a phone, and called the Marine Barracks. Keefe, being on duty, got the phone call... and, shifting the roughly half-package of Red Man to the other cheek, of course, answered "Marine Barracks... Corporal Keefe speaking, Sir"... the Colonel identified himself, and inquired as to what was going on? (I don't think AF Colonels use the same kind of language in those situations as a Marine Colonel might... but I digress)... Keefe, nonchalantly confident that 'his boys' had things well under control, said "Oh, it's just a drill, sir"...

The Colonels' next call was to our CO... have never seen a Major doing a rug dance in front of a Colonel, much less an Air Force type... but I'm sure it wasn't pretty...

Keefe survived... and fortunately for me, the Port Section Leader, he, and the other culprits, were in Starboard section... my counterpart, CPL (E-4) Roy Knight's section... and the weapons were still secure.

Ddick


Short Rounds

We never want to forget our POW/MIAs. Since 1990 I've worn a POW/MIA bracelet - 1st LT William C. Ryan Jr., MIA 11 May 1969. Time passes & things fade away. Just want to remind everyone not to forget these men. Semper Fi.

Glenn A. Shaw
Sgt USMC 1966 - 1970
Viet Nam 1968 - 1969


The USS Constellation (CVA-64) is to be taken out of the mothball fleet and disassembled for scrap. I was aboard this ship from March 23, 1963 to Sept 17, 1963. This was the first WestPac Cruise for the Constellation. I was TAD from Torii Station, Okinawa. (Naval Security Group, Communications).

I boarded her at Subic Bay, P.I. and stayed aboard until she docked in San Diego at the end of the cruise. Just a note to all the Marines that served aboard her.

Cpl J.W. Riner
2575


Morning fellow Marines. This might read like a losing battle, but that never stopped us before. Well, because of going home on emergency leave during my tour in VN. 1966, Chu Lai, I left my seabags with my unit, security platoon, 5th Marines. It's been bugging me for years, What Happened To Unclaimed Seabags Left With The Corps? Please don't laugh, any ideas? Let me know please.

Sincerely,
Cpl. J. Velazuez, Jr.


Grit,

I remember you from the Last Supper... good duty.

Do you remember Christ saying, "All you guys get on this side of the table. Michelangelo is going to take our picture?"

Reddog '45-'57


I was at MCRD San Diego in early 1957. Sgt. Grube (the bad DI) would always say to one of us who screwed up: "I'm tired of your cheap civilian bullsh-t." I still use that term today and chuckle over it. For all of his hardazsed bearing, he had a sense of humor.

James V. Merl
1655XXX


Quotes

"In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins."
--Ulysses S. Grant


"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bast-rds won't get away this time!"
--Chesty Puller, USMC


"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--GEN. John Vessey, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs


"Retreat h-ll! We just got here!"
--CAPT. Lloyd Williams, USMC


"I've surveyed more sea bags than you've surveyed socks.
My first office hours was for buffalo sh-t on my spear.
Is that your service (or serial) number... or the national debt?"

"When the Lord said let there be light, I was the firewatch (who turned them on)."

"I've used more ink signing payrolls than you've drunk coffee in the mess hall."

Morning formation: "two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't be here if I could get special liberty... all present and accounted for..."

"Fall in, alphabetically, by rank."

"Smmeeedly!" (DI's cry for the recruit messman who waited on DI's at recruit messhalls... tough job...).

Fair winds and following seas.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Dog Tag Of The Korean War
• The Reunion And A Wedding
• The Lieutenant Distinguished Himself

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Marine Corps Caboose Side View

Marine Corps Caboose Angled View

Sgt Grit,

10 years ago I built the caboose as a yard ornament. Badly weathered it was time to be rebuilt. I decided to make it honor the Marine Corps. People seem to like the change from the former R.R. motif. I served in the Corps from 1946-1952.

Semper Fi!
Leon Hooper


Dog Tag Of The Korean War

GySgt Rousseau Korean War Era Dog Tag

Sgt. Grit,

In a recent letter, one lad asked about Dog Tags. But in the old, old days one of the Sergeants or Officers went back over the battle field to identify the Dead, or the Dead were just buried without concern for the identity. During the "Cold Harbor Battle" of the Civil War, men on both sides sewed their name and address on their coats so they could be identified and the family informed of their Death. I'm sure it happened more often than not.

The first Government issue Dog Tags during WWI were round. You were issued two round discs about one inch in diameter during boot camp. There was a metal stamp kit that had metal letters of the alphabet, a metal block and a small hammer. Each man had to stamp his name on the Dog Tags and hang them around their neck with a length of leather thong or shoe string.

Then during WWII the Government issued Dog Tags and I understand it started some time in 1930's. The Army had oval about an inch and a quarter long. The Navy/Marine Corps were a bit more than round as you can see by my Dog Tag from the Korean War (I lost my WWII Dog Tags when I got out after the War).

There was Tetanus Shot date, your Religious preference, and of course name and serial number, and during WWII it was marked USMC or USMCR. An interesting note on Dog Tags, at a Gun Show after I retired, a guy came to my table and handed me a USMC Dog Tag with the name on it and it had the fingerprint on the back. He told me he bought something from Japan and the Dog Tag was inside the item. He gave it to me to see if I could find the owner, so I believe I sent the data to "Leatherneck" magazine and they found the owner who had been a POW in Japan and somehow his Dog Tag was lost while there.

Here's my Dog Tag of the Korean War which is on my key chain along with my Vietnam War Dog Tag.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The Gunny Gives Nothing But 110%

GySgt Prentiss

If anyone knew or knows my fiance, they know to tread lightly and speak openly and honestly. His 2 tours in the Marines as a DI Instructor will have you speaking the truth within 5 seconds of even attempting to speak sideways (trust me I've tried and it doesn't work... LOL). Look at those eyes... he has been trained with the best of the best and gives nothing but 110% of himself in whatever he does... he does it to perfection! I'm not in the military, but he's taught me some great values and how to distinguish them within a person, and I can spot a Marine a mile away.

They walk with dignity, well put together and sharp, on-time, professional, and most of all... they love & honor their country and brotherhood. I just wanted him to know how proud I am of him and how much I value what he has done for the young Marines he's trained. The years he's served to protect our family and this country, and how he is loved so very much each and every day for staying true to what he will die breathing... Semper Fi (Always Faithful)!

Happy Birthday GySgt Prentiss! You are the Few, the Proud, a MARINE!

Dana

GySgt Prentiss (1985 - 2005) - Drill Instructor in San Diego, CA both tours.


Marine Corps Sunglasses


The Reunion And A Wedding

Marines of Plt 1066 from 1969 Reunion and Wedding1

Marines of Plt 1066 from 1969 Reunion and Wedding2

Sgt Grit,

The Marines of 1969 MCRD San Diego, Platoon 1066 met in Branson, MO once again for our sixth annual reunion on 4-8 June 2014. We were again joined by our two Drill Instructors and their lovely wives. In addition to excellent shows and camaraderie, the highlight of our five days together was my marriage to Denise on 6 June at the Stonegate Glass Chapel. At our wedding banquet on Saturday night all of the great items so generously donated by SGT GRIT were distributed to the attendees to everyone's delight.

On behalf of the platoon and this old Marine, I would like to thank you for once again being a very special part of our reunion. Everyone so looks forward to this each year. The two Marines with drawn swords in the attached photos are GYSGT Tony Gatling (my Best Man) and CPL Tom Rogers. Finally, one of our platoon members, SGT Kenneth Fielder shared with us photos of the magnificent shadow box display of his medals and awards that SGT GRIT had recently put together for him.

Semper Fi!

Bob Deal '69-'75 MOS 1371
Proud Member of PLT 1066 - "Honor Platoon"


Divine Intervention

Private - What was the best scr-wing you ever got? Be truthful numbnuts!

Sir, when I joined the Marine Corps Sir!

DI to disgruntled recruit at chow: "Senor Shitb-rd, do you understand the chow may not be fit for pigs, but it is sure fit for you Marines!

One recruit could not climb the rope - soooo the DI took a bayonet and poked him in the b-tt to motivate him. Eventually he got up rope, but one day he went to the hospital for a high fever and the doctors saw the bruised b-tt of his. He was asked what happened - the dumb sh-t told a Navy Captain it was Divine Intervention because he scr-wed up? Captain went to some Colonel and complained and the recruit was a hero of the DIs for not ratting them out! We had a few scr-w ups who got many free passes for keeping their mouths shut - they were worked harder and we helped them - as we all wanted to be Marines!

We were called girls all the way through boot camp - and on graduation day after we passed in review - our Senior DI dismissed us by saying, "Ladies fall Out!" My proudest moment!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967
Vietnam ERA Marine


It's The Only Thing

Regarding the question of WWII round dog tags, when I enlisted, in July 1951, I was issued round dog tags. We wore two round dog tags, one on a long chain and another on an attached short chain. At some point (can't remember when) we were issued the rectangular dog tags with a notch in one end. Later on came a similar dog tag without the notched end.

Being a Marine isn't everything... it's the ONLY thing.

Semper Fidelis,
Gerald T. Pothier
Capt. USMC (Ret)
1951-1988
Mustang


60 Foot Jump

In recent letters, ship's "cargo nets" have been mentioned. I would like to tell you of a different "cargo net" story.

Sometime between Sept. and Nov. 1964, I was on the Navy ship, AGC-7, Mt. McKinley, cruising off the coast of South Vietnam in the South China Sea. I was with 1st. Comm. Supt. Co., Hdqtrs. Bn, 3rd. Mar/Div. (Rein). We were attached to the 9th MEB.

We had aboard a 2-star Admiral, (in charge of the flotilla), and a 1-star Marine General, (in charge of 9th MEB Marines). You Marines that have ever been on a Navy ship know of the stifling heat in the bunking areas where Marines are billeted. And you remember the scorching weather of the South China Sea during those years.

After many weeks of cruising up and down of the coast of South Vietnam, the Admiral, and the General, (probably with some staff input) decided that Marines, and Sailors, (not on watch), could go for a swim in the South China Sea. The ship dropped anchor, 4 life-boats with Marines and their M14s, were put on shark patrol, and cargo nets were put over the right side of the ship.

With the heat, the 60-foot jump into the ocean was so cool and fantastic!

The climb back up the cargo nets without pack and rifle was very easy for the first 6 feet... then it became a usual cargo net climb, six guys climbing parallel to you, the net moving back and away due to the ship's movement, and guys not in unison, and the fact that we were barefoot, and in our skivvies.

After the third jump, I said, "No way am I climbing up that net again", and I returned to the berthing furnace.

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
Sgt. '62 to '68


The Lieutenant Distinguished Himself

Hello, Sgt. Grit,

There was a 1st Lt. Brophy (sp.?) an Aerial Observer, who used to ride with those LOHs and spot artillery at H.Q. Battery, 11th Marines. The Lt. was quite excellent in his role, as I remember hearing. He distinguished himself in two ways which I remember clearly.

1. He would tote an M-14 with him on his missions. When the opportunity allowed, he'd have the pilot zip low enough to put M-14 rounds on the V.C. The Word had it, as I recall, that he'd radio back to FDC and report having dinged a VC, or two.

There was an officer in our FDC who was senior to Lt. Brophy, and he would accuse Lt. Brophy of lying about his M-14 kills.

2. Very soon after my arrival to 11th Marines, Lt. Brophy went up on a mission. Came across a VC or two, fleeing the chopper. Dove down, shot one, and radioed FDC about the kill. That skeptical senior officer, it was said, again called him a liar...

Down the hill in the Comm section word quickly spread: "Get up to the LZ and check it out!" Don't recall who all dashed up there, but just off the LZ lay the corpse of an unlucky VC, bullet holes very apparent (one of my first snapshots In Country!). The Lt. had been called a liar by that other officer, so the Lt. had the pilot set down his bird, lashed his latest victim to a skid and carted his dead self-back to 11th Marines for any doubters to see. Word had it that Lt. Brophy was never again accused of lying about his kills.

Memory says Lt. Brophy was shot badly while flying a mission early in the '69 Tet activities in our AOR. Perhaps you R.O.s had note of it in your Bullsh-t Log? I recall he was rumored to have had a tracheotomy during treatment pre-medivac, and in true John Wayne fashion asked for a smoke... the lit cigarette then was held over his open neck incision so he could inhale his smoke. Do any of you Lads recall hearing that?

Sgt "Junior" / Doug Helmers


USS Texas

USS Texas

1st MarDiv History Plaque

I'm always up for military history in my travels. Several years ago on vacation with the family we found the USS Texas, now a museum ship.

Attached are a couple of photos about the formation of the 1st MarDiv. The 1st MarDiv. guys probably already know this and have been there but for the rest of us... a little more history.

Robert J. Bliss
'63-'67 in country '65-'66


Ended Up On Ulithi Islands

Mog Mog Island

Sgt. Grit,

"What did you do during the War?" This was a title for a movie, books and stories that always come with an answer.

Let me tell you a story of something that happened to me during WWII. Because I was only seventeen and looked much younger I was often transferred. For some reason I ended up on Ulithi Islands awaiting transfer to somewhere else. There was an ship with smoke coming from it and people took off afraid the ammo aboard might explode. Now on the Ulithi Island of Mog Mog, you couldn't go very far. Due to my innocence or gullibility or what, my friend and I went to the ship, there were two men working on it and they were leaving. One was working in the hold loading ammo boxes on an elevator and sending them up. The other guy took the boxes from the elevator and then he removed the boxes so they could be placed on barge next to the ship. The smoke was coming from the opposite side of the ship where the ammo was so I went aboard with my friend and went down in the hold and started loading ammo into the elevator and sending it up to my friend on the deck.

It was hot as H-ll in the hold, not so much due to the fire as to being in the middle of the South Pacific where it does get hot and Ulithi is near the Equator so the guy in the hold came up for a breath of fresh air and to get cool in the 95 or higher temperature outside. A Navy Lieutenant came over and watched for a while and took our names, rank and serial numbers. Someone relieved us a while later and we went back to our tent.

The next day we were given Letters of commendation and we were thrilled to have done something we weren't punished for. Later things were not so calm and our records were blown up or lost or something and the Letters of Commendation became a thing of the past to talk about to our skeptical mates like we were weaving a tale of near heroism.

Like so much we hold onto and never, never tell anyone, this story belongs where it is, in my memory of long ago at an Island where people still say, "WHERE?"

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Future Marines

Jones Beach Marine Poolee function

Jones Beach Marine Poolees on a run

Jones Beach Marines putting the Poolee recruits through the paces... 6/7/14.


Beef Strog(enough)

Sgt Grit,

Thanks for the always interesting info and particularly the Dave Baker post r.e. USS Fremont (APA-44). I traveled on Freddy Fremont in the early 60's while a member of BLT 1/2. We were on the scheduled Med Cruise (6 months). Prep for amphib assault landing in a Pappa boat, we started down the nets making sure we held on to the vertical ropes (so you didn't step on someone's hands or be stepped on) and made it to the bottom.

Prior to going, in the early a.m., the great mess hall had prepared beef strog(enough), peas and mashed potatoes for energy while riding the waves. We traveled a distance and then circled the boats prior to going in waves to the beach. One of my brothers-in-arms had turned a lived green, made it to the opposite side, leaned over and would have put a fire hose to shame. Straight out for a foot or so and the wind dispersed all without hitting anyone.

Just a note to let all know that mere mention of a ships name can bring back memories. Thanks Dave and Thanks my Brothers.

Ed Duncan
MGySgt E-9 198xxxx
HqBn (Comm) 1/2 1961-1991


1stLt. Presley N. O'Bannon USMC

Fred Stoki next to Birthplace marker for 1stLt Presley O'Bannon

Fred S. Stoki standing by the location marker signifying that just north of the marker is the birthplace of 1stLt. Presley N. O'Bannon. 1stLt. O'Bannon was the first American to command U.S. forces on foreign soil and the first to raise the American flag over a fortress in the Old World. His success at the Battle of Derne, Tripoli (present day Libya), on 27 April 1805, ended a four-year war against the Tripoli pirates and inspired the phrase "to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marines' Hymn.


Operation DeckHouse I, 1966

Ken on a mine plow of an LVT E-1

Sgt Grit,

My good friend Ken, seated on the mine plow of an LVT E-1, which was the engineer version of the LVT P-5 family. This one was sited on a bluff as a museum piece at 21 Area, also known as Del Mar area at Camp Pendleton. Ken and I had gone there for a 1st Marine Division Anniversary observation... probably 2005. This is most likely the tractor that Ken was assigned to when in 5th Amphibian Tractor Bn, circa 1969. Even though it is ahhh... 'secured'? we were able to somehow (and we ain't telling how) get inside the thing... bits and pieces have disappeared over the years, including the driver's 'joystick'... most likely to have been made into a plaque for some old salt's retirement. The mine plow is folded in the picture... there are 'wings' on each flank that fold out for plowing up mines on the beach. From memory, this thing has a fuel-injected, twin supercharger, liquid-cooled gasoline V-12, 1,790 cubic inches... 1,080 HP at the flywheel. Crew used to snuggle down on top of the line charges ('bout a ton of C-4, linked on a rope) to catch some Zs...

Ddick


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #3)

August 4th, 1950. I was granted an early discharge, CofG for the sole purpose of reenlisting for a six year period. I was given Form DD-214. At 1300 I was sworn in for another 6 years. I took my Form DD-214 to the Enlisted Payroll Office where I was paid to date, including unused leave, plus $100 MOP and $360 reenlistment bonus. When added to what I had in my wallet I had more than $1000 for the first time in my life. I was going on a 15 day leave and I was going to leave with the most beautiful woman in the world. Tell me, what more could a man ask for? She should be here at 1500. I was on 'pins and needles'.

At 1455 I got a call from someone in another office that could see her arriving 'in a long white limo' as he described it. I went down to meet her. If I had thought she was beautiful when I first laid eyes on her - it was nothing to compare with what she looked like today. She was in an all white golfing outfit (a short, pleated skirt and a peasant blouse.) Now she looked absolutely GORGEOUS. She greeted me with, "I see you are wearing your Sgt stripes today." I replied, "You look fine, too!" She introduced her son, S_____, and got into the passenger side of the car. I closed the door when she was settled. I walked around (behind) the car and got under the wheel. We pulled away at exactly 1500.

I drove around the traffic circle and headed for the gate. We passed a long line of cars parked on the right side of Holcomb Blvd. She asked, "What are they?" I said, "They are enlisted personnel waiting for 1600 to leave the Post." She said, "Why do they have to wait until 1600?" I told her, "There must be some reason for it. That line is already about three miles long - with an hour to go before the guards will let them out." She said, "I think that's horrible." I pointed out my own car, my 1949 Hudson, which was quite close to the front of the line. She said, "It's pretty shiny!" As we got closer to the gate I began to slow down. She said, "You don't have to slow down. With the tag on the front of this car we usually go through the gate at between 15 and 20 MPH." I had no idea what kind of tag was on the front of the car but from the way she talked I suspected it was a rather low number officer tag. I sped up, as she suggested, and went through the gate at about 20 MPH. There were four guards on duty - and I got four of the sharpest salutes one could ever expect. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that at least one of them had recognized my Sgt stripes - and he probably knew me. These guards slept in my squadbay.

When we were nearing Kinston, I suggested stopping there for dinner. She agreed. There was diagonal parking on the main street and an open spot in front of the biggest restaurant. I zipped right in - and she had a tizzy. I said, "What's wrong?" She replied, "I never would have tried that - unless the spaces on both sides were open, too."

See You next week, the old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #6 (JUL, 2019)

I just finished typing in the Vol number and the date and I was getting ready to start a new issue of the FLIGHT LINE when I had several thoughts. One was that I forgot to mention that when the Technician came out to Cube Point from the States to inspect the Rotor Heads he was accompanied by a Sikorsky Factory Field Representative. This Rep. would stay with us because of the uniqueness and urgency in completing this mission and Headquarters MARINE CORPS would like to have a Factory Rep on site with the units involved. Anyway, as I recall the Factory Rep. was on the Test Flight with me, after the inspection, and also verified the achievement of the 200 MPH flight. In fact, he was the one that later presented the achievement patches to the Flight Crew at a regular Morning Formation. This is again a very unusual and coveted award for a Flight Crew Member. It is personal and with no entries in your records. You very seldom see the patch indicating achievement and participation. I have never seen the patch for sale at one of the after market outlets such as Sgt. Grit, or any of the others.

That said, I also thought that I sure have a lot of issues piling up and I thought that I better start separating them and also see how many I had. Now, understand that I was not going for quantity here, but all of a sudden I realized that I was now typing my 102nd issue of something I originally started to keep my mind busy with after my Heart Attack. I know I said something about this before, but it's amazing just how much "Stuff" that you can carry around in this ole Bucket and when ya need it, ya can't find it. I'm sure I have more in there, I've just got to find it!

Let's pick up where I left off in Okinawa and of course the flight home to Seattle was without any problems nor was my re-assignment to my old Office in Olympia, Wash.

After several days leave, I reported into the Main Recruiting Office in Seattle and was basically told by my commanding Officer that I would not be on production or quota and that I should go back down to Olympia and get a job and get my life back in order in preparation for retirement, which was set for 18 March 1974. I might add that this was the same Commanding Officer that I had when I was here before I went overseas, so he knew me because of our previous dealings. He said that I should give him a call every once in awhile to keep him posted or if I needed anything. The MARINE CORPS that I knew had changed while I was gone and it certainly was different back here from what I had recently been exposed to Overseas. I reported back in to the Olympia Office and my desk was vacant and everything was the way that I had left it. No one had taken my vacant seat.

I think that I covered my retirement and the party that followed several issues back, but my years in the CORPS were the most rewarding in my life and I wish to THANK All who I served with for the privilege of knowing and serving with them!


Badge-Heavy Master At Arms Got The Vapors

Never could keep the differences between LPD, LPH, LSD and other ships with wet well decks straight, but Marine Boyer in the 14 May newsletter asked for some experiences from those who had done such launches. Well, for a LSD (Landing Ship, Dock), one 'a them would be me (and I realize that there have to be literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other Marines who have had the experience... not counting the amtrack crewmen, for whom a launch was pretty much just another day at the office). In another item sent to Grit (that "submission" bit still just don't sound right...), I had related, in a piece centered around cargo nets, an experience where we moved from an APA to a LSD the day prior to a scheduled beach assault. (live fire... both sides...) So, after having climbed up the nets from a Mike boat (with a full Basic Allowance of ammo on us, inter-alia) we found ourselves on the weather deck of the Alamo, LSD 33. Alamo was carrying the equipment-heavy attached and supporting units of our Battalion Landing Team (3/5... a Special Landing Force, or 'SLF), and what minimal embarked troop billeting spaces (read: canvas bunks) were provided in this type ship had long since... or at least since Okinawa embarkation... been captured by cannon-cockers (our attached 105MM howitzer battery... F/2/11, from memory) tankers from the 5-tank platoon, truck drivers, cooks, ammo supply folks, etc. bottom line was that there were no bunks available. No biggie, since we were only going to be there overnight, and the guidance from above was just to find a place and flake out. Being an enterprising platoon sergeant, I quickly put 1st Platoon to ground in the shade under a bunch of deuce and a half trucks... which lasted until some badge-heavy Master at Arms (sorta like Navy MP's aboard ship) got the vapors at the thought that my troops might smoke whilst under those trucks, which, by the way, were loaded to the canvas bows with pallets of 105MM HE... so, we scattered, found some comfy, filthy, hard, hot piece of gray steel deck plate, and flaked out.

The word eventually came down that we were welcome to sleep on the air-conditioned mess deck (chow hall)... BUT... not until after the ship's crew movie, shown in the same space, was over. This turned out to be around 2300... and reveille was going to be at 0230... so we could have the traditional steak and eggs breakfast. (just the thing for the surgeons, if somebody got gut-shot... but, I digress...) At least it was cool and dry, although not at all comfortable trying to lie (lay?) across two seats, with all the lights on. Breakfast came and went... and we returned to our gear, saddled up, and stood by to be led by a squid across the walkway over the well deck, down the port-side ladder to the well deck and to our assigned amtrack. The well deck was lit by orange sodium vapor lights, and the interior of the amtracks by the red night vision setting on the interior lights... surreal, at best.

A half hour or so before launch, the front ramps on the amtracks (P-5's... this was 1966) were closed. I don't recall how many of us were in that steel box, but it was full... crowded. Being a person of some importance (had a rocker under my chevrons), I got one of the two troop vision blocks (periscopes), which afforded some limited forward vision... Lt. Rosenau, the 1st Platoon Leader (my boss) got the other one... by this time, it was beginning to ease into daylight, and Rosie and I could see that the stern gate was open, and that there was a mild surf washing up into the ship. Bear in mind that we are just feet forward of a 750HP V-12 gasoline engine, standing above (12) forty-gallon rubber fuel tanks under the amtrack deck plates, and getting a faint whiff of puke mixed in with the usual smells of sweat, machine oil, and the one orange that some numbnuts had decided to filch from the mess deck and peel in our common space. The tractors in front of ours accelerated, went off the tailgate, and began to swim away from the ship in a straight line. When it was our turn, we began to rumble forward over the wooden deck, until the rumbling changed...and we were afloat! Bear in mind that the P-5 weighed around 40 tons, had the streamlined shape of a shoe box, and had about eight inches of freeboard when afloat. And lest I forget... the amtrackers didn't 'go' when told over the radio... the signal, when there was no longer other tractors in the ship in front of you... was a friggin' traffic light! (I kid you not!) mounted up high, aft, on one side of the wing walls (sides of the well deck)... Red meant 'hold it', Yellow was "get ready" (I guess...) and Green was GO!

Once all ten were out, and in line, moving parallel to the beach, somebody commanded "by the left flank" or whatever, and we could no longer see any of the other tractors. We were told later that ramps dropped on the beach within 30 seconds of the scheduled time... the tractors closed their ramps, did a left flank to get back in line, went down the beach, splashed, and went back to the ship... probably got there in time for brunch. We, on the other hand, had absolutely nothing going on... we had arrived at 0630... and, it seems, the psyops folks (Army) had flown over the objective area about 0600 with loudspeakers, advising the locals that "the Marines are coming, and they are your friends"... the VC Battalion which had had a rest area in the vicinity of the first day's objective heard that, and decided to didi-mau... Operation DeckHouse I, 1966...

Have heard tales of the "20-knot launch" in which the launching ship is steaming at 20 knots parallel to the beach, and spitting amtracks out the back... dunno if we were even moving for ours, but sounds pretty interesting... am sure there must be some bilge rats (1833 amphibian tractor crewmen) in the readership who will step up (or sit down at a keyboard) and regale the rest of us with a 'this is no sheit' sea story... please do...

Ddick


Taps

Alexander 'Baggs' Marchese left us & the USMC.

We remember and are Semper Fidelis!

NC


Short Rounds

Grit,

Suggested theme for future newsletter submissions... practical jokes. Considering the generally grabasstic (apologies to Ermey) nature of our tribe, there must be a few thousand classics out there...

S/F, Dick


What's that one thing you miss about the Marine Corps?

Sgt Grit


Quotes

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
--James Madison


"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


"In the United States, as soon as a man has acquired some education and pecuniary resources, he either endeavors to get rich by commerce or industry, or he buys land in the bush and turns pioneer. All that he asks of the state is, not to be disturbed in his toil, and to be secure of his earnings."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]


"Totalitarianism is a mortar and pestle for grinding society into a dust of individuals."
--George F. Will


"A free man cannot long be an ignorant man."
--William McKinley


"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in different direction!"
--Gen. Oliver Smith, USMC


"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
--Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army


"Teufelhunde! (Devil Dogs)"
--German Soldiers, WWI at Belleau Wood


"Take ten... expect five... get three... on your feet, outta the shade and into the heat... saddle up, move out!"

"Reveille, Reveille... heave out and trice up, clean sweepdown fore and aft, carry all trash to the fan tail, the smoking lamp is lit in all authorized smoking spaces, stand clear of the mess decks until pipe-down" (never did figure out, or hear, any bosun's call that piped us down to chow... and only a squid would put tomatoes in SOS)"

"God Bless the Marine Corps!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Dog Tag Of The Korean War
• The Reunion And A Wedding
• The Lieutenant Distinguished Himself

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Sgt Grit,

10 years ago I built the caboose as a yard ornament. Badly weathered it was time to be rebuilt. I decided to make it honor the Marine Corps. People seem to like the change from the former R.R. motif. I served in the Corps from 1946-1952.

Semper Fi!
Leon Hooper


Dog Tag Of The Korean War

Sgt. Grit,

In a recent letter, one lad asked about Dog Tags. But in the old, old days one of the Sergeants or Officers went back over the battle field to identify the Dead, or the Dead were just buried without concern for the identity. During the "Cold Harbor Battle" of the Civil War, men on both sides sewed their name and address on their coats so they could be identified and the family informed of their Death. I'm sure it happened more often than not.

The first Government issue Dog Tags during WWI were round. You were issued two round discs about one inch in diameter during boot camp. There was a metal stamp kit that had metal letters of the alphabet, a metal block and a small hammer. Each man had to stamp his name on the Dog Tags and hang them around their neck with a length of leather thong or shoe string.

Then during WWII the Government issued Dog Tags and I understand it started some time in 1930's. The Army had oval about an inch and a quarter long. The Navy/Marine Corps were a bit more than round as you can see by my Dog Tag from the Korean War (I lost my WWII Dog Tags when I got out after the War).

There was Tetanus Shot date, your Religious preference, and of course name and serial number, and during WWII it was marked USMC or USMCR. An interesting note on Dog Tags, at a Gun Show after I retired, a guy came to my table and handed me a USMC Dog Tag with the name on it and it had the fingerprint on the back. He told me he bought something from Japan and the Dog Tag was inside the item. He gave it to me to see if I could find the owner, so I believe I sent the data to "Leatherneck" magazine and they found the owner who had been a POW in Japan and somehow his Dog Tag was lost while there.

Here's my Dog Tag of the Korean War which is on my key chain along with my Vietnam War Dog Tag.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


The Gunny Gives Nothing But 110%

If anyone knew or knows my fiance, they know to tread lightly and speak openly and honestly. His 2 tours in the Marines as a DI Instructor will have you speaking the truth within 5 seconds of even attempting to speak sideways (trust me I've tried and it doesn't work... LOL). Look at those eyes... he has been trained with the best of the best and gives nothing but 110% of himself in whatever he does... he does it to perfection! I'm not in the military, but he's taught me some great values and how to distinguish them within a person, and I can spot a Marine a mile away.

They walk with dignity, well put together and sharp, on-time, professional, and most of all... they love & honor their country and brotherhood. I just wanted him to know how proud I am of him and how much I value what he has done for the young Marines he's trained. The years he's served to protect our family and this country, and how he is loved so very much each and every day for staying true to what he will die breathing... Semper Fi (Always Faithful)!

Happy Birthday GySgt Prentiss! You are the Few, the Proud, a MARINE!

Dana

GySgt Prentiss (1985 - 2005) - Drill Instructor in San Diego, CA both tours.


The Reunion And A Wedding

Sgt Grit,

The Marines of 1969 MCRD San Diego, Platoon 1066 met in Branson, MO once again for our sixth annual reunion on 4-8 June 2014. We were again joined by our two Drill Instructors and their lovely wives. In addition to excellent shows and camaraderie, the highlight of our five days together was my marriage to Denise on 6 June at the Stonegate Glass Chapel. At our wedding banquet on Saturday night all of the great items so generously donated by SGT GRIT were distributed to the attendees to everyone's delight.

On behalf of the platoon and this old Marine, I would like to thank you for once again being a very special part of our reunion. Everyone so looks forward to this each year. The two Marines with drawn swords in the attached photos are GYSGT Tony Gatling (my Best Man) and CPL Tom Rogers. Finally, one of our platoon members, SGT Kenneth Fielder shared with us photos of the magnificent shadow box display of his medals and awards that SGT GRIT had recently put together for him.

Semper Fi!

Bob Deal '69-'75 MOS 1371
Proud Member of PLT 1066 - "Honor Platoon"


Divine Intervention

Private - What was the best scr-wing you ever got? Be truthful numbnuts!

Sir, when I joined the Marine Corps Sir!

DI to disgruntled recruit at chow: "Senor Shitb-rd, do you understand the chow may not be fit for pigs, but it is sure fit for you Marines!

One recruit could not climb the rope - soooo the DI took a bayonet and poked him in the b-tt to motivate him. Eventually he got up rope, but one day he went to the hospital for a high fever and the doctors saw the bruised b-tt of his. He was asked what happened - the dumb sh-t told a Navy Captain it was Divine Intervention because he scr-wed up? Captain went to some Colonel and complained and the recruit was a hero of the DIs for not ratting them out! We had a few scr-w ups who got many free passes for keeping their mouths shut - they were worked harder and we helped them - as we all wanted to be Marines!

We were called girls all the way through boot camp - and on graduation day after we passed in review - our Senior DI dismissed us by saying, "Ladies fall Out!" My proudest moment!

Bruce Bender
Cpl. 1963-1967
Vietnam ERA Marine


It's The Only Thing

Regarding the question of WWII round dog tags, when I enlisted, in July 1951, I was issued round dog tags. We wore two round dog tags, one on a long chain and another on an attached short chain. At some point (can't remember when) we were issued the rectangular dog tags with a notch in one end. Later on came a similar dog tag without the notched end.

Being a Marine isn't everything... it's the ONLY thing.

Semper Fidelis,
Gerald T. Pothier
Capt. USMC (Ret)
1951-1988
Mustang


60 Foot Jump

In recent letters, ship's "cargo nets" have been mentioned. I would like to tell you of a different "cargo net" story.

Sometime between Sept. and Nov. 1964, I was on the Navy ship, AGC-7, Mt. McKinley, cruising off the coast of South Vietnam in the South China Sea. I was with 1st. Comm. Supt. Co., Hdqtrs. Bn, 3rd. Mar/Div. (Rein). We were attached to the 9th MEB.

We had aboard a 2-star Admiral, (in charge of the flotilla), and a 1-star Marine General, (in charge of 9th MEB Marines). You Marines that have ever been on a Navy ship know of the stifling heat in the bunking areas where Marines are billeted. And you remember the scorching weather of the South China Sea during those years.

After many weeks of cruising up and down of the coast of South Vietnam, the Admiral, and the General, (probably with some staff input) decided that Marines, and Sailors, (not on watch), could go for a swim in the South China Sea. The ship dropped anchor, 4 life-boats with Marines and their M14s, were put on shark patrol, and cargo nets were put over the right side of the ship.

With the heat, the 60-foot jump into the ocean was so cool and fantastic!

The climb back up the cargo nets without pack and rifle was very easy for the first 6 feet... then it became a usual cargo net climb, six guys climbing parallel to you, the net moving back and away due to the ship's movement, and guys not in unison, and the fact that we were barefoot, and in our skivvies.

After the third jump, I said, "No way am I climbing up that net again", and I returned to the berthing furnace.

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
Sgt. '62 to '68


The Lieutenant Distinguished Himself

Hello, Sgt. Grit,

There was a 1st Lt. Brophy (sp.?) an Aerial Observer, who used to ride with those LOHs and spot artillery at H.Q. Battery, 11th Marines. The Lt. was quite excellent in his role, as I remember hearing. He distinguished himself in two ways which I remember clearly.

1. He would tote an M-14 with him on his missions. When the opportunity allowed, he'd have the pilot zip low enough to put M-14 rounds on the V.C. The Word had it, as I recall, that he'd radio back to FDC and report having dinged a VC, or two.

There was an officer in our FDC who was senior to Lt. Brophy, and he would accuse Lt. Brophy of lying about his M-14 kills.

2. Very soon after my arrival to 11th Marines, Lt. Brophy went up on a mission. Came across a VC or two, fleeing the chopper. Dove down, shot one, and radioed FDC about the kill. That skeptical senior officer, it was said, again called him a liar...

Down the hill in the Comm section word quickly spread: "Get up to the LZ and check it out!" Don't recall who all dashed up there, but just off the LZ lay the corpse of an unlucky VC, bullet holes very apparent (one of my first snapshots In Country!). The Lt. had been called a liar by that other officer, so the Lt. had the pilot set down his bird, lashed his latest victim to a skid and carted his dead self-back to 11th Marines for any doubters to see. Word had it that Lt. Brophy was never again accused of lying about his kills.

Memory says Lt. Brophy was shot badly while flying a mission early in the '69 Tet activities in our AOR. Perhaps you R.O.s had note of it in your Bullsh-t Log? I recall he was rumored to have had a tracheotomy during treatment pre-medivac, and in true John Wayne fashion asked for a smoke... the lit cigarette then was held over his open neck incision so he could inhale his smoke. Do any of you Lads recall hearing that?

Sgt "Junior" / Doug Helmers


USS Texas

I'm always up for military history in my travels. Several years ago on vacation with the family we found the USS Texas, now a museum ship.

Attached are a couple of photos about the formation of the 1st MarDiv. The 1st MarDiv. guys probably already know this and have been there but for the rest of us... a little more history.

Robert J. Bliss
'63-'67 in country '65-'66


Ended Up On Ulithi Islands

Sgt. Grit,

"What did you do during the War?" This was a title for a movie, books and stories that always come with an answer.

Let me tell you a story of something that happened to me during WWII. Because I was only seventeen and looked much younger I was often transferred. For some reason I ended up on Ulithi Islands awaiting transfer to somewhere else. There was an ship with smoke coming from it and people took off afraid the ammo aboard might explode. Now on the Ulithi Island of Mog Mog, you couldn't go very far. Due to my innocence or gullibility or what, my friend and I went to the ship, there were two men working on it and they were leaving. One was working in the hold loading ammo boxes on an elevator and sending them up. The other guy took the boxes from the elevator and then he removed the boxes so they could be placed on barge next to the ship. The smoke was coming from the opposite side of the ship where the ammo was so I went aboard with my friend and went down in the hold and started loading ammo into the elevator and sending it up to my friend on the deck.

It was hot as H-ll in the hold, not so much due to the fire as to being in the middle of the South Pacific where it does get hot and Ulithi is near the Equator so the guy in the hold came up for a breath of fresh air and to get cool in the 95 or higher temperature outside. A Navy Lieutenant came over and watched for a while and took our names, rank and serial numbers. Someone relieved us a while later and we went back to our tent.

The next day we were given Letters of commendation and we were thrilled to have done something we weren't punished for. Later things were not so calm and our records were blown up or lost or something and the Letters of Commendation became a thing of the past to talk about to our skeptical mates like we were weaving a tale of near heroism.

Like so much we hold onto and never, never tell anyone, this story belongs where it is, in my memory of long ago at an Island where people still say, "WHERE?"

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Future Marines

Jones Beach Marines putting the Poolee recruits through the paces... 6/7/14.


Beef Strog(enough)

Sgt Grit,

Thanks for the always interesting info and particularly the Dave Baker post r.e. USS Fremont (APA-44). I traveled on Freddy Fremont in the early 60's while a member of BLT 1/2. We were on the scheduled Med Cruise (6 months). Prep for amphib assault landing in a Pappa boat, we started down the nets making sure we held on to the vertical ropes (so you didn't step on someone's hands or be stepped on) and made it to the bottom.

Prior to going, in the early a.m., the great mess hall had prepared beef strog(enough), peas and mashed potatoes for energy while riding the waves. We traveled a distance and then circled the boats prior to going in waves to the beach. One of my brothers-in-arms had turned a lived green, made it to the opposite side, leaned over and would have put a fire hose to shame. Straight out for a foot or so and the wind dispersed all without hitting anyone.

Just a note to let all know that mere mention of a ships name can bring back memories. Thanks Dave and Thanks my Brothers.

Ed Duncan
MGySgt E-9 198xxxx
HqBn (Comm) 1/2 1961-1991


1stLt. Presley N. O'Bannon USMC

Fred S. Stoki standing by the location marker signifying that just north of the marker is the birthplace of 1stLt. Presley N. O'Bannon. 1stLt. O'Bannon was the first American to command U.S. forces on foreign soil and the first to raise the American flag over a fortress in the Old World. His success at the Battle of Derne, Tripoli (present day Libya), on 27 April 1805, ended a four-year war against the Tripoli pirates and inspired the phrase "to the shores of Tripoli" in the Marines' Hymn.


Operation DeckHouse I, 1966

Sgt Grit,

My good friend Ken, seated on the mine plow of an LVT E-1, which was the engineer version of the LVT P-5 family. This one was sited on a bluff as a museum piece at 21 Area, also known as Del Mar area at Camp Pendleton. Ken and I had gone there for a 1st Marine Division Anniversary observation... probably 2005. This is most likely the tractor that Ken was assigned to when in 5th Amphibian Tractor Bn, circa 1969. Even though it is ahhh... 'secured'? we were able to somehow (and we ain't telling how) get inside the thing... bits and pieces have disappeared over the years, including the driver's 'joystick'... most likely to have been made into a plaque for some old salt's retirement. The mine plow is folded in the picture... there are 'wings' on each flank that fold out for plowing up mines on the beach. From memory, this thing has a fuel-injected, twin supercharger, liquid-cooled gasoline V-12, 1,790 cubic inches... 1,080 HP at the flywheel. Crew used to snuggle down on top of the line charges ('bout a ton of C-4, linked on a rope) to catch some Zs...

Ddick


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #3)

August 4th, 1950. I was granted an early discharge, CofG for the sole purpose of reenlisting for a six year period. I was given Form DD-214. At 1300 I was sworn in for another 6 years. I took my Form DD-214 to the Enlisted Payroll Office where I was paid to date, including unused leave, plus $100 MOP and $360 reenlistment bonus. When added to what I had in my wallet I had more than $1000 for the first time in my life. I was going on a 15 day leave and I was going to leave with the most beautiful woman in the world. Tell me, what more could a man ask for? She should be here at 1500. I was on 'pins and needles'.

At 1455 I got a call from someone in another office that could see her arriving 'in a long white limo' as he described it. I went down to meet her. If I had thought she was beautiful when I first laid eyes on her - it was nothing to compare with what she looked like today. She was in an all white golfing outfit (a short, pleated skirt and a peasant blouse.) Now she looked absolutely GORGEOUS. She greeted me with, "I see you are wearing your Sgt stripes today." I replied, "You look fine, too!" She introduced her son, S_____, and got into the passenger side of the car. I closed the door when she was settled. I walked around (behind) the car and got under the wheel. We pulled away at exactly 1500.

I drove around the traffic circle and headed for the gate. We passed a long line of cars parked on the right side of Holcomb Blvd. She asked, "What are they?" I said, "They are enlisted personnel waiting for 1600 to leave the Post." She said, "Why do they have to wait until 1600?" I told her, "There must be some reason for it. That line is already about three miles long - with an hour to go before the guards will let them out." She said, "I think that's horrible." I pointed out my own car, my 1949 Hudson, which was quite close to the front of the line. She said, "It's pretty shiny!" As we got closer to the gate I began to slow down. She said, "You don't have to slow down. With the tag on the front of this car we usually go through the gate at between 15 and 20 MPH." I had no idea what kind of tag was on the front of the car but from the way she talked I suspected it was a rather low number officer tag. I sped up, as she suggested, and went through the gate at about 20 MPH. There were four guards on duty - and I got four of the sharpest salutes one could ever expect. I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw that at least one of them had recognized my Sgt stripes - and he probably knew me. These guards slept in my squadbay.

When we were nearing Kinston, I suggested stopping there for dinner. She agreed. There was diagonal parking on the main street and an open spot in front of the biggest restaurant. I zipped right in - and she had a tizzy. I said, "What's wrong?" She replied, "I never would have tried that - unless the spaces on both sides were open, too."

See You next week, the old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #6 (JUL, 2019)

I just finished typing in the Vol number and the date and I was getting ready to start a new issue of the FLIGHT LINE when I had several thoughts. One was that I forgot to mention that when the Technician came out to Cube Point from the States to inspect the Rotor Heads he was accompanied by a Sikorsky Factory Field Representative. This Rep. would stay with us because of the uniqueness and urgency in completing this mission and Headquarters MARINE CORPS would like to have a Factory Rep on site with the units involved. Anyway, as I recall the Factory Rep. was on the Test Flight with me, after the inspection, and also verified the achievement of the 200 MPH flight. In fact, he was the one that later presented the achievement patches to the Flight Crew at a regular Morning Formation. This is again a very unusual and coveted award for a Flight Crew Member. It is personal and with no entries in your records. You very seldom see the patch indicating achievement and participation. I have never seen the patch for sale at one of the after market outlets such as Sgt. Grit, or any of the others.

That said, I also thought that I sure have a lot of issues piling up and I thought that I better start separating them and also see how many I had. Now, understand that I was not going for quantity here, but all of a sudden I realized that I was now typing my 102nd issue of something I originally started to keep my mind busy with after my Heart Attack. I know I said something about this before, but it's amazing just how much "Stuff" that you can carry around in this ole Bucket and when ya need it, ya can't find it. I'm sure I have more in there, I've just got to find it!

Let's pick up where I left off in Okinawa and of course the flight home to Seattle was without any problems nor was my re-assignment to my old Office in Olympia, Wash.

After several days leave, I reported into the Main Recruiting Office in Seattle and was basically told by my commanding Officer that I would not be on production or quota and that I should go back down to Olympia and get a job and get my life back in order in preparation for retirement, which was set for 18 March 1974. I might add that this was the same Commanding Officer that I had when I was here before I went overseas, so he knew me because of our previous dealings. He said that I should give him a call every once in awhile to keep him posted or if I needed anything. The MARINE CORPS that I knew had changed while I was gone and it certainly was different back here from what I had recently been exposed to Overseas. I reported back in to the Olympia Office and my desk was vacant and everything was the way that I had left it. No one had taken my vacant seat.

I think that I covered my retirement and the party that followed several issues back, but my years in the CORPS were the most rewarding in my life and I wish to THANK All who I served with for the privilege of knowing and serving with them!


Badge-Heavy Master At Arms Got The Vapors

Never could keep the differences between LPD, LPH, LSD and other ships with wet well decks straight, but Marine Boyer in the 14 May newsletter asked for some experiences from those who had done such launches. Well, for a LSD (Landing Ship, Dock), one 'a them would be me (and I realize that there have to be literally hundreds, if not thousands, of other Marines who have had the experience... not counting the amtrack crewmen, for whom a launch was pretty much just another day at the office). In another item sent to Grit (that "submission" bit still just don't sound right...), I had related, in a piece centered around cargo nets, an experience where we moved from an APA to a LSD the day prior to a scheduled beach assault. (live fire... both sides...) So, after having climbed up the nets from a Mike boat (with a full Basic Allowance of ammo on us, inter-alia) we found ourselves on the weather deck of the Alamo, LSD 33. Alamo was carrying the equipment-heavy attached and supporting units of our Battalion Landing Team (3/5... a Special Landing Force, or 'SLF), and what minimal embarked troop billeting spaces (read: canvas bunks) were provided in this type ship had long since... or at least since Okinawa embarkation... been captured by cannon-cockers (our attached 105MM howitzer battery... F/2/11, from memory) tankers from the 5-tank platoon, truck drivers, cooks, ammo supply folks, etc. bottom line was that there were no bunks available. No biggie, since we were only going to be there overnight, and the guidance from above was just to find a place and flake out. Being an enterprising platoon sergeant, I quickly put 1st Platoon to ground in the shade under a bunch of deuce and a half trucks... which lasted until some badge-heavy Master at Arms (sorta like Navy MP's aboard ship) got the vapors at the thought that my troops might smoke whilst under those trucks, which, by the way, were loaded to the canvas bows with pallets of 105MM HE... so, we scattered, found some comfy, filthy, hard, hot piece of gray steel deck plate, and flaked out.

The word eventually came down that we were welcome to sleep on the air-conditioned mess deck (chow hall)... BUT... not until after the ship's crew movie, shown in the same space, was over. This turned out to be around 2300... and reveille was going to be at 0230... so we could have the traditional steak and eggs breakfast. (just the thing for the surgeons, if somebody got gut-shot... but, I digress...) At least it was cool and dry, although not at all comfortable trying to lie (lay?) across two seats, with all the lights on. Breakfast came and went... and we returned to our gear, saddled up, and stood by to be led by a squid across the walkway over the well deck, down the port-side ladder to the well deck and to our assigned amtrack. The well deck was lit by orange sodium vapor lights, and the interior of the amtracks by the red night vision setting on the interior lights... surreal, at best.

A half hour or so before launch, the front ramps on the amtracks (P-5's... this was 1966) were closed. I don't recall how many of us were in that steel box, but it was full... crowded. Being a person of some importance (had a rocker under my chevrons), I got one of the two troop vision blocks (periscopes), which afforded some limited forward vision... Lt. Rosenau, the 1st Platoon Leader (my boss) got the other one... by this time, it was beginning to ease into daylight, and Rosie and I could see that the stern gate was open, and that there was a mild surf washing up into the ship. Bear in mind that we are just feet forward of a 750HP V-12 gasoline engine, standing above (12) forty-gallon rubber fuel tanks under the amtrack deck plates, and getting a faint whiff of puke mixed in with the usual smells of sweat, machine oil, and the one orange that some numbnuts had decided to filch from the mess deck and peel in our common space. The tractors in front of ours accelerated, went off the tailgate, and began to swim away from the ship in a straight line. When it was our turn, we began to rumble forward over the wooden deck, until the rumbling changed...and we were afloat! Bear in mind that the P-5 weighed around 40 tons, had the streamlined shape of a shoe box, and had about eight inches of freeboard when afloat. And lest I forget... the amtrackers didn't 'go' when told over the radio... the signal, when there was no longer other tractors in the ship in front of you... was a friggin' traffic light! (I kid you not!) mounted up high, aft, on one side of the wing walls (sides of the well deck)... Red meant 'hold it', Yellow was "get ready" (I guess...) and Green was GO!

Once all ten were out, and in line, moving parallel to the beach, somebody commanded "by the left flank" or whatever, and we could no longer see any of the other tractors. We were told later that ramps dropped on the beach within 30 seconds of the scheduled time... the tractors closed their ramps, did a left flank to get back in line, went down the beach, splashed, and went back to the ship... probably got there in time for brunch. We, on the other hand, had absolutely nothing going on... we had arrived at 0630... and, it seems, the psyops folks (Army) had flown over the objective area about 0600 with loudspeakers, advising the locals that "the Marines are coming, and they are your friends"... the VC Battalion which had had a rest area in the vicinity of the first day's objective heard that, and decided to didi-mau... Operation DeckHouse I, 1966...

Have heard tales of the "20-knot launch" in which the launching ship is steaming at 20 knots parallel to the beach, and spitting amtracks out the back... dunno if we were even moving for ours, but sounds pretty interesting... am sure there must be some bilge rats (1833 amphibian tractor crewmen) in the readership who will step up (or sit down at a keyboard) and regale the rest of us with a 'this is no sheit' sea story... please do...

Ddick


Taps

Alexander 'Baggs' Marchese left us & the USMC.

We remember and are Semper Fidelis!

NC


Short Rounds

Grit,

Suggested theme for future newsletter submissions... practical jokes. Considering the generally grabasstic (apologies to Ermey) nature of our tribe, there must be a few thousand classics out there...

S/F, Dick


What's that one thing you miss about the Marine Corps?

Sgt Grit


Quotes

"If tyranny and oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
--James Madison


"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."
--Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe


"In the United States, as soon as a man has acquired some education and pecuniary resources, he either endeavors to get rich by commerce or industry, or he buys land in the bush and turns pioneer. All that he asks of the state is, not to be disturbed in his toil, and to be secure of his earnings."
--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America [1835]


"Totalitarianism is a mortar and pestle for grinding society into a dust of individuals."
--George F. Will


"A free man cannot long be an ignorant man."
--William McKinley


"We're not retreating, Hell! We're just attacking in different direction!"
--Gen. Oliver Smith, USMC


"I have just returned from visiting the MARINES at the front, and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
--Gen. Douglas MacArthur, U.S. Army


"Teufelhunde! (Devil Dogs)"
--German Soldiers, WWI at Belleau Wood


"Take ten... expect five... get three... on your feet, outta the shade and into the heat... saddle up, move out!"

"Reveille, Reveille... heave out and trice up, clean sweepdown fore and aft, carry all trash to the fan tail, the smoking lamp is lit in all authorized smoking spaces, stand clear of the mess decks until pipe-down" (never did figure out, or hear, any bosun's call that piped us down to chow... and only a squid would put tomatoes in SOS)"

"God Bless the Marine Corps!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Marine Way Of Doing Things
• Marine Corps History Buffs Quiz
• 1965 Before Leaving For PI

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Aubrey Headon in Sgt Grit Showroom

Aubrey Headon, age 14 from Rochelle, Illinois stopped in to visit us here in OKC while attending the Endeavor Games. She is in the preparatory events for the Paraolympic team. She holds the world record for the long jump and is on her way to London next for more events. Aubrey loves the Marine Corps! Her grandfather, SSgt Lyle Headon of 1st Amtracks '64-'68 inspired this love in her. She eats, sleeps and breathes the Corps and has since about age 3. She wears Marine Corps anything she can get her hands on. Aubrey ran on 7 June 2014 at the games in honor of LCpl Alec E. Catherwood, KIA from Darkhorse 3/5, Afghanistan 10-14-2010.

Aubrey we salute you for your honor, courage, and commitment to conquering the games, and continue to stand tall and proud as any United States Marine. Oorah!

Kristy Fomin
Marine Wife
Sgt Grit Call Center COO


Cookie's Tavern

Joe on the street in front of Cookie's tavern

Joe with other Marine Veterans in front of Cookie's tavern

Every year on Nov 10th there is a huge Marine Corps B-Day celebration in Philadelphia and they close off a major street and about a thousand Marines show up. It last all day at a Marine owned bar called Cookie's Tavern. Guys come from all over. Joe Curry was a Captain in the NJ State Police and is my neighbor, and this is me with his wife a couple years ago. I have now lost 129 lbs so I looked much younger and skinnier now. The other picture is me and my buddy from high school talking on the blocked off street. His name is Wayne Parker, and he buys stuff from you guys too. I love the spinning EGA's but I can't figure out how to do it.

Joseph A. Curry Jr.


Eagle, Globe, and Anchor Under Armour Cold Black Bucket Hat


Marine Way Of Doing Things

Made some landings off APA-44 USS Fremont. Remember re-boarding up the nets once. All that gear, tired, dirty, wet, and they want me to go up that net? I wondered, if I make to the top... how in the heck am I going to get on the deck. Well when I got to the top I felt myself being lifted up and gently being set on the deck in an upright position. In someone's infinite wisdom they had stationed two Sailors at every column of Marines coming up the nets. Sometimes you win. I know I was not going to look good if I would have had to try to get up on that deck by myself. Those Sailors made a bunch of points with us that day.

This post is in reference to the post about being lifted up in cargo nets. I think the way we did it was more in a Marine way of doing things. Just sayin'.

Dave Baker
Cpl. E4 183xxxx
C-1-8 1958 - 1962


Marine Corps History Buffs Quiz

Sgt Grit,

I had a fun time putting it together and I thought a lot of our brothers and sisters might get a kick out of passing or failing this test.

Semper Fi, my friend.

Chris Vail

OK, Marine Corps history buffs and those who don't like history, but do like to play games, here's a list of famous sayings about Marines and or the Marine Corps. See if you can correctly link the quote with the author. No cheating (which, of course, Marines wouldn't do anyway), but the answers can be found at the end.

1. Who said, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue?"
a. Gen "Howlin"' Mad Smith, Okinawa, 1945
b. ADM Chester Nimitz, Iwo Jima, 1945
c. Col Chesty Puller, Guadalcanal, 1942
d. ADM Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese navy, 1945

2. Who said, "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle?"
a. Gen Lemuel Shepherd, Commandant of the Marine Corps
b. Gen Douglas McArthur at Inchon, 1950
c. Gen John Pershing, World War I
d. Unidentified German officer at Bellleau Wood, WWI

3. Who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes. If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
a. Gen Chesty Puller, Pelilieu
b. Gen Al Gray (later Commandant), Vietnam
c. Sgt. John Basilone on Iwo Jima
d. MajGen James Mattis to Iraqi tribal leaders

4. Who said, "We're not retreating, H-ll! We're just attacking in a different direction."
a. Gen Oliver Smith, CG, 1st Marine Division, Korea
b. MajGen John Lejeune, WWI
c. SgtMaj Dan Daly, WWI
d. Gen George Patton, enroute to Bastogne, 1944

5. Who said, "Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency: we are winning!"
a. Col David Shoup (later Commandant), Tarawa
b. Capt Henry Crowe, Guadalcanal
c. Gen Charles Krulak, Vietnam
d. Lt Clifton Cates (later Commandant), WWI

6. Who said, "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest minds, the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
a. President Harry Truman, 1952
b. Jonathon Winters, comedian and former Marine
c. Gen Douglas McArthur, 1945
d. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, 1st Lady, 1945

7. Who said, "A Marine is a Marine... there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There is no such thing as a former Marine."
a. Gen James Jones, Commandant
b. Gen Chesty Puller
c. Gen Al Gray, Commandant
d. Gen James Amos, Commandant

8. Who said, "C'mon, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
a. John Basilone on Iwo Jima
b. GySgt Dan Daly, Belleau Wood
c. Maj Joe Foss, air battle over Guadalcanal
d. Lt. Audie Murphy, WWII

9. Who said, "The American Marines have it (pride), and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it."
a. President Harry Truman
b. Gen Douglas McArthur
c. Gen Mark Clark, U. S. Army
d. New York Times reporter, reporting on Marines in Afghanistan

10. Who said, "I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
a. Gen Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
b. Gen Douglas McArthur
c. President Ronald Reagan
d. President Lyndon Johnson

11. Who said, "The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
a. Joe Rosenthal, photographer on Iwo Jima
b. James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 1945
c. President Franklin Roosevelt
d. Gen Lemuel C. Shepard (later Commandant), 1945

12. Which Commandant said in 1978, "The wonderful love of a beautiful maid; the love of a staunch true man; the love of a baby, unafraid, have existed since time began. But, the greatest of loves, the quintessence of loves, even greater than that of a mother, is the tender, passionate, infinite love of one drunken Marine for another?"
a. Gen Louis Wilson
b. Gen Al Gray
c. Gen Robert Cushman
d. Gen Charles Krulak

Answers: (1) b, (2) c, (3) d, (4) a, (5) a, (6) d, (7) d, (8) b, (9) c, (10) b, (11) b, (12) a

Semper Fi and I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I did researching them.


Land Of The Morning Sun

Yo Sgt.,

I am sure you or your staff do not remember a year ago my asking you to forward my email address to a Tom Tilson a Marine that I thought I knew that was actor George Kennedy's brother and I hadn't seen for nearly 35 years from a name in your newsletter. Being here in Tucson, and tied up with medical problems myself, and Tom being in Florida, we never got to see each other in person, but we emailed each other on a weekly basis.

Tom served as a swim coach at PI, and I had the chance to thank him for nearly drowning me. Tom got the news from his Doc that the cancer treatment that he was getting wasn't helping, and he was down to a few months left. Tom went out like a Marine. He and his wife flew to California, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and Hawaii to visit friends for the last time, and he enjoyed every moment of the trip. A few weeks after he returned, Tom passed away and I lost another dear friend. Thank you for your help in getting us together after all that time.

I try to read everything that is written about the early 50's Korean service and there is one thing I have yet to see anything about in your newsletter. On my second tour in the winter of '52/'53, while with the 7th Marines, the Army had these search lights set up a number of miles behind the MLR. They would shine them on the common low hanging night cloud cover and light up the reverse slope of the MLR. We called it "Artificial Moonlight". The Marine Corps, not to be outdone, set up one on the first hill (1000 yards) behind the MLR that 2 battalions from the 5th Marines were holding. As we found out later, their 3rd battalion was in reserve. Anyway, the 7th was in regimental reserve at the time, and intelligence indicated that because the Korean's couldn't determine where that light was by artillery fire that they sent an infiltration team to locate and knock it out. Cpl. John (last name withheld to protect the innocent), myself and four PFC's were volunteered to man a protective perimeter around the light.

The purpose of the light was for night air strikes on the enemy MLR. The Corsairs would fly in on a radio beacon and radio the light crew they were on station, and then they would turn the light on the enemy lines the planes would make a run with napalm and bombs. The first strike we had that night, I think was set for 0030 hours. Both John and I thought that as soon as they turned that light on we were going to get blown off the hill by the enemy artillery which didn't happen. When the last plane finished its run, the light was quickly shut down, and we had a two hour wait until the next strike. Shortly after the first strike, John whispered to me someone was coming up the hill. I could hear voices but couldn't make out what they were saying or the language. We had M-1's, a bandolier of ammo each, and a number of grenades each. I lined up three or four of the grenades in front of me on the edge of the little trench I was lying in. Then I heard a curse in English and just about the same time, the head of a 2nd Lt. popped up in front of me with his nose about 4 inches from the muzzle of my rifle. I yelled freeze and I have to tell you that the Lt.'s eyes went from slits to pie-plate size in a nanosecond. Turns out they were a group of Marines from the 5th on a training patrol and evidently lost. I think we shook the h-ll out of them because they left in what can only be described as hastily. Just another fun night in the land of the morning sun.

Perhaps there is someone still alive out there that remembers this type of operation.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


Marine Corps Ranked Worst... Or Not?

Marine Corps ranked worst service branch to join, and I love it!

This article on Yahoo written by Ron Johnson completely made my day. The writer was asked to rank best military branch to serve in.

He ranks them as:
1. Army
2. Air Force
3. Navy
4. Coast Guard
5. Marine Corps (Worst Military Branch)

And here's what he had to say about the Marine Corps:

"Of all the military branches, the Marine Corps ranks as the least attractive choice for this author. Technically part of the Navy, the Marine Corps are the elite war fighters of the United States military. The leathernecks of the USMC are truly fearsome fighters, tough as nails and ready and willing to fight all comers. The Marines turn recruits into stone-cold killers and they make no secrets about that fact. Marines live tough lives, sleeping on board Navy ships, charging through the surf and crawling in the sand with one goal in mind: engage the enemy.

Unfortunately, when Marines fulfill their obligation and exit the service, they seem to find difficulty in turning this Marine Corps attitude 'off'. Whereas an Army or Navy veteran will likely adjust to civilian life over time and become softer, Marines stay Marines. Visit any neighborhood in the United States and you will find a USMC flag flying high over someone's house. You will rarely, if ever, see a person flying an Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard flag. While veterans of other military branches tend to relax a little bit as they transition into civilian life, any Marine will be quick to remind you of their unofficial motto, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." I don't know what those Marine Corps drill sergeants are doing to their recruits, but whatever it is, it works.

"Is that a bad thing? Well, that depends on your reasons for considering a military enlistment. If you have a strong desire to kill the enemy, the Marine Corps is for you because that is what the Marines do. Either you want that or you don't, plain and simple. If you simply want a challenge, any other branch of the military will provide you with plenty of opportunities to test yourself. Army Rangers and Green Berets, Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, and the Navy Seals all offer extreme physical and mental challenges outside of the Marine Corps. So if you are considering joining the Marine Corps, think long and hard about what that means before going to a recruiter and signing up."

Here's the full article and in my opinion the guy is mostly dead on about everything he wrote: The Best Military Branch to Enlist In; A Veteran Ranks the Military Branches.

Best Military Branch To Enlist In

And why is it I'm mostly proud of what he said about the Marine Corps? Are we that messed up in the head? : )

Original Article
USMC Ranked Worst Branch To Join and I Love It

Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Sgt USMC, Author


Gold Star Mom Converts To Cycles

SSgt Joseph Fankhauser before leaving for Afghanistan

Painting of Sgt Joseph Fankhauser

By Staff Writer

An old adage says, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", but Mary Wyscarver, THS teacher, begs to differ with that. For years her friends have told her of the joys of motorcycles. Finally on Memorial Day she joined almost one thousand bikers for the 15th annual "Ride to Remember" in West Texas to honor the fallen heroes. Her son, Marine SSgt. Joseph Fankhauser (KIA Afghanistan 2012), is her hero and was recently featured on Fox Sports Warriors Among Us – Honor the Fallen.

"I haven't been on a bike in over 30 years," said Wyscarver, "but I think Joe would have been proud of me." Her cousin, Peggy Riemenschneider Neinst, in Andrews invited Wyscarver to join her, A.L. Smith, and Walter Braumley who have been riding for years. Smith wanted to get there early as he said, "There are three things you don't mess with: a man's bike, his woman, and his place in line." The bikes travel in pairs and from the first to the last it takes about one hour to get them all on the road.

The ride started at the West Texas Veterans' Memorial at the Midland Airport with a short program of speeches, wreath laying, posting of the colors, poem, prayer, bagpipes, and the playing of Taps. Then the drivers embarked on a one and one half hour tour with police escorts through Midland and Odessa, Texas and ending at the Veterans' Memorial in Andrews.

Despite the threatening weather, patriots of all ages lined the route with flags, waves, salutes, and horn honking. "It was a moving experience," recalls Wyscarver as she tearfully remembered an older vet saluting until all the procession had passed.

Donned in a black leather vest with a large Marine logo (from Sgt. Grit) on the back, Wyscarver rode in style on Braumley's special made fire engine red Harley Davidson bike complete with the fire fighter emblem. In fact, Braumley rode the bike to West to honor his fellow fire fighters after the 2013 explosion.

As an unofficial Biker Chick, Wyscarver stated that there were all types and colors of motorcycles in the procession including three wheelers and spiders. "Each owner was as unique as his or her bike," Wyscarver continued, "but they were all united in their love for America and appreciation of the service and sacrifice of current and former military personnel."

Wyscarver has already told all her friends and family about her trip. "I guess I'm like my teacher/WWII vet Daddy who liked to fish. Every time I tell the story it gets bigger and better," she laughed.


1965 Before Leaving For PI

Going through some old stuff found this. This is from 1965 given to me by my recruiter before leaving for PI.

To applicants reporting for active duty:

Dress neatly, with shined shoes, and a short neat haircut. Coat and tie is desired.

Take The Following Items With You:

Wallet and SS card
Alien registration card if foreign born
Not more than $10.00 cash
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Ballpoint pen

Do Not Take The Following Items:

Medicine or remedies for ailments
Photos that do not fit your wallet
Driver's license
Shaving equipment
Excess money
watches, jewelry, and camera

You May Take If Desired:

Religious medal
Bible (small)

You will be aboard the Naval Base in Philadelphia for the better part of the day, with the official Oath Of Enlistment being administered at 2:30pm. You will arrive by bus at Phila International Airport at 4:00pm. You will depart at 5:20pm on a National Air Lines jet flight. Here your family and friends are invited to see you off.

When you arrive at Parris Island you will receive all items that are necessary for your well-being and everyday living. All men are issued the same items and you must wear them. The clothes you wear to PI will be returned to your home, Express collect within a few days.

You have chosen your Nation's Finest... The United States Marine Corps. Give your best and you will receive the best. The men that will train you are experts in their field and will give you the benefit of their years of experience. You as a Marine are the main controlling factor in your future as a Marine and throughout you entire life. Keep your Marine Corps proud.

Best of luck to you, and remember... "SEMPER FIDELIS"


D-mn Kentucky bourbon

Sgt. Grit,

Today, June 6, 2014, the 70th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy during WW II, is a particularly appropriate day to further write about my conversations with young, active duty Marines during Memorial weekend. I don't think most young people today understand or appreciate the sacrifices that were made by the young men and women of the WW II generation who are now mostly in their late 80's and early 90's. The exception to that statement, I believe, are the young Americans serving today, especially Marines. They are taught history and traditions, lessons that aren't taught in schools today.

During my talks with the two young Marines over Memorial weekend, one Marine goaded the other into asking me a question while I was obtaining another adult beverage. The question was - "What was the leadership you had on active duty like way back then?" I wasn't real fond of the "way back then" part, but I guess it's a matter of perspective. I answered the question this way. "Most of the senior leadership I had were veterans of WW II and Korea. Almost all of the senior SNCOs were veterans of one of those wars when I was a Pvt. in 1964. All the field grade and general grade officers were veterans of WW II or Korea. My leadership "way back then" was at times funny, at times really hard on us young Marines, and at times very concerned about our welfare. But they also didn't tolerate misconduct in any way, shape or form."

The young Marine's comment to my answer to his question was interesting to say the least. He said - "Those Marines from WW II and Korea set the standard, set the pace for you with their dedication to duty and courage. You accepted the responsibility and served honorably. You set the standard, set the pace for Marines who served in the Middle East and other places after you left the Marine Corps. They also accepted their responsibility and served honorably. Those Marines set the standard, set the pace for us. Now, it's our generation's turn to set the standard, set the pace. I don't expect the challenge to be an easy one. We have a tough legacy to live up to. I can just say I'll do my best."

Needless to say, the adult beverage the bartender mixed for me was quite strong, and I'm sure that's what was causing my eyes to tear up. D-mn Kentucky bourbon.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Vietnam Campaign Ribbon?

Sgt Grit,

Last night, I was watching the Military Channel. The program had to do with the Nuremburg trials, and the Nazis that WERE NOT charged for their crimes... such as von Braun, and other scientists, and business administrators. As they were showing photos of U.S. Army personnel, (enlisted, I believe), and German High-Command prisoners of war, I was looking at the Army escorts ribbons... and then I had to rewind the photos. The Army escort's ribbons included the Vietnam Campaign ribbon, and the Vietnam Service Ribbon. I was so flabbergasted, that I didn't pay any attention to his other ribbons. (I don't know most of the Army ribbons anyhow). BUT, he was wearing period clothing.

Sgt. Denny Krause

P.S. I will be looking for that program again.


We Love A Parade

Semper Fi and thanks Sgt. Grit for the newsletter. I look forward to it every week.

I was just reading the latest newsletter and enjoying some of the stories written by my brother Marines, young and old. Half way through it one of my co-workers came into my office and noticed my desktop U.S. Flag and Marine Corps Flag. Hence the conversation went from my being a Marine to Boot Camp, Hollywood Style to; MCAS El Toro, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa to Treasure Island. He was curious about Okinawa. While sharing some of my experiences. One hit me that I thought I would share with you. Side note; In 1964 Marines had to wear uniforms while on liberty. Although many evenings were spent on base at the E Club Chesty at Sukiran (later Camp Foster), as that is where we were stationed, 3rd FSR.

While at the club, every time the band would play, "California Hear I Come, Right Back Where I Started From." My buddies and I could be found sitting on the floor under our table drinking our 10 cent mixed drinks. Only because, when that song played, the place would turn into a real clustered mess. You could even call it an animal pit. There would be bottles and glasses flying, chairs and tables being toppled and the occasional fist of cuffs brawl. Once it would subside, we would go topside and enjoy the rest of the evening, unless the MP's arrived. At that point the party would end. Do to the fact the Club Chesty was unpredictable, we enjoyed going to off limit bars. They were a real get away from the usual action at Club Chesty. One Saturday a group of us decided to go to Naha. Once there, in uniform we decided to explore the surrounding area. Well, we managed our way off the beaten trail and found a few watering holes and commenced to partake of the fruit of the native vine. Once fully tanked up and nearly blind, we decided to go back to the main strip and catch a cab back to Camp Sukiran. When we arrived on the main Strip, there was a parade in progress. Well as you know, being Marines, "We Love a Parade"... So the 4 of us fell-in the ranks at an opening. We are swaying from side to side, following the rest of the crowd, and chanting right along with them. When out of nowhere came an brother Marine Sergeant yelling over the noise of the crowd, "What the H are you guys doing"? Not being of sound mind nor balance we invited the Sgt to join us. That is when he yelled, "This is a Communist Anti-American Parade Rally"! We all sobered up in a heartbeat. We thanked the nice Sergeant, who we didn't know. So if you are reading this, thanks again, I owe you one. That evening, our biggest concern was, if anyone took our picture and it would be published in the newspaper. Peace came a week later when we returned to the off-limit saloons, off the beat trail for more fruit of the native vine. That was one among many experiences I will never forget.

Cpl Frank Santangelo
USMC
1961-1967


Jersey Boys

A while back, GySgt. Rousseau wrote an interesting article about the music that Marines listened to during the WW2 era. When I was in, the music was quite different. The Beatles and the British invasion had not yet arrived in America, Elvis was King, and our music was pretty much Elvis, various R&R and Doo-Wop groups, and an occasional ballad by the likes of Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Four Aces, etc. Today one of the hottest shows on Broadway, and now a movie, is Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Prior to 1962, nobody had ever heard of the Four Seasons. That was about to change.

In June 1962, the 6th MEU, consisting of reinforced Bn. 1/6 and supporting elements, set sail from Norfolk, VA, aboard the USS Boxer, LPH-4, along with various other amphibs. For the next 3 months, we would be, in Naval-speak, the Caribbean Force in Readiness. Our job was to sail around, show the flag, look tough, and be prepared to kick any butts that needed kicking. Headquartered in Vieques, we did several landings and maneuvers, and sailed around to different liberty ports.

At that time, (don't know if it is still in operation), there was a radio station broadcasting out of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It was WIVI, the Lighthouse of the Indies. They played great music, all the latest R&R hits. One day as we were cruising around, word went around ship that there were some good sounds being heard up on the flight deck. We all went up there and gathered around anyone who had a transistor radio. We arrived topside just in time to hear Frankie Valli wailing out Sherry. It sounded great, and it seemed like almost at once, every Marine, and half the ship's crew, were moving and grooving to Sherry. Everyone was having fun. But, as we all know, Marines on board ship are not allowed to have fun. As we were enjoying all the R&R songs, the ship's loudspeaker system announced "Now hear this. All personnel not on duty clear the flight deck and lay to your berthing spaces at once." We went, but at least we got to hear the Four Seasons for the first time. Who knew the Jersey Boys would still be singing into the 21st century.

We never did get to kick any butt on that cruise, but did perform a few "crisis interventions" (more Naval-speak.) We went to Haiti because the Dictator Papa Doc Duvalier and his secret police, the TanTan Macoute, were threatening all-out revolution. After things quieted down, we were allowed liberty in Port au Prince. What a rat hole. We went to the Dominican Republic because the military was threatening a coup against the democratically-elected president. No liberty allowed. We went ashore in Gitmo because Castro had been harassing the Navy base there for several months. We pulled some great liberty in many places, including Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, and Trinidad.

We arrived back in Norfolk in Sept., and not much more than a month later we all went back to Gitmo for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once again we did not kick butt. A good time was had by all.

Cpl. Paul Lindner
1959-1963


After The Rush

After the Rush Book Cover

By Lanny Martinson

After the Rush represents author Lanny Martinson's debut into the literary world. His gritty, tell-it-like-it-is style leaves little to the imagination in his no-holds-barred account of a young man's journey into manhood. Although the book is fiction, it's based on actual events experienced by the author or his fellow Marines who served in the Vietnam War.

You can find this book at: After the Rush


Lieutenant Of Marines

Lieutenant of Marines Book Cover

By Bryan J. Lash

The sixties brought us many things: women's liberation, free love and draft dodgers. More importantly, America was involved in helping the fledgling democratic Republic of Vietnam withstand attempts from the Communists of North Vietnam to conquer them militarily. America sent its bravest and brightest to assist and train the Vietnamese. Unfortunately, history will probably show that most Americans opposed this action. This is a story that chronicles the experiences of one man's journey to be a U.S. Marine during this time in history. It covers his time as a boy, through college, to leading the world's finest fighting men in combat. He discovered many life lessons along the way, not the least of which was the real meaning of the famous Marine motto: Semper Fidelis.

You can find this book at: Lieutenant of Marines


Gonna Get It Now

Recruits who needed "extra" training, the overweight, the slow learners, the weak, or those with an "attitude" were set back to the STU (Special Training Unit) platoon. This was the equivalent of a death warrant to us as we never saw a setback recruit again. We had a guy join our platoon late in boot camp after he had been set back from another platoon and spent a month or so in STU. It was his first night in our squad bay at taps and we were all in our racks at attention, waiting for the Drill Instructor to turn out the lights and hoping he doesn't decide to PT our azzes for some slight, when this STU recruit screams out:

"Sir! We Wish To Thank The Drill Instructor For Another Glorious Day In The Marine Corps Where Everyday's A Holiday and Every Meal's A Feast. Gung Ho, Gung Ho, Gung Ho!"

I thought, oh sheet, we're gonna get it now. But the D.I. just stood there a minute, said "Bullsheet", "Goodnight ladies", and turned out the lights. Every night after that we had to recite this same prayer to the Corps while at attention in our racks. A few years ago I found this brother Marine on the internet. And shared a few e-mails back and forth with him for a while. He was a bad gang banger from New York City when he joined the Corps. He did have an attitude he told me, but STU knocked it out of him. After he got out, he went back to New York City, became a cop and retired with honors to Arizona.

Norm Spilleth
Plt. 374, August 1960


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #2)

I went to the barracks and took a quick shower. Then I went to chow. I returned to my bunk and laid down for a well needed rest. At 1800 I waited for a call from this gorgeous woman. By 1845 I had decided that she would not call and went to sleep. But at 1900 the Duty NCO came into the squadbay and hollered "Sgt Freas. Miss Kitty would like to talk with you." I rushed to his office. You should have heard what my bunkmates were saying: "Miss Kitty? I thought the girl in your locker was Mary"; "Does Mary know about Miss Kitty?" "Is this going to mess up your marriage to Mary?", etc., etc., etc. Well, anyway this was the first time I knew her name.

When I went into the Duty NCO's office he told me that he was going to walk his rounds - so that I could have a little privacy. I picked up the phone and said, "Sgt Freas speaking." She replied "This is Kitty. Do you remember me?" (Boy, did I remember her). I said "Yes." She said she had three questions to ask me. #1 was "Would you be willing to drive us to Washington, D.C.?" I answered "That all depends." #2 was "Can you drive a tank?" I said "What do you mean?" She told me "My car is a tank, a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan. I used to call it a battleship - but have since decided that was a bit much. I told her that "my car was a 1949 Hudson, not too much smaller than her car; certainly I can drive your car." and #3 was "When can we leave?" I told her that goes back to your first question. "I am reenlisting for six more years Friday afternoon and going on a 15 day leave afterwards. I had thought you wanted to go in my car and I have to take it on my leave. That would prevent me from driving your car to Washington. But I think I can get over that hurdle - in fact I am almost certain I can. If you will give me a call tomorrow evening I am sure I can give you the answer you want." She said "That sounds good, I will call you tomorrow evening."

The next morning I called a hometown buddy that often rode with me on weekends. I asked him if he would like to drive my car back home on Aug 4th. He said "Certainly!" And the problem was solved. When 'Miss Kitty' called again I could tell her that everything was a 'Go'. She called again - at 1900 - and someone hollered "This must be serious" She said she had one question that kept nagging her - "Are you certain you can drive my tank?" I responded "That is no problem at all. I am at a loss as to why you think it would be a problem." She answered "It is such a long car!" I told her "How about a school bus? You get behind the wheel and everything behind you goes where you want it to. If it will make you feel better - I drove a tractor-trailer six months between high school and the Marine Corps." It was agreed that she would meet me behind Bldg#1 on Friday, Aug 4th at 1500.

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #5 (MAY, 2019)

I'd like to continue from Vol, #9, #4 by saying that I survived my first 200 MPH flight in a CH-53 by relying on what I believe to be a sound engineered and built aircraft that was designed for a max speed of 194 MPH. I'm sure you're wondering why would someone want to push the limits of the design characteristics of the aircraft only to say that they did, what they did. Plus I didn't recall anyone asking for a vote count. All of a sudden we were there. I was just glad that he (the Test Pilot) didn't want to attempt a loop or a roll that day. He also called me forward to verify that we had attained 200 MPH. I was satisfied with the results and grateful that he was also.

Now, In the preceding issues I talked about Operation ENDSWEEP and my little piece of the pie from my viewing place at Cubi Point in the Philippine Islands. Also, remember that the dates of this Operation were from 6 February 1973 to 27 July 1973. This was after the Vietnam War peace agreement which was signed on 23 January 1973. It was also tied to the release of the prisoners of war and of course the removal of the mines in the harbors and shipping lanes.

Since all this took place after the War in Vietnam there have been many discussions concerning those that were there and questions have been raised as to why there were no ribbons for those that participated in the operation. Although many involved drew small arms fire in the performance of their duties Congress refused all requests for awards stating that the war had ended on 30 March therefor no awards were warranted. No campaign, expeditionary, service ribbons or medals. The fact that Saigon didn't fall for another year and fighting in one form or another continued to that time and beyond and didn't enter into their heads. The fact that these personnel were receiving combat pay made no difference.

Several Sailors from the Mine Sweepers sent letters to the NAVY Dept. and Senators. They rec'd the response that the Navy considered a special ribbon for Operation ENDSWEEP but, decided against it. To this day, not many people know what ever happened. Even now I'm trying to find out why our unit HMM (C)-164 (CH-53 Section) was not even included as having been a part of TF-78.? Oh Well, one of these days We'll learn why!

My tour of duty with the 53 Section was coming to an end and I boarded a C-130 for my trip back up to MCAS Futenma, OKI. I still had about a week left on my overseas tour and I needed to get at least 1.5 more Flight hours for my Flight Pay. Well, I signed on for more than likely my last flight in the Corps and climbed on board a 53 that was going out for a flight up to the Northern part of the Island with the Maint. Officer. We talked back and forth while we were heading North and the fact that this was going to be my last flight in the Corps prompted him to tell me to sit down and strap in and with that, he kicked that '53 in the tail and requested a Low High speed pass of the Field, and the tower. Once past the tower he laid that 53 on it's side and made the turn back down the field and abruptly came to a high hover stop and landed. Once landed, he taxied up to the front of the Line Shack, he told me to de-plane and he saluted me as I was walking away from the AC. I will never forget that! SEMPER FI!


Don't Look Up

Ah, the nets... always the nets. There was a time when older hands taught minor, but important, rope work (only, they would have called it 'line', not 'rope'), and that was just a couple of knots, half-hitches, etc., used to hand lower crew-served weapons over the side. A piddlin' detail... unless you wanted to go ashore without your mortars or machine guns... or had an orangutan or two who could just swing down the net with a base plate in one hand. Along with "keep yer hands on the verticals, dumbazs", would be frequent reminders from up at the rail to "don't look up". Pretty good advice, since the pizzpot (helmet) would usually do a better job of deflecting any item of stray gear gone adrift from the rank above than would a face... although I have known some Marines who at first glance might be suspected of having ignored that advice at some time in the past. I recall a freckle-faced feather merchant from Comm Platoon (H&S 2/1/9) who was packing, besides his field marching pack and M-1, a AN/PRC-10 back-pack radio, starting down the net... and somehow managing to fall, from nearly the top, to the gunwale (pronounced "gunnel") of a Papa boat (LCVP... or since all the WWII movies, "a Higgins boat"). He hit on his back, and tumbled into the boat. Didn't do the radio much good, but other than that, he was OK. This was probably from the USS Okanagan, but could have been from USS Lenawee, or some of the other APA's in the far east at the time... may have been when we were going ashore at Numazu for training at Fuji. Had he gone into the water, with all the gear on him... it wouldn't have been pretty...

The Corps has gone through several versions of 'load-carrying' gear since my days (packs... I will never get used to the doggie term "rucksack", or 'ruck') and since the day of the M-1941, which could be made up into five versions. Most of those incorporated the suspenders, which hooked into eyelets at the top side of the cartridge or pistol belt (magazine belt for the BARman and his assistant. The suspenders served two purposes: one was to retain the belt, which was to be un-buckled and open when on the net, and the other was to ride the belt up to the bottom of the rib cage, providing maximum discomfort when humping along the trail. (If you see a picture of a Marine with a field marching pack on, and if the belt is around his waist, covering his web belt... will guarantee you that he hitched up his pack and down on the suspenders/belt just before the picture was taken) The open part was to assist in quickly shrugging out of the pack if one fell into the water... which, by the way was also the reason that for many years, boots (not boondockers, the lower quarter field shoe) for Marines had a combination of eyelets and hooks... the eyelets held the laces from the toe to the instep, but from there to the top of the boot, the laces hooked on open hooks... the idea being that the arrangement was much faster to get undone, and boots shucked, if one fell into deep water (usually was, (deep) around the sides of an APA). Any salt worth his PFC stripe could show you how to lace up the hook part with one hand... even though it still took two hands to tie...

Having been exposed to lots of WWII and Korea vets, had always heard that particularly before a landing, the Navy went out of their way to harrass, annoy, vex, and bully-rag Marines so that we'd be really p-ssed off and ready to fight anything or anybody when the ramp went down... and always dismissed that as just more sea stories. And then came the day when we (K/3/5) were to shift from our APA (Pickaway... 222) over to a LSD (Alamo, LSD 33) to marry up with the platoon of amtracks that would be taking us ashore the next day. This, by the way, was for real... and we had drawn a full BA of ammo, including for the 60MM mortars, 3.5 rockets, etc. It was a hot, sunny day, a glassy calm sea, and not so much as one of those little round VietNamese fishing boats in sight. Pickaway had her companionway rigged down on the starboard side... and Alamo not only had her companionway rigged, she also had her stern gate open. Our transport from one ship to the other was to be a Mike boat (similar to a LCVP, but quite a bit larger, and steel, rather than plywood)... Now, one would assume, that in the absence of likely hostile activity, that we would be invited to descend the companionway, step into the Mike boat, cruise over to Alamo, and ascend via her companionway, or alternatively, just motor into the well deck, drop the ramp and walk out. Nope... no way... not to be. We left Pickaway via the nets, crowded into the Mike boat, and motored over to Alamo... to climb up the nets, with gear... under one of the ships' boats that had just been lifted, and was hanging out on the davits, dripping salt water onto us. At that point, I became a believer in sea stories...

Ddick


Taps

SGT. Bernard is now serving guard duty in heaven. He died May 28, 2014 while being treated at Bay Pines VA hospital age 93. He served WWII in the Pacific theater for almost three years.

Bernie returned to Indianapolis, in and operated G.G. Fisher's Garage and Auto Body Shop with his dad and brother Delmer D. Fisher (also a Marine who fought in the Pacific Islands).

David A. LeVine, Cpl.
Nephew 169-----, 2531


The last of the WW II code talkers, Chester Nez died today in Flagstaff, AZ at the age of 93. He served in both WWII and Korea. I'm sure this great American hero is now guarding the gates of heaven.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC (Ret)


On June 1, 2014 the USMC lost a buddy, Brigadier General Jim Hall, USAF [Ret.]. He crewed on 20th Air Force B-29's during WWII, on missions over Japan. In March 1945 he crash-landed on Central Field, the Iwo Jima Emergency Airfield, aboard one of the first aircraft to use it. He never missed a chance to speak of his debt to the Marines, living and dead, who secured Iwo Jima. He took every opportunity to personally thank the Iwo Jima veterans for saving his life (and the lives of his fellow airmen). He served 3 wars, in combat: WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Among his many decorations and awards, he wore silver Parachutist Wings.

He originated the television series "Ripcord." He tested man-rated parachute systems for the USAF. He created the "Buddy System" and the "4-line cut." He designed and filmed the survival instruction film: "Passport to Safety." Jim always repaid his debts; he saved countless lives. Semper Fidelis, General Hall!

Thomas Gray


Short Rounds

Looking at the photo of the 2ndMarDiv out for a run either the Commanding General is out of step or 9,999 troops are.

Jack Pomeroy


Just asked a young Marine friend (helicopter gunner, fire control officer etc.) who is still in and he says they can still get military hops. Have no idea how our illustrious leaders managed to miss having this ended. But they probably don't even know it exists.

Sgt Don Wackerly
'53-'56


Ddick could not have said it any better. Just substitute BLT 1/5, first operation as "Jackstay in Mekong Delta March '66, & also were airlifted by squadron as well on any operations (I was aboard USS Princeton) which after the war was dismantled in my home town before my eyes in Portland, Oregon. Everything else remains the same (we disembarked at Chu Lai around Apr '66.

Cpl Allen
'64-'68
RVN '66


Quotes

"Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness."
--James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790


"The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him."
--Sun Tzu


"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington (1796)


"Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress."
--Napoleon Bonaparte


"What you owe yourself is to work for your living; what you owe your neighbor is not to interfere with his work."
--Ayn Rand


"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."
--James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy


"Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel Daly, USMC


"The Navy was our mother,
The Marine Corps was our father,
They were never married,
I am one proud b-stard."

"Lean Green Fighting Machine!"

"Big Green Fighting Machine!"

"Missions change... Warriors don't!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• Marine Way Of Doing Things
• Marine Corps History Buffs Quiz
• 1965 Before Leaving For PI

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Aubrey Headon, age 14 from Rochelle, Illinois stopped in to visit us here in OKC while attending the Endeavor Games. She is in the preparatory events for the Paraolympic team. She holds the world record for the long jump and is on her way to London next for more events. Aubrey loves the Marine Corps! Her grandfather, SSgt Lyle Headon of 1st Amtracks '64-'68 inspired this love in her. She eats, sleeps and breathes the Corps and has since about age 3. She wears Marine Corps anything she can get her hands on. Aubrey ran on 7 June 2014 at the games in honor of LCpl Alec E. Catherwood, KIA from Darkhorse 3/5, Afghanistan 10-14-2010.

Aubrey we salute you for your honor, courage, and commitment to conquering the games, and continue to stand tall and proud as any United States Marine. Oorah!

Kristy Fomin
Marine Wife
Sgt Grit Call Center COO


Cookie's Tavern

Every year on Nov 10th there is a huge Marine Corps B-Day celebration in Philadelphia and they close off a major street and about a thousand Marines show up. It last all day at a Marine owned bar called Cookie's Tavern. Guys come from all over. Joe Curry was a Captain in the NJ State Police and is my neighbor, and this is me with his wife a couple years ago. I have now lost 129 lbs so I looked much younger and skinnier now. The other picture is me and my buddy from high school talking on the blocked off street. His name is Wayne Parker, and he buys stuff from you guys too. I love the spinning EGA's but I can't figure out how to do it.

Joseph A. Curry Jr.


Marine Way Of Doing Things

Made some landings off APA-44 USS Fremont. Remember re-boarding up the nets once. All that gear, tired, dirty, wet, and they want me to go up that net? I wondered, if I make to the top... how in the heck am I going to get on the deck. Well when I got to the top I felt myself being lifted up and gently being set on the deck in an upright position. In someone's infinite wisdom they had stationed two Sailors at every column of Marines coming up the nets. Sometimes you win. I know I was not going to look good if I would have had to try to get up on that deck by myself. Those Sailors made a bunch of points with us that day.

This post is in reference to the post about being lifted up in cargo nets. I think the way we did it was more in a Marine way of doing things. Just sayin'.

Dave Baker
Cpl. E4 183xxxx
C-1-8 1958 - 1962


Marine Corps History Buffs Quiz

Sgt Grit,

I had a fun time putting it together and I thought a lot of our brothers and sisters might get a kick out of passing or failing this test.

Semper Fi, my friend.

Chris Vail

OK, Marine Corps history buffs and those who don't like history, but do like to play games, here's a list of famous sayings about Marines and or the Marine Corps. See if you can correctly link the quote with the author. No cheating (which, of course, Marines wouldn't do anyway), but the answers can be found at the end.

1. Who said, "Uncommon valor was a common virtue?"
a. Gen "Howlin"' Mad Smith, Okinawa, 1945
b. ADM Chester Nimitz, Iwo Jima, 1945
c. Col Chesty Puller, Guadalcanal, 1942
d. ADM Yamamoto of the Imperial Japanese navy, 1945

2. Who said, "The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle?"
a. Gen Lemuel Shepherd, Commandant of the Marine Corps
b. Gen Douglas McArthur at Inchon, 1950
c. Gen John Pershing, World War I
d. Unidentified German officer at Bellleau Wood, WWI

3. Who said, "I come in peace. I didn't bring artillery. But I am pleading with you with tears in my eyes. If you f-ck with me, I'll kill you all."
a. Gen Chesty Puller, Pelilieu
b. Gen Al Gray (later Commandant), Vietnam
c. Sgt. John Basilone on Iwo Jima
d. MajGen James Mattis to Iraqi tribal leaders

4. Who said, "We're not retreating, H-ll! We're just attacking in a different direction."
a. Gen Oliver Smith, CG, 1st Marine Division, Korea
b. MajGen John Lejeune, WWI
c. SgtMaj Dan Daly, WWI
d. Gen George Patton, enroute to Bastogne, 1944

5. Who said, "Casualties many; percentage of dead not known; combat efficiency: we are winning!"
a. Col David Shoup (later Commandant), Tarawa
b. Capt Henry Crowe, Guadalcanal
c. Gen Charles Krulak, Vietnam
d. Lt Clifton Cates (later Commandant), WWI

6. Who said, "The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest minds, the highest morale and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
a. President Harry Truman, 1952
b. Jonathon Winters, comedian and former Marine
c. Gen Douglas McArthur, 1945
d. Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, 1st Lady, 1945

7. Who said, "A Marine is a Marine... there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There is no such thing as a former Marine."
a. Gen James Jones, Commandant
b. Gen Chesty Puller
c. Gen Al Gray, Commandant
d. Gen James Amos, Commandant

8. Who said, "C'mon, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
a. John Basilone on Iwo Jima
b. GySgt Dan Daly, Belleau Wood
c. Maj Joe Foss, air battle over Guadalcanal
d. Lt. Audie Murphy, WWII

9. Who said, "The American Marines have it (pride), and benefit from it. They are tough, cocky, sure of themselves and their buddies. They can fight and they know it."
a. President Harry Truman
b. Gen Douglas McArthur
c. Gen Mark Clark, U. S. Army
d. New York Times reporter, reporting on Marines in Afghanistan

10. Who said, "I have just returned from visiting the Marines at the front and there is not a finer fighting organization in the world!"
a. Gen Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army
b. Gen Douglas McArthur
c. President Ronald Reagan
d. President Lyndon Johnson

11. Who said, "The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a Marine Corps for the next 500 years."
a. Joe Rosenthal, photographer on Iwo Jima
b. James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, 1945
c. President Franklin Roosevelt
d. Gen Lemuel C. Shepard (later Commandant), 1945

12. Which Commandant said in 1978, "The wonderful love of a beautiful maid; the love of a staunch true man; the love of a baby, unafraid, have existed since time began. But, the greatest of loves, the quintessence of loves, even greater than that of a mother, is the tender, passionate, infinite love of one drunken Marine for another?"
a. Gen Louis Wilson
b. Gen Al Gray
c. Gen Robert Cushman
d. Gen Charles Krulak

Answers: (1) b, (2) c, (3) d, (4) a, (5) a, (6) d, (7) d, (8) b, (9) c, (10) b, (11) b, (12) a

Semper Fi and I hope you had as much fun answering these questions as I did researching them.


Land Of The Morning Sun

Yo Sgt.,

I am sure you or your staff do not remember a year ago my asking you to forward my email address to a Tom Tilson a Marine that I thought I knew that was actor George Kennedy's brother and I hadn't seen for nearly 35 years from a name in your newsletter. Being here in Tucson, and tied up with medical problems myself, and Tom being in Florida, we never got to see each other in person, but we emailed each other on a weekly basis.

Tom served as a swim coach at PI, and I had the chance to thank him for nearly drowning me. Tom got the news from his Doc that the cancer treatment that he was getting wasn't helping, and he was down to a few months left. Tom went out like a Marine. He and his wife flew to California, Japan, Korea, China, Australia and Hawaii to visit friends for the last time, and he enjoyed every moment of the trip. A few weeks after he returned, Tom passed away and I lost another dear friend. Thank you for your help in getting us together after all that time.

I try to read everything that is written about the early 50's Korean service and there is one thing I have yet to see anything about in your newsletter. On my second tour in the winter of '52/'53, while with the 7th Marines, the Army had these search lights set up a number of miles behind the MLR. They would shine them on the common low hanging night cloud cover and light up the reverse slope of the MLR. We called it "Artificial Moonlight". The Marine Corps, not to be outdone, set up one on the first hill (1000 yards) behind the MLR that 2 battalions from the 5th Marines were holding. As we found out later, their 3rd battalion was in reserve. Anyway, the 7th was in regimental reserve at the time, and intelligence indicated that because the Korean's couldn't determine where that light was by artillery fire that they sent an infiltration team to locate and knock it out. Cpl. John (last name withheld to protect the innocent), myself and four PFC's were volunteered to man a protective perimeter around the light.

The purpose of the light was for night air strikes on the enemy MLR. The Corsairs would fly in on a radio beacon and radio the light crew they were on station, and then they would turn the light on the enemy lines the planes would make a run with napalm and bombs. The first strike we had that night, I think was set for 0030 hours. Both John and I thought that as soon as they turned that light on we were going to get blown off the hill by the enemy artillery which didn't happen. When the last plane finished its run, the light was quickly shut down, and we had a two hour wait until the next strike. Shortly after the first strike, John whispered to me someone was coming up the hill. I could hear voices but couldn't make out what they were saying or the language. We had M-1's, a bandolier of ammo each, and a number of grenades each. I lined up three or four of the grenades in front of me on the edge of the little trench I was lying in. Then I heard a curse in English and just about the same time, the head of a 2nd Lt. popped up in front of me with his nose about 4 inches from the muzzle of my rifle. I yelled freeze and I have to tell you that the Lt.'s eyes went from slits to pie-plate size in a nanosecond. Turns out they were a group of Marines from the 5th on a training patrol and evidently lost. I think we shook the h-ll out of them because they left in what can only be described as hastily. Just another fun night in the land of the morning sun.

Perhaps there is someone still alive out there that remembers this type of operation.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


Marine Corps Ranked Worst... Or Not?

Marine Corps ranked worst service branch to join, and I love it!

This article on Yahoo written by Ron Johnson completely made my day. The writer was asked to rank best military branch to serve in.

He ranks them as:
1. Army
2. Air Force
3. Navy
4. Coast Guard
5. Marine Corps (Worst Military Branch)

And here's what he had to say about the Marine Corps:

"Of all the military branches, the Marine Corps ranks as the least attractive choice for this author. Technically part of the Navy, the Marine Corps are the elite war fighters of the United States military. The leathernecks of the USMC are truly fearsome fighters, tough as nails and ready and willing to fight all comers. The Marines turn recruits into stone-cold killers and they make no secrets about that fact. Marines live tough lives, sleeping on board Navy ships, charging through the surf and crawling in the sand with one goal in mind: engage the enemy.

Unfortunately, when Marines fulfill their obligation and exit the service, they seem to find difficulty in turning this Marine Corps attitude 'off'. Whereas an Army or Navy veteran will likely adjust to civilian life over time and become softer, Marines stay Marines. Visit any neighborhood in the United States and you will find a USMC flag flying high over someone's house. You will rarely, if ever, see a person flying an Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard flag. While veterans of other military branches tend to relax a little bit as they transition into civilian life, any Marine will be quick to remind you of their unofficial motto, "Once a Marine, always a Marine." I don't know what those Marine Corps drill sergeants are doing to their recruits, but whatever it is, it works.

"Is that a bad thing? Well, that depends on your reasons for considering a military enlistment. If you have a strong desire to kill the enemy, the Marine Corps is for you because that is what the Marines do. Either you want that or you don't, plain and simple. If you simply want a challenge, any other branch of the military will provide you with plenty of opportunities to test yourself. Army Rangers and Green Berets, Air Force Pararescue Jumpers, and the Navy Seals all offer extreme physical and mental challenges outside of the Marine Corps. So if you are considering joining the Marine Corps, think long and hard about what that means before going to a recruiter and signing up."

Here's the full article and in my opinion the guy is mostly dead on about everything he wrote: The Best Military Branch to Enlist In; A Veteran Ranks the Military Branches.

Best Military Branch To Enlist In

And why is it I'm mostly proud of what he said about the Marine Corps? Are we that messed up in the head? : )

Original Article
USMC Ranked Worst Branch To Join and I Love It

Keep the faith,
Stan R. Mitchell
Sgt USMC, Author


Gold Star Mom Converts To Cycles

By Staff Writer

An old adage says, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks", but Mary Wyscarver, THS teacher, begs to differ with that. For years her friends have told her of the joys of motorcycles. Finally on Memorial Day she joined almost one thousand bikers for the 15th annual "Ride to Remember" in West Texas to honor the fallen heroes. Her son, Marine SSgt. Joseph Fankhauser (KIA Afghanistan 2012), is her hero and was recently featured on Fox Sports Warriors Among Us – Honor the Fallen.

"I haven't been on a bike in over 30 years," said Wyscarver, "but I think Joe would have been proud of me." Her cousin, Peggy Riemenschneider Neinst, in Andrews invited Wyscarver to join her, A.L. Smith, and Walter Braumley who have been riding for years. Smith wanted to get there early as he said, "There are three things you don't mess with: a man's bike, his woman, and his place in line." The bikes travel in pairs and from the first to the last it takes about one hour to get them all on the road.

The ride started at the West Texas Veterans' Memorial at the Midland Airport with a short program of speeches, wreath laying, posting of the colors, poem, prayer, bagpipes, and the playing of Taps. Then the drivers embarked on a one and one half hour tour with police escorts through Midland and Odessa, Texas and ending at the Veterans' Memorial in Andrews.

Despite the threatening weather, patriots of all ages lined the route with flags, waves, salutes, and horn honking. "It was a moving experience," recalls Wyscarver as she tearfully remembered an older vet saluting until all the procession had passed.

Donned in a black leather vest with a large Marine logo (from Sgt. Grit) on the back, Wyscarver rode in style on Braumley's special made fire engine red Harley Davidson bike complete with the fire fighter emblem. In fact, Braumley rode the bike to West to honor his fellow fire fighters after the 2013 explosion.

As an unofficial Biker Chick, Wyscarver stated that there were all types and colors of motorcycles in the procession including three wheelers and spiders. "Each owner was as unique as his or her bike," Wyscarver continued, "but they were all united in their love for America and appreciation of the service and sacrifice of current and former military personnel."

Wyscarver has already told all her friends and family about her trip. "I guess I'm like my teacher/WWII vet Daddy who liked to fish. Every time I tell the story it gets bigger and better," she laughed.


1965 Before Leaving For PI

Going through some old stuff found this. This is from 1965 given to me by my recruiter before leaving for PI.

To applicants reporting for active duty:

Dress neatly, with shined shoes, and a short neat haircut. Coat and tie is desired.

Take The Following Items With You:

Wallet and SS card
Alien registration card if foreign born
Not more than $10.00 cash
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Ballpoint pen

Do Not Take The Following Items:

Medicine or remedies for ailments
Photos that do not fit your wallet
Driver's license
Shaving equipment
Excess money
watches, jewelry, and camera

You May Take If Desired:

Religious medal
Bible (small)

You will be aboard the Naval Base in Philadelphia for the better part of the day, with the official Oath Of Enlistment being administered at 2:30pm. You will arrive by bus at Phila International Airport at 4:00pm. You will depart at 5:20pm on a National Air Lines jet flight. Here your family and friends are invited to see you off.

When you arrive at Parris Island you will receive all items that are necessary for your well-being and everyday living. All men are issued the same items and you must wear them. The clothes you wear to PI will be returned to your home, Express collect within a few days.

You have chosen your Nation's Finest... The United States Marine Corps. Give your best and you will receive the best. The men that will train you are experts in their field and will give you the benefit of their years of experience. You as a Marine are the main controlling factor in your future as a Marine and throughout you entire life. Keep your Marine Corps proud.

Best of luck to you, and remember... "SEMPER FIDELIS"


D-mn Kentucky bourbon

Sgt. Grit,

Today, June 6, 2014, the 70th anniversary of the invasion at Normandy during WW II, is a particularly appropriate day to further write about my conversations with young, active duty Marines during Memorial weekend. I don't think most young people today understand or appreciate the sacrifices that were made by the young men and women of the WW II generation who are now mostly in their late 80's and early 90's. The exception to that statement, I believe, are the young Americans serving today, especially Marines. They are taught history and traditions, lessons that aren't taught in schools today.

During my talks with the two young Marines over Memorial weekend, one Marine goaded the other into asking me a question while I was obtaining another adult beverage. The question was - "What was the leadership you had on active duty like way back then?" I wasn't real fond of the "way back then" part, but I guess it's a matter of perspective. I answered the question this way. "Most of the senior leadership I had were veterans of WW II and Korea. Almost all of the senior SNCOs were veterans of one of those wars when I was a Pvt. in 1964. All the field grade and general grade officers were veterans of WW II or Korea. My leadership "way back then" was at times funny, at times really hard on us young Marines, and at times very concerned about our welfare. But they also didn't tolerate misconduct in any way, shape or form."

The young Marine's comment to my answer to his question was interesting to say the least. He said - "Those Marines from WW II and Korea set the standard, set the pace for you with their dedication to duty and courage. You accepted the responsibility and served honorably. You set the standard, set the pace for Marines who served in the Middle East and other places after you left the Marine Corps. They also accepted their responsibility and served honorably. Those Marines set the standard, set the pace for us. Now, it's our generation's turn to set the standard, set the pace. I don't expect the challenge to be an easy one. We have a tough legacy to live up to. I can just say I'll do my best."

Needless to say, the adult beverage the bartender mixed for me was quite strong, and I'm sure that's what was causing my eyes to tear up. D-mn Kentucky bourbon.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Vietnam Campaign Ribbon?

Sgt Grit,

Last night, I was watching the Military Channel. The program had to do with the Nuremburg trials, and the Nazis that WERE NOT charged for their crimes... such as von Braun, and other scientists, and business administrators. As they were showing photos of U.S. Army personnel, (enlisted, I believe), and German High-Command prisoners of war, I was looking at the Army escorts ribbons... and then I had to rewind the photos. The Army escort's ribbons included the Vietnam Campaign ribbon, and the Vietnam Service Ribbon. I was so flabbergasted, that I didn't pay any attention to his other ribbons. (I don't know most of the Army ribbons anyhow). BUT, he was wearing period clothing.

Sgt. Denny Krause

P.S. I will be looking for that program again.


We Love A Parade

Semper Fi and thanks Sgt. Grit for the newsletter. I look forward to it every week.

I was just reading the latest newsletter and enjoying some of the stories written by my brother Marines, young and old. Half way through it one of my co-workers came into my office and noticed my desktop U.S. Flag and Marine Corps Flag. Hence the conversation went from my being a Marine to Boot Camp, Hollywood Style to; MCAS El Toro, Camp Pendleton, Okinawa to Treasure Island. He was curious about Okinawa. While sharing some of my experiences. One hit me that I thought I would share with you. Side note; In 1964 Marines had to wear uniforms while on liberty. Although many evenings were spent on base at the E Club Chesty at Sukiran (later Camp Foster), as that is where we were stationed, 3rd FSR.

While at the club, every time the band would play, "California Hear I Come, Right Back Where I Started From." My buddies and I could be found sitting on the floor under our table drinking our 10 cent mixed drinks. Only because, when that song played, the place would turn into a real clustered mess. You could even call it an animal pit. There would be bottles and glasses flying, chairs and tables being toppled and the occasional fist of cuffs brawl. Once it would subside, we would go topside and enjoy the rest of the evening, unless the MP's arrived. At that point the party would end. Do to the fact the Club Chesty was unpredictable, we enjoyed going to off limit bars. They were a real get away from the usual action at Club Chesty. One Saturday a group of us decided to go to Naha. Once there, in uniform we decided to explore the surrounding area. Well, we managed our way off the beaten trail and found a few watering holes and commenced to partake of the fruit of the native vine. Once fully tanked up and nearly blind, we decided to go back to the main strip and catch a cab back to Camp Sukiran. When we arrived on the main Strip, there was a parade in progress. Well as you know, being Marines, "We Love a Parade"... So the 4 of us fell-in the ranks at an opening. We are swaying from side to side, following the rest of the crowd, and chanting right along with them. When out of nowhere came an brother Marine Sergeant yelling over the noise of the crowd, "What the H are you guys doing"? Not being of sound mind nor balance we invited the Sgt to join us. That is when he yelled, "This is a Communist Anti-American Parade Rally"! We all sobered up in a heartbeat. We thanked the nice Sergeant, who we didn't know. So if you are reading this, thanks again, I owe you one. That evening, our biggest concern was, if anyone took our picture and it would be published in the newspaper. Peace came a week later when we returned to the off-limit saloons, off the beat trail for more fruit of the native vine. That was one among many experiences I will never forget.

Cpl Frank Santangelo
USMC
1961-1967


Jersey Boys

A while back, GySgt. Rousseau wrote an interesting article about the music that Marines listened to during the WW2 era. When I was in, the music was quite different. The Beatles and the British invasion had not yet arrived in America, Elvis was King, and our music was pretty much Elvis, various R&R and Doo-Wop groups, and an occasional ballad by the likes of Sinatra, Jerry Vale, Four Aces, etc. Today one of the hottest shows on Broadway, and now a movie, is Jersey Boys, the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Prior to 1962, nobody had ever heard of the Four Seasons. That was about to change.

In June 1962, the 6th MEU, consisting of reinforced Bn. 1/6 and supporting elements, set sail from Norfolk, VA, aboard the USS Boxer, LPH-4, along with various other amphibs. For the next 3 months, we would be, in Naval-speak, the Caribbean Force in Readiness. Our job was to sail around, show the flag, look tough, and be prepared to kick any butts that needed kicking. Headquartered in Vieques, we did several landings and maneuvers, and sailed around to different liberty ports.

At that time, (don't know if it is still in operation), there was a radio station broadcasting out of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It was WIVI, the Lighthouse of the Indies. They played great music, all the latest R&R hits. One day as we were cruising around, word went around ship that there were some good sounds being heard up on the flight deck. We all went up there and gathered around anyone who had a transistor radio. We arrived topside just in time to hear Frankie Valli wailing out Sherry. It sounded great, and it seemed like almost at once, every Marine, and half the ship's crew, were moving and grooving to Sherry. Everyone was having fun. But, as we all know, Marines on board ship are not allowed to have fun. As we were enjoying all the R&R songs, the ship's loudspeaker system announced "Now hear this. All personnel not on duty clear the flight deck and lay to your berthing spaces at once." We went, but at least we got to hear the Four Seasons for the first time. Who knew the Jersey Boys would still be singing into the 21st century.

We never did get to kick any butt on that cruise, but did perform a few "crisis interventions" (more Naval-speak.) We went to Haiti because the Dictator Papa Doc Duvalier and his secret police, the TanTan Macoute, were threatening all-out revolution. After things quieted down, we were allowed liberty in Port au Prince. What a rat hole. We went to the Dominican Republic because the military was threatening a coup against the democratically-elected president. No liberty allowed. We went ashore in Gitmo because Castro had been harassing the Navy base there for several months. We pulled some great liberty in many places, including Antigua, Barbados, Martinique, and Trinidad.

We arrived back in Norfolk in Sept., and not much more than a month later we all went back to Gitmo for the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once again we did not kick butt. A good time was had by all.

Cpl. Paul Lindner
1959-1963


After The Rush

By Lanny Martinson

After the Rush represents author Lanny Martinson's debut into the literary world. His gritty, tell-it-like-it-is style leaves little to the imagination in his no-holds-barred account of a young man's journey into manhood. Although the book is fiction, it's based on actual events experienced by the author or his fellow Marines who served in the Vietnam War.

You can find this book at: After the Rush


Lieutenant Of Marines

By Bryan J. Lash

The sixties brought us many things: women's liberation, free love and draft dodgers. More importantly, America was involved in helping the fledgling democratic Republic of Vietnam withstand attempts from the Communists of North Vietnam to conquer them militarily. America sent its bravest and brightest to assist and train the Vietnamese. Unfortunately, history will probably show that most Americans opposed this action. This is a story that chronicles the experiences of one man's journey to be a U.S. Marine during this time in history. It covers his time as a boy, through college, to leading the world's finest fighting men in combat. He discovered many life lessons along the way, not the least of which was the real meaning of the famous Marine motto: Semper Fidelis.

You can find this book at: Lieutenant of Marines


Gonna Get It Now

Recruits who needed "extra" training, the overweight, the slow learners, the weak, or those with an "attitude" were set back to the STU (Special Training Unit) platoon. This was the equivalent of a death warrant to us as we never saw a setback recruit again. We had a guy join our platoon late in boot camp after he had been set back from another platoon and spent a month or so in STU. It was his first night in our squad bay at taps and we were all in our racks at attention, waiting for the Drill Instructor to turn out the lights and hoping he doesn't decide to PT our azzes for some slight, when this STU recruit screams out:

"Sir! We Wish To Thank The Drill Instructor For Another Glorious Day In The Marine Corps Where Everyday's A Holiday and Every Meal's A Feast. Gung Ho, Gung Ho, Gung Ho!"

I thought, oh sheet, we're gonna get it now. But the D.I. just stood there a minute, said "Bullsheet", "Goodnight ladies", and turned out the lights. Every night after that we had to recite this same prayer to the Corps while at attention in our racks. A few years ago I found this brother Marine on the internet. And shared a few e-mails back and forth with him for a while. He was a bad gang banger from New York City when he joined the Corps. He did have an attitude he told me, but STU knocked it out of him. After he got out, he went back to New York City, became a cop and retired with honors to Arizona.

Norm Spilleth
Plt. 374, August 1960


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #2)

I went to the barracks and took a quick shower. Then I went to chow. I returned to my bunk and laid down for a well needed rest. At 1800 I waited for a call from this gorgeous woman. By 1845 I had decided that she would not call and went to sleep. But at 1900 the Duty NCO came into the squadbay and hollered "Sgt Freas. Miss Kitty would like to talk with you." I rushed to his office. You should have heard what my bunkmates were saying: "Miss Kitty? I thought the girl in your locker was Mary"; "Does Mary know about Miss Kitty?" "Is this going to mess up your marriage to Mary?", etc., etc., etc. Well, anyway this was the first time I knew her name.

When I went into the Duty NCO's office he told me that he was going to walk his rounds - so that I could have a little privacy. I picked up the phone and said, "Sgt Freas speaking." She replied "This is Kitty. Do you remember me?" (Boy, did I remember her). I said "Yes." She said she had three questions to ask me. #1 was "Would you be willing to drive us to Washington, D.C.?" I answered "That all depends." #2 was "Can you drive a tank?" I said "What do you mean?" She told me "My car is a tank, a 1949 Lincoln Cosmopolitan. I used to call it a battleship - but have since decided that was a bit much. I told her that "my car was a 1949 Hudson, not too much smaller than her car; certainly I can drive your car." and #3 was "When can we leave?" I told her that goes back to your first question. "I am reenlisting for six more years Friday afternoon and going on a 15 day leave afterwards. I had thought you wanted to go in my car and I have to take it on my leave. That would prevent me from driving your car to Washington. But I think I can get over that hurdle - in fact I am almost certain I can. If you will give me a call tomorrow evening I am sure I can give you the answer you want." She said "That sounds good, I will call you tomorrow evening."

The next morning I called a hometown buddy that often rode with me on weekends. I asked him if he would like to drive my car back home on Aug 4th. He said "Certainly!" And the problem was solved. When 'Miss Kitty' called again I could tell her that everything was a 'Go'. She called again - at 1900 - and someone hollered "This must be serious" She said she had one question that kept nagging her - "Are you certain you can drive my tank?" I responded "That is no problem at all. I am at a loss as to why you think it would be a problem." She answered "It is such a long car!" I told her "How about a school bus? You get behind the wheel and everything behind you goes where you want it to. If it will make you feel better - I drove a tractor-trailer six months between high school and the Marine Corps." It was agreed that she would meet me behind Bldg#1 on Friday, Aug 4th at 1500.

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #5 (MAY, 2019)

I'd like to continue from Vol, #9, #4 by saying that I survived my first 200 MPH flight in a CH-53 by relying on what I believe to be a sound engineered and built aircraft that was designed for a max speed of 194 MPH. I'm sure you're wondering why would someone want to push the limits of the design characteristics of the aircraft only to say that they did, what they did. Plus I didn't recall anyone asking for a vote count. All of a sudden we were there. I was just glad that he (the Test Pilot) didn't want to attempt a loop or a roll that day. He also called me forward to verify that we had attained 200 MPH. I was satisfied with the results and grateful that he was also.

Now, In the preceding issues I talked about Operation ENDSWEEP and my little piece of the pie from my viewing place at Cubi Point in the Philippine Islands. Also, remember that the dates of this Operation were from 6 February 1973 to 27 July 1973. This was after the Vietnam War peace agreement which was signed on 23 January 1973. It was also tied to the release of the prisoners of war and of course the removal of the mines in the harbors and shipping lanes.

Since all this took place after the War in Vietnam there have been many discussions concerning those that were there and questions have been raised as to why there were no ribbons for those that participated in the operation. Although many involved drew small arms fire in the performance of their duties Congress refused all requests for awards stating that the war had ended on 30 March therefor no awards were warranted. No campaign, expeditionary, service ribbons or medals. The fact that Saigon didn't fall for another year and fighting in one form or another continued to that time and beyond and didn't enter into their heads. The fact that these personnel were receiving combat pay made no difference.

Several Sailors from the Mine Sweepers sent letters to the NAVY Dept. and Senators. They rec'd the response that the Navy considered a special ribbon for Operation ENDSWEEP but, decided against it. To this day, not many people know what ever happened. Even now I'm trying to find out why our unit HMM (C)-164 (CH-53 Section) was not even included as having been a part of TF-78.? Oh Well, one of these days We'll learn why!

My tour of duty with the 53 Section was coming to an end and I boarded a C-130 for my trip back up to MCAS Futenma, OKI. I still had about a week left on my overseas tour and I needed to get at least 1.5 more Flight hours for my Flight Pay. Well, I signed on for more than likely my last flight in the Corps and climbed on board a 53 that was going out for a flight up to the Northern part of the Island with the Maint. Officer. We talked back and forth while we were heading North and the fact that this was going to be my last flight in the Corps prompted him to tell me to sit down and strap in and with that, he kicked that '53 in the tail and requested a Low High speed pass of the Field, and the tower. Once past the tower he laid that 53 on it's side and made the turn back down the field and abruptly came to a high hover stop and landed. Once landed, he taxied up to the front of the Line Shack, he told me to de-plane and he saluted me as I was walking away from the AC. I will never forget that! SEMPER FI!


Don't Look Up

Ah, the nets... always the nets. There was a time when older hands taught minor, but important, rope work (only, they would have called it 'line', not 'rope'), and that was just a couple of knots, half-hitches, etc., used to hand lower crew-served weapons over the side. A piddlin' detail... unless you wanted to go ashore without your mortars or machine guns... or had an orangutan or two who could just swing down the net with a base plate in one hand. Along with "keep yer hands on the verticals, dumbazs", would be frequent reminders from up at the rail to "don't look up". Pretty good advice, since the pizzpot (helmet) would usually do a better job of deflecting any item of stray gear gone adrift from the rank above than would a face... although I have known some Marines who at first glance might be suspected of having ignored that advice at some time in the past. I recall a freckle-faced feather merchant from Comm Platoon (H&S 2/1/9) who was packing, besides his field marching pack and M-1, a AN/PRC-10 back-pack radio, starting down the net... and somehow managing to fall, from nearly the top, to the gunwale (pronounced "gunnel") of a Papa boat (LCVP... or since all the WWII movies, "a Higgins boat"). He hit on his back, and tumbled into the boat. Didn't do the radio much good, but other than that, he was OK. This was probably from the USS Okanagan, but could have been from USS Lenawee, or some of the other APA's in the far east at the time... may have been when we were going ashore at Numazu for training at Fuji. Had he gone into the water, with all the gear on him... it wouldn't have been pretty...

The Corps has gone through several versions of 'load-carrying' gear since my days (packs... I will never get used to the doggie term "rucksack", or 'ruck') and since the day of the M-1941, which could be made up into five versions. Most of those incorporated the suspenders, which hooked into eyelets at the top side of the cartridge or pistol belt (magazine belt for the BARman and his assistant. The suspenders served two purposes: one was to retain the belt, which was to be un-buckled and open when on the net, and the other was to ride the belt up to the bottom of the rib cage, providing maximum discomfort when humping along the trail. (If you see a picture of a Marine with a field marching pack on, and if the belt is around his waist, covering his web belt... will guarantee you that he hitched up his pack and down on the suspenders/belt just before the picture was taken) The open part was to assist in quickly shrugging out of the pack if one fell into the water... which, by the way was also the reason that for many years, boots (not boondockers, the lower quarter field shoe) for Marines had a combination of eyelets and hooks... the eyelets held the laces from the toe to the instep, but from there to the top of the boot, the laces hooked on open hooks... the idea being that the arrangement was much faster to get undone, and boots shucked, if one fell into deep water (usually was, (deep) around the sides of an APA). Any salt worth his PFC stripe could show you how to lace up the hook part with one hand... even though it still took two hands to tie...

Having been exposed to lots of WWII and Korea vets, had always heard that particularly before a landing, the Navy went out of their way to harrass, annoy, vex, and bully-rag Marines so that we'd be really p-ssed off and ready to fight anything or anybody when the ramp went down... and always dismissed that as just more sea stories. And then came the day when we (K/3/5) were to shift from our APA (Pickaway... 222) over to a LSD (Alamo, LSD 33) to marry up with the platoon of amtracks that would be taking us ashore the next day. This, by the way, was for real... and we had drawn a full BA of ammo, including for the 60MM mortars, 3.5 rockets, etc. It was a hot, sunny day, a glassy calm sea, and not so much as one of those little round VietNamese fishing boats in sight. Pickaway had her companionway rigged down on the starboard side... and Alamo not only had her companionway rigged, she also had her stern gate open. Our transport from one ship to the other was to be a Mike boat (similar to a LCVP, but quite a bit larger, and steel, rather than plywood)... Now, one would assume, that in the absence of likely hostile activity, that we would be invited to descend the companionway, step into the Mike boat, cruise over to Alamo, and ascend via her companionway, or alternatively, just motor into the well deck, drop the ramp and walk out. Nope... no way... not to be. We left Pickaway via the nets, crowded into the Mike boat, and motored over to Alamo... to climb up the nets, with gear... under one of the ships' boats that had just been lifted, and was hanging out on the davits, dripping salt water onto us. At that point, I became a believer in sea stories...

Ddick


Taps

SGT. Bernard is now serving guard duty in heaven. He died May 28, 2014 while being treated at Bay Pines VA hospital age 93. He served WWII in the Pacific theater for almost three years.

Bernie returned to Indianapolis, in and operated G.G. Fisher's Garage and Auto Body Shop with his dad and brother Delmer D. Fisher (also a Marine who fought in the Pacific Islands).

David A. LeVine, Cpl.
Nephew 169-----, 2531


The last of the WW II code talkers, Chester Nez died today in Flagstaff, AZ at the age of 93. He served in both WWII and Korea. I'm sure this great American hero is now guarding the gates of heaven.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC (Ret)


On June 1, 2014 the USMC lost a buddy, Brigadier General Jim Hall, USAF [Ret.]. He crewed on 20th Air Force B-29's during WWII, on missions over Japan. In March 1945 he crash-landed on Central Field, the Iwo Jima Emergency Airfield, aboard one of the first aircraft to use it. He never missed a chance to speak of his debt to the Marines, living and dead, who secured Iwo Jima. He took every opportunity to personally thank the Iwo Jima veterans for saving his life (and the lives of his fellow airmen). He served 3 wars, in combat: WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Among his many decorations and awards, he wore silver Parachutist Wings.

He originated the television series "Ripcord." He tested man-rated parachute systems for the USAF. He created the "Buddy System" and the "4-line cut." He designed and filmed the survival instruction film: "Passport to Safety." Jim always repaid his debts; he saved countless lives. Semper Fidelis, General Hall!

Thomas Gray


Short Rounds

Looking at the photo of the 2ndMarDiv out for a run either the Commanding General is out of step or 9,999 troops are.

Jack Pomeroy


Just asked a young Marine friend (helicopter gunner, fire control officer etc.) who is still in and he says they can still get military hops. Have no idea how our illustrious leaders managed to miss having this ended. But they probably don't even know it exists.

Sgt Don Wackerly
'53-'56


Ddick could not have said it any better. Just substitute BLT 1/5, first operation as "Jackstay in Mekong Delta March '66, & also were airlifted by squadron as well on any operations (I was aboard USS Princeton) which after the war was dismantled in my home town before my eyes in Portland, Oregon. Everything else remains the same (we disembarked at Chu Lai around Apr '66.

Cpl Allen
'64-'68
RVN '66


Quotes

"Without liberty, law loses its nature and its name, and becomes oppression. Without law, liberty also loses its nature and its name, and becomes licentiousness."
--James Wilson, Lectures on Law, 1790


"The clever combatant imposes his will on the enemy, but does not allow the enemy's will to be imposed on him."
--Sun Tzu


"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington (1796)


"Among those who dislike oppression are many who like to oppress."
--Napoleon Bonaparte


"What you owe yourself is to work for your living; what you owe your neighbor is not to interfere with his work."
--Ayn Rand


"The raising of that flag on Suribachi means a MARINE CORPS for the next 500 years."
--James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy


"Come on, you sons of b-tches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel Daly, USMC


"The Navy was our mother,
The Marine Corps was our father,
They were never married,
I am one proud b-stard."

"Lean Green Fighting Machine!"

"Big Green Fighting Machine!"

"Missions change... Warriors don't!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• The Marine Who Took My Place
• Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty
• Real Marines Climb Nets

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Marine Corps Recruiting Station Mounted Colorguard in Albequergue, NM in 1971

Marine Corps Recruiting Station mounted color guard in Albuquerque, NM, was formed in 1970-72 to assist with the recruiting efforts throughout the state. The four Appaloosa horses and a special trailer, with all the equipment and McCollum saddles, were donated by a former Marine Korean War Veteran who was very patriotic and wanted to see the Marine Corps succeed, and to carry on the tradition of our mounted Marines. They traveled many miles riding in parades and personal appearances. This was the only Marine Corps mounted color guard that ever existed in the state of New Mexico.

It was a lot of hard work and many hours of training the horses, but well worth the time. Loved it.

(submitted by MGySgt Jerry Scoggins)

(l-r, Sgt. Mike Ross, SSgt Jerry Scoggins, NCOIC, Sgt. Dave Guardanapo, and SSgt. Roy Hood)


This Memorial Day

I'm ambivalent about being thanked for my service but received a Thank-You this Memorial Day that meant a lot to me.

We have a student from Korea living next door. He stopped me, and knowing I'm a Marine Veteran, thanked me for what the Marine Corps had done for his country.

We both got a little misty.

Tony Mastriani
5th Comm
RVN 4-68 / 12-69


The Purple Shaft

Dear Sgt. Grit,

One Marine got his skivvies in a twist as he was told that he had to stay on base one weekend. He told the barracks Sgt. that they should order purple paint and paint the Washington Monument Purple and call it - "The Purple Shaft" after his dilemma.

I bet that we can hear of some real winner of sarcasm from our Brethren...

Bruce Bender CPL
USMC 1963-1967


Placed Him On A Mule

Sgt. Grit,

In January, 1970, I was a field radio operator with Alpha Battery, 1/13, in support of Delta Company, 1/26, located on Hill 41 southwest of DaNang. During a night firefight with the NVA, one of our guys suffered a head injury and I was ordered to take this wounded Marine down to the LZ to await a Medevac chopper. We placed him on a "mule" and I drove him a short distance down to the LZ pad.

At the LZ, I stood there in the dark holding up a strobe light in my hand for what seemed like an eternity until the CH-46 Sea Knight chopper arrived right on my signal. I got the wounded Marine on board and the chopper took off within a few seconds. If that wounded Marine is still around, I would like to hear from him.

Cpl. Ken Ulrich
USMC, Vietnam 1969-1970
kulrich50[at]gmail.com


Sgt Grit Flags Category


The Marine Who Took My Place

Well it's finally happened! I've been looking for the Marine who took my place and let me out. While reading the newsletter I saw that John M. Hunter enlisted on Aug. 28, 1964 in Southern California, the day I got out. I also enlisted in Southern California (Alhambra) so I too was considered a Hollywood Marine.

My joke has always been that if I find the Marine who took my place I would buy him a drink. It became such a theme that whenever we ran across any Marines, young or old, my friends would ask them when they enlisted. John if you are reading this and still live in Southern California I would be proud to buy you the drink of your choice.

Semper Fi
Cpl. Selders


Opportunity To Question Young Marines

Sgt. Grit,

I recently attended a reunion of Marines that was held in Jacksonville, NC. Marines who had all experienced combat during the Tet Offensive and Hue City got together for four days to reflect and remember fellow Marines we had lost, some tough times, and some good times. But I'm not writing about the reunion other than to say that I really enjoyed the four day event.

The reason I'm writing is to relay to all Marines who now wear a different uniform, some information concerning active duty Marines of today. Four Marines from Camp Geiger who were awaiting orders after MCT training conducted a color guard for the opening ceremony and were invited to participate with the attendees at the reunion. Two of those young Marines accepted the invitation, providing all of the attendees an educational insight into today's Marine Corps.

I had the opportunity to ask numerous questions concerning boot camp, infantry training, leave policies, liberty policies, and a variety of other subjects. Some of the answers really surprised me. I devoted approximately six, (6) hours over four(4) days to questions and answers. The answers were indeed informative. Both of those Marines told me that they had three Drill Instructors, all Sergeants. They were in different platoons, but the same series. Both had Sergeants as Senior Drill Instructors not SSgts. Their Series GySgt was a SSGT. The Chief Drill Instructor was a GySgt, and their Company 1st Sergeant was a GySgt.

I asked if any of those Drill Instructors were selected for promotion or slated for promotion to the next higher rank. They didn't know. Because of commitments to deployments, the Marine Corps may be assigning SNCOs to duties considered more important than recruit training.

They also told me that the two Assistant Drill Instructors had specific duties. One Sergeant was the KILL Drill Instructor and conducted all incentive PT and punishment. The other was the TEACHING Drill Instructor and taught all classes and drill movements. The Senior was the DADDY figure.

They had only six, (6) scheduled physical training sessions during their entire time on Parris Island. So, I'm guessing that recruit training relies more on incentive PT to get recruits in shape rather than scheduled PT sessions. They didn't have mess duty at all during recruit training. All mess halls are now run by civilians, and all employees are civilians. There is no mess and maintenance week anymore. Neither one was very impressed with the Crucible. They thought it was relatively easy.

At Camp Geiger, during and after training, none of the Marines are permitted to go on liberty alone. All Marines, L/Cpl and below must go on liberty in at least two man teams. There are three levels of liberty - green, blue, and red. Green liberty allows a Marine to be away over night or be gone the entire weekend. Blue liberty is Cinderella Liberty and those Marines must be back by 12:00pm. Red liberty is liberty only during daylight hours and ends strictly at 6:00pm. I don't know and neither did they if this policy applies to Marines in the fleet.

I was deeply impressed with the discipline of both of the active duty Marines I had the opportunity to question. I'm aware that they may have been on their best behavior because of where they were, but I don't think so.

There are other answers to my many questions that surprised me; however, I'm unable to write about all of them in this forum. Suffice it to say that I was quite impressed with both of those young Marines. Although in many respects, the Marine Corps is vastly different today, I believe Marines continue to be disciplined, dedicated, honorable, and patriotic Americans. That hasn't changed and hopefully never will.

Semper Fi,
A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC (Ret)


The Best Years Of Our Lives

Sgt. Grit,

I watched "The Best Years of Our Lives" last night on Television and for once they got it right. Watching Dana Andrews go through the problems of a returned Veteran and experiencing the horrors of returning home after the War. He was a Bombardier who flew in many mission over Europe and returned home to find his wife had enjoyed the War with dancing, night clubs, and partying the night away while he was dodging Luftwaffe bullets in the skies. As a Captain he expected more than a job as a clerk in a Drug Store. With millions of GI's returning home there wasn't much available and often salaries weren't much more than the GI's pay during the War.

I remember going to the pay table and getting half of my pay every two weeks. I was sending home $25.00 month to my Mother who was banking it for me and of course my National Service Life Insurance (Mandatory) $5.35 monthly left me with little, but what the h-ll did I know about money being a child of the Depression Years. I barely had $10.00 every two weeks to spend and in San Francisco that didn't go very far, (San Francisco was my first liberty Town after Boot camp besides going home on Boot Leave).

When I returned Home after the War (my Mother had Remarried, my father had died when I was a baby). I found two teen aged girls in my home. Being an old Nineteen, having spent two of my teenage years in the pacific with two Battle stars on my Asiatic/Pacific ribbon, I was put out on the back porch in a cot.

A friend and I decided we would try to become Merchant Seamen and hitchhiked to Portland, Or. The Merchant seamen were on strike and the Union wasn't taking on any new members. My friend went home and I went to San Francisco where I thought jobs would be available everywhere. I had a hundred bucks which just wasn't enough to buy food, beer (10 cents a glass) and a low end hotel room. So after going through the motions of trying to get a job with the help of the Government Employment Office, I went to the Marine Recruiting Office and said I'm tired of trying to get a job, can you use an old hand? "Of course", he said and I was sent to Treasure Island to be outfitted with new uniforms and all that stuff and became a Sentry.

I got out in March of 1946 and in September 1946 I was back in a Guard Company checking Sailors out on Liberty and sometimes fighting them when they returned after liberty.

What happened? I was a returning War Hero and here I was back in Uniform where I was just another swinging, Uh whatever. Then I became a Brig Sentry at Yerba Buena Island Navy Brig and during an altercation with a prisoner I fired a shot that only had the effect of calming the Prisoners down and me marching them back to the Brig, folded arms in front and almost double time.

When I said I had fired at a prisoner, they let the Prisoners back into the Brig and I was sent to the Barracks to await someone to make a decision on whether I had the right to fire or was a Trigger Happy Marine. Well! Soon I was called into the Company Office and into the CO's Office and he said, "I don't want any Trigger happy Marines in my Command."

I ended up at "Infantry Weapons School" in Quantico where I had wanted to go. Going home on leave I got married to an Old Sweetheart. Some twenty odd years later I retired as Gunnery Sergeant with too many years overseas and two more Wars under my belt. I retired and stayed in California because I learned that warm climate was better than a cold climate for an Old Guy and his Wife. My five children are now spread about the US but the youngest son is nearby, he's a Weapons Specialist in the Movie Industry. He knows more about weapons than I ever did. During Memorial Day I had three of the Children here with us and I was shocked to learn my eldest is now on Social Security. Cheese Louise where did the time go?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Old Corps... New Corps... A Matter Of Perspective

Excerpt from IN GARRISON, by J. H. Hardin

"Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller is quoted as saying, "Old breed? New breed? There's not a d-mn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine breed." This is a debate that's raged for years. Is there an Old Corps and a New Corps? In my opinion it's a matter of perspective.

I consider those that went before me and blazed the trail as Old Corps. Conversely, I consider those that followed me and have kept our traditions and history alive as New Corps. But, I have to agree with Chesty. It doesn't matter which you are as long as it's the Marine Corps. The same thing holds true with a Marine's MOS. Whether they're serving in a combat specialty on the front lines or serving in a support specialty in the rear area, all Marines work together to achieve the mission. We're a singled minded organism moving to the objective. We have many parts and many functions. But, we all work together toward a single purpose. The purpose of standing in harm's way so that others may live free. Marine's die so others don't have to."

J. H. Hardin
Sgt - USMC
'78 – '84

J. H. Hardin's book IN GARRISON can be found at www.jhhardin.com.


10,000 Marines Out For A Run

10,000 Marines of 2nd MarDiv in running formation

2ndMarDiv in formation.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, and Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the Sergeant Major of 2nd Marine Division, lead the Division in a run to build unit camaraderie aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 22, 2014.

More than 10,000 Marines comprised one large formation stretching for more than a mile.

(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joshua W. Grant/ Released)


My Stellar Example

Like LCpl. Raines, I enjoy Gunny Rousseau's stories. And I have a question that Gunny and some of the other Old Corps veterans could answer. I've wondered about the round dog tag worn by WWII Marines. First of all, does it contain the same information as the regular dog tag, and two, is it worn with another round tag or a rectangular tag? When did they stop using them? I've tried to find out but can't find any reliable information, and I've never seen a picture of an Army soldier wearing the round tag in that same era.

I went to boot camp in January 1995, MCRD San Diego. A couple days into first phase I made one of those mistakes that I never repeated and nobody else made because of my stellar example. I went to Drill Instructor Sgt. Funderburg and requested to make an "emergency head call", because my back teeth had already drowned and my eyeballs were turning yellow. He looked at me and cocked his ear to the side for a minute, he then said "emergencies usually have sirens and flashing lights, and I don't hear any." I gave him the stupid recruit look, then it dawned on me what must be done at this time. I ran two laps around the squad bay flapping my arms and making my best siren sounds, went back, requested again and got relief.

The moral of the story is just ask a simple direct question and don't add any drama to it. Thank you Sgt. Funderburg.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Plt 1093,
Iraq 2004


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #5, #5)

After I watched the last of the trains depart from CLNC it was back to Bldg #1 to make my report to HQMC over the secure line. Mr. Adolph Volkman, Head of the Transportation Department, said he was glad to hear this news and he would pass it on to Gen Bird who was waiting for it, too. He told me to send him their copies of the TR's and MT's 'post haste'. I told him they would normally be sent on the 10th - was that okay? He said, "NO. I want them yesterday." I didn't ask why. I told him they would be in the mail within the hour. He said, "Send them Air Mail; Hold on. I will be right back."

He returned and said Gen Bird wants to talk with you. He put me on Gen Bird's line. I identified myself and the Gen said, "I am mighty proud of you Sgt. This is the biggest movement I have ever had - and the very first without a problem of some sort. I am going to promote you to S/Sgt. How does that sound?" I told him "That does sound nice. I just made Sgt in May." He replied, "Well, I really think that you have earned a commission for what you have done for us this month - but I cannot give you one. Let's do this. S/Sgt next spring, T/Sgt the following spring and M/Sgt in March of 1953. How does that sound?" I could hardly believe my ears and told him "That sounds awesome, almost unbelievable." He said, "You can count on it." And I knew I could.

I returned to my office and told Mrs. Harbin that HQMC wants the TR's and MT's for this movement 'yesterday' and I would take them to the post office ASAP. I went into the adjacent office to change my shirt (The one I had on was soaking wet). The one I put on still had Corporal chevrons. I returned and packaged the documents for HQMC and started down the hall to the post office. It took (12) 25 cent airmail stamps and I asked the clerk for a sheet of 3 cent stamps for myself - and a receipt. They were hand written in those days and he wrote 'Stamps $6.00' on the receipt. I started back to the office and was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of the most beautiful woman in the world - standing just inside the front door. She was a composite of Rita Hayworth, Anita Ekberg and Marilyn Monroe - and more than a little confused. I approached her and asked if I might be of assistance. (Did I forget Dagmar?) She replied, "Why yes, Cpl. It is so nice of you to come to the aid of a lady in distress. I am looking for a Capt Davis." I told her "There are two of them, one in disbursing and the other is the Provost Marshall." She said, "The Provost Marshall."

To be continued...

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty

Sergeant Grit,

On the subject of Cinderella Liberty...

While serving the Corps, as a Sea Going Marine, with the Marine Detachment, aboard CVA-38, Shangri La, all overseas liberty was Cinderella and Port and Starboard. All Marines were assigned to the detachment's Withstander's List; you either belonged to the Port Watch or Starboard Watch. This translated into one day on and one day off, seven days a week, 365 days a year, in port or underway at sea. Designated duties and posts were manned on this basis. All other ship's work was continuous and did not relate to these Withstander's Lists.

In port, if the liberty bell sounded, and your Watch had liberty, you could report to the After-brow, after obtaining your Liberty Card from the Marine Detachment's Duty Sergeant of the Guard. Only then could you request permission to go ashore, after showing both your Liberty and Military I. D. Cards to a Navy, Chief Petty Officer (CPO).

The Duty CPO of the Day, manning the After-brow, could grant you Cinderella Liberty. This meant that your liberty expired at 2400 hours, that same day. The ship's Shore Patrol kept busy, enforcing this mandated, "liberty expires at mid-night" requirement.

This Marine was not a fan of Cinderella Liberty. But, it did impose time discipline, which served him all through life. Like many things, experienced in the USMC, the lessons learned are later disclosed much later in life.

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray
Corporal of Marines
1958 - 1962


That Was Then, This Is Now

WWII photo by Joe Rosenthal

Sgt. Grit,

I read in your column recently someone said he was a Real, Real Old Marine of 85. I've always thought age was a figment of the mind and if you let it get to you you'll worry about getting old and infirm. I never had time for that, I only had time to do my job and think about what I had to do next.

I remember going to the Navy Mess Hall at Treasure Island during World War II, the two Navy Chiefs running the Mess Hall had been either called back from Retirement or requested Return to Active Duty as both were in their Seventies wearing ribbons from days of long ago and Wars fought long ago, but here they were calling out to you if you stepped out of line or violated any of their commands.

As I am well into my Eighty Eighth year of my life and being in reasonable health, no I don't run around the block nor whistle at the girls when I go to the store (though I have been tempted), but I still enjoy a beer while watching Marine Movies of whatever/whenever time period.

I find that the new writers for Movies/TV have no sense of history and get it wrong most of the time. While I never served in Europe during WWII, I still have memories and a sense of history, Memories of friends from school after the war sitting in a Bar telling about our times. I clearly remember a friend who landed at Omaha Beach and cursed the Navy because the Peter boat wasn't close enough to shore, and they ran off the boat into deep water (some drowned because they couldn't get out of their pack and equipment fast enough)... finally getting ashore and picking up the rifle of a Wounded or Dead Soldier, finally laying down on wet clothing carrying a rifle with no ammo and looking for another casualty to get a cartridge belt. He made it all the way through the war without a wound though he had been in some tough battles.

I ran into this picture years ago that our Old Friend Joe Rosenthal took. It establishes more memory, to Me, than most other pictures during WWII.

Oh! I remember those Good Times and Hard Times, when time seemed to go so slow and wishing for days end, and then the days start, BUT... Who cares now, that was then, this is now.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #1)

I pointed to the far end of the main hallway and said to this lady, "The last turn to the left and the first door on your left." She thanked me and started walking in that direction. I just stood there for a few moments and watched how she moved. Then I started walking behind her. When she turned to the left I turned to the right into the Travel Office. Whenever anyone entered the office everyone looked up. I then said, "I have just seen the most beautiful woman in the world!" Two young enlisted men came running to get a glimpse of her. I told them that she went into the Provost Marshall's office. I walked back around the counter and handed CWO4 R. R. Dyer the postal receipt. I told him that half of the postage was for my own use. He was in a daze and handed me $6.00. I said again the receipt covered $3.00 for my own postage. He just looked at me and said, "Your stamps are onthe house."

All of a sudden the two enlisted men came running back in the office and this lady came in behind them. I was still at the counter. She said, "Well, we meet again." I asked what I might do for her now. She said she would like to talk with Mr. Dyer. I looked over at him. He was staring at her. He jumped up and came over to the counter. I walked into an adjacent office. There was dead silence. All could here him ask her, "And what might I do for this pretty lady?" She said, "Capt Davis tells me you have a Sgt in your office that drives to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I would like to talk with him." He said, "You just were. I'll get him back." And he hollered, "Sgt Freas, this pretty lady would like to talk with you." I returned to the counter and she just stared at me for a moment. She then said, "What is your rank?" I explained to her that I had been promoted to Sgt in late June, but that because of the hectic situation we had gone through getting all the reserves their travel pay - and getting the 2ndMarDiv moved westward - I had not been able to get all of my chevrons changed. She shook her head and said, "I guess I can understand that."

I then said, "And what can I do for you this time?" She said, "I understand you drive to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I am looking for someone to drive my young son and myself to Washington. Can you do this?" I was already telling myself... "You had better believe I could - and I will not turn you down." She said, "I do not feel comfortable talking with you here. Everyone is staring at us." I said, "I will come out there and we can talk in the hall. She said, "I have a better idea. Do you have a phone number at which I can reach you this evening?" I replied, "I sure do." I wrote it on a slip of paper. I told her, "I will be at this number after 1800."

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #4, (APR., 2019)

Continuing with the preparations required prior to our (Marine) Helicopters being placed into mine sweeping service required some modifications prior to the installation of the gear necessary to meet the mission requirements. The Navy's RH-53's were already designed and configured for that specific purpose.

Understandably, the CORPS did not ever envision that we would ever be involved in this type of operation or activity, consequently we didn't have the gear necessary to rig our aircraft specifically for this unique mission. We (the Corps) wanted to keep our aircraft as mission flexible as we could, for as long, as we could. The CORPS seems to thrive on having their equipment as flexible as possible, so as not to restrict it's use. In this case the NAVY apparently had extra gear stored and awaiting for the eventual installation in helicopters that were not yet built. When they came off the production line, the towing gear would be installed and they would be ready for service. Well the gear that was in storage and intended for the NAVYS RH-53's was pulled from storage and sent to us at Cubi Point for temporary installation and use in our CH-53 Aircraft. This gear included towing gear (winches), internal fuel cells, cameras, and Raydest.

Authors Note: Raydest is a tracking device to show what has been swept and it records the flight path taken.

After certain modifications were made, and the gear was installed, it came down to the training of the Flight Crews. It was a fact that every crew member had to complete training before being certified. My hands were full, as I was the only NATOPS Instructor in the Detachment which consisted of 50 Men.

Our units workdays were pretty busy with getting the Aircraft modified and back on line as soon as possible, and it was a bit hectic, and an interruption was not going to be any help at all. Well, having said that a very large hic-up occurred somewhere back in the States when a "possible" crack was discovered in the Rotor Head on one of the CH-53's and that "naturally" grounded every CH-53 in the Fleet. You'll notice that I said "Possible". Well, within two days after this Stateside discovery we had a Technician from the NAVY'S Aircraft Overhaul Facility at North Island, Calif arrive with an ultra-sound machine to scan all our rotor heads. We stripped the paint off so the probe would not detect any flaws caused by paint or primer. I also became the first Marine in the fleet to be certified with this machine and it's use. I later certified several others in it's use. I don't know what happened but, I do know that there were never any CH-53's lost because of a rotor head failure. Now, tail rotor pitch change links are a little different story. They have since fixed that problem also.

All this inspection time is normally followed by a "Test Flight" and beings that I was the only QA (Quality Assurance) Inspector I was the designated crew chief for these flights. Once airborne with the "Test Pilot" we performed several maneuvers to try and detect any problems and the next I heard was "Hold On! We're gonna try 200 MPH." Well, talk about shakin' and rattlin', we did that, plus we made the 200 MPH mark and the A/C smoothed right on out, just like it was designed and meant to fly that fast... At least it didn't come apart! THANKS IGOR!


Real Marines Climb Nets

Guess it's just more of that Marine thing about being 'first to", or in this case, 'the last', but in regard to the thing that pretty much defined the Corps for WWII and beyond, that being going over the side on cargo nets... dunno the actual last time, and am sure it will be a contentious issue for years to come, but my bet would be maybe towards the end of Viet Nam, by some unit assigned as the Special Landing Force, or SLF. There were several of those, and at one point, two active at the same time... SLF Alpha, and SLF Bravo.

The usual consist was an APA, an LSD, and a LPH, carrying a Battalion Landing Team, or "BLT"... couple of companies of infantry on the APA, H&S and two more infantry companies on the LPH, and the attached/supporting sub-units on the LSD... tanks (a platoon), engineers, amtracks, etc. The infantry companies on the APA would 'go over the side' to go ashore either in LCVPs ("Papa boats"), or move over to the LSD, for further movement ashore in amtracks. The SLF concept of having a BLT as a 'fire brigade' ready to go on short notice from anywhere along the coastline of Viet Nam dated from the early years... I'm guessing post-1965 landing at Da Nang, and from personal experience, as early as spring of 1966, with BLT 3/5. (not to slight our air wing brethren... the BLT included the Lucky Red Lions of HMM-363 and their H-34's, operating off Princeton, LPH-5... a WWII Essex-class 'straight-deck' carrier).

BLT 3/5 had H&S, Lima, and Mike companies on the Princeton, along with the helo squadron... India and Kilo companies lived aboard APA 222, Pickaway, and the tanks, artillery battery, amtracks, motor transport, etc., lived on Alamo... LSD-33.

We boarded at White Beach on Okinawa ('we' meaning India and Kilo companies) around late May or early June of '66, probably by walking up a brow gangplank from a pier (I just don't recall), and headed for the Philippines... old stuff to old salts, who had done this stuff before, roaming around the Far East from Okinawa... (I was 26 YO at the time, and had been 'over the side' several times before, off Japan, off Taiwan, etc... cool thing this time was, that as a SSGT with single digit months in grade, I rated a footlocker, which got delivered to SNCO country in the fo'csle, by a working party... didn't have to haul the thing myself... RHIP)... We cruised (not quite the same as Disney Cruises today) down to Subic Bay, did some jungle survival training in the Philippines National Forest, pulled some liberty in Olangapo, then went over to Mindinao for an exercise... down the nets... no biggie... that's what Marines do... that's why every sub-camp at Camp Pendleton had towers... that had nets, with hulls of old LCVPs at the bottom... BT, DT. (the towers are still there... only higher, no boats... and used to teach rappelling, maybe 'fast-roping'... can't miss them as you drive through Horno, San Mateo, etc...)

Anyway, having done the thing for 'sh-ts and giggles' numerous times, when we arrived off the coast of Viet Nam for "Operation DeckHouse I", it was 'no biggie'... saddle up, add a mangy, stained "Mae West" life jacket over your field marching pack, huddle in a sweaty mass below decks until you heard something like "boat team three dash four lay up to blue two for debarkation", you got to climb the ladder to the weather deck, proceed to your assigned debarkation station, and, four at a time, swing a leg over the rail, and upon order, begin to descend the net to the boat below. Some old hand would always have to remind the newbies... "keep your hands on the verticals, dumbazs" (put your hands on the horizontal rope... and the guy above you would step on your hand...) If I had a quarter...

Never gave it a thought at the time, that the day might come when Marines went ashore in some other fashion... we thought, somehow, that our buddies on Princeton were somehow lesser beings, because they just diddy-bopped up to the flight deck and casually boarded those fling-wing things to motor ashore... up higher, with a blowing breeze, and minimal effort. "Real Marines", climbed nets... other 'this is no sh-t tales involving nets to come... have seen Marines fall (good ending), lowered heavy gear (questionable ending), and so on. Have to wonder if any of the sailors in the gator navy even know how to rig nets over the side any more?...

On a personal note... got to retire from my civilian career on the USS Hornet, party in the wardroom (venue just beat the h-ll out of the usual country club ballroom)... and on the hanger deck is a H-34... in Red Lion livery, red 'turtle-back' and all... had a lot of fun telling arriving guests that there was a very high probability that I had flown in that very helicopter, not once, but several times, and I was not responsible for either the yellow, nor the brown, stains on the deck of the troop compartment. Party was arranged by a Marine co-worker, and kept secret until the company limo delivered us pier side... I owe him big time on that one! Sad side to that is the fact that one of my 3/5 brothers did a tour of sea-going on the Hornet, was there when the astronauts came aboard returning from the moon in 1969... and still volunteers on Hornet. The bud arranging the party didn't know about him, so he didn't get an invite... ten thousand gomenasai, Joe...

Ddick


Taps

Esther Wormell, proud MARINE mother and wife, passed to the arms of her maker on May 17 2014.

She said that her favorite thing on earth was her beloved MARINES.

John (Cap) Wormell


Short Rounds

Over the few years that I've been involved with you as a customer I've never been disappointed with any purchase or your customer service. I enjoy reading the weekly blurb. So from one Marine to another I'll tell you what my last SgtMaj said to me in his own inimitable way, "Bowers keep up the fair work."

Semper Fi Sgt Grit!

Ed Bowers
Sgt
19531xxx


160th Marine Corps Birthday... really Old Corps.

Way before our time. Certainly a classic... enjoy! Classic old B&W news short on the Corps, way back when.

160th Marine Corps Birthday


Quotes

"Lean liberty is better than fat slavery."
--John Ray


"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
--Albert Einstein


"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse."
--Carlos Castaneda


"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of all of the people who don't do anything about it."
--Albert Einstein


"It is not truth that matters, but the victory."
--Adolf Hitler


"Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric."
--Thomas Sowell, Economist and Korea Marine


"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC


"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--Gen. Johnson, U.S. ARMY


"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

"Standing by to stand by."

"Let no man's ghost say if they had only done their job."

"Fair winds and following seas."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 JUN 2014

In this issue:
• The Marine Who Took My Place
• Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty
• Real Marines Climb Nets

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Marine Corps Recruiting Station mounted color guard in Albuquerque, NM, was formed in 1970-72 to assist with the recruiting efforts throughout the state. The four Appaloosa horses and a special trailer, with all the equipment and McCollum saddles, were donated by a former Marine Korean War Veteran who was very patriotic and wanted to see the Marine Corps succeed, and to carry on the tradition of our mounted Marines. They traveled many miles riding in parades and personal appearances. This was the only Marine Corps mounted color guard that ever existed in the state of New Mexico.

It was a lot of hard work and many hours of training the horses, but well worth the time. Loved it.

(submitted by MGySgt Jerry Scoggins)

(l-r, Sgt. Mike Ross, SSgt Jerry Scoggins, NCOIC, Sgt. Dave Guardanapo, and SSgt. Roy Hood)


This Memorial Day

I'm ambivalent about being thanked for my service but received a Thank-You this Memorial Day that meant a lot to me.

We have a student from Korea living next door. He stopped me, and knowing I'm a Marine Veteran, thanked me for what the Marine Corps had done for his country.

We both got a little misty.

Tony Mastriani
5th Comm
RVN 4-68 / 12-69


The Purple Shaft

Dear Sgt. Grit,

One Marine got his skivvies in a twist as he was told that he had to stay on base one weekend. He told the barracks Sgt. that they should order purple paint and paint the Washington Monument Purple and call it - "The Purple Shaft" after his dilemma.

I bet that we can hear of some real winner of sarcasm from our Brethren...

Bruce Bender CPL
USMC 1963-1967


Placed Him On A Mule

Sgt. Grit,

In January, 1970, I was a field radio operator with Alpha Battery, 1/13, in support of Delta Company, 1/26, located on Hill 41 southwest of DaNang. During a night firefight with the NVA, one of our guys suffered a head injury and I was ordered to take this wounded Marine down to the LZ to await a Medevac chopper. We placed him on a "mule" and I drove him a short distance down to the LZ pad.

At the LZ, I stood there in the dark holding up a strobe light in my hand for what seemed like an eternity until the CH-46 Sea Knight chopper arrived right on my signal. I got the wounded Marine on board and the chopper took off within a few seconds. If that wounded Marine is still around, I would like to hear from him.

Cpl. Ken Ulrich
USMC, Vietnam 1969-1970
kulrich50[at]gmail.com


The Marine Who Took My Place

Well it's finally happened! I've been looking for the Marine who took my place and let me out. While reading the newsletter I saw that John M. Hunter enlisted on Aug. 28, 1964 in Southern California, the day I got out. I also enlisted in Southern California (Alhambra) so I too was considered a Hollywood Marine.

My joke has always been that if I find the Marine who took my place I would buy him a drink. It became such a theme that whenever we ran across any Marines, young or old, my friends would ask them when they enlisted. John if you are reading this and still live in Southern California I would be proud to buy you the drink of your choice.

Semper Fi
Cpl. Selders


Opportunity To Question Young Marines

Sgt. Grit,

I recently attended a reunion of Marines that was held in Jacksonville, NC. Marines who had all experienced combat during the Tet Offensive and Hue City got together for four days to reflect and remember fellow Marines we had lost, some tough times, and some good times. But I'm not writing about the reunion other than to say that I really enjoyed the four day event.

The reason I'm writing is to relay to all Marines who now wear a different uniform, some information concerning active duty Marines of today. Four Marines from Camp Geiger who were awaiting orders after MCT training conducted a color guard for the opening ceremony and were invited to participate with the attendees at the reunion. Two of those young Marines accepted the invitation, providing all of the attendees an educational insight into today's Marine Corps.

I had the opportunity to ask numerous questions concerning boot camp, infantry training, leave policies, liberty policies, and a variety of other subjects. Some of the answers really surprised me. I devoted approximately six, (6) hours over four(4) days to questions and answers. The answers were indeed informative. Both of those Marines told me that they had three Drill Instructors, all Sergeants. They were in different platoons, but the same series. Both had Sergeants as Senior Drill Instructors not SSgts. Their Series GySgt was a SSGT. The Chief Drill Instructor was a GySgt, and their Company 1st Sergeant was a GySgt.

I asked if any of those Drill Instructors were selected for promotion or slated for promotion to the next higher rank. They didn't know. Because of commitments to deployments, the Marine Corps may be assigning SNCOs to duties considered more important than recruit training.

They also told me that the two Assistant Drill Instructors had specific duties. One Sergeant was the KILL Drill Instructor and conducted all incentive PT and punishment. The other was the TEACHING Drill Instructor and taught all classes and drill movements. The Senior was the DADDY figure.

They had only six, (6) scheduled physical training sessions during their entire time on Parris Island. So, I'm guessing that recruit training relies more on incentive PT to get recruits in shape rather than scheduled PT sessions. They didn't have mess duty at all during recruit training. All mess halls are now run by civilians, and all employees are civilians. There is no mess and maintenance week anymore. Neither one was very impressed with the Crucible. They thought it was relatively easy.

At Camp Geiger, during and after training, none of the Marines are permitted to go on liberty alone. All Marines, L/Cpl and below must go on liberty in at least two man teams. There are three levels of liberty - green, blue, and red. Green liberty allows a Marine to be away over night or be gone the entire weekend. Blue liberty is Cinderella Liberty and those Marines must be back by 12:00pm. Red liberty is liberty only during daylight hours and ends strictly at 6:00pm. I don't know and neither did they if this policy applies to Marines in the fleet.

I was deeply impressed with the discipline of both of the active duty Marines I had the opportunity to question. I'm aware that they may have been on their best behavior because of where they were, but I don't think so.

There are other answers to my many questions that surprised me; however, I'm unable to write about all of them in this forum. Suffice it to say that I was quite impressed with both of those young Marines. Although in many respects, the Marine Corps is vastly different today, I believe Marines continue to be disciplined, dedicated, honorable, and patriotic Americans. That hasn't changed and hopefully never will.

Semper Fi,
A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC (Ret)


The Best Years Of Our Lives

Sgt. Grit,

I watched "The Best Years of Our Lives" last night on Television and for once they got it right. Watching Dana Andrews go through the problems of a returned Veteran and experiencing the horrors of returning home after the War. He was a Bombardier who flew in many mission over Europe and returned home to find his wife had enjoyed the War with dancing, night clubs, and partying the night away while he was dodging Luftwaffe bullets in the skies. As a Captain he expected more than a job as a clerk in a Drug Store. With millions of GI's returning home there wasn't much available and often salaries weren't much more than the GI's pay during the War.

I remember going to the pay table and getting half of my pay every two weeks. I was sending home $25.00 month to my Mother who was banking it for me and of course my National Service Life Insurance (Mandatory) $5.35 monthly left me with little, but what the h-ll did I know about money being a child of the Depression Years. I barely had $10.00 every two weeks to spend and in San Francisco that didn't go very far, (San Francisco was my first liberty Town after Boot camp besides going home on Boot Leave).

When I returned Home after the War (my Mother had Remarried, my father had died when I was a baby). I found two teen aged girls in my home. Being an old Nineteen, having spent two of my teenage years in the pacific with two Battle stars on my Asiatic/Pacific ribbon, I was put out on the back porch in a cot.

A friend and I decided we would try to become Merchant Seamen and hitchhiked to Portland, Or. The Merchant seamen were on strike and the Union wasn't taking on any new members. My friend went home and I went to San Francisco where I thought jobs would be available everywhere. I had a hundred bucks which just wasn't enough to buy food, beer (10 cents a glass) and a low end hotel room. So after going through the motions of trying to get a job with the help of the Government Employment Office, I went to the Marine Recruiting Office and said I'm tired of trying to get a job, can you use an old hand? "Of course", he said and I was sent to Treasure Island to be outfitted with new uniforms and all that stuff and became a Sentry.

I got out in March of 1946 and in September 1946 I was back in a Guard Company checking Sailors out on Liberty and sometimes fighting them when they returned after liberty.

What happened? I was a returning War Hero and here I was back in Uniform where I was just another swinging, Uh whatever. Then I became a Brig Sentry at Yerba Buena Island Navy Brig and during an altercation with a prisoner I fired a shot that only had the effect of calming the Prisoners down and me marching them back to the Brig, folded arms in front and almost double time.

When I said I had fired at a prisoner, they let the Prisoners back into the Brig and I was sent to the Barracks to await someone to make a decision on whether I had the right to fire or was a Trigger Happy Marine. Well! Soon I was called into the Company Office and into the CO's Office and he said, "I don't want any Trigger happy Marines in my Command."

I ended up at "Infantry Weapons School" in Quantico where I had wanted to go. Going home on leave I got married to an Old Sweetheart. Some twenty odd years later I retired as Gunnery Sergeant with too many years overseas and two more Wars under my belt. I retired and stayed in California because I learned that warm climate was better than a cold climate for an Old Guy and his Wife. My five children are now spread about the US but the youngest son is nearby, he's a Weapons Specialist in the Movie Industry. He knows more about weapons than I ever did. During Memorial Day I had three of the Children here with us and I was shocked to learn my eldest is now on Social Security. Cheese Louise where did the time go?

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Old Corps... New Corps... A Matter Of Perspective

Excerpt from IN GARRISON, by J. H. Hardin

"Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller is quoted as saying, "Old breed? New breed? There's not a d-mn bit of difference so long as it's the Marine breed." This is a debate that's raged for years. Is there an Old Corps and a New Corps? In my opinion it's a matter of perspective.

I consider those that went before me and blazed the trail as Old Corps. Conversely, I consider those that followed me and have kept our traditions and history alive as New Corps. But, I have to agree with Chesty. It doesn't matter which you are as long as it's the Marine Corps. The same thing holds true with a Marine's MOS. Whether they're serving in a combat specialty on the front lines or serving in a support specialty in the rear area, all Marines work together to achieve the mission. We're a singled minded organism moving to the objective. We have many parts and many functions. But, we all work together toward a single purpose. The purpose of standing in harm's way so that others may live free. Marine's die so others don't have to."

J. H. Hardin
Sgt - USMC
'78 – '84

J. H. Hardin's book IN GARRISON can be found at www.jhhardin.com.


10,000 Marines Out For A Run

2ndMarDiv in formation.

Brigadier Gen. James W. Lukeman, the commanding general of 2nd Marine Division, and Sgt. Maj. Bryan K. Zickefoose, the Sergeant Major of 2nd Marine Division, lead the Division in a run to build unit camaraderie aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., May 22, 2014.

More than 10,000 Marines comprised one large formation stretching for more than a mile.

(Official U.S. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Joshua W. Grant/ Released)


My Stellar Example

Like LCpl. Raines, I enjoy Gunny Rousseau's stories. And I have a question that Gunny and some of the other Old Corps veterans could answer. I've wondered about the round dog tag worn by WWII Marines. First of all, does it contain the same information as the regular dog tag, and two, is it worn with another round tag or a rectangular tag? When did they stop using them? I've tried to find out but can't find any reliable information, and I've never seen a picture of an Army soldier wearing the round tag in that same era.

I went to boot camp in January 1995, MCRD San Diego. A couple days into first phase I made one of those mistakes that I never repeated and nobody else made because of my stellar example. I went to Drill Instructor Sgt. Funderburg and requested to make an "emergency head call", because my back teeth had already drowned and my eyeballs were turning yellow. He looked at me and cocked his ear to the side for a minute, he then said "emergencies usually have sirens and flashing lights, and I don't hear any." I gave him the stupid recruit look, then it dawned on me what must be done at this time. I ran two laps around the squad bay flapping my arms and making my best siren sounds, went back, requested again and got relief.

The moral of the story is just ask a simple direct question and don't add any drama to it. Thank you Sgt. Funderburg.

Semper Fi,
EAS
Plt 1093,
Iraq 2004


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #5, #5)

After I watched the last of the trains depart from CLNC it was back to Bldg #1 to make my report to HQMC over the secure line. Mr. Adolph Volkman, Head of the Transportation Department, said he was glad to hear this news and he would pass it on to Gen Bird who was waiting for it, too. He told me to send him their copies of the TR's and MT's 'post haste'. I told him they would normally be sent on the 10th - was that okay? He said, "NO. I want them yesterday." I didn't ask why. I told him they would be in the mail within the hour. He said, "Send them Air Mail; Hold on. I will be right back."

He returned and said Gen Bird wants to talk with you. He put me on Gen Bird's line. I identified myself and the Gen said, "I am mighty proud of you Sgt. This is the biggest movement I have ever had - and the very first without a problem of some sort. I am going to promote you to S/Sgt. How does that sound?" I told him "That does sound nice. I just made Sgt in May." He replied, "Well, I really think that you have earned a commission for what you have done for us this month - but I cannot give you one. Let's do this. S/Sgt next spring, T/Sgt the following spring and M/Sgt in March of 1953. How does that sound?" I could hardly believe my ears and told him "That sounds awesome, almost unbelievable." He said, "You can count on it." And I knew I could.

I returned to my office and told Mrs. Harbin that HQMC wants the TR's and MT's for this movement 'yesterday' and I would take them to the post office ASAP. I went into the adjacent office to change my shirt (The one I had on was soaking wet). The one I put on still had Corporal chevrons. I returned and packaged the documents for HQMC and started down the hall to the post office. It took (12) 25 cent airmail stamps and I asked the clerk for a sheet of 3 cent stamps for myself - and a receipt. They were hand written in those days and he wrote 'Stamps $6.00' on the receipt. I started back to the office and was stopped dead in my tracks by the sight of the most beautiful woman in the world - standing just inside the front door. She was a composite of Rita Hayworth, Anita Ekberg and Marilyn Monroe - and more than a little confused. I approached her and asked if I might be of assistance. (Did I forget Dagmar?) She replied, "Why yes, Cpl. It is so nice of you to come to the aid of a lady in distress. I am looking for a Capt Davis." I told her "There are two of them, one in disbursing and the other is the Provost Marshall." She said, "The Provost Marshall."

To be continued...

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

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


Not A Fan Of Cinderella Liberty

Sergeant Grit,

On the subject of Cinderella Liberty...

While serving the Corps, as a Sea Going Marine, with the Marine Detachment, aboard CVA-38, Shangri La, all overseas liberty was Cinderella and Port and Starboard. All Marines were assigned to the detachment's Withstander's List; you either belonged to the Port Watch or Starboard Watch. This translated into one day on and one day off, seven days a week, 365 days a year, in port or underway at sea. Designated duties and posts were manned on this basis. All other ship's work was continuous and did not relate to these Withstander's Lists.

In port, if the liberty bell sounded, and your Watch had liberty, you could report to the After-brow, after obtaining your Liberty Card from the Marine Detachment's Duty Sergeant of the Guard. Only then could you request permission to go ashore, after showing both your Liberty and Military I. D. Cards to a Navy, Chief Petty Officer (CPO).

The Duty CPO of the Day, manning the After-brow, could grant you Cinderella Liberty. This meant that your liberty expired at 2400 hours, that same day. The ship's Shore Patrol kept busy, enforcing this mandated, "liberty expires at mid-night" requirement.

This Marine was not a fan of Cinderella Liberty. But, it did impose time discipline, which served him all through life. Like many things, experienced in the USMC, the lessons learned are later disclosed much later in life.

Respectfully yours,
Thomas Gray
Corporal of Marines
1958 - 1962


That Was Then, This Is Now

Sgt. Grit,

I read in your column recently someone said he was a Real, Real Old Marine of 85. I've always thought age was a figment of the mind and if you let it get to you you'll worry about getting old and infirm. I never had time for that, I only had time to do my job and think about what I had to do next.

I remember going to the Navy Mess Hall at Treasure Island during World War II, the two Navy Chiefs running the Mess Hall had been either called back from Retirement or requested Return to Active Duty as both were in their Seventies wearing ribbons from days of long ago and Wars fought long ago, but here they were calling out to you if you stepped out of line or violated any of their commands.

As I am well into my Eighty Eighth year of my life and being in reasonable health, no I don't run around the block nor whistle at the girls when I go to the store (though I have been tempted), but I still enjoy a beer while watching Marine Movies of whatever/whenever time period.

I find that the new writers for Movies/TV have no sense of history and get it wrong most of the time. While I never served in Europe during WWII, I still have memories and a sense of history, Memories of friends from school after the war sitting in a Bar telling about our times. I clearly remember a friend who landed at Omaha Beach and cursed the Navy because the Peter boat wasn't close enough to shore, and they ran off the boat into deep water (some drowned because they couldn't get out of their pack and equipment fast enough)... finally getting ashore and picking up the rifle of a Wounded or Dead Soldier, finally laying down on wet clothing carrying a rifle with no ammo and looking for another casualty to get a cartridge belt. He made it all the way through the war without a wound though he had been in some tough battles.

I ran into this picture years ago that our Old Friend Joe Rosenthal took. It establishes more memory, to Me, than most other pictures during WWII.

Oh! I remember those Good Times and Hard Times, when time seemed to go so slow and wishing for days end, and then the days start, BUT... Who cares now, that was then, this is now.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol #6, #1)

I pointed to the far end of the main hallway and said to this lady, "The last turn to the left and the first door on your left." She thanked me and started walking in that direction. I just stood there for a few moments and watched how she moved. Then I started walking behind her. When she turned to the left I turned to the right into the Travel Office. Whenever anyone entered the office everyone looked up. I then said, "I have just seen the most beautiful woman in the world!" Two young enlisted men came running to get a glimpse of her. I told them that she went into the Provost Marshall's office. I walked back around the counter and handed CWO4 R. R. Dyer the postal receipt. I told him that half of the postage was for my own use. He was in a daze and handed me $6.00. I said again the receipt covered $3.00 for my own postage. He just looked at me and said, "Your stamps are onthe house."

All of a sudden the two enlisted men came running back in the office and this lady came in behind them. I was still at the counter. She said, "Well, we meet again." I asked what I might do for her now. She said she would like to talk with Mr. Dyer. I looked over at him. He was staring at her. He jumped up and came over to the counter. I walked into an adjacent office. There was dead silence. All could here him ask her, "And what might I do for this pretty lady?" She said, "Capt Davis tells me you have a Sgt in your office that drives to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I would like to talk with him." He said, "You just were. I'll get him back." And he hollered, "Sgt Freas, this pretty lady would like to talk with you." I returned to the counter and she just stared at me for a moment. She then said, "What is your rank?" I explained to her that I had been promoted to Sgt in late June, but that because of the hectic situation we had gone through getting all the reserves their travel pay - and getting the 2ndMarDiv moved westward - I had not been able to get all of my chevrons changed. She shook her head and said, "I guess I can understand that."

I then said, "And what can I do for you this time?" She said, "I understand you drive to Washington, D.C. every weekend. I am looking for someone to drive my young son and myself to Washington. Can you do this?" I was already telling myself... "You had better believe I could - and I will not turn you down." She said, "I do not feel comfortable talking with you here. Everyone is staring at us." I said, "I will come out there and we can talk in the hall. She said, "I have a better idea. Do you have a phone number at which I can reach you this evening?" I replied, "I sure do." I wrote it on a slip of paper. I told her, "I will be at this number after 1800."

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #4, (APR., 2019)

Continuing with the preparations required prior to our (Marine) Helicopters being placed into mine sweeping service required some modifications prior to the installation of the gear necessary to meet the mission requirements. The Navy's RH-53's were already designed and configured for that specific purpose.

Understandably, the CORPS did not ever envision that we would ever be involved in this type of operation or activity, consequently we didn't have the gear necessary to rig our aircraft specifically for this unique mission. We (the Corps) wanted to keep our aircraft as mission flexible as we could, for as long, as we could. The CORPS seems to thrive on having their equipment as flexible as possible, so as not to restrict it's use. In this case the NAVY apparently had extra gear stored and awaiting for the eventual installation in helicopters that were not yet built. When they came off the production line, the towing gear would be installed and they would be ready for service. Well the gear that was in storage and intended for the NAVYS RH-53's was pulled from storage and sent to us at Cubi Point for temporary installation and use in our CH-53 Aircraft. This gear included towing gear (winches), internal fuel cells, cameras, and Raydest.

Authors Note: Raydest is a tracking device to show what has been swept and it records the flight path taken.

After certain modifications were made, and the gear was installed, it came down to the training of the Flight Crews. It was a fact that every crew member had to complete training before being certified. My hands were full, as I was the only NATOPS Instructor in the Detachment which consisted of 50 Men.

Our units workdays were pretty busy with getting the Aircraft modified and back on line as soon as possible, and it was a bit hectic, and an interruption was not going to be any help at all. Well, having said that a very large hic-up occurred somewhere back in the States when a "possible" crack was discovered in the Rotor Head on one of the CH-53's and that "naturally" grounded every CH-53 in the Fleet. You'll notice that I said "Possible". Well, within two days after this Stateside discovery we had a Technician from the NAVY'S Aircraft Overhaul Facility at North Island, Calif arrive with an ultra-sound machine to scan all our rotor heads. We stripped the paint off so the probe would not detect any flaws caused by paint or primer. I also became the first Marine in the fleet to be certified with this machine and it's use. I later certified several others in it's use. I don't know what happened but, I do know that there were never any CH-53's lost because of a rotor head failure. Now, tail rotor pitch change links are a little different story. They have since fixed that problem also.

All this inspection time is normally followed by a "Test Flight" and beings that I was the only QA (Quality Assurance) Inspector I was the designated crew chief for these flights. Once airborne with the "Test Pilot" we performed several maneuvers to try and detect any problems and the next I heard was "Hold On! We're gonna try 200 MPH." Well, talk about shakin' and rattlin', we did that, plus we made the 200 MPH mark and the A/C smoothed right on out, just like it was designed and meant to fly that fast... At least it didn't come apart! THANKS IGOR!


Real Marines Climb Nets

Guess it's just more of that Marine thing about being 'first to", or in this case, 'the last', but in regard to the thing that pretty much defined the Corps for WWII and beyond, that being going over the side on cargo nets... dunno the actual last time, and am sure it will be a contentious issue for years to come, but my bet would be maybe towards the end of Viet Nam, by some unit assigned as the Special Landing Force, or SLF. There were several of those, and at one point, two active at the same time... SLF Alpha, and SLF Bravo.

The usual consist was an APA, an LSD, and a LPH, carrying a Battalion Landing Team, or "BLT"... couple of companies of infantry on the APA, H&S and two more infantry companies on the LPH, and the attached/supporting sub-units on the LSD... tanks (a platoon), engineers, amtracks, etc. The infantry companies on the APA would 'go over the side' to go ashore either in LCVPs ("Papa boats"), or move over to the LSD, for further movement ashore in amtracks. The SLF concept of having a BLT as a 'fire brigade' ready to go on short notice from anywhere along the coastline of Viet Nam dated from the early years... I'm guessing post-1965 landing at Da Nang, and from personal experience, as early as spring of 1966, with BLT 3/5. (not to slight our air wing brethren... the BLT included the Lucky Red Lions of HMM-363 and their H-34's, operating off Princeton, LPH-5... a WWII Essex-class 'straight-deck' carrier).

BLT 3/5 had H&S, Lima, and Mike companies on the Princeton, along with the helo squadron... India and Kilo companies lived aboard APA 222, Pickaway, and the tanks, artillery battery, amtracks, motor transport, etc., lived on Alamo... LSD-33.

We boarded at White Beach on Okinawa ('we' meaning India and Kilo companies) around late May or early June of '66, probably by walking up a brow gangplank from a pier (I just don't recall), and headed for the Philippines... old stuff to old salts, who had done this stuff before, roaming around the Far East from Okinawa... (I was 26 YO at the time, and had been 'over the side' several times before, off Japan, off Taiwan, etc... cool thing this time was, that as a SSGT with single digit months in grade, I rated a footlocker, which got delivered to SNCO country in the fo'csle, by a working party... didn't have to haul the thing myself... RHIP)... We cruised (not quite the same as Disney Cruises today) down to Subic Bay, did some jungle survival training in the Philippines National Forest, pulled some liberty in Olangapo, then went over to Mindinao for an exercise... down the nets... no biggie... that's what Marines do... that's why every sub-camp at Camp Pendleton had towers... that had nets, with hulls of old LCVPs at the bottom... BT, DT. (the towers are still there... only higher, no boats... and used to teach rappelling, maybe 'fast-roping'... can't miss them as you drive through Horno, San Mateo, etc...)

Anyway, having done the thing for 'sh-ts and giggles' numerous times, when we arrived off the coast of Viet Nam for "Operation DeckHouse I", it was 'no biggie'... saddle up, add a mangy, stained "Mae West" life jacket over your field marching pack, huddle in a sweaty mass below decks until you heard something like "boat team three dash four lay up to blue two for debarkation", you got to climb the ladder to the weather deck, proceed to your assigned debarkation station, and, four at a time, swing a leg over the rail, and upon order, begin to descend the net to the boat below. Some old hand would always have to remind the newbies... "keep your hands on the verticals, dumbazs" (put your hands on the horizontal rope... and the guy above you would step on your hand...) If I had a quarter...

Never gave it a thought at the time, that the day might come when Marines went ashore in some other fashion... we thought, somehow, that our buddies on Princeton were somehow lesser beings, because they just diddy-bopped up to the flight deck and casually boarded those fling-wing things to motor ashore... up higher, with a blowing breeze, and minimal effort. "Real Marines", climbed nets... other 'this is no sh-t tales involving nets to come... have seen Marines fall (good ending), lowered heavy gear (questionable ending), and so on. Have to wonder if any of the sailors in the gator navy even know how to rig nets over the side any more?...

On a personal note... got to retire from my civilian career on the USS Hornet, party in the wardroom (venue just beat the h-ll out of the usual country club ballroom)... and on the hanger deck is a H-34... in Red Lion livery, red 'turtle-back' and all... had a lot of fun telling arriving guests that there was a very high probability that I had flown in that very helicopter, not once, but several times, and I was not responsible for either the yellow, nor the brown, stains on the deck of the troop compartment. Party was arranged by a Marine co-worker, and kept secret until the company limo delivered us pier side... I owe him big time on that one! Sad side to that is the fact that one of my 3/5 brothers did a tour of sea-going on the Hornet, was there when the astronauts came aboard returning from the moon in 1969... and still volunteers on Hornet. The bud arranging the party didn't know about him, so he didn't get an invite... ten thousand gomenasai, Joe...

Ddick


Taps

Esther Wormell, proud MARINE mother and wife, passed to the arms of her maker on May 17 2014.

She said that her favorite thing on earth was her beloved MARINES.

John (Cap) Wormell


Short Rounds

Over the few years that I've been involved with you as a customer I've never been disappointed with any purchase or your customer service. I enjoy reading the weekly blurb. So from one Marine to another I'll tell you what my last SgtMaj said to me in his own inimitable way, "Bowers keep up the fair work."

Semper Fi Sgt Grit!

Ed Bowers
Sgt
19531xxx


160th Marine Corps Birthday... really Old Corps.

Way before our time. Certainly a classic... enjoy! Classic old B&W news short on the Corps, way back when.

160th Marine Corps Birthday


Quotes

"Lean liberty is better than fat slavery."
--John Ray


"You cannot invade the mainland United States. There would be a rifle behind every blade of grass."
--Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto


"Any man who can drive safely while kissing a pretty girl is simply not giving the kiss the attention it deserves."
--Albert Einstein


"The basic difference between an ordinary man and a warrior is that a warrior takes everything as a challenge while an ordinary man takes everything either as a blessing or a curse."
--Carlos Castaneda


"The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of all of the people who don't do anything about it."
--Albert Einstein


"It is not truth that matters, but the victory."
--Adolf Hitler


"Freedom has cost too much blood and agony to be relinquished at the cheap price of rhetoric."
--Thomas Sowell, Economist and Korea Marine


"The MARINES have landed and have the situation well in hand!"
--Richard Harding Davis


"Casualties many; Percentage of dead not known; Combat efficiency: we are winning!"
--Col. David M. Shoup, USMC


"I can never again see a United States Marine without experiencing a feeling of reverence."
--Gen. Johnson, U.S. ARMY


"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

"Standing by to stand by."

"Let no man's ghost say if they had only done their job."

"Fair winds and following seas."

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 29 MAY 2014

In this issue:
• No Civvies Allowed On Base
• Combat Promotion To Sergeant
• Into DaNang Without A Pass

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Veteran Marine Corporals Luschen and Wells with their sons

Moment of silence before game for fallen Marines

I wanted to share these photos. Our baseball team wore digi desert jerseys with a name of a fallen Marine across the back of each jersey to commemorate these heroes. The top photo is of former Marine CPLs Klent Luschen (02-10) and Josh Wells (03-11) with their sons. The second photo is during a moment of silence that the team dedicated to these Marines for their sacrifice.

These are the Marines that were honored:

LCPL Roberts
SGT Strong
CPL Greer
LCPL Franklin
LCPL Linn
CPL Arms
CPL Bradley
LCPL Warren
SGT Wilkes
CPL Weaver
CPL Bowling
LCPL Grey
LCPL Watson
LCPL Young
LCPL Harvilla


You Don't Say Those Words

I was temporarily assigned to the company (Communications Battalion - MCRD) Gunny's office awaiting receipt of orders. One afternoon a private was brought into the office to face the Gunny for some infraction. He told his story and the Gunny gave an appropriate punishment to which the private said, "You can't do that to me!" There were three of us in the office and we all winced. Ooh, man, you can't say that to the Gunny! He learned that you don't say those words to "the Gunny."

The real point of my story here is that the Gunny was quiet and didn't waste words. While sitting at my own desk I was reading bound combat diaries of various WWII Pacific campaigns - Tarawa, Okinawa, Guadalcanal, etc. - and they were intensely graphic and brutal. While reading the one of Iwo Jima I looked over at the Gunny and asked if he'd been at Iwo and he replied only, "14th wave." There was no need to amplify: he'd been to h-ll. He never talked about the war. But in dress uniform the number of ribbons almost caused him to walk with a port list. Semper Fidelis, indeed.

Lee Bartkowski
Sgt. 1963-66


No Civvies Allowed On Base

Marines and Sailors graduation Aviation Technician school in 1961

Naval Air Technical Training Center (NATTC) Memphis where Sailors and Marines learned how to be aviation technicians was actually in Millington, Tennessee about twelve miles North of Memphis.

Attached is my graduating class picture posed in front of the school's jet trainer. All the Marines in the picture got orders to Kaneohe Bay MCAS, early in 1961. Anyway, Gunny Bednarz brought back some memories in the last newsletter regarding Cinderella liberty during the week and weekend liberty when you didn't have the duty. No civvies allowed on base but you could rent a locker in downtown Memphis conveniently located at the bus stop from Millington to keep your civvies off base. Rumor has it that the commanding Admiral owned the lockers and that was the reason for the no civvies order on base. The best place to go in Memphis on liberty was the USO club.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964


Marine Corps 4th Of July T-Shirt Special


Boon Dockers Rough Side Out

Re Old Corps. For Gy. Mac. I have seen this picture and I do appreciate it and will see about stealing it and printing it and putting it up on my Wall. That for sure is OLD CORPS.

When I went in during 1956, we were issued a collection of what was in the warehouse. I was issued the old style Utility Shirt with 2 pockets on the bottom. Never used 'em. I was issued one pair boots, (Field) I think they were called and one pair of Boon Dockers rough side out. Rest of the platoon received 2 pairs of boots. A very few received the old style Emblem but they never wore 'em and never left boot camp with 'em. I never wore the Boon Dockers. Extremely uncomfortable with nails coming thru the soles in places and I was not allowed to remove 'em during Boot Camp.

But like I have said before. My contribution to the Corps was I kept a Billet open for the Real Marine who came after me.

Semper Fi
Larry Hudgens
Class of 1956


Shiny New PFC

It's a worn out discussion I know, but I just heard a new take on the Old Corps/New Corps debate that may need consideration. I have a custom shirt with an EGA on the left chest, above it is "OLD CORPS" and below is "OLD FART" (appropriate at the age of 67). I was wearing the shirt when I met my neighbors nephew, a shiny new PFC on boot leave. He looked at the design and said "Sir, I am also Old Corps"... I questioned his basis and he said, "the only Marine that isn't Old Corps is the one that hasn't signed up yet." Given how well we value and follow tradition he may have a point.

Pete Dahlstrom
'68-'74


Dominican Republic Thing

A cyber friend (Phil) and I both post on a pocket knife forum, All About Pocket Knives. A couple of days ago, Phil (a Marine Reservist) mentioned that he was on Vieques Island, P.R. on standby for the Dominican Republic Crisis in the spring of 1965. What a surprise. I was with 'B' Battery 3rd LAAM Bn out of MCAS Cherry Point at that time and we were on Vieques Island for a two week firing exercise when the Dominican Republic thing broke out. It turns out we both had our pants (trousers?) scared off landing in a GV-1 (C-130) on that Marsden Matting strip on Vieques and were on the island at the same time. It sure is a small, small world.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.


Combat Promotion To Sergeant

Sgt. Grit,

The Army Search Light Battery at HQ Btry, 11th Marines was actually a Battery/Squadron of Light Observation Helicopters (LOH6) flown mostly by Army Warrant Officers with a Marine AO. The "search light" designation was apparently a holdover from the unit's pre-aviation origin.

If you remember, when the 11th Marine compound was attacked by the VC in fall 1969, the breach in the wire was in the Army's sector. I received a combat promotion to Sergeant for actions that night for leading a group of just-arrived replacements from the transient hooch to close the gap in the Army's perimeter. Colonel Don D. Ezell, CO, 11th Marines (from FT Worth, TX) pinned my chevrons on.

Semper Fi,
Mark Hinton
Sergeant of Marines
MOS 0846
HQ Btry, 11th Marines
S-2, IOD
NCOIC, IOD Team, Recon Outpost, Hill 250


Looking for Vietnam Era Home Movies

Dear friends,

I am a producer with Lou Reda Productions, the documentary film production company behind National Geographic's Vietnam special "Brothers In War" and the History Channel mini-series "Vietnam In HD". (www.redafilms.com).

We are currently beginning work on another Vietnam program and I am looking for home movie film collections to use in it.

If you have color films that you shot at home or in Vietnam and you are interested in sharing them for a very worthwhile project, please write me back at this email address: (vietnam[at]louredaproductions.com).

In exchange for granting Lou Reda Productions permission to use your home movies, we will transfer your films (8mm, super8 or 16mm) for free. We will clean your original film, put it through a high- resolution film scanner, and then return your original films and a DVD copy to you to keep.

If you do not have any films, but know someone who does, please pass along my contact information to anyone within your group.

Thank you for your help.

Liz Reph


Just A Tad Unusual

Noted a story from the mid-50's about 'fund-raising' drives in a recruit platoon. As I had related in a much-earlier submission to Grit (odd choice of words, that... "submission"... hardly accurate, coming from 220# of grouchy (varicose veins in my earlobes, and my hair hurts) old (not quite 75) Marine... but, anyway... yeah, it used to happen occasionally... in fact, earned our Junior DI about two years in what used to be known as "Retraining Command". At the time, the joint was in the old Camp Elliot, across the highway from what is now MCAS Miramar. Dunno what the program was, might have been along the lines of a minimum security prison, but not as nice as what the Feds provide for the few politicians who are actually convicted and sentenced to time. In the case instant, it was a variety of things, and all voluntary... none of this happened until late in training, by which time we all thought the guy (junior DI) had hung the moon. About to head out for ITR in just a day or so, we thought the chance to buy a raffle ticket on some items that every new Pvt would need... an iron, and a really cool wristwatch with a flexible Speidel band that had two pieces of scarlet plastic with (gasp!... an inlaid gold emblem!) inset, right where the band joined the watch case... well, that was just the ticket! Along with that was the news that the DI was soon to be married... well! We had just been paid in cash for the first time, too... oddly enough...

In that other letter to the editor (howzzat? sound better than 'submission'?), I had also mentioned that besides LPM Drill, PT, and a trip to the range, DI school could pretty well be distilled to "Don't hit'em, Don't haze'm, and Don't Take Their Money"... and, over the four years as a DI, heard some inventive ways that (former) DI's had tried to augment their incomes... one was 'sheet rent', or 'sheet laundry fee'... 75 recruits, on average... X 2 sheets, at $0.10 each, X 12 weeks = $180... at a time when a Sgt. over four made about $325... beer money, anyway.

Somewhere along in the '62-'64 frame, some genius figured out a way to halve the sheet laundry bill... instead of 'surveying' two sheets (and a pillowcase?) each week, it was decreed that the bottom sheet only would be surveyed, the top sheet, still having an unused side, would move straight down on the bunk, to become the bottom sheet. Folding sheets so that Supply would accept them was a precise movement, and very time-consuming on the morning of linen survey. (any old DI can tell you at least four ways to fold a sheet so that it appears to be two when counted at supply...) DI's are, and have to be, masters at time management... and sleeping one night a week with only one sheet is not going to leave any marks on a recruit, or his psyche... so one just might have the platoon fold that old bottom sheet during 'free time' the night before... ya know? (this time saver was frowned upon with the nastiest of scowls from higher headquarters).

There was one much-hated series officer, who, when he had Regimental OD duty, was known to slip into a Quonset after taps, and wake a recruit to ask how many sheets he was sleeping on?... I heard later he was observed taking pictures of his own wounded during Operation Starlight... certified exit terminal of an alimentary canal...

Another was the tale about the CID investigators enquiring of a DI's wife: "Does your husband ever bring home any extra money?"... "No", said she... "just that $300 graduation bonus for each platoon" ('graduation fee'... $5 each, X 75 recruits... the sucker was holding out on her... by my math, that's $375). Had also heard of a PFC in Disbursing at ITR who managed somehow to filch one measly dollar from the pay record of every Marine going through ITR... face it... none of us had any friggin' idea of exactly how much we were supposed to get... and neither did the Lt. Pay Officer (in the days of cash...), and his main concern was to come out balanced... could have been easily $12-$15 though in a year's time... (they used to tell pay officers... 'all shortages belong to the pay officer... all overages belong to the government')...

The other connivers who kept CID busy were mess sergeants, and those who ran PX's... recall a SSGT from Camp Horno (Pendleton) PX who was doing fine... until he went into Oceanside, and bought a new Buick convertible... paying cash... which the dealer thought just a tad unusual...

Ddick


Into DaNang Without A Pass

Aerial View of DaNang Airbase

DaNang,Vietnam city limits

One pic of DaNang Airbase. The other two are from inside DaNang city limits. E5 and below were not allowed into DaNang without a pass. But formalities are not a problem for my buddy LCpl DJ Huntsinger, later SSgt. He invited me to go to DaNang with him. Sounds great let's go. We get a few hundred yards from the gate to DaNang and he says we need to wait here. I say wait for what. A ride he says. He finally tells me what he is about to get me into. Being a dumbazs LCpl also, I agree.

We wait around. An AP journalist stops and offers us a ride. He knows we need a pass but no problem. He has a three wheeled covered vehicle. He tells us to "get down". I said covered vehicle, not enclosed. The back end is open, no door or tail gate. The guards at the gate know him and wave him through without stopping. We sail through the gate. The MP's are turned away from us, we're home free... no wait, one of them turns sees Hunts and me hunkered down. He gets a bit animated with the other gate guards. A couple of them jump in a jeep and the race is on. We get a joy ride through back alleys of DaNang. He losses them. He takes us to his apartment. Offers us a beer. Tells us to stay in his apartment for an hour before we venture out on the streets. He leaves two young Marines alone in his apartment and leaves. Great memory.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit


From The DISBURSING CHIEF

(Vol. #5, #4)

At 5 minutes before the departure of each train I would approach the Troop Train Commander, who would be standing next to the railroad conductor near the rear end of the locomotives and tenders. I would salute him and he would return my salute. Then I would say to him, "Well, Colonel, the time has come for me to give you this package and to remind you that it is not to be opened until this train has passed thru the gates of Camp Lejeune. And further, as you have been told before, that you are not to tell anyone - at any time - the destination of this train or the route it is to take. Are there any questions?" Usually, there were none. I would then say "The train will start to move in two minutes. You had better get aboard. Good luck and Semper Fi."

Most people think the engineer(s) are in charge of the train. NOT SO! The conductor is in total control of a train. When the Troop Train Commander climbed aboard, the conductor would look back along his train to other railroad personnel. When all were giving him a 'Clear' signal he would signal them to get aboard the train. He would then turn around to face the engineers - and at precisely the time of the scheduled departure, when the second hand on his watch crossed the '12', he would signal them to 'Move on out' and he would get on. In those days - and I am sure even today - the R/R moved on time.

But after 16 such departures, I ran into something I had not expected when Troop Train #17 was about to leave. I could not help but notice that this Troop Train Commander did not have anyone to see him off and I started my little speech with a friendly "You don't have anyone to see you off?" He retorted "That's none of your damned business Sergeant. Oh, I'm sorry. I am supposed to consider your three stripes as three stars until I leave this post. Please accept my apology!" I was stunned. I said "Your apology is accepted." I handed him the package and had to hurry with the rest of the talk. I told him "This train will be leaving in less than a minute. You better get aboard." I didn't have time to wish him 'Good luck and Semper Fi'.

I had not watched any of these trains depart. There was always the urgency to get back to base, make my report to HQMC and get another route and destination for another train. But when Troop Train #21 was ready to depart I decided to watch it leave the base. I watched as the Conductor gave the Engineers the order to 'Move on out' and watched until this train was out of sight. It was about 0810 on July 31, 1950. The Second Marine Division was on its way to Riverside, Calif.

I have more to tell you about this period and it is VERY interesting but it will have to wait until next time.

See you next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.

Harold T. Freas, Sr.


The FLIGHT LINE

Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #3 (MAR., 2019)

While I was down in the Philippines at NAS Cubi Point as part of "Operation ENDSWEEP" in 1973, I really had a very good Detachment of troops. In fact, if I had hand picked all that I had, I wouldn't even have had changed the roster one iota. All hard workers and great "crew chiefs" plus. My assistant NCOIC was a young S/Sgt that I had known from before and his name was STARK. He had recently served and completed a tour on the Drill Field and, was also a crew chief that no longer had the desire to continue flying. He later went on to receive a commission and eventually became a Major in Aircraft Maintenance. He was a very good MARINE. I don't know what ever happened to him, as I haven't been able to chase him down. I also had a young MARINE named Hatcher who I hear from almost daily, (via E-mail), and I see him every once in awhile at one of the Helicopter reunions that I attend. He later was promoted to and retired as a MGY/Sgt. A hell of a MARINE! Now, to fill you in on some of the background on this event.

In January 1973, the U.S. 7th Fleet's Mine Countermeasures Force began operation "ENDSWEEP" to clear American Mines from North Vietnam's coastal waters and remove the Mark 36 destructors from inland waterways. During the first 2 weeks of this effort, a pair of destroyers escorted four (4) seagoing minesweepers which cleared anchorages around Haiphong. The U.S. originally laid mines to hamper Hanoi's ability to import war supplies and all of it's fuel supply.

Other than that, there are very few guy's that even know about "Operation ENDSWEEP", (6 February 1973 - 27 July 1973) primarily because there were no ground forces, tanks, or artillery involved. Just the Air Wing, and particularly a very few helicopters.

Included in the mix (Task Force) were some 10 NAVY Mine Sweepers and several different types of support ships. This Operation was set up by the NAVY and would start Mine Sweeping operations in North Vietnamese Waters as soon as the negotiations at the Paris Peace Talks were concluded. This unit was designated as Task Force-78 and was comprised not only of the 10 previously mentioned NAVY Surface Mine Sweepers, but also by specially configured (NAVY and MARINE) RH, and CH -53 Helicopters, 9 amphibious ships, 6 fleet tugs, 3 salvage ships and 19 destroyer types served in the mix to accomplish the mission.

I'm going to fast forward here to the results of this effort and that was that officially there was only one mine detonated and that was on 9 March 1973, and then there were three mine explosions that resulted from sweeping that fell into the UN-official category for one reason, or the other. The reason for such a small number of detonations was because most mines were designed to either self-destruct or self-sterilize. The last sweeping was by a MARINE Helicopter on 5 July 1973.


Utmost Respect

Happened to see, in a catalog (other than Grit's... sorry, Don, but man cannot live by emblems alone... sometimes one needs live ammo, and this outfit carries a lot of it...) the place where I buy my son's presents... (.50 cal BMG... that's what is always on his list... weird... and I have no idea where he got that gene, although his Mom is a pretty good shot...) any way... they had genuine US Gubbmint surplus body bags for sale... and I intend to order a couple, but not for the original use. Anybody who responds to medical calls as a first responder will tell you that they spend a fair amount of time getting people off the deck ('floor' for you civilians...). People are awkward... there ain't no handles on them, and they sometimes weigh more than they did the last time (if ever) they took a PFT. A real common way to get an old lady (for example) off the floor and back to someplace comfortable, is to try to get a blanket or sheet under them, roll the edges, and lift with multiple pairs of hands. A body bag, being neoprene-coated nylon, with six really sturdy handles sewn on it, has got to work better than Aunt Tillies' quilt... and that's the use I have in mind. (Always knew I'd still be picking up the ladies when I was in my mid-seventies... just didn't realize they'd be in their eighties and wearing diapers...)... anyway, the question is this, and concerns something that only a warped numbnuts would ask... "is it true that the zipper has no handle on the inside?"

Any time you hear some limpd-ck make some comment about 'coming home in body bags'... you can be sure that their colon is at capacity... doesn't happen that way... not at all. No disrespect intended... and I have used those bags... for some d-mn fine people, and for the original intended use. I have the utmost respect for the poor bast-rds who work in what used to be known as 'graves registration'...

BTW, saw one of your newest gym bags at the 'Y' yesterday... with the multi-colored emblem. Nodding acquaintance, saw his bag, said "Grit, right?"... he had contemplated the Tankers tool bag, decided he needed something a little bigger. Got to spread the gospel, eh, brother?

Ddick


Short Rounds

Larry Hudgens, Class of '56, asked recently what distinguishes Old Corps from New Corps. Quick answer, Larry, if the emblem is without a fouled anchor... it's Old Corps.

Bob Rader
140xxxx


Since I am not quite young anymore, I don't sleep well. I remember past things like boot camp and one thing I would like to know, do they still issue those green skivvies with the snaps?

Jay Fitz
SGT
'50-'54


Quotes

"The more MARINES I have around the better I like it!"
--Gen. Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"Sometimes it is entirely appropriate to kill a fly with a sledge-hammer!"
--Maj. Holdredge


"A ship without MARINES is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Porter, USN


"Big Green Weenie!"

"A warrior of the Jarhead tribe."

"Keep Your Interval!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 29 MAY 2014

In this issue:
• No Civvies Allowed On Base
• Combat Promotion To Sergeant
• Into DaNang Without A Pass

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