Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Your Husband "WAS" A Marine
• Operation Hastings
• Fun-filled Days At PI

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Steve Dobbs and his wife with Gen. Amos, 35th CMC

Here I am proudly wearing my Sgt. Grit hat and meeting the recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Jim Amos. We played in the annual Semper Fi Fund Tournament at Boca Royale Country Club in Venice, Florida.

Great hat!

Steven Dobbs

Get this moto hat/cover at:

Sandwich Bill With American Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor

Sandwich Bill With American
Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor


Your Husband "WAS" A Marine

Hey, Gritster!

​I sometimes work at estate sales. Whenever I notice a veteran walk through, I like to thank them for their service to our country. The last sale that I worked, I encountered a man wearing a generic Vietnam Veteran cover. I enthusiastically thanked him for his service, and proudly related that my husband is a Marine. He gruffly replied, "Your husband WAS a Marine." Great emphasis was placed on the word, 'WAS' a Marine. His attitude so aroused my loyalty to my husband, and all of his brothers, I instantly replied, "Nope! Once a Marine, always a Marine!" He was taken aback by what I had said, and before leaving the room he threw back over his shoulder, "Well I was in the Army and it was no big whoop." Enough said!

Semper Fi, to my husband and all of his brothers!

Ma Grit

Note: Don't mess with my wife.

Sgt Grit


Proud Grandfather

GySgt Hattox standing with Pvt Hattox at MCRD San Diego Graduation

Ask Me What I Was poem

Hi Sgt Grit,

It's been awhile since I submitted anything. I just celebrated my 78th birthday and 61st anniversary of my enlistment in the Marine Corps. Last January my grandson Dylan Hattox graduated from MCRD San Diego and is currently stationed at Pensacola learning how to be and air crewman hoping to make Crew Chief one day. I've enclosed a pic of him and me at his graduation doesn't he look squared away?

As you can see, I'm well outfitted by Sgt Grit, cover, Jacket and watch. I offered him the watch but he said it wasn't regulation and he couldn't wear it unless in civilian clothes. Also on my birthday a friend posted the following:

I thought your readers might be interested.

No Sea Stories this time just want to welcome another Marine into our brotherhood of United States Marines.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC Ret
03/23/1954-04/30/1978
Viet Nam '63 - '64, '65 - '66, '68


U.S. Marine Corps Mirrored License Plate Frame


Operation Hastings

Sgt. Grit,

This year will be the 49th anniversary of Operation Hastings. There were about 7K Marines and at least 5 infantry battalions involved in the operation that took place north and west of the rockpile close to the DMZ and in helicopter valley.

I had the dubious pleasure of serving as a young PFC with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The company was originally slated to be a reserve force to react to other battalions who might get into the sh-t. I was on my first tour to the illustrious Republic of South Vietnam. On July 16, the company was ordered to establish and protect a radio relay on hill # 362 north of the Rockpile. The NVA had other ideas. The situation took a sudden turn for the worse when the heavy rains started. We were able to hold for three days before the NVA overran the hill. We couldn't get our wounded out or resupply in, so we hunkered down and held as best we could. We could hear the NVA talking and searching for those of us hiding among the dead and wounded. The downpour of rain finally broke and we got help from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. Our CO, 1st Sgt. and Co GySgt were all three killed. I'm reasonably sure that I was quite lucky during that operation because I didn't get wounded - not a scratch. However, we lost more than 50% of the company.

We were helo-lifted out to Phu Bai on August 3. A very young inexperienced 2nd Lieutenant who had just arrived in-country took command of the company. Turned out that he was one of the best officers I ever served with. I served with him again at Camp Pendleton in 1979.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

I saw something the other day on TV about the Invasion of Okinawa. I was there and saw so many things that today have been forgotten. They had ships no one remembers now, LST's that carried a smaller version of itself (LCT) on the deck, then when they were needed, the LST seemed to lean sideways and the smaller ship slid into the water, boats full of men went to the ships and soon they took off under their own power. They had LSM's (Landing Ship Medium) which were ships about 100 or so feet long and had bow doors like an LST, they couldn't carry as much but there seemed to be a lot of them. They also made Gun Ships out of the LSM's and I remember seeing these ships going toward shore at Okinawa, and then all seemed as though the ship's deck burst into flames and hundreds of rockets were shooting from the decks toward shore, and on the shore line there was a bursting of these rockets along the beach. LCI's were Landing Craft Infantry (Used in the Normandy Invasion) were a bit smaller than the LSM's and were designed to have ramps off either side of the bow so the Infantry could get off quickly. The LCI's were also turned into Gun ships. There was a Flotilla of them that went into Iwo Jima before the Marines, after they loosed their rockets toward shore they were hit with Artillery, Rockets and small Arms fire from the Japanese on Iwo. A Friend showed me a book written about these ships and the pictures showed how smashed up they were. In the book it told of Marines that were aboard these little ships also. Hundreds of ships were around Okinawa you couldn't see them all. When I went over seas (I was a mere lad of 17 years) and had been told you CAN NOT have a camera, I didn't but lots of Marines and Sailors had them and were shooting away, (think Brownies and such). I saw Destroyers that had came off the Picket Line that had been hit with Hari Kari, Ships of all kinds, ships sinking and anything horrible one can think of floating in the water.

The picket line in Okinawa was Destroyers all around the Ryukyu's to block Hari Kari Planes. My time in Korea and Vietnam, while terrible at times, BUT couldn't compare with what I saw at Okinawa during WWII. Now this 88 year Old Retired Marine can sit back and relax, those days are over and the memories are there but getting dimmer. Who wants to remember those days with Memories of Children and Grandchildren. Life is for Living.

GySgt F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired​


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VD Only

In 1958, I was sent to a disbursing school at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, from Camp Pendleton. North Carolina at the time was still steeped in the old South and not the progressive state it is today. That was my impression back then when I first had to use the head on the base. There was a single line of toilets (like the picture in a previous newsletter). The thing that struck me when I entered the building was that the last toilet had a sign over it: VD only. I didn't know whether it was a joke, or it was backwoods North Carolina thinking since we didn't have such a sign at Pendleton or San Diego. I often wondered if anyone ever used that head, especially if others where present. Later, when I was on Okinawa, there was no stigma attached to having VD.

I hope the statutes of limitation have run, but being in disbursing the guys who had VD didn't have to worry about having that matter entered in their SRBs. We'd let the Corpsmen get paid at any time as long as they had money on the books if they'd keep the infamous entry out of the SRBs. The guys at the mess hall always treated us pretty good too. They'd send sandwiches, etc. up to the office when we'd have to close old pay records and open new ones every six months. It wasn't anything to see lights on in the disbursing offices until the wee hours in January and July.

I have never felt embarrassed about being an office pogue around men who were grunts. We were all Marines with a job to do. I believe a grunt can say his mettle has been tested at least in combat. Whereas, most of us pogues would never know.

Semper Fi!

James V. Merl
1655XXX
1957-1960


Noticeably Stiffened

Trigger: Once again while reading something in the news letter from Ddick my trigger was pulled (squeezed?). One hot day while on L.A. County Rescue Squad 20 in Norwalk, CA my partner and I stopped at a liquor store on Pioneer Blvd. just south of Imperial Hwy. to buy a cold soda. The person behind the counter was Premiere Nguyn Cao Ky! Turns out he owned the store and lived in nearby Garden Grove. From time to time we would stop in and on a couple of occasions his wife (Dragon Lady) would be working. They were both very nice and I'm sure they could have told us stories that would have made our hair curl, but the subject was never brought up by either party. Several years before this my friend and I went into a liquor store in another part of Southern California, my friend who had been an "Advisor" in the early 60's in Viet Nam asked the man behind the counter if he was Col. ???. The man noticeably stiffened and asked very coldly how my friend knew him. After my friend told the man his name the mood changed into something like a homecoming. The Col. had been in charge of the unit my friend was advisor to years before in another life and time. It turned out to be the longest stay I have ever made in a liquor store. The case of cold beverages we came in to buy was on the house! I knew that my friend had been in Viet Nam, but until that day I had no idea where or in what capacity, he just never talked about it.

CPL. Selders


The Forgotten War

First I would like to thank you for all you have done for us Marines. I do have to voice one minor complaint. Being a Korean Vet I am use to being forgotten. We fought a 'Forgotten War' which some seem to want now days to call the 'Forgotten Victory'. For most of us that returned home and left the Corps and became just another civilian trying to make a living back in the civilian world. That war fell from the memory of most in the country.

I remember when I first came home on leave after that conflict, I suppose I did look under nourished or sickly but I still remember in civvies I walked to the old corner hang out in Boston and the first one of the old gang I ran into greeted me and said "where in h-ll have you been." I replied, "Korea" and he said "Korea! What kind of disease is that?"

Thank you and Semper Fi.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


This Was Going To Be Short But

I wonder if the Marines who are disturbed by being thanked for their service live in large, medium or small counties. I, too, feel awkward about this phenomena that has become blase in our country. However, I am a Veterans Service Officer in a small county and I am thanked all the time. I know that this county is patriotic and I also know the idiots who are trying to be sarcastic. One of my best memories is from visiting "The Wall". I had my Vietnam hat on and a group of school children couldn't wait to thank me and my fellow Veterans. So while I feel uncomfortable about being thanked, I always remember that sometimes it comes from the heart and children are being taught that being a Veteran is honorable. I give school talks and always, always am thanked by students. I am also known to have a Marine emblem, hat shirt etc, (Sgt. Grit items) that shows I am a Marine. I encourage other Marines to do the same as I have met many people who will admit that they too are Veterans and sometimes just want to vent. The thing to remember is that while you have the right to feel uncomfortable, many of the people who thank you are trying to express their thanks that you did serve. After years of being a Marine, I have never met a Veteran without a B-ll Sh-t detector. Enjoy their thanks because we never got it when we came home. This was going to be short but I vented also. Sorry.

GyT


Fun-filled Days At PI

While many of the stories from those wonderful, fun-filled days supervised by loving, warm, compassionate drill instructors at PI or SD live in a Marine's mind for life, many Marines often wonder in their later years what ever happened to those men, especially the SDI. Sgt. R. J. Wilkinson's letter in this last newsletter prompted me to relate my story of joy and happiness way back when.

I arrived at Parris Island in September, 1952 after one of those "loving, warm, compassionate" drill instructors met the train at the Yemmassee train station at 0600. Actually, he was a complete opposite of the above description; he was a flaming mad man on a wild binge of brutality, hatred, spite, power, fear and Lord only knows what else. That not-so-comfortable ride from New York City to Yemmassee in a cattle car style rail car with three fairly decent NCOs as our chaperones came to a sudden halt at 0600. Our world changed from heaven to hell in an instant.

The bus ride from Yemmassee to PI over the causeway certainly was not a limo ride with a friendly tour guide on board. We got off the bus at the Iron Mike statue where the recruits were dropped off in the early '50's and said drill instructor spent the next few hours breaking us down into what was known as lower than whale sh-t on the bottom of the ocean. Somewhere along the line of our initial welcome into the depths of Hell, he turned us over to our Senior Drill Instructor, a SSGT Johnson. As far as our welcoming committee of one mean SOB goes, he was transferred either that day or the next day, much to our joy, never to be seen nor heard of since. SSGT Johnson became our father, mother, and ya'll know what else he became, some descriptions not being as kind.

To make a long story short, over the ensuing 12 weeks, SSGT Johnson proved himself to be rough, tough, and a strict disciplinarian, but in a humane way. I don't recall his mistreating anyone physically although he did slap me while at the range for a minor booboo on my part. I never forgot to wear my cover after that either. He was rough and tough, true, but he was fair. Anyway, over the many years since leaving PI in December of 1952, I tried every possible means to locate SSGT Johnson so I could warmly thank him for everything he taught us, especially me. After almost 60 years of unsuccessfully attempting to locate him viz-a-viz numerous ways, I found him a little over two years ago.

Since I graduated as a full-fledged Marine under his able tutelage 60 years earlier, I tried to form a platoon reunion at PI with only one response coming from my platoon mates despite extensive advertising. Ergo, the reunion was cancelled. But, about two weeks before the reunion was to have started, I did get a quiet, somewhat muted telephone call one evening in which the caller said, "are you the man putting together Platoon 529's reunion?" When I replied in the positive, he said, "This is SSGT Johnson." I like to have died! And gone to heaven, and not h-ll. Apparently another DI he knew told him of the reunion and that's why I got the call.

I live in Georgia, and he lives in Iowa, but three years ago I planned a trip out to Iowa to see him and give him the thanks and appreciation he deserved. After around four hours of reminiscing, as I was leaving his house, he turned to his wife and said of the 800 or so Marines he trained at PI during his six or seven tours as a SDI, only one ever looked him up; and that was me. Talk about making your day; that did it. The bottom line is, Marines if you really appreciate what your Drill Instructor did for you and your life, it's well worth the time and effort to look him up and thank him. At PI, he was despised; over the years, he became one of the most respected people in my life.

Semper Fi,
SSGT Johnson, you're the man!

Chris Vail


IN GOD WE TRUST!

I have read some letters from veterans of Afghanistan who feel that people who thank them for their service do so from a self-serving purpose. I am sure that there are many in that category, but there are many more who do appreciate their service.

Yes, most of the people who thank you have not the slightest idea of what you have experienced, and, if they did, would be horrified. I'll go one step further, and say that no one can have experienced that... except for you.

From the beginning of time, mankind has made war on each other, and has become more horrible as one conflict follows another. Veterans of these conflicts have not been able to discuss the conditions with their friends and families, and have sought comfort with others who HAVE experienced these conditions.

For example, during this last week, the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima occurred, and one photo of an older veteran was shown of him looking out the window of his plane. I could see this man looking out over a span of empty ocean, but in his mind's eye, seeing it filled with troop transports, hospital ships, naval gunfire, attacking aircraft, amphibious landing craft, etc. All things he could see, but could not share with others, because he could not relate to others the horrors he had encountered.

I thank WWII veterans because whatever job they were assigned to, mess cook, driver, rifleman, intelligence, etc. they did their part in keeping the wolf from America's shores, and keeping us free. I thank veterans, peacetime and combat for having the courage to put on our country's uniform and risk their physical and psychological well-being for our sake.

I thank our veterans and active-duty personnel for their service because I want them to know I AM THANKFUL FOR YOUR SERVICE, no matter how difficult, and I thank you for stating your feelings, because that is the first step towards acceptance in dealing with your feelings.

I still flinch when I hear a car backfire, deal with the laughter from others, but recognize the look of compassion from one or two people who understand, and I still run toward the sound of gunfire, not away from it.

I thank God I still want to do for others, like you have. Semper Fi!


​Nit Picky? Maybe... But

For Hoser Satrapa: since you didn't mention whether or not you are Marine, I will guess that you are probably not... you obviously know at least some of the Gy Hathcock story, but the Corps does not, and never did have "APCs"... Amtracks, yes... APCs, no. The APC, or the common M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was standard Army issue... and considering when/where, was either gasoline powered (early on), or later, diesel. While it was somewhat 'amphibious', it was not intended for ship to shore movement, but was able to swim relatively smooth waters... river crossings, lakes, etc. The Corps, from the fifties to the seventies, operated with the LVT-P family, with the greatest number of those being the P-5 model, intended primarily for transporting troops. Since the thing was gasoline-powered, with twelve 40-gallon rubber tanks under the interior deck plates, it was not the vehicle of first choice when mines might be encountered... which is why most of the VN pictures you can find will show Marines riding on the top. We learned some really painful lessons about that, early on. There was an automatic fire suppression system added later that involved optical sensors and pressurized cylinders of Halon (TM)... walk into a tractor, flick yer Bic, and instantaneously, you were standing in a cloud of fire suppressant. I'm pretty sure the current family of AAVs still run the same system, even though the fuel is now (and has been for forty + years) diesel... still burns, just not as fast, and the fuel tank is above the port side track channel. Nit picky? maybe... but then, I may have saved you from getting hate mail from proud Amtrackers... their motto, "YATYAS", has been on the side of a Quonset hut at the school at DelMar (Pendleton) in big-ss letters for quite a number of years... any trackrat will gladly decipher that for you... and BTW... Google "AmGrunts"... you'll find it interesting. ddick... MOS 2010 (among others... several, in fact...)

Ddick


Live Fire Training Hawaii 1960

Live Fire Training 3/4 in Hawaii in 1960

This picture shows live fire training with 3rd Bn, 4th Marines in Hawaii in 1960.


There Is Your Shadow Box

I received my catalog today. My wife was looking through it an yelled out to me "There is your shadow box". Sure enough, my shadow box is on the page displaying the examples. I recognize it because it was a wonderful gesture on the part of Sgt. Grit. See, my son was killed in Pittsburgh on 8 Feb 2014 after surviving 2 tours with 2nd LAR in Afghanistan. Before his death, he was working with the wonderful people at Sgt Grit on a shadow box gift for my birthday in April. I had no idea. When they tried to contact him to find out any changes he wanted to make, I had to give them the sad news. Long story short, after numerous phone calls and emails between myself and the team at Grit, they finally finished the most wonderful gift I have ever received. The shadow box is the one with the white belt and buckle across the middle and medals and ribbons and patches for my son and I traversing the box. Looking close, they have removed our names but the box is unmistakably mine. Once again, I want to thank the wonderful team at Sgt Grit for making my son's gift a reality.

Jim Wolter
USMC 1969-1973


Using Two Canes

Sgt. Grit,

I spent some time Monday (3-23) at the local Ford dealership seeing about getting my windshield replaced. I met a grizzled old Vietnam Army vet and we talked, at length, about his service, and mine. He had been shot up pretty bad, and was using 2 canes to get around. As we went our separate ways, he thanked me for my service, as I did to him.

I volunteer with the Tennessee Central Railway Excursion train program, and as such I meet a great variety of people. The last trip on Saturday (3-21) I struck up a conversation with an individual, who turned out to be a retired Flag Officer. Again, I was thanked for my service.

I think that the older individuals who thank any service man, regardless of branch, really do mean it. But, I also think that the younger people probably feel awkward about thanking someone for their service, when they don't have a clue of what that service required.

Anyway, young or old, my response has always been, "Thank you, I'd do it again, in a heartbeat and the best part about the whole mess, is that I met the girl I would marry, in San Diego, in 1954!"

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Navy Sensitivity Training

The Way It Used To Be

Way back when, a young Naval officer was in a terrible car accident. Due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn't physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Sergeant Major for a position on his personal staff.

The first Master Chief was a surface Navy type (a Blackshoe). Overall it was a great interview, at the end of which the Admiral asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"

The Master Chief answered, "Why, yessir, I do. I couldn't help but notice you are missing your starboard ear. I assume that does not impact your hearing on that side."

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.

The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, also had a good interview. When asked this same question, he answered, "Well yes, you seem to be short one ear, sir"

The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Sergeant Major. He was articulate, extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. "Do you notice anything different about me, Sergeant Major?"

To his surprise the Sergeant Major said, "Yes sir, you wear contact lenses."

The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself what an incredibly tactful Marine. "And how do you know that?" the Admiral asked.

The Sergeant Major replied, "Well sir, it's pretty hard to wear glasses when you have only one f-cking ear..."


Welcome Home Brother

On Monday, 30 March, the American Legion has designated that day as Vietnam Veterans Day! Now knowing that you served time in country just like I did I didn't want to forget contacting you.

I want to thank you for your service, I want you to know how glad it makes me feel that you came home safe, and I wanted to say "Welcome Home Brother"! We are a band of brothers like no other especially having served during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history and to have served in our beloved Corps! I leave you with the following:

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."
--William Shakespeare

Regards,
Paul Reyes
GySgt
USMC (ret)
RVN – '69/'71
Semper Fi!


Caught My Eye

Sgt Grit,

Reading today's newsletter and Sgt King's Platoon photo with his "Battle Guide" caught my eye. The Platoon graduated in March 1977. Check out the ribbons on the Drill Instructors. None of them, not even the Gunny with two hash marks, served in Viet Nam. While I was a "Viet Nam Era" Marine, I also was never "In-Country" but my Drill Instructors and every NCO in my outfit at K-Bay had been-there-done-that.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Foreign And Conflict

Military Veterans, Drill, Pay Grade, and Markings

There has been questions about Military Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. One should look to the two words "foreign and conflict" as a starting point. According to most VFW applications, you need to show documentation of your service in a foreign conflict overseas. Tragically, it seems to get somewhat complicated verses the reality of the true meaning. By statistics, it takes about four personnel to support and supply the grunts in the field of combat: supply, logistics, administration, communication, mechanics, and others. This includes those who supported them while stationed in the States. Those who served overseas during a conflict by definition are looked upon as Veterans of Foreign Wars, all others as Veterans.

One who served two years or more on active duty stateside, or overseas during peacetime service, and receive an honorable discharge are considered a Veterans. I am honored to know many Veterans who served our nations stateside during the Vietnam conflict, knowing their job was just as important as those who served overseas. On both accounts, I have been there: done that; but will always consider myself just a Veteran.

On the issue of the "Eight Man Squad Drill," sometimes called the "Thirteen Man Squad Drill." The squad drill became effective in the Marine Corps on March 8, 1957. Most of those who remember those days recall commands such as: right turn, right by squads, right front into line, on right into line, right by twos, right by files, and squads left front into line. What memories they bring back for the short life they lived. By 1961, the Marine Corps reverted back most likely by the publication of the 1960 LPM: reestablishing the flanking and oblique movements.

The issue of the old pay grade and crossed rifles. This was done about 1958, to bring all military services in line with the new pay grades E-1 through E-9. The Marine had to be promoted to the next higher grade by June 1963, or he would be reverted back to the rank structure according to the pay scale. They would not lose a pay grade; only a rank structure. A corporal to a lance corporal, a sergeant to a corporal, and staff sergeant to sergeant: while still keeping his pay grade. I know of a couple of Marines who gave up a career just short of retirement, because of the humility of being reduced in rank structure. Something like being busted in a rank without being punished.

On the "P" stamped on the handle of the M-1. I never knew of such an animal. Always known to me as the "small of the stock." After hundreds of hours of rubbing linseed oil into the wooden stock of the M-1 and M-14 rifles, I never noticed any lettering on the stock group of the rifles. Could this be in reference to the handle of the M-16? Even then, I don't recall seeing a stamp on it either. I'll check it out at the next gun show, and get back with the info later.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, USMC (RET)


Taps

Retired First Sergeant Robert Otis Ward, USMC, transferred to his final duty station on 31 August 2013. He was a Silver Star (B Co., 1 Bn., 26th Mar. West of Khe Sanh 7 June 1967) and Purple Heart recipient. He retired out of the Marine Corps in 1984 from Weapons Co., 1st, Bn., 4th Mar., MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA. He was one h-ll of a Marine and I'm proud to have called him my friend.

Semper Fi,
Capt. Mac
Mac (David A.) McMaster


Sunday 22 March 2015, our color guard from American Legion Post 537 in Oregon, Ohio had the privilege of providing Military funeral service for a retired Marine K9. Sgt. Bernie did 3 tours in Iraq as a bomb sniffer and stateside duty in Yuma, Az K9 training school. She also worked with Secret Services on Presidential details and other dignitaries. She was a 13 year old Belgian Malinois. Her last handler and adopter was Cpl. Bret Reynolds from Northwood, Ohio. My good friend Dick Carstensen DVM Euthenized and cremated Bernie free of charge. He said she was a Veteran and he appreciates what veterans have done for our country. An official funeral flag was donated by the local funeral home. (Frecks Funeral Chapel). We had tv and newspaper coverage and not a dry eye in sight. Our color guard provides about 35 to 40 funerals a year but none will ever compare to the emotion that this one provided. I felt priveleged to present the flag to Cpl. Reynolds. Lots more to this story, maybe some other time.

Charles (corky) Walters
Cpl.USMC 1959-63
Post 537 Commander


Lost And Found

Wednesday is the one day of the week I really look forward to, along with Sunday, that is. Wednesday I get to read the latest newsletter. I'm hoping you can help me contact Marines from 9th MAB that were on the USS Eldorado, January, 1969, that were sent in-country during Operation Bold Mariner. I was a radio operator, along with several other Marines from the Eldorado. We had a CP set up in an amtrac. Any of this sound familiar, let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you. My email address is zelma1988[at]yahoo.com.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Crosby, USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

There's the right way, there's the wrong way, and there's the Marine Corps Way!


I was not there. But I sure know how to spell a good Marine's name.

JM


Welcom Home Sgt. Grit! OOOOoohhhhhhRAH!

Cpl. C.E. Morgan 4th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. 1968-1969, Northern I Corps. LZ Stud. ​USMC (Vietnam, 1968, still lost somewhere along the DMZ)

"Fair Winds and Following Seas"


Double Jeopardy Vets. Anybody else out there besides me and Sneaky White that hold both the Combat Action Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

Max


Sgt. Grit,

My two cents on the 'service thanks'. I changed the phrase to "Sir...Thank you for putting your ARSE on the line. Seems appropriate, because that's what ALL veterans either DID... or were prepared to.

No need to add my name or location... it's not about me...


Quotes

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force: like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington


"Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man [1791-1792]​


"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."
--General Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."
--LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943


"[E]very good and excellent thing stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for."
--Thornton Wilder


Hi Ho, Hi Ho
It's off to the pits we go.
We'll bend and thrust, and bust our n-ts.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

"I gave you azsholes at ease, not base liberty!"

"Courage is endurance for one moment more."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Your Husband "WAS" A Marine
• Operation Hastings
• Fun-filled Days At PI

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Here I am proudly wearing my Sgt. Grit hat and meeting the recently retired Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Jim Amos. We played in the annual Semper Fi Fund Tournament at Boca Royale Country Club in Venice, Florida.

Great hat!

Steven Dobbs

Get this moto hat/cover at:

Sandwich Bill With American
Flag and Eagle, Globe, and Anchor


Your Husband "WAS" A Marine

Hey, Gritster!

​I sometimes work at estate sales. Whenever I notice a veteran walk through, I like to thank them for their service to our country. The last sale that I worked, I encountered a man wearing a generic Vietnam Veteran cover. I enthusiastically thanked him for his service, and proudly related that my husband is a Marine. He gruffly replied, "Your husband WAS a Marine." Great emphasis was placed on the word, 'WAS' a Marine. His attitude so aroused my loyalty to my husband, and all of his brothers, I instantly replied, "Nope! Once a Marine, always a Marine!" He was taken aback by what I had said, and before leaving the room he threw back over his shoulder, "Well I was in the Army and it was no big whoop." Enough said!

Semper Fi, to my husband and all of his brothers!

Ma Grit

Note: Don't mess with my wife.

Sgt Grit


Proud Grandfather

Hi Sgt Grit,

It's been awhile since I submitted anything. I just celebrated my 78th birthday and 61st anniversary of my enlistment in the Marine Corps. Last January my grandson Dylan Hattox graduated from MCRD San Diego and is currently stationed at Pensacola learning how to be and air crewman hoping to make Crew Chief one day. I've enclosed a pic of him and me at his graduation doesn't he look squared away?

As you can see, I'm well outfitted by Sgt Grit, cover, Jacket and watch. I offered him the watch but he said it wasn't regulation and he couldn't wear it unless in civilian clothes. Also on my birthday a friend posted the following:

I thought your readers might be interested.

No Sea Stories this time just want to welcome another Marine into our brotherhood of United States Marines.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC Ret
03/23/1954-04/30/1978
Viet Nam '63 - '64, '65 - '66, '68


Operation Hastings

Sgt. Grit,

This year will be the 49th anniversary of Operation Hastings. There were about 7K Marines and at least 5 infantry battalions involved in the operation that took place north and west of the rockpile close to the DMZ and in helicopter valley.

I had the dubious pleasure of serving as a young PFC with India Company, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines. The company was originally slated to be a reserve force to react to other battalions who might get into the sh-t. I was on my first tour to the illustrious Republic of South Vietnam. On July 16, the company was ordered to establish and protect a radio relay on hill # 362 north of the Rockpile. The NVA had other ideas. The situation took a sudden turn for the worse when the heavy rains started. We were able to hold for three days before the NVA overran the hill. We couldn't get our wounded out or resupply in, so we hunkered down and held as best we could. We could hear the NVA talking and searching for those of us hiding among the dead and wounded. The downpour of rain finally broke and we got help from 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines. Our CO, 1st Sgt. and Co GySgt were all three killed. I'm reasonably sure that I was quite lucky during that operation because I didn't get wounded - not a scratch. However, we lost more than 50% of the company.

We were helo-lifted out to Phu Bai on August 3. A very young inexperienced 2nd Lieutenant who had just arrived in-country took command of the company. Turned out that he was one of the best officers I ever served with. I served with him again at Camp Pendleton in 1979.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Okinawa

Sgt. Grit,

I saw something the other day on TV about the Invasion of Okinawa. I was there and saw so many things that today have been forgotten. They had ships no one remembers now, LST's that carried a smaller version of itself (LCT) on the deck, then when they were needed, the LST seemed to lean sideways and the smaller ship slid into the water, boats full of men went to the ships and soon they took off under their own power. They had LSM's (Landing Ship Medium) which were ships about 100 or so feet long and had bow doors like an LST, they couldn't carry as much but there seemed to be a lot of them. They also made Gun Ships out of the LSM's and I remember seeing these ships going toward shore at Okinawa, and then all seemed as though the ship's deck burst into flames and hundreds of rockets were shooting from the decks toward shore, and on the shore line there was a bursting of these rockets along the beach. LCI's were Landing Craft Infantry (Used in the Normandy Invasion) were a bit smaller than the LSM's and were designed to have ramps off either side of the bow so the Infantry could get off quickly. The LCI's were also turned into Gun ships. There was a Flotilla of them that went into Iwo Jima before the Marines, after they loosed their rockets toward shore they were hit with Artillery, Rockets and small Arms fire from the Japanese on Iwo. A Friend showed me a book written about these ships and the pictures showed how smashed up they were. In the book it told of Marines that were aboard these little ships also. Hundreds of ships were around Okinawa you couldn't see them all. When I went over seas (I was a mere lad of 17 years) and had been told you CAN NOT have a camera, I didn't but lots of Marines and Sailors had them and were shooting away, (think Brownies and such). I saw Destroyers that had came off the Picket Line that had been hit with Hari Kari, Ships of all kinds, ships sinking and anything horrible one can think of floating in the water.

The picket line in Okinawa was Destroyers all around the Ryukyu's to block Hari Kari Planes. My time in Korea and Vietnam, while terrible at times, BUT couldn't compare with what I saw at Okinawa during WWII. Now this 88 year Old Retired Marine can sit back and relax, those days are over and the memories are there but getting dimmer. Who wants to remember those days with Memories of Children and Grandchildren. Life is for Living.

GySgt F. L. Rousseau, USMC, Retired​


VD Only

In 1958, I was sent to a disbursing school at Montford Point, Camp Lejeune, from Camp Pendleton. North Carolina at the time was still steeped in the old South and not the progressive state it is today. That was my impression back then when I first had to use the head on the base. There was a single line of toilets (like the picture in a previous newsletter). The thing that struck me when I entered the building was that the last toilet had a sign over it: VD only. I didn't know whether it was a joke, or it was backwoods North Carolina thinking since we didn't have such a sign at Pendleton or San Diego. I often wondered if anyone ever used that head, especially if others where present. Later, when I was on Okinawa, there was no stigma attached to having VD.

I hope the statutes of limitation have run, but being in disbursing the guys who had VD didn't have to worry about having that matter entered in their SRBs. We'd let the Corpsmen get paid at any time as long as they had money on the books if they'd keep the infamous entry out of the SRBs. The guys at the mess hall always treated us pretty good too. They'd send sandwiches, etc. up to the office when we'd have to close old pay records and open new ones every six months. It wasn't anything to see lights on in the disbursing offices until the wee hours in January and July.

I have never felt embarrassed about being an office pogue around men who were grunts. We were all Marines with a job to do. I believe a grunt can say his mettle has been tested at least in combat. Whereas, most of us pogues would never know.

Semper Fi!

James V. Merl
1655XXX
1957-1960


Noticeably Stiffened

Trigger: Once again while reading something in the news letter from Ddick my trigger was pulled (squeezed?). One hot day while on L.A. County Rescue Squad 20 in Norwalk, CA my partner and I stopped at a liquor store on Pioneer Blvd. just south of Imperial Hwy. to buy a cold soda. The person behind the counter was Premiere Nguyn Cao Ky! Turns out he owned the store and lived in nearby Garden Grove. From time to time we would stop in and on a couple of occasions his wife (Dragon Lady) would be working. They were both very nice and I'm sure they could have told us stories that would have made our hair curl, but the subject was never brought up by either party. Several years before this my friend and I went into a liquor store in another part of Southern California, my friend who had been an "Advisor" in the early 60's in Viet Nam asked the man behind the counter if he was Col. ???. The man noticeably stiffened and asked very coldly how my friend knew him. After my friend told the man his name the mood changed into something like a homecoming. The Col. had been in charge of the unit my friend was advisor to years before in another life and time. It turned out to be the longest stay I have ever made in a liquor store. The case of cold beverages we came in to buy was on the house! I knew that my friend had been in Viet Nam, but until that day I had no idea where or in what capacity, he just never talked about it.

CPL. Selders


The Forgotten War

First I would like to thank you for all you have done for us Marines. I do have to voice one minor complaint. Being a Korean Vet I am use to being forgotten. We fought a 'Forgotten War' which some seem to want now days to call the 'Forgotten Victory'. For most of us that returned home and left the Corps and became just another civilian trying to make a living back in the civilian world. That war fell from the memory of most in the country.

I remember when I first came home on leave after that conflict, I suppose I did look under nourished or sickly but I still remember in civvies I walked to the old corner hang out in Boston and the first one of the old gang I ran into greeted me and said "where in h-ll have you been." I replied, "Korea" and he said "Korea! What kind of disease is that?"

Thank you and Semper Fi.

Sgt. J. Davis
7th Marines


This Was Going To Be Short But

I wonder if the Marines who are disturbed by being thanked for their service live in large, medium or small counties. I, too, feel awkward about this phenomena that has become blase in our country. However, I am a Veterans Service Officer in a small county and I am thanked all the time. I know that this county is patriotic and I also know the idiots who are trying to be sarcastic. One of my best memories is from visiting "The Wall". I had my Vietnam hat on and a group of school children couldn't wait to thank me and my fellow Veterans. So while I feel uncomfortable about being thanked, I always remember that sometimes it comes from the heart and children are being taught that being a Veteran is honorable. I give school talks and always, always am thanked by students. I am also known to have a Marine emblem, hat shirt etc, (Sgt. Grit items) that shows I am a Marine. I encourage other Marines to do the same as I have met many people who will admit that they too are Veterans and sometimes just want to vent. The thing to remember is that while you have the right to feel uncomfortable, many of the people who thank you are trying to express their thanks that you did serve. After years of being a Marine, I have never met a Veteran without a B-ll Sh-t detector. Enjoy their thanks because we never got it when we came home. This was going to be short but I vented also. Sorry.

GyT


Fun-filled Days At PI

While many of the stories from those wonderful, fun-filled days supervised by loving, warm, compassionate drill instructors at PI or SD live in a Marine's mind for life, many Marines often wonder in their later years what ever happened to those men, especially the SDI. Sgt. R. J. Wilkinson's letter in this last newsletter prompted me to relate my story of joy and happiness way back when.

I arrived at Parris Island in September, 1952 after one of those "loving, warm, compassionate" drill instructors met the train at the Yemmassee train station at 0600. Actually, he was a complete opposite of the above description; he was a flaming mad man on a wild binge of brutality, hatred, spite, power, fear and Lord only knows what else. That not-so-comfortable ride from New York City to Yemmassee in a cattle car style rail car with three fairly decent NCOs as our chaperones came to a sudden halt at 0600. Our world changed from heaven to hell in an instant.

The bus ride from Yemmassee to PI over the causeway certainly was not a limo ride with a friendly tour guide on board. We got off the bus at the Iron Mike statue where the recruits were dropped off in the early '50's and said drill instructor spent the next few hours breaking us down into what was known as lower than whale sh-t on the bottom of the ocean. Somewhere along the line of our initial welcome into the depths of Hell, he turned us over to our Senior Drill Instructor, a SSGT Johnson. As far as our welcoming committee of one mean SOB goes, he was transferred either that day or the next day, much to our joy, never to be seen nor heard of since. SSGT Johnson became our father, mother, and ya'll know what else he became, some descriptions not being as kind.

To make a long story short, over the ensuing 12 weeks, SSGT Johnson proved himself to be rough, tough, and a strict disciplinarian, but in a humane way. I don't recall his mistreating anyone physically although he did slap me while at the range for a minor booboo on my part. I never forgot to wear my cover after that either. He was rough and tough, true, but he was fair. Anyway, over the many years since leaving PI in December of 1952, I tried every possible means to locate SSGT Johnson so I could warmly thank him for everything he taught us, especially me. After almost 60 years of unsuccessfully attempting to locate him viz-a-viz numerous ways, I found him a little over two years ago.

Since I graduated as a full-fledged Marine under his able tutelage 60 years earlier, I tried to form a platoon reunion at PI with only one response coming from my platoon mates despite extensive advertising. Ergo, the reunion was cancelled. But, about two weeks before the reunion was to have started, I did get a quiet, somewhat muted telephone call one evening in which the caller said, "are you the man putting together Platoon 529's reunion?" When I replied in the positive, he said, "This is SSGT Johnson." I like to have died! And gone to heaven, and not h-ll. Apparently another DI he knew told him of the reunion and that's why I got the call.

I live in Georgia, and he lives in Iowa, but three years ago I planned a trip out to Iowa to see him and give him the thanks and appreciation he deserved. After around four hours of reminiscing, as I was leaving his house, he turned to his wife and said of the 800 or so Marines he trained at PI during his six or seven tours as a SDI, only one ever looked him up; and that was me. Talk about making your day; that did it. The bottom line is, Marines if you really appreciate what your Drill Instructor did for you and your life, it's well worth the time and effort to look him up and thank him. At PI, he was despised; over the years, he became one of the most respected people in my life.

Semper Fi,
SSGT Johnson, you're the man!

Chris Vail


IN GOD WE TRUST!

I have read some letters from veterans of Afghanistan who feel that people who thank them for their service do so from a self-serving purpose. I am sure that there are many in that category, but there are many more who do appreciate their service.

Yes, most of the people who thank you have not the slightest idea of what you have experienced, and, if they did, would be horrified. I'll go one step further, and say that no one can have experienced that... except for you.

From the beginning of time, mankind has made war on each other, and has become more horrible as one conflict follows another. Veterans of these conflicts have not been able to discuss the conditions with their friends and families, and have sought comfort with others who HAVE experienced these conditions.

For example, during this last week, the 70th anniversary of the battle of Iwo Jima occurred, and one photo of an older veteran was shown of him looking out the window of his plane. I could see this man looking out over a span of empty ocean, but in his mind's eye, seeing it filled with troop transports, hospital ships, naval gunfire, attacking aircraft, amphibious landing craft, etc. All things he could see, but could not share with others, because he could not relate to others the horrors he had encountered.

I thank WWII veterans because whatever job they were assigned to, mess cook, driver, rifleman, intelligence, etc. they did their part in keeping the wolf from America's shores, and keeping us free. I thank veterans, peacetime and combat for having the courage to put on our country's uniform and risk their physical and psychological well-being for our sake.

I thank our veterans and active-duty personnel for their service because I want them to know I AM THANKFUL FOR YOUR SERVICE, no matter how difficult, and I thank you for stating your feelings, because that is the first step towards acceptance in dealing with your feelings.

I still flinch when I hear a car backfire, deal with the laughter from others, but recognize the look of compassion from one or two people who understand, and I still run toward the sound of gunfire, not away from it.

I thank God I still want to do for others, like you have. Semper Fi!


​Nit Picky? Maybe... But

For Hoser Satrapa: since you didn't mention whether or not you are Marine, I will guess that you are probably not... you obviously know at least some of the Gy Hathcock story, but the Corps does not, and never did have "APCs"... Amtracks, yes... APCs, no. The APC, or the common M113 Armored Personnel Carrier, was standard Army issue... and considering when/where, was either gasoline powered (early on), or later, diesel. While it was somewhat 'amphibious', it was not intended for ship to shore movement, but was able to swim relatively smooth waters... river crossings, lakes, etc. The Corps, from the fifties to the seventies, operated with the LVT-P family, with the greatest number of those being the P-5 model, intended primarily for transporting troops. Since the thing was gasoline-powered, with twelve 40-gallon rubber tanks under the interior deck plates, it was not the vehicle of first choice when mines might be encountered... which is why most of the VN pictures you can find will show Marines riding on the top. We learned some really painful lessons about that, early on. There was an automatic fire suppression system added later that involved optical sensors and pressurized cylinders of Halon (TM)... walk into a tractor, flick yer Bic, and instantaneously, you were standing in a cloud of fire suppressant. I'm pretty sure the current family of AAVs still run the same system, even though the fuel is now (and has been for forty + years) diesel... still burns, just not as fast, and the fuel tank is above the port side track channel. Nit picky? maybe... but then, I may have saved you from getting hate mail from proud Amtrackers... their motto, "YATYAS", has been on the side of a Quonset hut at the school at DelMar (Pendleton) in big-ss letters for quite a number of years... any trackrat will gladly decipher that for you... and BTW... Google "AmGrunts"... you'll find it interesting. ddick... MOS 2010 (among others... several, in fact...)

Ddick


There Is Your Shadow Box

I received my catalog today. My wife was looking through it an yelled out to me "There is your shadow box". Sure enough, my shadow box is on the page displaying the examples. I recognize it because it was a wonderful gesture on the part of Sgt. Grit. See, my son was killed in Pittsburgh on 8 Feb 2014 after surviving 2 tours with 2nd LAR in Afghanistan. Before his death, he was working with the wonderful people at Sgt Grit on a shadow box gift for my birthday in April. I had no idea. When they tried to contact him to find out any changes he wanted to make, I had to give them the sad news. Long story short, after numerous phone calls and emails between myself and the team at Grit, they finally finished the most wonderful gift I have ever received. The shadow box is the one with the white belt and buckle across the middle and medals and ribbons and patches for my son and I traversing the box. Looking close, they have removed our names but the box is unmistakably mine. Once again, I want to thank the wonderful team at Sgt Grit for making my son's gift a reality.

Jim Wolter
USMC 1969-1973


Using Two Canes

Sgt. Grit,

I spent some time Monday (3-23) at the local Ford dealership seeing about getting my windshield replaced. I met a grizzled old Vietnam Army vet and we talked, at length, about his service, and mine. He had been shot up pretty bad, and was using 2 canes to get around. As we went our separate ways, he thanked me for my service, as I did to him.

I volunteer with the Tennessee Central Railway Excursion train program, and as such I meet a great variety of people. The last trip on Saturday (3-21) I struck up a conversation with an individual, who turned out to be a retired Flag Officer. Again, I was thanked for my service.

I think that the older individuals who thank any service man, regardless of branch, really do mean it. But, I also think that the younger people probably feel awkward about thanking someone for their service, when they don't have a clue of what that service required.

Anyway, young or old, my response has always been, "Thank you, I'd do it again, in a heartbeat and the best part about the whole mess, is that I met the girl I would marry, in San Diego, in 1954!"

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


Navy Sensitivity Training

The Way It Used To Be

Way back when, a young Naval officer was in a terrible car accident. Due to the heroics of the hospital staff the only permanent injury was the loss of one ear. Since he wasn't physically impaired he remained in the military and eventually became an Admiral. However, during his career he was always sensitive about his appearance.

One day the Admiral was interviewing two Navy Master Chiefs and a Marine Sergeant Major for a position on his personal staff.

The first Master Chief was a surface Navy type (a Blackshoe). Overall it was a great interview, at the end of which the Admiral asked him, "Do you notice anything different about me?"

The Master Chief answered, "Why, yessir, I do. I couldn't help but notice you are missing your starboard ear. I assume that does not impact your hearing on that side."

The Admiral got very angry at this lack of tact and threw him out of his office.

The next candidate, an Aviation Master Chief, also had a good interview. When asked this same question, he answered, "Well yes, you seem to be short one ear, sir"

The Admiral threw him out also.

The third interview was with the Marine Sergeant Major. He was articulate, extremely sharp and seemed to know more than the two Master Chiefs put together. The Admiral wanted this guy, but went ahead with the same question. "Do you notice anything different about me, Sergeant Major?"

To his surprise the Sergeant Major said, "Yes sir, you wear contact lenses."

The Admiral was impressed and thought to himself what an incredibly tactful Marine. "And how do you know that?" the Admiral asked.

The Sergeant Major replied, "Well sir, it's pretty hard to wear glasses when you have only one f-cking ear..."


Welcome Home Brother

On Monday, 30 March, the American Legion has designated that day as Vietnam Veterans Day! Now knowing that you served time in country just like I did I didn't want to forget contacting you.

I want to thank you for your service, I want you to know how glad it makes me feel that you came home safe, and I wanted to say "Welcome Home Brother"! We are a band of brothers like no other especially having served during one of the most tumultuous times in our nation's history and to have served in our beloved Corps! I leave you with the following:

"Whoever does not have the stomach for this fight, let him depart. Give him money to speed his departure, since we wish not to die in that man's company. Whoever lives past today and comes home safely will rouse himself every year on this day, show his neighbor his scars, and tell embellished stories of all their great feats of battle. These stories he will teach his son and from this day until the end of the world we shall be remembered. We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; for whoever has shed blood with me shall be my brother. And those men afraid to go will think themselves lesser men as they hear of how we fought and died together."
--William Shakespeare

Regards,
Paul Reyes
GySgt
USMC (ret)
RVN – '69/'71
Semper Fi!


Caught My Eye

Sgt Grit,

Reading today's newsletter and Sgt King's Platoon photo with his "Battle Guide" caught my eye. The Platoon graduated in March 1977. Check out the ribbons on the Drill Instructors. None of them, not even the Gunny with two hash marks, served in Viet Nam. While I was a "Viet Nam Era" Marine, I also was never "In-Country" but my Drill Instructors and every NCO in my outfit at K-Bay had been-there-done-that.

Jeff Howards
Sgt, USMC '73-'77
CPT, USAR, '77-'93


Foreign And Conflict

Military Veterans, Drill, Pay Grade, and Markings

There has been questions about Military Veterans and Veterans of Foreign Wars. One should look to the two words "foreign and conflict" as a starting point. According to most VFW applications, you need to show documentation of your service in a foreign conflict overseas. Tragically, it seems to get somewhat complicated verses the reality of the true meaning. By statistics, it takes about four personnel to support and supply the grunts in the field of combat: supply, logistics, administration, communication, mechanics, and others. This includes those who supported them while stationed in the States. Those who served overseas during a conflict by definition are looked upon as Veterans of Foreign Wars, all others as Veterans.

One who served two years or more on active duty stateside, or overseas during peacetime service, and receive an honorable discharge are considered a Veterans. I am honored to know many Veterans who served our nations stateside during the Vietnam conflict, knowing their job was just as important as those who served overseas. On both accounts, I have been there: done that; but will always consider myself just a Veteran.

On the issue of the "Eight Man Squad Drill," sometimes called the "Thirteen Man Squad Drill." The squad drill became effective in the Marine Corps on March 8, 1957. Most of those who remember those days recall commands such as: right turn, right by squads, right front into line, on right into line, right by twos, right by files, and squads left front into line. What memories they bring back for the short life they lived. By 1961, the Marine Corps reverted back most likely by the publication of the 1960 LPM: reestablishing the flanking and oblique movements.

The issue of the old pay grade and crossed rifles. This was done about 1958, to bring all military services in line with the new pay grades E-1 through E-9. The Marine had to be promoted to the next higher grade by June 1963, or he would be reverted back to the rank structure according to the pay scale. They would not lose a pay grade; only a rank structure. A corporal to a lance corporal, a sergeant to a corporal, and staff sergeant to sergeant: while still keeping his pay grade. I know of a couple of Marines who gave up a career just short of retirement, because of the humility of being reduced in rank structure. Something like being busted in a rank without being punished.

On the "P" stamped on the handle of the M-1. I never knew of such an animal. Always known to me as the "small of the stock." After hundreds of hours of rubbing linseed oil into the wooden stock of the M-1 and M-14 rifles, I never noticed any lettering on the stock group of the rifles. Could this be in reference to the handle of the M-16? Even then, I don't recall seeing a stamp on it either. I'll check it out at the next gun show, and get back with the info later.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, USMC (RET)


Taps

Retired First Sergeant Robert Otis Ward, USMC, transferred to his final duty station on 31 August 2013. He was a Silver Star (B Co., 1 Bn., 26th Mar. West of Khe Sanh 7 June 1967) and Purple Heart recipient. He retired out of the Marine Corps in 1984 from Weapons Co., 1st, Bn., 4th Mar., MCAGCC Twentynine Palms, CA. He was one h-ll of a Marine and I'm proud to have called him my friend.

Semper Fi,
Capt. Mac
Mac (David A.) McMaster


Sunday 22 March 2015, our color guard from American Legion Post 537 in Oregon, Ohio had the privilege of providing Military funeral service for a retired Marine K9. Sgt. Bernie did 3 tours in Iraq as a bomb sniffer and stateside duty in Yuma, Az K9 training school. She also worked with Secret Services on Presidential details and other dignitaries. She was a 13 year old Belgian Malinois. Her last handler and adopter was Cpl. Bret Reynolds from Northwood, Ohio. My good friend Dick Carstensen DVM Euthenized and cremated Bernie free of charge. He said she was a Veteran and he appreciates what veterans have done for our country. An official funeral flag was donated by the local funeral home. (Frecks Funeral Chapel). We had tv and newspaper coverage and not a dry eye in sight. Our color guard provides about 35 to 40 funerals a year but none will ever compare to the emotion that this one provided. I felt priveleged to present the flag to Cpl. Reynolds. Lots more to this story, maybe some other time.

Charles (corky) Walters
Cpl.USMC 1959-63
Post 537 Commander


Lost And Found

Wednesday is the one day of the week I really look forward to, along with Sunday, that is. Wednesday I get to read the latest newsletter. I'm hoping you can help me contact Marines from 9th MAB that were on the USS Eldorado, January, 1969, that were sent in-country during Operation Bold Mariner. I was a radio operator, along with several other Marines from the Eldorado. We had a CP set up in an amtrac. Any of this sound familiar, let me know. Looking forward to hearing from you. My email address is zelma1988[at]yahoo.com.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Crosby, USMC 1967 - 1971


Short Rounds

There's the right way, there's the wrong way, and there's the Marine Corps Way!


I was not there. But I sure know how to spell a good Marine's name.

JM


Welcom Home Sgt. Grit! OOOOoohhhhhhRAH!

Cpl. C.E. Morgan 4th Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. 1968-1969, Northern I Corps. LZ Stud. ​USMC (Vietnam, 1968, still lost somewhere along the DMZ)

"Fair Winds and Following Seas"


Double Jeopardy Vets. Anybody else out there besides me and Sneaky White that hold both the Combat Action Ribbon and the Combat Infantryman's Badge?

Max


Sgt. Grit,

My two cents on the 'service thanks'. I changed the phrase to "Sir...Thank you for putting your ARSE on the line. Seems appropriate, because that's what ALL veterans either DID... or were prepared to.

No need to add my name or location... it's not about me...


Quotes

"Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force: like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action."
--George Washington


"Reason and Ignorance, the opposites of each other, influence the great bulk of mankind. If either of these can be rendered sufficiently extensive in a country, the machinery of Government goes easily on. Reason obeys itself; and Ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man [1791-1792]​


"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."
--General Mark Clark, U.S. Army


"They (Women Marines) don't have a nickname, and they don't need one. They get their basic training in a Marine atmosphere, at a Marine Post. They inherit the traditions of the Marines. They are Marines."
--LtGen Thomas Holcomb, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 1943


"[E]very good and excellent thing stands moment by moment on the razor edge of danger and must be fought for."
--Thornton Wilder


Hi Ho, Hi Ho
It's off to the pits we go.
We'll bend and thrust, and bust our n-ts.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho, Hi Ho...

"I gave you azsholes at ease, not base liberty!"

"Courage is endurance for one moment more."

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 MAR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Up Against The Starboard Side
• Parris Island History Lesson
• PTSD Poem

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to give a hearty Semper Fi and Welcome Home to all of our Vietnam Veteran Marines!

Browse our collection of Vietnam Era stories!


The Dog's Got Grit

Sgt Grit taking a photo with Lynne's dog in the showroom

Lynne's dog dress in Sgt Grit gear

Shopping at Sgt Grit with my dog in Oklahoma!

Lynne Holmgren
From North Mankato, MN


Up Against The Starboard Side

"By Your Leave, Sir" reminded me of an incident which happened in Norfolk, Virginia. I was a Marine, but -- through circumstances -- became a Captain in the Army Reserve.

It was a short tour at the War College in Norfolk, Virginia where many Reservists pulled annual training. An Air Force Major, who taught Military History at West Point, became my buddy.

While heading out for lunch, the two of us were walking through a narrow passageway, when -- lo, and behold -- two Flag Officers were walking together toward us. I recognized one immediately as Admiral Kelso.

The pair was about ten feet in front of us when I shouted, "MAKE WAY! FLAG OFFICERS!"

I shoved my Air Force buddy into the bulkhead and slammed myself up against the Starboard side.

As the two Admirals walked between us, I could hear Admiral Kelso remark to the other, "He's a Marine!"​

JCz


Sgt Grit Combat Veteran Commemorative Pocket Knife


Parris Island History Lesson

I was primed for the inspecting officer's questions having memorized my general orders and rifle serial number. Every move was executed perfectly when he approached and slapped the rifle out of my hands. As he was studying the serial number, he asked a question and I didn't know the answer to.

"What did Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon lose in the assault on Tripoli, Private?"
"Duh", says I.
"It was his left boot dumbie, get down and give me twenty"

A history lesson I'll always remember when I hear the Marine Corps Hymn and they get to the part about the shores of Tripoli. I picture Lt. O'Bannon crossing the burning sands, one boot on, one boot off and me doing twenty push-ups because of it.

Norm Spilleth
Platoon 374, 1960


What A Screw Up

To Gunny Rousseau esp. "Semper Fi" Marine! I recall from past discussions the differences over Ike Jacket vs. Battle Jacket. I just read that when General Eisenhower first went to England. He in truth did not have many Americans to command. So, he inspected British troops. He was impressed with their 'battle jackets'. He then had one designed for his personal uniform. That was the start. So, what's the correct title. As far as supply went it was 'battle jacket'. Oh well...

The origin of the 13-man squad drill. I remember attempting to master it well. What a 'screw up' that was. Especially for Marines who didn't want to drill... Anyway, I was told that it orignated all the way back to General Washington's Army. It was used in battle. Designed so the first squad would fire, then kneel and reload, the 2nd would then fire, kneel, reload, the 3rd the same. Then the firing of the squads would continue, etc. I'm guessing the British probably used the same tactics.

Another point. In one letter a few weeks ago an individual stated that "war was good". I thought oh yeah! Tell that to the Warriors who have come home paraplegics, the burn victims, etc. Tell the kids whose daddy was KIA "war is good". Tell the mothers, fathers, wives "war is good". Go to a National cemetery, and if you could, tell the spirits from those crosses how good war is. Tell their survivors the same thing. Oh, I could go on and on. War is good? Get Serious! Oh... by the way, I watched a good Marine Lt. burn up. I for the sake of having a happy mind today won't describe that... and/or his screams.

Semper Fi Marines!

Bill Morenz
Sgt. USMC​


Walking In The Footprints Of Heroes

Hue City in 1969

Christmas in Vietnam 1968

In your last newsletter there was a story about Hue City. A couple pics from 1969. Walking in the footprints of Heroes, 1969.

Ken Martin
Cpl USMC


I Wandered Around For A While

Quonset Huts still standing at MCRD San Diego

Old head at MCRD San Diego

BOY! Do these photos bring back MEMORIES!

Too bad the few remaining huts have fallen into such disrepair. I went to the USMC Scout Sniper Association reunion a few years ago in San Diego and we as a group attended a recruit graduation. Things have really changed since I went thru MCRD in '64. For one thing, on that grad day the recruits did not march in review like we did back then. They were marched out by platoons, lined up in front of the reviewing stand and just stood there while a Colonel gave a congratulation speech. Then they were dismissed and that was it. (R. Lee Ermey showed up and visited with some of the officers and DIs, then left without even a nod to us).

I wandered around for a while and found my old platoon street in the old 3rd RTB area. There were about a dozen huts there including the one I was in and that was it. All were being used as storage sheds and the ice plants had taken over the Drill Instructor's Grass area in front of the huts. Not the little neat rows that we had to plant and maintain and rake lines between the rows (to show any boot prints in case someone stepped in the dirt/plant area).

And the head with all the sh-tters lined up... and the showers where the DI's could "adjust the water temp" at the master control valves... "HOT... COLD... HOT..."

Memories...

Semper Fi,
Craig


Close To God And All

We were taught both drills in Plt. 143, MCRD San Diego in June of 1955. Our original platoon commander was relieved of duty following an incident and was replaced by SSgt Cartwright, Sgt. Richardson, and Cpl Y. Ota.

If I remember correctly, we were told that the "Squads Right drill" was the infantry adaptation of the horse cavalry drill, i.e., the command "Wheel... right" became "Squads... Right". etc, etc. I do not know if this is correct, but it seemed plausible at the time and has stuck with me all these years... and of course I have always believed everything the DI said to us came down "from on high"... Him being that close to God and all... LOL!

Salute to all Marines, past, present, and future!

Semper Fi!
Sgt. Donald H. Kinum, Jr.
HqCo, HqBn, 2nd MARDIV
Division Sgt/Maj Office​


Had Heard Rumors

Two letters in the 19 March 2015 newsletter captured my attention. The first concerned Hue and the Tet '68. Around July of '67, a group of us from Phu Bai were taken on a"field trip" to Hue where we toured the Citadel and other sites, one of which was the beautiful Catholic church. I still have pictures of it. Soon after that I transferred Delta Co. 3rd Recon at Dong Ha and didn't see Hue again. My Tet "celebration" was spent at Quang Tri when we were hit at 0210. I know the time because I had just looked at my watch while on inner guard. The second letter concerns the 3rd Recon Bn. I had heard rumors as to the reward offered for Reconners but this was the first time I actually saw it in print.

Sgt. Marvin Byrd​


We Called It Stud

Every time I hear a story about Motor "T", I smile. In 1969, after I recovered from a leg wound I got on Dewey Canyon, I went back to Kilo 3/9, 3rd Platoon. Mr. Johnson sent to the CP to work for the company Gunny. On one occasion I went to Vandegrift Combat Base [we called it Stud], I was assigned a prisoner. Gunny Rojas told me just to kinda hang out with the guy. He was a mechanic that had volunteered for duty in a provisional platoon. Apparently he did well in the bush and had a couple of confirms. He also punched out a platoon Sgt. Gunny didn't know if he was getting a medal or a court martial. One day the "prisoner" asked if we could to visit Sgt. Green at Motor "T". When we got to Motor "T" we were told to go to their club. Sgt. Green bought us beers all night. I might add when Kilo would get to Stud, once a month or so to clean up, we were told the Ninth Marines club was for rear area personnel only, no bush M​arines allowed. That's why I like those motor "T" guys!

Adam "Wally" Mackow
Kilo 3/9, 1968-69​​​


​​Platoon's Battle Guide

Plt 3023 MCRD PI boot camp photo

Seeing the drill instructor names on this banner makes me think of what my SDI called our platoon's battle guide, this one possibly for platoon 1054. We were allowed to create one for our platoon after sweeping the inter-battalion competition during boot camp. Attached is my graduation photo. In it, you can see the Marines in the second row holding the guide. It amounted to a tribute to our drill instructors for leading us to victory, their names in the upper left corner with USMC slogans in the opposite corner. Ours never left the barracks and I have no idea what happened to it. It should have been disposed of given the nature of some of the content. I'm top row, fourth from the right.

Stephen King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982​


Accessorizing My Boat

Boat accessorized with Sgt Grit Decal

This is the start of my boat with Sgt Grit vinyl stickers. They work and look awesome. So what do you think?

Get your own decal at:

You Choose Marine Vet Vinyl Auto Decal with Years of Service

You Choose Marine Vet Vinyl
Auto Decal with Years of Service


My Two Cents

I would just like to add my two cents on a couple topics.

1. No disrespect intended to my fellow Marine vets or any other vet, but if you did not earn the RVN service medal do not claim to be a Vietnam Vet! I could go on about my reason, but that could be a story for another day.

2. I agree with the opinion about being thanked for my service. I think a lot of these people do it just to make themselves feel good. It's starting to embarrass me. For the past few years I only wear my veteran hats and shirts on veteran holidays.

CPL. H. White
P.I. 1967
7th Engrs. RVN 1968 (Camp Love/Liberty Bridge)
8th Engrs. Camp Lejeune 1969-1970


Attacking The Beach

Why should you not take your Marine friends to the beach?

Why you don't take Marine Friends to the beach


A DI To Remember

It is with great anticipation to receive your email letters once a week from all your contributors. Most of the stories bring back some wonderful memories. But one writer has on occasion jumped out at me more than any other. J.L. Stelling. Boy, oh boy how I remember that name. Although it has been almost 50 years since we first met, just seeing his name and the way he writes his entries brings back a whole host of good and bad. You see, Sgt (E-5) Stelling was my DI from June 1965 to September 1965. He, along with Sgt (E-5) Hogan and SSgt (E-6) Willingham, made up the three that would train Platoon 243, MCRD San Diego and mold all our maggot recruit b-tts, not only for the Marine Corps but for life. Sgt Stelling was the hard one and he proved it every day for twelve weeks. If you take Sgt Jim Moore (Jack Webb) from the movie "DI" and add GySgt Hartman (Lee Ermey) from "Full Metal Jacket" you would come somewhat close to Sgt Stelling. But with that being said, I wouldn't have it any other way. He taught me so many things I still remember and use today. Whether it's discipline, honor, trust or just being true to yourself, it's the things you need to succeed in life. So "THANK YOU" Sgt Stelling. I still have our platoon picture hanging in my man cave. Hope you're doing well.

R.J. Wilkinson
Sgt 213XXXX
USMC 6/65-6/69
RVN 12/67-01/69

Just a side note. Four years after boot camp and after returning from RVN, I was in front of Headquarters MCRD San Diego waiting to be decorated, when much to my surprise, Sgt Hogan, now a GySgt was standing next to me for the same purpose. When I asked him if he remembered me, he said sure do, Platoon 243, I was shocked and amazed.​


GySgt Hatchcock

Ya well, the rest of the story... notice John Dalton, Class of '64, USNA pinning on the silver star at Carlos Hathcock's home in Virginia Beach, VA, Jay Johnson was appointed CNO by Clinton after Mike Borda shot himself about a combat NCM. Right after Jay Johnson took over as CNO, Dale Snodgrass and I lambasted him with making it right for White Feather. The burning APC, when he, on several returns, pulled his fellow Marines out of the APC, under heavy NVN fire... THAT alone was an MOH! Long Story Short... too long since the APC event which crippled White Feather = Silver Star... max. However, since the military retired Carlos Hathcock 11 months before he had 20 yrs. in... it was adjusted to what is right... with back pay. He and his wife Jo Hathcock had been struggling financially... this made it (almost) right. I personally knew GYSGT Carlos Hathcock... visited him in VA Beach at his home twice... listened to every word he said. He was the Masai of gunnery... A Hero of Gigondous Proportions. Jay Johnson (CNO) was overseas, so John Dalton did the honors at White Feather's home with Marine Color Guard. I was not able to attend. Thanx for the photos... Eyes Wet!

V/R,
Hoser Satrapa​


PTSD Poem

It's All In Your Head

Curled up in the corner of my old back porch
I saw two Unicorns and a Dynasaur
Fire Flies were flashing red and green
One of them hovered right in front of me
A car backfires, I hit the floor flat
This house won't take incoming like that
So I filled sandbags for my living room
I swear I was right back with my old Platoon
Flashbacks remind me my buddies are dead
The VA says it's all in my head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

I wake up in the night with a start
Grab my K-Bar, fumble through the dark
Go sit in my old Pickup till round three
That's when the dreams come most violently
I've got sores on my head, sores on my feet
Scars inside that no one can see
Flashbacks remind me
My Buddies are dead
The VA says it's all in my head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

I started drinkin' heavy in Vietnam
Carried that habit back across the pond
I can't see and I can't hear
My third wife says, "Just face your fears"
I loved that woman, knew she wouldn't stay
I heard she ran off with a Green Beret
So this ol' Pub is my new home instead
The VA says, it's all in your head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

Sid Orr
Woodstock, GA
Gunner


Blank Check

I joined the USMCR in August 1959 and went active in June of '60. Served on the Cuban Crisis aboard the USS Theatis Bay, then was at Memphis, TN, to assist the US Marshal Service in enrolling James Meredith in the U of Miss. In 1963, arrived in DaNang, S. Viet-Nam still a Cpl in HMM-261. Later we served aboard the USS Iwo Jima the Special Landing Force Pacific. Upon returning to the States I became a Field Musician and was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. as a Cpl in their US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in 1965. I remained at the Barracks rising to the rank of GySgt before resigning in June of 1974 to take a job in Law Enforcement. After a 10-year break in service I joined the Maryland Army National Guard in the 629th MI Bn (CEWI) and was promoted to 1stSgt of A Co. I retired from them in September of 1992. I served in the Charles County Maryland Sheriff's Office from 1974 through 1999 when I retired again as a Lt. All of this I did because I wanted to serve and considered it both a privilege and an honor to have been able to do so. I never expected any thanks, nor sought any and quite honestly when some stranger thanks me for my service I feel awkward! But I am glad that our troops are no longer spat on and called foul names, but are once again held in high esteem for their service. In both of my chosen professions, I willingly signed the blank check, never knowing when, or if it would be cashed and was proud to have been able to have done so.

I do regret greatly that our nation no longer has a draft as I feel every young person upon graduating from high school should perform some service to their country for at least two years. It could be building needed infrastructure, filing papers, computer entry or any number of other needs. But it would provide more benefits for those who elected to serve in the military because of that blank check they would be writing!

Just the two cents worth of an old guy who served as best as he could!

Semper Fidelis
DB Wright​


Join The Marines They Said

From Vietnam to the first Gulf War to the 2nd Gulf War... Some things never change.

Join the Marines


Small World

I cannot answer his question about the reserve unit, but I believe Capt. Joy would retire as Brig. General James Joy. My wife and I were eating in a Dairy Queen in Arkansas one afternoon and I had a Marines t-shirt on. This older gentleman came up to my table and said "Semper Fi" and gave me a card with his name on it and said "if I can ever be of service, call me."

Well, it was Brig. General Joy. It's a small world. Google him up and you can read about his career.

Sgt. C.
'67-'71​


MIA Poem

Now deep in the Ashau Valley
It's not safe for mortal man
But the NVA keep moving
And supplies keep pouring in
So they insert a Recon Team
You know the swift, Silent type
On a trail they call the Ho Chi Minh
They settled in first night.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back

Now you wouldn't think a man
Could vanish just like that
They checked the place for trip wires
They checked for Boobie traps
They trained for every danger
They sent out the Tunnel Rats
So the Hero said with confidence
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

Now politics didn't trickle down
To the area around Khe Sanh
From Quang Tri to the Rock Pile
From Camp Carroll and Beyond
So they never knew how true the words
When the evening news came on
Tonight in South Vietnam
We've lost another Son.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

They never sent his Helmet home
Never sent his belt and pack
The only remains were memories
For his home town high school class
But they Swore to God They won't lose hope
They'll hold out to the last
Because the promise that he made
Hey Mom, I'll be right back.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

Sid Orr
Woodstock, GA
Gunner


Short Rounds

Grandaughter Brianna is a beautiful girl who soon will be able to date.

Asked her dad, my winger son Todd, what he will do when she begins to date.

He said, "When the boy comes to pick her up, I'll toss him one of my 9mm shells. And, I'll tell him if she isn't home on time the next one will come faster."

God Bless his Marine training.

Bob Rader


This Marine has a reserved place in heaven.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Cpl Kyle Carpenter.


Sgt Grit,

When I am thanked for my service, as I am often done today, my response is always to say thanks for their kindness but it is not necessary to thank a Marine. To be good enough to serve as a Marine is a great honor, I was associated with the greatest of men, I had a fantastic adventure, and a got to see many parts of the world. That's payment enough.

Semper Fidelis,
Red Dog '45-'57


"Doc" - a song about Navy Corpsmen by Country duo Walker McGuire.

Watch video at "Doc".

John Wear


Quotes

"[H]onesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a nation be just."
--George Washington, 1783​


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
--Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army Commander of American Forces in World War I


"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army."
--Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


Sparta's response to Philip of Macedonia

Philip of Macedonia in a message to Sparta:

"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."


"You aren't Marine Recruits... YOU'RE A HERD!"

"What did you call your rifle?"

"You just finished chow... let my sand fleas have theirs!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Subscribe to this newsletter.

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 MAR 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10521/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Up Against The Starboard Side
• Parris Island History Lesson
• PTSD Poem

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

Sgt Grit and Staff would like to give a hearty Semper Fi and Welcome Home to all of our Vietnam Veteran Marines!

Browse our collection of Vietnam Era stories!


The Dog's Got Grit

Shopping at Sgt Grit with my dog in Oklahoma!

Lynne Holmgren
From North Mankato, MN


Up Against The Starboard Side

"By Your Leave, Sir" reminded me of an incident which happened in Norfolk, Virginia. I was a Marine, but -- through circumstances -- became a Captain in the Army Reserve.

It was a short tour at the War College in Norfolk, Virginia where many Reservists pulled annual training. An Air Force Major, who taught Military History at West Point, became my buddy.

While heading out for lunch, the two of us were walking through a narrow passageway, when -- lo, and behold -- two Flag Officers were walking together toward us. I recognized one immediately as Admiral Kelso.

The pair was about ten feet in front of us when I shouted, "MAKE WAY! FLAG OFFICERS!"

I shoved my Air Force buddy into the bulkhead and slammed myself up against the Starboard side.

As the two Admirals walked between us, I could hear Admiral Kelso remark to the other, "He's a Marine!"​

JCz


Parris Island History Lesson

I was primed for the inspecting officer's questions having memorized my general orders and rifle serial number. Every move was executed perfectly when he approached and slapped the rifle out of my hands. As he was studying the serial number, he asked a question and I didn't know the answer to.

"What did Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon lose in the assault on Tripoli, Private?"
"Duh", says I.
"It was his left boot dumbie, get down and give me twenty"

A history lesson I'll always remember when I hear the Marine Corps Hymn and they get to the part about the shores of Tripoli. I picture Lt. O'Bannon crossing the burning sands, one boot on, one boot off and me doing twenty push-ups because of it.

Norm Spilleth
Platoon 374, 1960


What A Screw Up

To Gunny Rousseau esp. "Semper Fi" Marine! I recall from past discussions the differences over Ike Jacket vs. Battle Jacket. I just read that when General Eisenhower first went to England. He in truth did not have many Americans to command. So, he inspected British troops. He was impressed with their 'battle jackets'. He then had one designed for his personal uniform. That was the start. So, what's the correct title. As far as supply went it was 'battle jacket'. Oh well...

The origin of the 13-man squad drill. I remember attempting to master it well. What a 'screw up' that was. Especially for Marines who didn't want to drill... Anyway, I was told that it orignated all the way back to General Washington's Army. It was used in battle. Designed so the first squad would fire, then kneel and reload, the 2nd would then fire, kneel, reload, the 3rd the same. Then the firing of the squads would continue, etc. I'm guessing the British probably used the same tactics.

Another point. In one letter a few weeks ago an individual stated that "war was good". I thought oh yeah! Tell that to the Warriors who have come home paraplegics, the burn victims, etc. Tell the kids whose daddy was KIA "war is good". Tell the mothers, fathers, wives "war is good". Go to a National cemetery, and if you could, tell the spirits from those crosses how good war is. Tell their survivors the same thing. Oh, I could go on and on. War is good? Get Serious! Oh... by the way, I watched a good Marine Lt. burn up. I for the sake of having a happy mind today won't describe that... and/or his screams.

Semper Fi Marines!

Bill Morenz
Sgt. USMC​


Walking In The Footprints Of Heroes

In your last newsletter there was a story about Hue City. A couple pics from 1969. Walking in the footprints of Heroes, 1969.

Ken Martin
Cpl USMC


I Wandered Around For A While

BOY! Do these photos bring back MEMORIES!

Too bad the few remaining huts have fallen into such disrepair. I went to the USMC Scout Sniper Association reunion a few years ago in San Diego and we as a group attended a recruit graduation. Things have really changed since I went thru MCRD in '64. For one thing, on that grad day the recruits did not march in review like we did back then. They were marched out by platoons, lined up in front of the reviewing stand and just stood there while a Colonel gave a congratulation speech. Then they were dismissed and that was it. (R. Lee Ermey showed up and visited with some of the officers and DIs, then left without even a nod to us).

I wandered around for a while and found my old platoon street in the old 3rd RTB area. There were about a dozen huts there including the one I was in and that was it. All were being used as storage sheds and the ice plants had taken over the Drill Instructor's Grass area in front of the huts. Not the little neat rows that we had to plant and maintain and rake lines between the rows (to show any boot prints in case someone stepped in the dirt/plant area).

And the head with all the sh-tters lined up... and the showers where the DI's could "adjust the water temp" at the master control valves... "HOT... COLD... HOT..."

Memories...

Semper Fi,
Craig


Close To God And All

We were taught both drills in Plt. 143, MCRD San Diego in June of 1955. Our original platoon commander was relieved of duty following an incident and was replaced by SSgt Cartwright, Sgt. Richardson, and Cpl Y. Ota.

If I remember correctly, we were told that the "Squads Right drill" was the infantry adaptation of the horse cavalry drill, i.e., the command "Wheel... right" became "Squads... Right". etc, etc. I do not know if this is correct, but it seemed plausible at the time and has stuck with me all these years... and of course I have always believed everything the DI said to us came down "from on high"... Him being that close to God and all... LOL!

Salute to all Marines, past, present, and future!

Semper Fi!
Sgt. Donald H. Kinum, Jr.
HqCo, HqBn, 2nd MARDIV
Division Sgt/Maj Office​


Had Heard Rumors

Two letters in the 19 March 2015 newsletter captured my attention. The first concerned Hue and the Tet '68. Around July of '67, a group of us from Phu Bai were taken on a"field trip" to Hue where we toured the Citadel and other sites, one of which was the beautiful Catholic church. I still have pictures of it. Soon after that I transferred Delta Co. 3rd Recon at Dong Ha and didn't see Hue again. My Tet "celebration" was spent at Quang Tri when we were hit at 0210. I know the time because I had just looked at my watch while on inner guard. The second letter concerns the 3rd Recon Bn. I had heard rumors as to the reward offered for Reconners but this was the first time I actually saw it in print.

Sgt. Marvin Byrd​


We Called It Stud

Every time I hear a story about Motor "T", I smile. In 1969, after I recovered from a leg wound I got on Dewey Canyon, I went back to Kilo 3/9, 3rd Platoon. Mr. Johnson sent to the CP to work for the company Gunny. On one occasion I went to Vandegrift Combat Base [we called it Stud], I was assigned a prisoner. Gunny Rojas told me just to kinda hang out with the guy. He was a mechanic that had volunteered for duty in a provisional platoon. Apparently he did well in the bush and had a couple of confirms. He also punched out a platoon Sgt. Gunny didn't know if he was getting a medal or a court martial. One day the "prisoner" asked if we could to visit Sgt. Green at Motor "T". When we got to Motor "T" we were told to go to their club. Sgt. Green bought us beers all night. I might add when Kilo would get to Stud, once a month or so to clean up, we were told the Ninth Marines club was for rear area personnel only, no bush M​arines allowed. That's why I like those motor "T" guys!

Adam "Wally" Mackow
Kilo 3/9, 1968-69​​​


​​Platoon's Battle Guide

Seeing the drill instructor names on this banner makes me think of what my SDI called our platoon's battle guide, this one possibly for platoon 1054. We were allowed to create one for our platoon after sweeping the inter-battalion competition during boot camp. Attached is my graduation photo. In it, you can see the Marines in the second row holding the guide. It amounted to a tribute to our drill instructors for leading us to victory, their names in the upper left corner with USMC slogans in the opposite corner. Ours never left the barracks and I have no idea what happened to it. It should have been disposed of given the nature of some of the content. I'm top row, fourth from the right.

Stephen King
Sgt. of Marines
1976 - 1982​


My Two Cents

I would just like to add my two cents on a couple topics.

1. No disrespect intended to my fellow Marine vets or any other vet, but if you did not earn the RVN service medal do not claim to be a Vietnam Vet! I could go on about my reason, but that could be a story for another day.

2. I agree with the opinion about being thanked for my service. I think a lot of these people do it just to make themselves feel good. It's starting to embarrass me. For the past few years I only wear my veteran hats and shirts on veteran holidays.

CPL. H. White
P.I. 1967
7th Engrs. RVN 1968 (Camp Love/Liberty Bridge)
8th Engrs. Camp Lejeune 1969-1970


A DI To Remember

It is with great anticipation to receive your email letters once a week from all your contributors. Most of the stories bring back some wonderful memories. But one writer has on occasion jumped out at me more than any other. J.L. Stelling. Boy, oh boy how I remember that name. Although it has been almost 50 years since we first met, just seeing his name and the way he writes his entries brings back a whole host of good and bad. You see, Sgt (E-5) Stelling was my DI from June 1965 to September 1965. He, along with Sgt (E-5) Hogan and SSgt (E-6) Willingham, made up the three that would train Platoon 243, MCRD San Diego and mold all our maggot recruit b-tts, not only for the Marine Corps but for life. Sgt Stelling was the hard one and he proved it every day for twelve weeks. If you take Sgt Jim Moore (Jack Webb) from the movie "DI" and add GySgt Hartman (Lee Ermey) from "Full Metal Jacket" you would come somewhat close to Sgt Stelling. But with that being said, I wouldn't have it any other way. He taught me so many things I still remember and use today. Whether it's discipline, honor, trust or just being true to yourself, it's the things you need to succeed in life. So "THANK YOU" Sgt Stelling. I still have our platoon picture hanging in my man cave. Hope you're doing well.

R.J. Wilkinson
Sgt 213XXXX
USMC 6/65-6/69
RVN 12/67-01/69

Just a side note. Four years after boot camp and after returning from RVN, I was in front of Headquarters MCRD San Diego waiting to be decorated, when much to my surprise, Sgt Hogan, now a GySgt was standing next to me for the same purpose. When I asked him if he remembered me, he said sure do, Platoon 243, I was shocked and amazed.​


GySgt Hatchcock

Ya well, the rest of the story... notice John Dalton, Class of '64, USNA pinning on the silver star at Carlos Hathcock's home in Virginia Beach, VA, Jay Johnson was appointed CNO by Clinton after Mike Borda shot himself about a combat NCM. Right after Jay Johnson took over as CNO, Dale Snodgrass and I lambasted him with making it right for White Feather. The burning APC, when he, on several returns, pulled his fellow Marines out of the APC, under heavy NVN fire... THAT alone was an MOH! Long Story Short... too long since the APC event which crippled White Feather = Silver Star... max. However, since the military retired Carlos Hathcock 11 months before he had 20 yrs. in... it was adjusted to what is right... with back pay. He and his wife Jo Hathcock had been struggling financially... this made it (almost) right. I personally knew GYSGT Carlos Hathcock... visited him in VA Beach at his home twice... listened to every word he said. He was the Masai of gunnery... A Hero of Gigondous Proportions. Jay Johnson (CNO) was overseas, so John Dalton did the honors at White Feather's home with Marine Color Guard. I was not able to attend. Thanx for the photos... Eyes Wet!

V/R,
Hoser Satrapa​


PTSD Poem

It's All In Your Head

Curled up in the corner of my old back porch
I saw two Unicorns and a Dynasaur
Fire Flies were flashing red and green
One of them hovered right in front of me
A car backfires, I hit the floor flat
This house won't take incoming like that
So I filled sandbags for my living room
I swear I was right back with my old Platoon
Flashbacks remind me my buddies are dead
The VA says it's all in my head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

I wake up in the night with a start
Grab my K-Bar, fumble through the dark
Go sit in my old Pickup till round three
That's when the dreams come most violently
I've got sores on my head, sores on my feet
Scars inside that no one can see
Flashbacks remind me
My Buddies are dead
The VA says it's all in my head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

I started drinkin' heavy in Vietnam
Carried that habit back across the pond
I can't see and I can't hear
My third wife says, "Just face your fears"
I loved that woman, knew she wouldn't stay
I heard she ran off with a Green Beret
So this ol' Pub is my new home instead
The VA says, it's all in your head.

We've had a steady diet of government lies
A dessert called Agent Orange Surprise
I'm coughing up blood, spittin' up lead
VA says it's all in my head.

Sid Orr
Woodstock, GA
Gunner


Blank Check

I joined the USMCR in August 1959 and went active in June of '60. Served on the Cuban Crisis aboard the USS Theatis Bay, then was at Memphis, TN, to assist the US Marshal Service in enrolling James Meredith in the U of Miss. In 1963, arrived in DaNang, S. Viet-Nam still a Cpl in HMM-261. Later we served aboard the USS Iwo Jima the Special Landing Force Pacific. Upon returning to the States I became a Field Musician and was transferred to the Marine Barracks, Washington, D.C. as a Cpl in their US Marine Drum & Bugle Corps in 1965. I remained at the Barracks rising to the rank of GySgt before resigning in June of 1974 to take a job in Law Enforcement. After a 10-year break in service I joined the Maryland Army National Guard in the 629th MI Bn (CEWI) and was promoted to 1stSgt of A Co. I retired from them in September of 1992. I served in the Charles County Maryland Sheriff's Office from 1974 through 1999 when I retired again as a Lt. All of this I did because I wanted to serve and considered it both a privilege and an honor to have been able to do so. I never expected any thanks, nor sought any and quite honestly when some stranger thanks me for my service I feel awkward! But I am glad that our troops are no longer spat on and called foul names, but are once again held in high esteem for their service. In both of my chosen professions, I willingly signed the blank check, never knowing when, or if it would be cashed and was proud to have been able to have done so.

I do regret greatly that our nation no longer has a draft as I feel every young person upon graduating from high school should perform some service to their country for at least two years. It could be building needed infrastructure, filing papers, computer entry or any number of other needs. But it would provide more benefits for those who elected to serve in the military because of that blank check they would be writing!

Just the two cents worth of an old guy who served as best as he could!

Semper Fidelis
DB Wright​


Small World

I cannot answer his question about the reserve unit, but I believe Capt. Joy would retire as Brig. General James Joy. My wife and I were eating in a Dairy Queen in Arkansas one afternoon and I had a Marines t-shirt on. This older gentleman came up to my table and said "Semper Fi" and gave me a card with his name on it and said "if I can ever be of service, call me."

Well, it was Brig. General Joy. It's a small world. Google him up and you can read about his career.

Sgt. C.
'67-'71​


MIA Poem

Now deep in the Ashau Valley
It's not safe for mortal man
But the NVA keep moving
And supplies keep pouring in
So they insert a Recon Team
You know the swift, Silent type
On a trail they call the Ho Chi Minh
They settled in first night.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back

Now you wouldn't think a man
Could vanish just like that
They checked the place for trip wires
They checked for Boobie traps
They trained for every danger
They sent out the Tunnel Rats
So the Hero said with confidence
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

Now politics didn't trickle down
To the area around Khe Sanh
From Quang Tri to the Rock Pile
From Camp Carroll and Beyond
So they never knew how true the words
When the evening news came on
Tonight in South Vietnam
We've lost another Son.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

They never sent his Helmet home
Never sent his belt and pack
The only remains were memories
For his home town high school class
But they Swore to God They won't lose hope
They'll hold out to the last
Because the promise that he made
Hey Mom, I'll be right back.

I'll be right back
Gonna set these Claymores down
Gonna slip right through the clearing there
Stay close to the ground
Gonna leave my noisy helmet here
Gonna leave my belt and pack
The last words the Hero said
Hey Sarge, I'll be right back.

Sid Orr
Woodstock, GA
Gunner


Short Rounds

Grandaughter Brianna is a beautiful girl who soon will be able to date.

Asked her dad, my winger son Todd, what he will do when she begins to date.

He said, "When the boy comes to pick her up, I'll toss him one of my 9mm shells. And, I'll tell him if she isn't home on time the next one will come faster."

God Bless his Marine training.

Bob Rader


This Marine has a reserved place in heaven.

Medal of Honor Recipient, Cpl Kyle Carpenter.


Sgt Grit,

When I am thanked for my service, as I am often done today, my response is always to say thanks for their kindness but it is not necessary to thank a Marine. To be good enough to serve as a Marine is a great honor, I was associated with the greatest of men, I had a fantastic adventure, and a got to see many parts of the world. That's payment enough.

Semper Fidelis,
Red Dog '45-'57


"Doc" - a song about Navy Corpsmen by Country duo Walker McGuire.

Watch video at "Doc".

John Wear


Quotes

"[H]onesty will be found on every experiment, to be the best and only true policy; let us then as a nation be just."
--George Washington, 1783​


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."
--Gen. John "Black Jack" Pershing, U.S. Army Commander of American Forces in World War I


"Do not attack the First Marine Division. Leave the yellowlegs alone. Strike the American Army."
--Orders given to Communist troops in the Korean War; shortly afterward, the Marines were ordered to not wear their khaki leggings.


"Everything that is really great and inspiring is created by the individual who can labor in freedom."
--Albert Einstein


Philip of Macedonia in a message to Sparta:

"You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army into your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people, and raze your city."

Sparta's reply: "If."


"You aren't Marine Recruits... YOU'RE A HERD!"

"What did you call your rifle?"

"You just finished chow... let my sand fleas have theirs!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 MAR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Stopping The Rotation Of The Earth
• By Your Leave Sir
• Hue City

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Flag poles on Camp Fuji with Mt Fuji in background

Leave and liberty on Camp Fuji

Sgt.Grit,

While reading the newsletter from the last week I saw Camp Fuji mentioned so I thought I would send some of my memories of the camp from my stay there for 14-1/2 months in 1955 & 1956.

Berg


POW Times Two

1stLt Dodd and GySgt Vogel next to Ontos

In 1960-61, I was Maintenance Officer for 3rd AT at Camp Schwab, Okinawa. My Maintenance Chief was Gy/Sgt John Vogel. He had been captured on Wake Island in WWII and was a POW. Then came Korea and again he was again captured and was a POW of the Chinese.

I'm not sure if the Marine who wrote you is the same John Vogel, but if he is, I would sure like to contact him. I last saw him when I was transferred back to the "Land of the Big PX."

Edward L. Dodd, 1stLt

Here is a photo of us, Lt. Dodd and Gy/Sgt Vogel with one of their Ontos.

Semper Fi


In Country

In response to Mark Smith's post, my husband served in the USAF 1969-1974. When asked if he served during the Viet Nam "conflict", he always makes it clear that he did not serve "in country". We recognize that those who served in country faced the kind of hardships and experiences those who did not will never understand.

We are grateful to all who have served or are serving in the military, regardless of which branch, but we have a special place of honor for those who were "in country".

Elizabeth McKnight
Army Brat
AF Wife
Marine Mom


Old Corps 15oz King Diner Mug


Stopping The Rotation Of The Earth

Sgt. Harlan need not feel bad about his reaction to people thanking him for his service, I well remember one of my company Gunnery Sergeants saying "don't thank me, the government thanks me twice a month" whenever anyone wanted to thank him for doing his job. Anyway there are undoubtedly many civilians who are truly grateful for what ever role anyone may have performed in our nation's service. There are also those who are not sincere and are merely going along with what is currently the trend of the populace. Since it is difficult to identify the sincere from the patronizing, I just take anyone thanking me at their word and let it go.

Prior to the Gulf War and just after Vietnam (I enlisted in '75, yeah I know to most of you a boot) the general response I got from people concerning my military service was "you could do better" or "Oh, that's too bad" and my favorite "anyone can carry a gun", you've probably heard them all, and then a couple of years after returning from the Gulf, someone thanked me for my service. I was working in a Nursing Home at the time and the guy that thanked me was certified crazy, (that's why he was there) but he was sincere and I appreciated his comment. Think about that, about two years or so after the war and a crazy person says thank you, and that was about ten years before people began to thank vets (or at least before the news media picked up on it) for their service.

And today we vets are supposed to be so grateful for the public acknowledgements that we occasionally receive. The way I see it, our government thanked me twice a month and promised future assistance should I need it for basic health care and compensatory payments for injury/sickness as a result of my service. (We call that VA comp) So when someone thanks me for my service that's fine, I take it with a grain of salt and I don't feel guilty about my attitude and neither should Sgt. Harlan.

On a lighter side, the letter about never saying "I don't know" brought back a incident when Plt Commander Sgt. Robinson said, "I'm tired of hearing you privates saying the private doesn't know. From now on if you don't know just say the private doesn't give a f--k, because if you gave a f--k you'd know"!

Fast forward to Initial Inspection (1st Phase) when the Series Commander 1st Lt. Carpenter asked the recruit next to me a question, I don't remember what it was, maybe the question referred to the fact that his belt buckle was on backwards, all I can remember is my peripheral vision seeing the Drill Instructors abruptly turning around or heads tilting so the covers hid their faces (they must have been busting their guts trying not to laugh). We must have come close to stopping the rotation of the earth that evening.

R/S
Duane Peterson
Sgt. Pete, TOW Plt


By Your Leave Sir

We have used "By your leave, Sir", when asking to pass an officer from behind since the days of iron men and wooden ships... and probably borrowed it from the English, a generally polite lot. The custom is said to date from the days when a ship's Gunnery Officer stood at one end of a gun deck to control the cannon for 'broadsides'. It was important that his vision down the line of guns not be blocked by some casual block-headed passer-by, so the leave (permission) to proceed was to be requested (along with a hand salute). As a very basic, but important custom, this was (and is) taught in boot camp, with the exception that when a recruit is requesting to pass a Drill Instructor, the salute is omitted.

As a very basic learning objective, the custom is sure to be a common question asked by inspecting officers for any personnel inspection early in the training cycle... in the day, that would have been the "Third Week Inspection"... and so it was asked of one of my recruits in the first rank... and it went like this: Series Officer (a 1st Lt.): "Private... what do you say when you approach your Drill Instructor from behind?"... Private: (loud and clear)... "Sir!... the Private says "By your leave, Sir!" Series Officer: "good... and what does your Drill Instructor say?" (he was expecting to hear "Granted")... the Private: "Getthefugouttahere, maggot?"

It was probably fortunate for me that Lt. Powell had two more stars on his Good Conduct Ribbon than I had on mine...

​ Ddick


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Cold And Foamy

Sgt.Grit,

My Expert Badge from Hdqtrs, MC is marked; "50 - 51 - 55", However I fired Expert Prior to that. While Stationed in Bermuda, The CO, Capt. Dunagan, got all of us the shooting medals we deserved. I still have mine hanging on a momento board I put together, The Momento board has a Gong on it, duplicating the Gong in front of "A" Co. 1st Recon Bn, Vietnam with the Words; "DIE! BUT DON'T QUIT! These words were the Life and Legend of 1stSgt. Otis Barker who was a Friend. I still live by that Creedo!

At the Age of 88 years, many of my Friends are at the Marine Corps up there somewhere and I'll join them one day (I know they'll have a bottle of Japanese Beer, cold and foamy, waiting my pleasure). They say we all have a purpose in Life, Mine is remembering the Corps and my Friends, the times good & bad, and sometimes I think back and cringe at what I did then and burst with Pride with all that I've accomplished besides the Marine Corps, 5 children, 2 daughters (Both Married, 3 sons, Oldest Retired from the LBT, Middle Son a Successful Cabinet Maker, and Youngest a Weapons Handler for Movies).

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retied


Hue City

Sgt. Grit,

It's been 47 years since Marines from the 1st and 5th Regiments fought the NVA and VC in Hue City. I had been to the city several times before the Tet offensive and truly enjoyed the unique culture. It was a beautiful city.

I was with "H" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. Captain Ron Christmas was our Company Commander. He currently is a retired Lt/Gen living near Quantico, VA. He was and continues to be involved with the Marine Corps Museum located just south of Quantico on highway #1.

We entered the city on February 2, 1968 on a "Rough Rider" convoy. As the convoy crossed the Perfume River, we were ambushed, and we immediately knew we were in deep sh-t. If memory serves, we took 22 casualties in the first hour of the fight. Lots of snipers, everywhere. We had orders to retake the Provincial Capital buildings. The mission took us four days to accomplish. But on February 6, 1968 we raised the stars and stripes over the headquarters building. My platoon was down in strength by 50% since we entered the city. I guess the toughest part was the almost constant rain because we were in the middle of the monsoon season. We were always wet and played hell keeping our weapons and ammunition from malfunctioning due to the constant downpour of rain. Very little air support due to the weather. No artillery support. The generals didn't want to damage or destroy the beauty of the Imperial Capital. Well, that didn't last. Toward the middle of February, 1968, artillery, tank, ontos support was finally authorized, and the fight took a dramatic turn.

Just hours after we raised the flag, we were ordered to take it down. There was only one flagpole, and the U.S. agreement with South Vietnam required that we also fly their flag beside ours. As fighting Marines, we didn't really give a sh-t, but we obeyed orders.

We fought street to street, house to house, and block to block for the next four weeks until we were ordered to return to Phu Bai combat base. Once again, if memory serves, we went into the city with 238 Marines. When we returned to Phu Bai, we had 36 Marines. But we accomplished the mission. We sent the NVA and VC scrambling to get out of the city. Unfortunately, we also destroyed the Imperial Capital. The beautiful Catholic Church was leveled. The university was nothing but rubble after 11th Marines got through shooting. To this day, I'm not sure that the mission was worth the price we paid?

Why the river was named the Perfume River, I can't imagine. The smell was nothing like perfume.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Squad Right

Sgt. Grit,

All this talk about the squad drill has brought up some ancient memories of being on the parade ground at MCRDep, SDiego, in the early l950's; I don't recall using it after I was transferred to MB, NAB, Coronado, in October, 1953. As a Sgt (E4), I was always included in the close order drills of the day. Later, when I was sent TAD to the Naval Training Center, I also was given the privilege(?) of conducting close order drill for platoons of sailors, waiting to go into the mess hall.

If you think that the squad drill was something new; may have been for the Marine Corps, check out an old, old movie about WWI, "The Fighting 69th", with James Cagney, George Brent, Pat O'Brien and others, in the 1940 film. In one scene, I believe, after getting off the train, the command "Squads, right (or left) front into line", is given, and it was done exactly as we were instructed in the 1950s.

So, this brings up another question, was this drill first developed in WWI, or later?

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


3rd Recon Marines In Vietnam

3rd Recon Wanted Poster from North Vietnamese

This widely distributed WANTED POSTER was printed by the North Vietnamese and specifically targets the 3rd Recon Marines in Vietnam. I guess we caused a few too many problems for them and they clearly wanted us eliminated.

The value of piastres varied all over the place, but I have been told that in my day this was about $750 US Dollars. Hell! We were worth more to the NVA than the Marine Corps because my pay as a 2nd Lieutenant, with the combat kicker, was less than $400 a month.

And some wonder why Recon Marines were a little nuts.

Jeff


This Week In Marine Corps History

Marine Corps History 031715

MSgt Barbara J. Dulinsky, first woman Marine to report to Vietnam for duty in Bien Hoa.


13th Infantry Battalion

Sgt. Grit,

I have been trying to find out whatever became of the reserve outfit I was assigned to after my 4 years of active service ended and I was fulfilling my remaining 2-year obligation. Having resisted all the shipping-over lectures, in Jan. 1963, I was released (not discharged) from active duty and instructed to report within 10 days to my designated reserve outfit. It was part of the 4th MCRRD headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. It's official designation was 13th Infantry Bn. FMF USMCR, NMCRTC, Bldg. 218, Naval Weapons Plant, Wash. DC. There was no regimental or division designation, just 13th Inf. Bn.

When I reported there I was given another pep talk about going active reserve, which I again declined.

I filled out the necessary paperwork and left, and never heard from them for another year. In Jan. 1964, I was summoned to Bldg. 218 again for what they called "records maintenance", in other words, just checking to see if I was still alive and living in their jurisdiction. At that time, I was unofficially engaged to the girl who is now my wife of 50+ years, but officially single. I received another pep talk about going active and all the many benefits it included. I had a good job I enjoyed, and was going to be married soon, so once again I declined their generous offer. A few months later I received a letter from them saying that due to the growing situation in SE Asia, and the fact that I had a critical MOS (when did 2533 become so d-mn critical?), I would be called up within the first 30 days of any call-up. I showed the letter to my boss, who assured me my job would always be there for me, and soon after, married my wife. That was the last I heard from them until Jan. 1965, when I received my discharge papers in the mail. I have scoured the internet for anything pertaining to the 13th Inf. Bn. in Wash. DC and found nothing that tells me what became of it. I assume it was probably mobilized and became part of some regiment after VietNam heated up. The only mention of it I found was an article about a Captain James Joy assuming command of the 13th Inf. Bn. in 1963 and soon after, going to VietNam with the 26th Marine Regt. I sort of assume that the 13th Bn. was absorbed into the 26th Regiment when it was re-activated for VietNam, but don't know for sure. If any of my fellow Marines out there in Grit-land can shed any light, I would like to know.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963


Cpl. Linder,

While editing the newsletter, I did some research into the 13th Infantry Battalion to see if I could come up with some info that might answer some of your questions. I found this publication titled, "The Marine Corps Reserves - A History". It is online, starting at page 210 per the book (page 254 per the website) is where you will find information regarding the 13th Infantry Battalion throughout the Vietnam War Era.

View the online version at The Marine Corps Reserves - A History.

Hope this is useful.

Semper Fi,
J. Williams
Sgt USMC '00-'07


What The "P" Stood For

In response to Emilio Galiano Reynoso's question about the "P" with a circle around it on the pistol grip of a rifle, it is the proof mark from the manufacturer. On the left side of the stock, below the rear sight there would also have been another stamp (or two). One from the manufacturer, and the other being an ordinance stamp of crossed cannons laying a wheel, or the Department of Defense stamp consisting of an eagle clasping arrows with 3 stars over its head. You could tell from the marks who made the rifle and when (by the type and style of the stamps).

Some of the stamps were RA (Remington Arms), WRA (Winchester Repeating Arms), SA (Springfield Arms), HR (Harrington Richardson) and rarely OR (Overton Corporation) who only made stocks.

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!​


Sgt. Grit,

On wooden stocks of some - but not all - WWII-era small arms, a 5/16" high "P", inside a 1/2" circle, was stamped into the base of the pistol grip. This "P" stood for "Proofed", which meant the weapon had been duly test-fired, and passed all Ordnance Dept. inspections, and was ready for issue into service.

Semper Fi,
R.R. Hopkins
0311, 1955-1960, USMCR


In the 11 March 2015 Newsletter, Emilio G. Reynoso asks what the circled "P" on the pistol grip of the M1 Garand stood for. It is an arsenal proofmark indicating the stock has been pressure tested prior to acceptance.

C. Stoney Brook
1961-65
11th & 12th Marines


Happy St. Patrick's Day

WWII Marines photo taken on Mt. Suribachi

Patriotic front window of apartment

Sgt Grit,

I would like to share with you and all U.S. Marines. These photos show images of World War II, the Pacific Theater, U.S. Marines, Iwo Jima, February 19 - March 26, 1945, in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the most costly battle in U.S. Marine Corps history. (7,500 U.S. Marine Corps casualties and 21,000 Japanese casualties).

There also is a picture of the the window of my apartment here in sunny Bristol, Pennsylvania. "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

In memory of my late father, Mr. Frank F. Mercurio, Jr., PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, 1950-1951. Identification No. 1289XXX


Priceless

In regards to Paul Lindner's post about Mt Fuji, I can relate to his post. I was there for cold weather training, 30 days, in 1961, with C-1-9. Our tents were 8-man tents with wood pallet floors. The Corps issued us wool long johns, in addition to the green wool shirts and the Micky Mouse boots. To go to the shower tent, Marines walked thru the cold clad only in the long johns and the boots. If you needed to make a head call, there were plastic tubes about 3 inches in diameter driven into the ground, at about a 45 degree slant, for relieving your bladder. These p-ss tubes were in the open and placed helterskelter throughout the tent camp. If you were modest, you would probably eventually die of bladder explosion. To facilitate your head calls involving a bowel movement, there were small tents, about 6 feet square containing a four holer. The wind at the tent camp was always blowing hard. To this day I remember one of the small tents blowing over, while a Marine was sitting inside doing his business. Of course several Japanese women were walking by when the tent collapsed and exposed the Marine inside. In typical Asian fashion the women covered their mouths with their hands while laughing at the situation. Priceless...

Floyd White 1860xxx
0351 January 1959-January 1965


Free Pepsi

Sgt. Grit,

My service started in March 1944. My greens were wool and had no back pockets. We sewed up our front pockets (some of us) to keep the smooth look. We carried our wallet (billfold) in our sock and kept our spit-shined shoes glistening on liberty as well as on duty. In the barracks when you were not doing anything you usually polished your low quarter shoes. Some Staff NCO's and Officers found your front pockets full, they had you fill your pockets up with sand.

During World War II, I went to the Pepsi Cola Center in San Francisco (a USO type affair on Market Street in a 3 floor building). Free Pepsi, Hamburgers were five cents, I don't remember what else was on the menu, usually you got s small package of potato chips. They also had a place to sleep, a place to iron your uniform and a place to shower. All free except the Hamburgers.

After the War, I came back to San Francisco to Treasure Island, the Pepsi Center was gone as was most of the USO's they had. People asked why I went to USO places like the Pepsi Center. I was getting $50.00 month pay, $5.00 month for firing Expert (you got $3.00 for Sharpshooter) rifleman on the range. I sent home $25.00 month, the NSLI (National Service Life Insurance) took another $5.35 a month. You could afford little other wise. When Free Insurance came out in 1950, they asked me to change my NSLI Insurance for the Free Insurance and they wouldn't pay the Wife $10,000.00 Cash, only Monthly payments, so I kept NSLI and Now I only pay half but get only half or $5,000.00 goes to the Wife, BUT I have received a dividend of almost what I paid at the end of the year, which has always been used as Christmas Money.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau USMC Retired


Bath And Fumigation Platoon

Well, it didn't go by that title in 1966... and was probably a sub-unit of an Engineer Bn from down around the Chu Lai area, or maybe from FSR (Force Service Regiment... which later became Force Logistics Command, or 'Fork Lift Command'), but we were sure surprised and happy to see them set up in the vicinity of the runway/LZ at Tam Ky. We (3/5) had been out in the bush for several days, eating C's (when we got them...) humping, sweating, humping/sweating... looked like goats, smelled worse. (you city boys will have a hard time believing that a 'billy goat' (ram) will intentionally whiz on his own beard, but they do... and, come to think of it, have seen Marines also do some really strange things during, and because of, mating season...) We had drawn some cushy assignment for about twenty-four hours, that being providing security around the landing field (saw SVN President Nguyen Cao Ky and 'the Dragon Lady' come in and land in a shiny Huey... 'twas said the Pres was one of the pilots. And before the PC crowd gets on my case about 'the Dragon Lady'... that is a reference to an old comic strip character in 'Terry and the PIrates'... drawn to be Asian babe-a-licious, with the high collar, slit up to there dress, etc... Gunny Rosseau or Gy McMahon probably remember the strip... LOL). Anyway, we were instructed to peel off our utilities, and hand them over... Since it had been months since any of us wore skivvies (guaranteed way to get terminal heat rash is keeping sweat-soaked cotton next to the skin...) we were pretty much, other than un-tied jungle boots and helmets, buck nekkid. Wasn't anythang but a thang, anyway. The guys we gave those funky, fillthy, soggy utes to had these trailers with diesel-powered generators on them that ran huge front-loading washing machines, and burned fuel to heat the big rotary driers mounted on the same trailers, along with collapsible water tanks. It wasn't going to take long, and even though the chances of getting your own stuff back was slim, that meant you would soon have warm, dry, clean, jacket and trou.

Along with the skivvie-dippers, a bakery and mess had been set up, and while we were waiting on clothes, we got baloney/mustard sandwiches on thick fresh-baked bread, and coffee (with grounds floating in it... of course) in our canteen cups. Having found a C-ration carton outer sleeve... water-proof cardboard, sort of... and having located a water buffalo (tank trailer... 400 gallon), Rosie and I went to ground under the water trailer... squatting there, watching the rain pour down, chewing on fresh chow and gritty coffee (real... not instant, "with ascorbic acid added"...). One of the more memorable meals in two tours. My attitude toward 'pogues' changed somewhat that day... 'laundryman' may not be the most exciting of MOS's, and the owners thereof can be excused for telling the GF that their real assignment was "Recon Sniper", but clean clothes, for a Marine who has forgotten what they feel like, can be a real 'force multiplier'... if you were a grunt, be thankful that sometimes those REMF's mission was to make your life just a bit more comfortable...

​Ddick


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I heard you were in DaNang during my vacation there. I served with the 1st Marine Air Wing at the Air Base during 1967, 1968 and went State side in 1968. I served with a ground support unit at the airstrip. I would really like to hear from some of the GUYS who worked at that shop during that time. Remember the CATTLECARS. Remember trading parts for beer with the Air Force who lived in apts on the other side of the base. We lived 8-Marines to a wooden platform on stilts with our Bunker outside the back door. It is funny NOW to remember all 8 of us trying to get out that door at the same time when the rockets came in.

That time in my life and the GUYS I knew is some thing I will NEVER forget. With these new Congress escapades in IRAN AND IRAQ it brings back all those good and BAD memories.

I would really like to hear from some of the guys I Vacationed with.

1. Danial Boone, NC.
2. Lenny Langford, TN.
3. Sgt Bell.
4. Carl Merrit. Idaho the potato state. He taught me how to be a carpenter.
5. Two other Guys who worked for the entertainment group.
6. Last but not least was Dave Hill with the CAT team. Dave we made some fun out of a bad situation. I still remember but will not go into any details here. You Know what I mean Leut, Capt / trip to DaNang to PARTY. AWESOME. My family still does not believe me when I tell them.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Brendan McCarron
E-mail: bmcarron[at]aol.com
Love You Guys.​


Short Rounds

CB Thompson called in and said that he was beyond thrilled with his order he received. He said every part of his experience was excellent and he wanted everyone to know. He said the Vietnam Ribbon shirts he ordered were even better than he imagined they would be and he wants to say Thank You to everyone involved, and also to Sgt. Grit for having a place like this for "us old Marines".

​Semper Fi,
Andi Jordan
Sgt Grit Customer Service


In the spring of 1975, a battalion officers' call to review the latest combat readiness report (ARMMS) occurred. These reports were typically dismal at the time (manpower and equipment readiness metrics in a post-Vietnam environment). As the ARMMS was being reviewed, the battalion commander (1st Battalion, 10th Marines, "First in the World") LTCOL CLARK would comment appropriately after each item was addressed. His most memorable comment was at the end, "One Attaboy Is Worth A Thousand Oh-Sh-ts."

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Kerke
(then 1st LT, B-1/10)


Quotes

"As contrasted with the ideal ways of organizing effort in other fields, what is needed for maximizing the flow of ideas is plenty of overlapping, healthy duplication of efforts, lots of so-called wastes of competition, and all the vigorous untidiness so foreign to the planners who like to be sure of the future."
--John Jewkes


"I still need Marines who can shoot and salute. But I need Marines who can fix jet engines and man sophisticated radar sets, as well."
--General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 17 May 1974


"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant,' it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier.' It was a classic - absolutely classic - military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier."
--Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991


"I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world."
--Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill


"Pvt, you're about as organized as a soup sandwich!"

"What the h-ll did you shine those boots with... Hershey bars and sandpaper?

"Oh I hope, I REALLY HOPE that isn't an IRISH PENNANT I see!

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 MAR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Stopping The Rotation Of The Earth
• By Your Leave Sir
• Hue City

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Sgt.Grit,

While reading the newsletter from the last week I saw Camp Fuji mentioned so I thought I would send some of my memories of the camp from my stay there for 14-1/2 months in 1955 & 1956.

Berg


POW Times Two

In 1960-61, I was Maintenance Officer for 3rd AT at Camp Schwab, Okinawa. My Maintenance Chief was Gy/Sgt John Vogel. He had been captured on Wake Island in WWII and was a POW. Then came Korea and again he was again captured and was a POW of the Chinese.

I'm not sure if the Marine who wrote you is the same John Vogel, but if he is, I would sure like to contact him. I last saw him when I was transferred back to the "Land of the Big PX."

Edward L. Dodd, 1stLt

Here is a photo of us, Lt. Dodd and Gy/Sgt Vogel with one of their Ontos.

Semper Fi


In Country

In response to Mark Smith's post, my husband served in the USAF 1969-1974. When asked if he served during the Viet Nam "conflict", he always makes it clear that he did not serve "in country". We recognize that those who served in country faced the kind of hardships and experiences those who did not will never understand.

We are grateful to all who have served or are serving in the military, regardless of which branch, but we have a special place of honor for those who were "in country".

Elizabeth McKnight
Army Brat
AF Wife
Marine Mom


Stopping The Rotation Of The Earth

Sgt. Harlan need not feel bad about his reaction to people thanking him for his service, I well remember one of my company Gunnery Sergeants saying "don't thank me, the government thanks me twice a month" whenever anyone wanted to thank him for doing his job. Anyway there are undoubtedly many civilians who are truly grateful for what ever role anyone may have performed in our nation's service. There are also those who are not sincere and are merely going along with what is currently the trend of the populace. Since it is difficult to identify the sincere from the patronizing, I just take anyone thanking me at their word and let it go.

Prior to the Gulf War and just after Vietnam (I enlisted in '75, yeah I know to most of you a boot) the general response I got from people concerning my military service was "you could do better" or "Oh, that's too bad" and my favorite "anyone can carry a gun", you've probably heard them all, and then a couple of years after returning from the Gulf, someone thanked me for my service. I was working in a Nursing Home at the time and the guy that thanked me was certified crazy, (that's why he was there) but he was sincere and I appreciated his comment. Think about that, about two years or so after the war and a crazy person says thank you, and that was about ten years before people began to thank vets (or at least before the news media picked up on it) for their service.

And today we vets are supposed to be so grateful for the public acknowledgements that we occasionally receive. The way I see it, our government thanked me twice a month and promised future assistance should I need it for basic health care and compensatory payments for injury/sickness as a result of my service. (We call that VA comp) So when someone thanks me for my service that's fine, I take it with a grain of salt and I don't feel guilty about my attitude and neither should Sgt. Harlan.

On a lighter side, the letter about never saying "I don't know" brought back a incident when Plt Commander Sgt. Robinson said, "I'm tired of hearing you privates saying the private doesn't know. From now on if you don't know just say the private doesn't give a f--k, because if you gave a f--k you'd know"!

Fast forward to Initial Inspection (1st Phase) when the Series Commander 1st Lt. Carpenter asked the recruit next to me a question, I don't remember what it was, maybe the question referred to the fact that his belt buckle was on backwards, all I can remember is my peripheral vision seeing the Drill Instructors abruptly turning around or heads tilting so the covers hid their faces (they must have been busting their guts trying not to laugh). We must have come close to stopping the rotation of the earth that evening.

R/S
Duane Peterson
Sgt. Pete, TOW Plt


By Your Leave Sir

We have used "By your leave, Sir", when asking to pass an officer from behind since the days of iron men and wooden ships... and probably borrowed it from the English, a generally polite lot. The custom is said to date from the days when a ship's Gunnery Officer stood at one end of a gun deck to control the cannon for 'broadsides'. It was important that his vision down the line of guns not be blocked by some casual block-headed passer-by, so the leave (permission) to proceed was to be requested (along with a hand salute). As a very basic, but important custom, this was (and is) taught in boot camp, with the exception that when a recruit is requesting to pass a Drill Instructor, the salute is omitted.

As a very basic learning objective, the custom is sure to be a common question asked by inspecting officers for any personnel inspection early in the training cycle... in the day, that would have been the "Third Week Inspection"... and so it was asked of one of my recruits in the first rank... and it went like this: Series Officer (a 1st Lt.): "Private... what do you say when you approach your Drill Instructor from behind?"... Private: (loud and clear)... "Sir!... the Private says "By your leave, Sir!" Series Officer: "good... and what does your Drill Instructor say?" (he was expecting to hear "Granted")... the Private: "Getthefugouttahere, maggot?"

It was probably fortunate for me that Lt. Powell had two more stars on his Good Conduct Ribbon than I had on mine...

​ Ddick


Cold And Foamy

Sgt.Grit,

My Expert Badge from Hdqtrs, MC is marked; "50 - 51 - 55", However I fired Expert Prior to that. While Stationed in Bermuda, The CO, Capt. Dunagan, got all of us the shooting medals we deserved. I still have mine hanging on a momento board I put together, The Momento board has a Gong on it, duplicating the Gong in front of "A" Co. 1st Recon Bn, Vietnam with the Words; "DIE! BUT DON'T QUIT! These words were the Life and Legend of 1stSgt. Otis Barker who was a Friend. I still live by that Creedo!

At the Age of 88 years, many of my Friends are at the Marine Corps up there somewhere and I'll join them one day (I know they'll have a bottle of Japanese Beer, cold and foamy, waiting my pleasure). They say we all have a purpose in Life, Mine is remembering the Corps and my Friends, the times good & bad, and sometimes I think back and cringe at what I did then and burst with Pride with all that I've accomplished besides the Marine Corps, 5 children, 2 daughters (Both Married, 3 sons, Oldest Retired from the LBT, Middle Son a Successful Cabinet Maker, and Youngest a Weapons Handler for Movies).

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retied


Hue City

Sgt. Grit,

It's been 47 years since Marines from the 1st and 5th Regiments fought the NVA and VC in Hue City. I had been to the city several times before the Tet offensive and truly enjoyed the unique culture. It was a beautiful city.

I was with "H" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines. Captain Ron Christmas was our Company Commander. He currently is a retired Lt/Gen living near Quantico, VA. He was and continues to be involved with the Marine Corps Museum located just south of Quantico on highway #1.

We entered the city on February 2, 1968 on a "Rough Rider" convoy. As the convoy crossed the Perfume River, we were ambushed, and we immediately knew we were in deep sh-t. If memory serves, we took 22 casualties in the first hour of the fight. Lots of snipers, everywhere. We had orders to retake the Provincial Capital buildings. The mission took us four days to accomplish. But on February 6, 1968 we raised the stars and stripes over the headquarters building. My platoon was down in strength by 50% since we entered the city. I guess the toughest part was the almost constant rain because we were in the middle of the monsoon season. We were always wet and played hell keeping our weapons and ammunition from malfunctioning due to the constant downpour of rain. Very little air support due to the weather. No artillery support. The generals didn't want to damage or destroy the beauty of the Imperial Capital. Well, that didn't last. Toward the middle of February, 1968, artillery, tank, ontos support was finally authorized, and the fight took a dramatic turn.

Just hours after we raised the flag, we were ordered to take it down. There was only one flagpole, and the U.S. agreement with South Vietnam required that we also fly their flag beside ours. As fighting Marines, we didn't really give a sh-t, but we obeyed orders.

We fought street to street, house to house, and block to block for the next four weeks until we were ordered to return to Phu Bai combat base. Once again, if memory serves, we went into the city with 238 Marines. When we returned to Phu Bai, we had 36 Marines. But we accomplished the mission. We sent the NVA and VC scrambling to get out of the city. Unfortunately, we also destroyed the Imperial Capital. The beautiful Catholic Church was leveled. The university was nothing but rubble after 11th Marines got through shooting. To this day, I'm not sure that the mission was worth the price we paid?

Why the river was named the Perfume River, I can't imagine. The smell was nothing like perfume.

Semper Fi,
"A Former Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)


Squad Right

Sgt. Grit,

All this talk about the squad drill has brought up some ancient memories of being on the parade ground at MCRDep, SDiego, in the early l950's; I don't recall using it after I was transferred to MB, NAB, Coronado, in October, 1953. As a Sgt (E4), I was always included in the close order drills of the day. Later, when I was sent TAD to the Naval Training Center, I also was given the privilege(?) of conducting close order drill for platoons of sailors, waiting to go into the mess hall.

If you think that the squad drill was something new; may have been for the Marine Corps, check out an old, old movie about WWI, "The Fighting 69th", with James Cagney, George Brent, Pat O'Brien and others, in the 1940 film. In one scene, I believe, after getting off the train, the command "Squads, right (or left) front into line", is given, and it was done exactly as we were instructed in the 1950s.

So, this brings up another question, was this drill first developed in WWI, or later?

Semper Fi,
James R. McMahon
GySgt of Marines (1949-1970)
Hendersonville, TN​


3rd Recon Marines In Vietnam

This widely distributed WANTED POSTER was printed by the North Vietnamese and specifically targets the 3rd Recon Marines in Vietnam. I guess we caused a few too many problems for them and they clearly wanted us eliminated.

The value of piastres varied all over the place, but I have been told that in my day this was about $750 US Dollars. Hell! We were worth more to the NVA than the Marine Corps because my pay as a 2nd Lieutenant, with the combat kicker, was less than $400 a month.

And some wonder why Recon Marines were a little nuts.

Jeff


13th Infantry Battalion

Sgt. Grit,

I have been trying to find out whatever became of the reserve outfit I was assigned to after my 4 years of active service ended and I was fulfilling my remaining 2-year obligation. Having resisted all the shipping-over lectures, in Jan. 1963, I was released (not discharged) from active duty and instructed to report within 10 days to my designated reserve outfit. It was part of the 4th MCRRD headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. It's official designation was 13th Infantry Bn. FMF USMCR, NMCRTC, Bldg. 218, Naval Weapons Plant, Wash. DC. There was no regimental or division designation, just 13th Inf. Bn.

When I reported there I was given another pep talk about going active reserve, which I again declined.

I filled out the necessary paperwork and left, and never heard from them for another year. In Jan. 1964, I was summoned to Bldg. 218 again for what they called "records maintenance", in other words, just checking to see if I was still alive and living in their jurisdiction. At that time, I was unofficially engaged to the girl who is now my wife of 50+ years, but officially single. I received another pep talk about going active and all the many benefits it included. I had a good job I enjoyed, and was going to be married soon, so once again I declined their generous offer. A few months later I received a letter from them saying that due to the growing situation in SE Asia, and the fact that I had a critical MOS (when did 2533 become so d-mn critical?), I would be called up within the first 30 days of any call-up. I showed the letter to my boss, who assured me my job would always be there for me, and soon after, married my wife. That was the last I heard from them until Jan. 1965, when I received my discharge papers in the mail. I have scoured the internet for anything pertaining to the 13th Inf. Bn. in Wash. DC and found nothing that tells me what became of it. I assume it was probably mobilized and became part of some regiment after VietNam heated up. The only mention of it I found was an article about a Captain James Joy assuming command of the 13th Inf. Bn. in 1963 and soon after, going to VietNam with the 26th Marine Regt. I sort of assume that the 13th Bn. was absorbed into the 26th Regiment when it was re-activated for VietNam, but don't know for sure. If any of my fellow Marines out there in Grit-land can shed any light, I would like to know.

Paul Lindner, Cpl. 1959-1963


Cpl. Linder,

While editing the newsletter, I did some research into the 13th Infantry Battalion to see if I could come up with some info that might answer some of your questions. I found this publication titled, "The Marine Corps Reserves - A History". It is online, starting at page 210 per the book (page 254 per the website) is where you will find information regarding the 13th Infantry Battalion throughout the Vietnam War Era.

View the online version at The Marine Corps Reserves - A History.

Hope this is useful.

Semper Fi,
J. Williams
Sgt USMC '00-'07


What The "P" Stood For

In response to Emilio Galiano Reynoso's question about the "P" with a circle around it on the pistol grip of a rifle, it is the proof mark from the manufacturer. On the left side of the stock, below the rear sight there would also have been another stamp (or two). One from the manufacturer, and the other being an ordinance stamp of crossed cannons laying a wheel, or the Department of Defense stamp consisting of an eagle clasping arrows with 3 stars over its head. You could tell from the marks who made the rifle and when (by the type and style of the stamps).

Some of the stamps were RA (Remington Arms), WRA (Winchester Repeating Arms), SA (Springfield Arms), HR (Harrington Richardson) and rarely OR (Overton Corporation) who only made stocks.

Bill Wilson
Semper Fi 'til I die!​


Sgt. Grit,

On wooden stocks of some - but not all - WWII-era small arms, a 5/16" high "P", inside a 1/2" circle, was stamped into the base of the pistol grip. This "P" stood for "Proofed", which meant the weapon had been duly test-fired, and passed all Ordnance Dept. inspections, and was ready for issue into service.

Semper Fi,
R.R. Hopkins
0311, 1955-1960, USMCR


In the 11 March 2015 Newsletter, Emilio G. Reynoso asks what the circled "P" on the pistol grip of the M1 Garand stood for. It is an arsenal proofmark indicating the stock has been pressure tested prior to acceptance.

C. Stoney Brook
1961-65
11th & 12th Marines


Happy St. Patrick's Day

Sgt Grit,

I would like to share with you and all U.S. Marines. These photos show images of World War II, the Pacific Theater, U.S. Marines, Iwo Jima, February 19 - March 26, 1945, in commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the most costly battle in U.S. Marine Corps history. (7,500 U.S. Marine Corps casualties and 21,000 Japanese casualties).

There also is a picture of the the window of my apartment here in sunny Bristol, Pennsylvania. "Happy St. Patrick's Day!"

In memory of my late father, Mr. Frank F. Mercurio, Jr., PFC, U.S. Marine Corps, 1950-1951. Identification No. 1289XXX


Priceless

In regards to Paul Lindner's post about Mt Fuji, I can relate to his post. I was there for cold weather training, 30 days, in 1961, with C-1-9. Our tents were 8-man tents with wood pallet floors. The Corps issued us wool long johns, in addition to the green wool shirts and the Micky Mouse boots. To go to the shower tent, Marines walked thru the cold clad only in the long johns and the boots. If you needed to make a head call, there were plastic tubes about 3 inches in diameter driven into the ground, at about a 45 degree slant, for relieving your bladder. These p-ss tubes were in the open and placed helterskelter throughout the tent camp. If you were modest, you would probably eventually die of bladder explosion. To facilitate your head calls involving a bowel movement, there were small tents, about 6 feet square containing a four holer. The wind at the tent camp was always blowing hard. To this day I remember one of the small tents blowing over, while a Marine was sitting inside doing his business. Of course several Japanese women were walking by when the tent collapsed and exposed the Marine inside. In typical Asian fashion the women covered their mouths with their hands while laughing at the situation. Priceless...

Floyd White 1860xxx
0351 January 1959-January 1965


Free Pepsi

Sgt. Grit,

My service started in March 1944. My greens were wool and had no back pockets. We sewed up our front pockets (some of us) to keep the smooth look. We carried our wallet (billfold) in our sock and kept our spit-shined shoes glistening on liberty as well as on duty. In the barracks when you were not doing anything you usually polished your low quarter shoes. Some Staff NCO's and Officers found your front pockets full, they had you fill your pockets up with sand.

During World War II, I went to the Pepsi Cola Center in San Francisco (a USO type affair on Market Street in a 3 floor building). Free Pepsi, Hamburgers were five cents, I don't remember what else was on the menu, usually you got s small package of potato chips. They also had a place to sleep, a place to iron your uniform and a place to shower. All free except the Hamburgers.

After the War, I came back to San Francisco to Treasure Island, the Pepsi Center was gone as was most of the USO's they had. People asked why I went to USO places like the Pepsi Center. I was getting $50.00 month pay, $5.00 month for firing Expert (you got $3.00 for Sharpshooter) rifleman on the range. I sent home $25.00 month, the NSLI (National Service Life Insurance) took another $5.35 a month. You could afford little other wise. When Free Insurance came out in 1950, they asked me to change my NSLI Insurance for the Free Insurance and they wouldn't pay the Wife $10,000.00 Cash, only Monthly payments, so I kept NSLI and Now I only pay half but get only half or $5,000.00 goes to the Wife, BUT I have received a dividend of almost what I paid at the end of the year, which has always been used as Christmas Money.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau USMC Retired


Bath And Fumigation Platoon

Well, it didn't go by that title in 1966... and was probably a sub-unit of an Engineer Bn from down around the Chu Lai area, or maybe from FSR (Force Service Regiment... which later became Force Logistics Command, or 'Fork Lift Command'), but we were sure surprised and happy to see them set up in the vicinity of the runway/LZ at Tam Ky. We (3/5) had been out in the bush for several days, eating C's (when we got them...) humping, sweating, humping/sweating... looked like goats, smelled worse. (you city boys will have a hard time believing that a 'billy goat' (ram) will intentionally whiz on his own beard, but they do... and, come to think of it, have seen Marines also do some really strange things during, and because of, mating season...) We had drawn some cushy assignment for about twenty-four hours, that being providing security around the landing field (saw SVN President Nguyen Cao Ky and 'the Dragon Lady' come in and land in a shiny Huey... 'twas said the Pres was one of the pilots. And before the PC crowd gets on my case about 'the Dragon Lady'... that is a reference to an old comic strip character in 'Terry and the PIrates'... drawn to be Asian babe-a-licious, with the high collar, slit up to there dress, etc... Gunny Rosseau or Gy McMahon probably remember the strip... LOL). Anyway, we were instructed to peel off our utilities, and hand them over... Since it had been months since any of us wore skivvies (guaranteed way to get terminal heat rash is keeping sweat-soaked cotton next to the skin...) we were pretty much, other than un-tied jungle boots and helmets, buck nekkid. Wasn't anythang but a thang, anyway. The guys we gave those funky, fillthy, soggy utes to had these trailers with diesel-powered generators on them that ran huge front-loading washing machines, and burned fuel to heat the big rotary driers mounted on the same trailers, along with collapsible water tanks. It wasn't going to take long, and even though the chances of getting your own stuff back was slim, that meant you would soon have warm, dry, clean, jacket and trou.

Along with the skivvie-dippers, a bakery and mess had been set up, and while we were waiting on clothes, we got baloney/mustard sandwiches on thick fresh-baked bread, and coffee (with grounds floating in it... of course) in our canteen cups. Having found a C-ration carton outer sleeve... water-proof cardboard, sort of... and having located a water buffalo (tank trailer... 400 gallon), Rosie and I went to ground under the water trailer... squatting there, watching the rain pour down, chewing on fresh chow and gritty coffee (real... not instant, "with ascorbic acid added"...). One of the more memorable meals in two tours. My attitude toward 'pogues' changed somewhat that day... 'laundryman' may not be the most exciting of MOS's, and the owners thereof can be excused for telling the GF that their real assignment was "Recon Sniper", but clean clothes, for a Marine who has forgotten what they feel like, can be a real 'force multiplier'... if you were a grunt, be thankful that sometimes those REMF's mission was to make your life just a bit more comfortable...

​Ddick


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I heard you were in DaNang during my vacation there. I served with the 1st Marine Air Wing at the Air Base during 1967, 1968 and went State side in 1968. I served with a ground support unit at the airstrip. I would really like to hear from some of the GUYS who worked at that shop during that time. Remember the CATTLECARS. Remember trading parts for beer with the Air Force who lived in apts on the other side of the base. We lived 8-Marines to a wooden platform on stilts with our Bunker outside the back door. It is funny NOW to remember all 8 of us trying to get out that door at the same time when the rockets came in.

That time in my life and the GUYS I knew is some thing I will NEVER forget. With these new Congress escapades in IRAN AND IRAQ it brings back all those good and BAD memories.

I would really like to hear from some of the guys I Vacationed with.

1. Danial Boone, NC.
2. Lenny Langford, TN.
3. Sgt Bell.
4. Carl Merrit. Idaho the potato state. He taught me how to be a carpenter.
5. Two other Guys who worked for the entertainment group.
6. Last but not least was Dave Hill with the CAT team. Dave we made some fun out of a bad situation. I still remember but will not go into any details here. You Know what I mean Leut, Capt / trip to DaNang to PARTY. AWESOME. My family still does not believe me when I tell them.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Brendan McCarron
E-mail: bmcarron[at]aol.com
Love You Guys.​


Short Rounds

CB Thompson called in and said that he was beyond thrilled with his order he received. He said every part of his experience was excellent and he wanted everyone to know. He said the Vietnam Ribbon shirts he ordered were even better than he imagined they would be and he wants to say Thank You to everyone involved, and also to Sgt. Grit for having a place like this for "us old Marines".

​Semper Fi,
Andi Jordan
Sgt Grit Customer Service


In the spring of 1975, a battalion officers' call to review the latest combat readiness report (ARMMS) occurred. These reports were typically dismal at the time (manpower and equipment readiness metrics in a post-Vietnam environment). As the ARMMS was being reviewed, the battalion commander (1st Battalion, 10th Marines, "First in the World") LTCOL CLARK would comment appropriately after each item was addressed. His most memorable comment was at the end, "One Attaboy Is Worth A Thousand Oh-Sh-ts."

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Kerke
(then 1st LT, B-1/10)


Quotes

"As contrasted with the ideal ways of organizing effort in other fields, what is needed for maximizing the flow of ideas is plenty of overlapping, healthy duplication of efforts, lots of so-called wastes of competition, and all the vigorous untidiness so foreign to the planners who like to be sure of the future."
--John Jewkes


"I still need Marines who can shoot and salute. But I need Marines who can fix jet engines and man sophisticated radar sets, as well."
--General Robert E. Cushman, Jr., USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps, 17 May 1974


"I can't say enough about the two Marine divisions. If I use words like 'brilliant,' it would really be an under description of the absolutely superb job that they did in breaching the so-called 'impenetrable barrier.' It was a classic - absolutely classic - military breaching of a very very tough minefield, barbed wire, fire trenches-type barrier."
--Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf, U. S. Army Commander, Operation Desert Storm, February 1991


"I am convinced that there is no smarter, handier, or more adaptable body of troops in the world."
--Prime Minister of Britain, Sir Winston Churchill


"Pvt, you're about as organized as a soup sandwich!"

"What the h-ll did you shine those boots with... Hershey bars and sandpaper?

"Oh I hope, I REALLY HOPE that isn't an IRISH PENNANT I see!

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 MAR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Thanking The Marine Corps
• Sorry About That Reversed
• Honoring Marine's Final Wish

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Wheeler family pet Jasper

I have had such an awesome experience shopping on your website so many great gift ideas for my Marine husband. The Devil pup is Jasper, he is 5 months old and is so smart and protective. Already a true Marines dog!

Semper Fi,
Wheeler family

Order this squared away combo at:

Marines Limited Edition T-Shirt and Hat Combo

Marines Limited Edition T-Shirt and Hat Combo


The Triad

The Triad D-Day

The Triad Hike Record Falls

1stSgt John Alread sent me a copy of April 1962 Triad. I will add it to my hallway collection for others to view and enjoy.

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit


Except For One

MGySgt Chuck LeDrew standing next to Vietnam his photo

Recently in sunny Yuma, AZ we had a Yuma Military Appreciation day on Main St., down town... a successful one-day event that had static displays of military equipment, demonstrations of K-9's, Marine martial arts, and an EOD robot. There was also a 40' replica of the USS Arizona, a 30' replica of the submarine USS Barbel, and much more. In addition there was a military art show at the Yuma Art Gallery. The artwork was all Army from the Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Museum, except for one black and white poster photo of two Marine Sergeants. The attached photo shows today's Chuck LeDrew standing by a photo of Sgt's Chuck LeDrew and Chuck Johnson, at Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1966... 49 years ago! Time does fly!

Carlton (Chuck) LeDrew
MGySgt USMC Retired​


I Guess I Missed Out

In reply: Sorry about that by Sgt. Harlan.

I guess I missed out on many things about returning from Vietnam, maybe I was in the right place at the right time. I was never spit upon, had nasty signs put in my face or called a child or baby killer. I was always treated with respect while in uniform.

I remember a cereal called Krispy Critters and many Marines had written: Napalm Makes Krispy Critters on their helmets. I thought it was funny. Maybe it is my demeanor from being a former DI but when a civilian makes the comment: Thank you for your service. I always respond: It was my pleasure to kill as many g--k communists or have my platoon do it as possible. I get these strange looks as I walk away, but I like the confused look on their faces.

Marines get paid to kill the enemy and many, many other boring jobs in peace time. War is good, it builds competency under fire.

J L Stelling


Property of MCRD Performance System T-shirt


DaNang '70 - '71

Choo Choo Marble Mountain Vietnam 1970

Choo Choo fly over DaNang Hanger area 1970

Was in DaNang '70 - '71 and Marble Mountain 1971 till stand down. Here's a few I took over there.

Semper Fi
Choo Choo
Sgt
1968-1974
RVN '70 - '71


Marine Hunter KA-BAR


Perfect BAR Qual

Regarding BAR qualification in the last newsletter. While stationed at Del Mar in '63 or '64 I was on a detail (all expert shooters, so it must have been the ol' man's jab at the powers that be) that was sent to a rifle range up the coast overlooking the ocean to pull butts for the First Marine Division BAR qualifications. About halfway through word came down the line saying that there was a shooter that hadn't missed yet. We started keeping track and this shooter ended up shooting a perfect score with his BAR, squeezing off single shots. When we got back to the barracks and told the story we were told it was BS. The story ended up in Leatherneck magazine a few months later (we should have bet!). I'm not sure if there was a shooting badge for that but there should have been. When "Full metal jacket" came out I went to see it alone because I was sure no one, including my wife, would understand any of it and sure enough the scene where they were laying at attention in their rack reciting the "Rifleman's Pledge" I began reciting it under my breath. I noticed the people around me were laughing thinking it was something that was made up for the movie. I became irate and wanted to stand up and tell them that this was sh-t was real! They also thought that marching around reciting, "this is my rifle, this is my gun" was something that was also funny and made up. Oh these poor innocent civilians, I'm sure there were probably some doggies and swabs thrown in there for good measure too.

CPL Selders


​I'm Lucky

I have mixed emotions regarding the argument "era" vs. "in country". If you see an elderly gentleman wearing a cover with "WWII Vet" on it, do you ask yourself whether he served in Europe, the Pacific, or the States? Probably not. He is a WWII veteran.

I have been thanked many times in public for "my service". I reply. "You are welcome". Why wouldn't I appreciate their thanks? Should I mock their appreciation with some smart azz reply?

I'm lucky. I experienced the disdain and coldness as a Marine Viet Nam vet. I also experienced the welcome and thanks as a Soldier returning from Iraq.

We are veterans whether in country or not. Whether combat or not. A veteran is a veteran is a veteran. We served! So we can ALL say, "You are welcome, it was an honor to serve".

Mark Smith, CWO5, US Army Retired
Iraq

223XXXX
Viet Nam​


Thanking The Marine Corps

Marine Corps moto wall

"Thank You for Your Service". I hear this frequently, because I carry the Eagle, Globe and Anchor wherever I go. It is proudly displayed on my trucks state license plate, on the flag pole in my front yard, on my cover that never leaves my head, on my shirt for all to see, on the wall in my office to remind me of the sacrifices that I made. I do not display these to garner respect. I display these because I earned them and thus I show the respect the emblem deserves. The eagle represents the proud nation we defend. The globe represents our worldwide responsibility. The anchor points to the Marine Corps' naval heritage. Together, the eagle, globe and anchor symbolize our commitment to defend our nation—in the air, on land and at sea. I do not boast nor is it my intent in wearing the badge to obtain a pat on the back or an 'Ata Boy'. It's my way of thanking the United States Marine Corps.

T. E. Kinsey
Sgt of Marines
'68 - '70​


Young And Old

This in response to Sgt. Gary Harlan's letter about not appreciating people thanking him for his service.

Well, I personally disagree with him. I am very proud and humbled to have serviced my Country, especially as a United States Marine (1951-1961 active duty). Korean war Vet '52 - '53. Some called it an action, but it was a real war to me and others.

To the point of my response: It is my opinion that those who offer thanks to military personnel whether they be non-military types or veterans, do so with all sincerity. Why would they go out of their way to offer thanks to a Vet, Active duty, or a Reservist if they were not sincere.

If they didn't really care they would not have spoken at all, just ignore and go on their way. I have had young and old men and women, children, say Thank you for your service. Each and every time I swell with pride, and thank GOD, knowing that I have served in the Marine Corps in the the greatest Country in the world.

This is my opinion and That's All I Have To Say About That.

Semper Fi,
John Vogel, SGT.


Sorry About That Reversed

I wrote a letter that appeared in last week's newsletter under the heading, "Sorry About That." I asserted that the sudden interest in people thanking me for my service struck me as annoying and absurd. I wrote, "There are exceptions--namely, when those words are uttered by fellow vets," the clear implication being that I wasn't interested in what civilians had to say about my service. I received the newsletter the evening of March 4th. Something occurred the following day that made me realize how terribly wrong I was in writing that.

March 5th is a date that is actually more meaningful to me than my own birthday. In fact, I think of it as the day I was reborn. In 1966 it was the second day of Operation Utah, the first contact between the USMC and the NVA--specifically, the 1st Marines, the 4th Marines, and the 7th Marines up against the 21st NVA Regiment. My own unit, Lima Company 3/1, faced two battalions of NVA on Hill 50. After over three hours of fighting, the hill was captured. By the end of that day 3/1 had suffered 32 killed and 90 wounded. When the operation ended two days later, 98 Marines had been killed and 278 wounded.

The first thing I read after waking up this March 5th was a simple yet profound message from our company commander, Simon Gregory:

Gentlemen,

49 years, and we will always remember.

Semper Fidelis,
Simon


After reading this I visited the online directory of the names on The Wall (http://thewall-usa.com/) to look up the men we lost that day. Each name includes information such as branch of service, rank, where and how they were killed, and where their names appear on The Wall. Then you are told to click here for personal comments or pictures. One of the names I visited was Staff Sergeant Leonard Hultquist. When I clicked the personal comments I read a moving inscription from his daughter, Melody. She had included her email address so I wrote to her. I told her that though I served in the 1st platoon and her dad was the platoon sergeant of the 2nd platoon I was acquainted with him and was well aware of the level of respect he held in the company.

Melody wrote back, telling me how much my letter meant to her. She wrote, "My sisters and I were very young (3, 5, and 6) when our Dad was killed, so we don't have a lot of memories. However, when our Mother passed away in 1999, I came upon all of my Dad's letters to my Mom while he was in Vietnam. I came to know a very brave, wise man, who was willing and eager to fight for his country. I remain, to this day, so very, very proud of his sacrifice."

I replied to her letter and she replied to my reply. At the end of her second letter she wrote, "Thank you for your service, Gary." The second I read those words I was deeply ashamed of what I had written in the newsletter.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


Honoring Marine's Final Wish

Marines honoring Sgt Loneman's final wish

By Rob Hughes
KOCO 5

A dying Marine had one final wish. He wanted to be buried in uniform, along with a Marine Corps flag.

"He had a good heart. He had a great sense of humor," said Christine Cleary with the Oklahoma City Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

Donnie Loneman loved being a Marine. He was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors gave him three weeks to live.

"He was interested in who was going to be left behind," said Cleary, standing in the room Loneman passed away in the night before.

Cleary knew Loneman well and was by his side constantly in his final days.

Homeless for the last decade, Loneman didn't have a dress uniform, and couldn't afford one.

"Donnie was his own person. He did what he wanted, and a lot of people fell in love with him for that. We get guys like him once in a blue moon, who really make a difference for everyone here," said Cleary.

The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs told Loneman's story and saw an outpouring of support and sympathy from many veteran's organizations, including the Folds of Honor Foundation, Honoring America's Warriors, Catholic War Veteran's League, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Oklahoma Department of Veteran's Affairs and Disabled American Veterans.

The Kiowa Black Leggings Society, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and the Chickasaw Nation all worked with Sgt. Grit Marine Specialties to get the dress blues and flag donated. These organizations came together, not only to honor his final wish, but also to pay his funeral expenses and give him an honor guard.

Loneman wanted his pallbearers to be Marines.

"He said I don't want you guys to be sad, I want you guys to keep going, and keep helping people," said Cleary.

Loneman died Thursday night. He will be buried the same way he served our country, with honor and dignity.

"He said, 'I'm going to enter the gates, and I'm going to tell all the Marines that are standing there that they're relieved of their duty, and I'm going to take their place, and I'll stand there until my arm gets tired, and another Marine comes.' He said 'I'm ready to go," said Cleary.

One of Loneman's friends wrote the following letter to honor his legacy:

I first met Donnie Loneman at the Shawnee Native American Stand Down. I gave him my card, told him about my program and answered his questions. He moved on. This is a story that Carolyn Fletcher tells about that day: Donnie struck up a conversation with her, because he is Cheyenne-Arapaho. She explained that she could assist him with housing, but Donnie told her he was not ready for that responsibility. They talked for a bit, and Donnie moved on. Soon, he returned, showing her a cap he had been given by someone. He was like a kid at Christmas, big-eyed and excited. "Look what they gave me!" he said. Later he returned again, showing her the sleeping bag and shoes that he had received. Each time, there was a sense of wonder that someone cared about him, that he mattered enough to be given something.

Once more he returned, standing at attention with his cap on, his back pack in place, with his new boots. He said "Look!" and then removed his hat. He had a new haircut, what he called a "high and tight Marine cut." He was so proud, smiling from ear to ear. Shortly after he left, another lady approached Carolyn. She told Carolyn that she had seen Donnie around Shawnee for five years, but she had never seen him smile."

Shortly after that, Loneman moved to Oklahoma City. He was fighting his demons. Christine Cleary with the VA homeless program worked to get Donnie off the streets.

Loneman seemed to feel that he did not deserve it. He always said that we should save it for the veteran who needed it more than him.

He used to come and see me every week or so. I think he liked that I "mothered" him. When I scolded him for staying out in the cold, he always smiled real big, and told me that he was a Marine, and Marines are tough. "We can take it, we can take anything," he said.

So when a doctor told me that he had three weeks to live, he told me that they cried for a couple minutes, but that was it. He was happy, he said, for three reasons. One: He was going to see the Lord. Two: He was going to see his mother, and three: he knew that when he gets to the pearly gates, there would be a Marine standing guard. That Marine would salute him, and then go on into heaven. Then Donnie would stand guard until the next Marine arrived.

Christine and I listened while Donnie planned his funeral. He asked for three things, a Marine "high and tight" haircut, Marine dress blues and a Marine flag for his casket. Christine sent out a call for help, and the response was great. He received all of his requests.

He passed away Thursday evening with his friend Ricky, his sister-in-law, and his niece by his side. The nurses said that he looked "perfect" with eyes and mouth closed with a very peaceful smile on his face.

One nurse said "You could sure tell where he was going."


Shed Some Light

Platoon flag 1054

Saw this in an Antique Mall. I wondered if anyone could shed some light on it. I doubt a Drill Instructor would readily give it up.

Jim Grimes
Sgt. 1969-72


1st Fumagation and Bath Platoon

Sgt. Grit,

In my 88th year I was looking back on my times in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam. Korea had the most interesting things the Marine Corps found to do for us. They formed the 1st Fumigation and Bath Platoon who came behind the lines and set up. A Platoon would come off the lines and go into a tent, take your clothes off, put your valuables in a small ditty bag, then go into a tent connected where several shower heads poured out hot water. You scaped the dirt off, washed and shaved with hot soap and water. Then go back into the first tent and you were issued clean skivvys and dungarees.

When you got dressed you went into a tent near by and got Hot Chow. Sometimes you got paid and sometimes not. Once I got paid and went to the PX Truck and bought a case (24 bars) of candy and 3 cartoons of cigarettes. I bought Phillip Morris because the PX Truck went to the Officers first and the Luckys and Camels were all gone.

The rest of the time you washed in your helmet with cold water. The joke then was they poured water in your helmet, you washed and shaved, then washed your dungarees, then your blankets, all in the same water. Leaving Korea was a pleasure for more than usual.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, usmc Retired​


Apology From The Commandant

In my radio section in 3/27th Marines, we had a radio operator from Philadelphia. He reported in with several of us at the same time. Regt. HQ assigned us to 3/27. Six months later, he received a letter from his brother stating the FBI had been asking the neighbors about him. It seems the Marine Corps had listed him as a deserter. The mistake was straightened out. His brother who had served in the Corps was not too happy. He wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps. My friend was notified one morning before muster, that he would be called front and center of the battalion formation. At formation his name was called. He was required to leave ranks and present himself to the Colonel. The Colonel read an apology from the Commandant of the Marine Corps to him and his family. It seems Regt HQ assigned him to 3/27 and sent his orders to 2/27.

After six months, 2/27 reported him as a deserter. Both battalions shared Camp Margarita on Pendleton. The good part was that he seemed privileged until it was old news.

Sgt. Kurt Schinze
USMC H & S Co. Comm. FAC Team


8-Man Squad Drill

I have a copy of LPM-1950. It does not include the 8-man Squad Drill, but I also do have a copy of the 8-man drill manual including Company Drill. The 8-man drill was re-introduced in 1954 for use in non-FMF units. It was a very difficult drill to learn, but impressive when well executed. As the Commandant's letter stated at its release, it was meant to enhance the junior NCO's (Squad leader) leadership. At that time, squad leaders were Sgt.(E-4) or Cpl. (E-3). I was at MCAS Quantico 1954-1956 and all our drills and reviews used the 8-man squad formation. You could get a platoon well scattered with a command such as 'On Right into Line', or Right Front Into Line. Company level of 3 platoons could get hairy.

GySgt Paul Santiago
1946-1968​


The Ghost Ship​

Ghost Ship book cover

Hi Sgt. Grit,

At the age of 80 I wrote a book called "The Ghost Ship". It had that name because the Navy never knew where the ship was, could not tell anyone what missions they were on or even acknowledge that it existed. The only way we could find the ship was if we could see it tied up at the finger piers at North Island Naval air station, San Diego. The Ghost Ship was the most top secret ship in our Navy, the Marines that served on her were the most top secret Detachment in the Marine Corps and were classified Top Secret for 45 years. I served aboard her for two years and it was the most elite outfit in the Corps. Only the top two graduates of Sea School were picked for this Detachment. There was a group of Marines stationed at Sea School in 1953 called "The Movie Platoon", they also were the top two graduates of Sea School. They were making a movie for the Commandant on guard mounts. They also represented MCRD at official functions, funerals, etc., most of the Marines in this Platoon were also picked for the Top Secret Detachment. I served on three operations in those two years. Operation Castle was six nuclear tests, the Bravo shot was the largest hydrogen bomb the United States set off. Operation Surf Board was the largest peace time landing. We put 12,000 soldiers from Fort Ord and Camp Roberts ashore at San Simeon and shortly after that we were on Operation Wigwam, an atomic bomb set off 2000 feet underwater to see if an atomic bomb could be used against a sub and how it would effect surface ships. It was set off 450 miles southwest of San Diego. The profits are shared with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Curtiss Atomic Marines.

Get this book at The Ghost Ship.

Semper Fi and God Bless,
Ed Franklin 1953-56
Email: edmax60[at]comcast.net


What the "P" Meant

I went through Parris Island Boot Camp in August/1949. On the bottom of the pistol grip, of the wood stock, a circled "P" was stamped or branded on. What does this represent? At the final inspection, we were ordered, NEVER to say, "I do not know" to the inspection officer. When I was asked what the "P" meant, I blurted out, "Sir, that means that the stock was pressure tested." I know that was wrong. Any old salts around that really knows what the "P" stands for? Thank-you.

Emilio Galiano Reynoso


Iwo Jima 5th Marine Division Cemetery

Sgt. Grit,

My father Pfc. James Michels was one of the Marines that helped raise the first flag on Mt. Suribachi. He only talked about two things. One was of the cheering below as the small flag went up. The other was about the Dedication of the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima and how sad it was for everyone. He told me he cried. The following is something I want to share on this 70th Anniversary:

Betty McMahon​


Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn at the Dedication of the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima.

This is perhaps the grimmest, and surely the holiest task we have faced since D-Day. Here, before us lie the bodies of comrades and friends. Men who until yesterday or last week laughed with us, joked with us, trained with us. Men who were on the same ships with us, and went over the sides with us as we prepared to hit the beaches of this island. Men who fought with us and feared with us. Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet - to find the way, perhaps, for all to live in plenty, with poverty and hardship for none. Now they lie here silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to consecrate this earth in their memory.

It is not easy to do so. Some of us have buried our closest friends here. We saw these men killed before our very eyes. Any one of us might have died in their places. Indeed, some of us are alive and breathing at this very moment only because men who lie here beneath us had the courage and strength to give their lives for ours. To speak in memory of such men as these is not easy. Of them too can it be said with utter truth: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here." It can never forget what they did here."

No, our poor power of speech can add nothing to what these men and the other dead who are not here have already done. All that we even hope to do is follow their example. To show the same selfless courage in peace that they did in war. To swear that by the grace of God and the stubborn strength and power of human will, their sons and ours shall never suffer these pains again. These men have done their job well. They have paid the ghastly price of freedom. If that freedom be once again lost, as it was after the last war, the unforgivable blame will be ours not theirs. So it is we the living who are here to be dedicated and consecrated.

Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: This shall not be in vain! Out of this, and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come - we promise - the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere.


Cheese Louise, It Was About Time​

Life in the Old Corps, San Francisco, 1946, '47, '48.

The War had ended, San Francisco Naval Base was getting ships that had been moth balled and anchored in a section of the Base. Sailors were being Discharged from Ships and Submarines there. The Marine Guards at the base Guarded the Gates and the Warehouses full of Surplus Material. At the base, ships were docked and material removed from the ship and stored on the docks. In one place they were storing lead weights used as Ballast for ships, the lead weights were about 15 inches long and maybe 5 inches square and weighed about 25 pounds. Sailors and Marines were using the weights in the back of their cars to hold down the back so you could speed. I had a 1935 Ford coupe and loaned it to Marines off duty, they took it down and loaded weights in the trunk. Then they caught men selling the Lead Weights.

Base Housing was just out the gate, and outside the Front Gate were Two Bars that were infamous during the War, GIGI's and DAGO MARY's where Sailors and Marines from the Ships could have a cool one while waiting for the Bus to take them into San Francisco proper and sometimes find a girl or two. Duty was day on and day off, week end on and weekend off, later we had the Burial Details for the War dead brought back also. A Glue Factory was at the back Gate, the stench was unbearable.

We even had to set up Machine Guns during Training Missions on streets in the city, in case Russian Invasion (common stuff then). Two Commandants Inspected us while I was there, Gen. VanDer Grift and General Cates. Men were being Discharged and we Sometimes had running Guard, (4 Hours on and 8 Off), I heard the Marine Divisions at Camp Pendleton were short a complete Regiment but had a skeleton Regiment instead. Times were tough and those (not Quite) 75,000 of us had to fill the breach many times when we lacked the men to do as required, such as A Parade in San Francisco for Spanish American War Veterans. The Korean War brought us back soon enough and Congress realized they couldn't cut the Armed Forces down too low and finally Voted a full compliment of Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force along with a Pay Raise that helped the Military to Raise up quite a bit. "Cheese Louise" it was about time.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Got To Thinking About It

In boot camp, July-October of 1957, we were taught 13-man squad drill... may have gone by another name, but that's what we did... as mentioned, the 'pivot man' was crucial. The Squad Leader, while part of the formation, was in neither rank nor file, but marched along side his squad... who were arrayed four abreast, three deep. When the command was, for example "squads, right about'... 'march', each squad pivoted around their fire team leader, who would have been on the right... the squad leader had to step smartly through the gap that would appear, so as to wind up on the correct side. The pivot man, or more correctly the pivot men, three per squad, would be the extreme right or left of each four man rank... a platoon going straight ahead would have the Guide at the right front, and four columns behind him, with the squad leaders out on the left side of the column. (that trip between rotating squads was good for screwing up a shoe shine in later stages... boots or boondockers, not so much... I made it many times. (in between the times I was 'fired' as a Squad Leader... LOL) I recall our Senior DI/Platoon commander, SSGT J.A. Hollinshead, commenting that he had to memorize something like 435 different steps, most involving the pivot men. I have pictures in my platoon book of the platoon in those kinds of formations... from memory, at ITR and later on, most marchng (chow formations, etc) were some variant of the LPM... three files, NCO's at the front when in column, on the right when halted and given 'left face'... simple, and functional. I think the first ALMAR issued by General Shoup was something to the effect that 'henceforth, the USMC will utilize nothing other than Landing Party Manual Drill, as long as I am Commandant"... goin' on 55 years now, seems to be working pretty well. "Collumnnnn of Files... from the right"... right squad leader sounds off "Fooooward' (no command of execution... that will come from he/she who is in charge of the formation... middle and left squad leaders sound off "Stand Fast"... and will follow that with their commands of 'column half-right, column half-left, etc. so that their files fall in a single file behind the right squad...

Got to thinking about it, realized that a fairly large segment of your readership probably served relatively short times in the VN era, may have had the eight-week boot camp experience, and in sum, just didn't have to do a whole lot of close order drill, and even at that, the probability of several hours of COD on the training schedule would vary with the amount of equipment a unit had to maintain...

​ Ddick


Chuck Mawhinney​

Just finished reading Gunny Souder's post in this weeks letters, and couldn't let this one go by...Although Carlos Hathcock's was probably the most storied sniper during our Southeast Asian War Games, he did not have the most number of recorded kills at 93. That title goes to Chuck Mawhinney, who served as a Marine sniper for 16 months with 5th Marines in 1968-69. Mawhinney is on record having 103 confirmed kills, with 216 probables. There was another Marine sniper named Eric England, who also topped Hathcock's count with a recorded 98 confirmed kills during his tour. The top sniper during the Vietnam conflict was a US Army sniper named Adelbert Waldron, with a total of 109 confirmed kills.

Carlos Hathcock was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and was medically retired at 100% disability from the Corps just 55 days short of serving his full 20 years. After retiring, he fell into a state of depression for a long time, eventually taking up shark fishing, which helped with his depression. After that, Hathcock provided sniper instruction to police departments and select military units. Because of his debilitating problems with MS, any correlation between the life of Carlos Hathcock and the Tom Berenger "Sniper" movies has to be viewed as pure Hollywood speculation. On 22 February 1999, Carlos Hathcock died of complications resulting from his MS. His son, Carlos Hathcock III went on to follow in his father's footsteps as a Marine sniper, and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant.

Chuck Mawhinney finished his enlistment in 1970, and has since retired from the US Forest Service, and currently lives in here in Oregon, in the small town of Lakeview, in the southeast part of the state.

S/F,
Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC(Ret)
1964 - 1987


The Piece on Gy/Sgt Carlos Hathcock, states that Chuck Mawhinney was in the Army, Chuck Mawhinney was a 5th Marine Scout Sniper. I know because I served with him.

Former Sgt. and Scout Sniper,
Semper Fi,
Louie Mackey


Love getting your newsletter each Thursday; really makes my day!

I am sure by now GySgt. Lew Souder (Ret.) is getting a lot of fire called down on his head. The great Marine sniper Chuck Mawhinney would probably be a little upset to be referred to as an "Army sniper!"

Well, we all make mistakes. Don't be too hard on him.

S/F,
Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj. USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003​

Note: Myself and my trusted cohort Sgt Williams missed that army error. Sorry for the error. We should have corrected it.

Sgt Grit


Short Rounds

In the March 4th Newsletter C. Stoney Brooks stated that the latest engraved Expert Bar he had saw was '59-'60. My first bar I received for Expert was received in 1964, supposedly from HQMC which was the only place you could get them, was engraved on the bar '62 '63 '64. Not sure but I may still have it but don't remember when the stated AWARDS BARS came into place as in 1st Award Etc. and my current bar of 8th Award.

Semper Fi,
MGySgt (Ret'd) Billy J. Russell
1962-1985​


Old limerick for St. Patrick's Day

There was a young lass from Racine,
Who swore she was a "Lovemaking" machine,
But she said "I won't rust"
"Because I service the Lust"
"Of a s-x starved young U.S. Marine"!

"Down and Out if you want it, Prive"

Rusty Hubbarth


What a Dad, Husband and Navy Doc!

Everyone needs to watch this short video by Steven Spielberg. Cmdr. Bill Krissoff... A son is killed, what a father did to honor his son. An American Hero!

Steven Speilberg/Cmdr. Bill Krissoff


It is an identity, it is a cheer, it is a fact, it is a brag, it is a threat, it is a challenge, it is an honor, it is an explanation, it is courage, it is reality... but it is never false humility nor an excuse... "I am a United States Marine."

Old Pete and Daughter Khat


There's a great multi-page article in the March, 2015 issue of MAXIM MAGAZINE (close-up picture of Victoria's Secret model on cover). Its called "The Last Patrol" and is a great and detailed account of Marine Corps Force Recon in Nam.

Cpl. E-4 Bill Reed
Reno, NV


Quotes

WWII The Dash

When Private 1st Class Edward H. Ahrens in WWII was found clutching a sword surrounded by 13 dead Japanese soldiers, his final words were "I guess they didn't know I was a Marine."


"Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age."
--Albert Einstein


"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desirable?"
--Jefferson, Notes on State of Virginia, 1787​


"By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
--Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy


​"The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world."
--Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy


"Asshole to Belly Button Girls."

"When I give a command, all I better see is A**holes and elbows!"

"Your OTHER LEFT, numbnuts!"

"Are YOU eyeballing me, boy?​"

"Sir! By your leave sir... GET!"

"When I say sh-t, I want you to swat and say what color sir?... Marine Corps Green!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 11 MAR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 11 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Thanking The Marine Corps
• Sorry About That Reversed
• Honoring Marine's Final Wish

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Semper Fi,
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The Triad

1stSgt John Alread sent me a copy of April 1962 Triad. I will add it to my hallway collection for others to view and enjoy.

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit


Except For One

Recently in sunny Yuma, AZ we had a Yuma Military Appreciation day on Main St., down town... a successful one-day event that had static displays of military equipment, demonstrations of K-9's, Marine martial arts, and an EOD robot. There was also a 40' replica of the USS Arizona, a 30' replica of the submarine USS Barbel, and much more. In addition there was a military art show at the Yuma Art Gallery. The artwork was all Army from the Yuma Proving Ground Heritage Museum, except for one black and white poster photo of two Marine Sergeants. The attached photo shows today's Chuck LeDrew standing by a photo of Sgt's Chuck LeDrew and Chuck Johnson, at Chu Lai, Vietnam in 1966... 49 years ago! Time does fly!

Carlton (Chuck) LeDrew
MGySgt USMC Retired​


I Guess I Missed Out

In reply: Sorry about that by Sgt. Harlan.

I guess I missed out on many things about returning from Vietnam, maybe I was in the right place at the right time. I was never spit upon, had nasty signs put in my face or called a child or baby killer. I was always treated with respect while in uniform.

I remember a cereal called Krispy Critters and many Marines had written: Napalm Makes Krispy Critters on their helmets. I thought it was funny. Maybe it is my demeanor from being a former DI but when a civilian makes the comment: Thank you for your service. I always respond: It was my pleasure to kill as many g--k communists or have my platoon do it as possible. I get these strange looks as I walk away, but I like the confused look on their faces.

Marines get paid to kill the enemy and many, many other boring jobs in peace time. War is good, it builds competency under fire.

J L Stelling


DaNang '70 - '71

Was in DaNang '70 - '71 and Marble Mountain 1971 till stand down. Here's a few I took over there.

Semper Fi
Choo Choo
Sgt
1968-1974
RVN '70 - '71


Perfect BAR Qual

Regarding BAR qualification in the last newsletter. While stationed at Del Mar in '63 or '64 I was on a detail (all expert shooters, so it must have been the ol' man's jab at the powers that be) that was sent to a rifle range up the coast overlooking the ocean to pull butts for the First Marine Division BAR qualifications. About halfway through word came down the line saying that there was a shooter that hadn't missed yet. We started keeping track and this shooter ended up shooting a perfect score with his BAR, squeezing off single shots. When we got back to the barracks and told the story we were told it was BS. The story ended up in Leatherneck magazine a few months later (we should have bet!). I'm not sure if there was a shooting badge for that but there should have been. When "Full metal jacket" came out I went to see it alone because I was sure no one, including my wife, would understand any of it and sure enough the scene where they were laying at attention in their rack reciting the "Rifleman's Pledge" I began reciting it under my breath. I noticed the people around me were laughing thinking it was something that was made up for the movie. I became irate and wanted to stand up and tell them that this was sh-t was real! They also thought that marching around reciting, "this is my rifle, this is my gun" was something that was also funny and made up. Oh these poor innocent civilians, I'm sure there were probably some doggies and swabs thrown in there for good measure too.

CPL Selders


​I'm Lucky

I have mixed emotions regarding the argument "era" vs. "in country". If you see an elderly gentleman wearing a cover with "WWII Vet" on it, do you ask yourself whether he served in Europe, the Pacific, or the States? Probably not. He is a WWII veteran.

I have been thanked many times in public for "my service". I reply. "You are welcome". Why wouldn't I appreciate their thanks? Should I mock their appreciation with some smart azz reply?

I'm lucky. I experienced the disdain and coldness as a Marine Viet Nam vet. I also experienced the welcome and thanks as a Soldier returning from Iraq.

We are veterans whether in country or not. Whether combat or not. A veteran is a veteran is a veteran. We served! So we can ALL say, "You are welcome, it was an honor to serve".

Mark Smith, CWO5, US Army Retired
Iraq

223XXXX
Viet Nam​


Thanking The Marine Corps

"Thank You for Your Service". I hear this frequently, because I carry the Eagle, Globe and Anchor wherever I go. It is proudly displayed on my trucks state license plate, on the flag pole in my front yard, on my cover that never leaves my head, on my shirt for all to see, on the wall in my office to remind me of the sacrifices that I made. I do not display these to garner respect. I display these because I earned them and thus I show the respect the emblem deserves. The eagle represents the proud nation we defend. The globe represents our worldwide responsibility. The anchor points to the Marine Corps' naval heritage. Together, the eagle, globe and anchor symbolize our commitment to defend our nation—in the air, on land and at sea. I do not boast nor is it my intent in wearing the badge to obtain a pat on the back or an 'Ata Boy'. It's my way of thanking the United States Marine Corps.

T. E. Kinsey
Sgt of Marines
'68 - '70​


Young And Old

This in response to Sgt. Gary Harlan's letter about not appreciating people thanking him for his service.

Well, I personally disagree with him. I am very proud and humbled to have serviced my Country, especially as a United States Marine (1951-1961 active duty). Korean war Vet '52 - '53. Some called it an action, but it was a real war to me and others.

To the point of my response: It is my opinion that those who offer thanks to military personnel whether they be non-military types or veterans, do so with all sincerity. Why would they go out of their way to offer thanks to a Vet, Active duty, or a Reservist if they were not sincere.

If they didn't really care they would not have spoken at all, just ignore and go on their way. I have had young and old men and women, children, say Thank you for your service. Each and every time I swell with pride, and thank GOD, knowing that I have served in the Marine Corps in the the greatest Country in the world.

This is my opinion and That's All I Have To Say About That.

Semper Fi,
John Vogel, SGT.


Sorry About That Reversed

I wrote a letter that appeared in last week's newsletter under the heading, "Sorry About That." I asserted that the sudden interest in people thanking me for my service struck me as annoying and absurd. I wrote, "There are exceptions--namely, when those words are uttered by fellow vets," the clear implication being that I wasn't interested in what civilians had to say about my service. I received the newsletter the evening of March 4th. Something occurred the following day that made me realize how terribly wrong I was in writing that.

March 5th is a date that is actually more meaningful to me than my own birthday. In fact, I think of it as the day I was reborn. In 1966 it was the second day of Operation Utah, the first contact between the USMC and the NVA--specifically, the 1st Marines, the 4th Marines, and the 7th Marines up against the 21st NVA Regiment. My own unit, Lima Company 3/1, faced two battalions of NVA on Hill 50. After over three hours of fighting, the hill was captured. By the end of that day 3/1 had suffered 32 killed and 90 wounded. When the operation ended two days later, 98 Marines had been killed and 278 wounded.

The first thing I read after waking up this March 5th was a simple yet profound message from our company commander, Simon Gregory:

Gentlemen,

49 years, and we will always remember.

Semper Fidelis,
Simon


After reading this I visited the online directory of the names on The Wall (http://thewall-usa.com/) to look up the men we lost that day. Each name includes information such as branch of service, rank, where and how they were killed, and where their names appear on The Wall. Then you are told to click here for personal comments or pictures. One of the names I visited was Staff Sergeant Leonard Hultquist. When I clicked the personal comments I read a moving inscription from his daughter, Melody. She had included her email address so I wrote to her. I told her that though I served in the 1st platoon and her dad was the platoon sergeant of the 2nd platoon I was acquainted with him and was well aware of the level of respect he held in the company.

Melody wrote back, telling me how much my letter meant to her. She wrote, "My sisters and I were very young (3, 5, and 6) when our Dad was killed, so we don't have a lot of memories. However, when our Mother passed away in 1999, I came upon all of my Dad's letters to my Mom while he was in Vietnam. I came to know a very brave, wise man, who was willing and eager to fight for his country. I remain, to this day, so very, very proud of his sacrifice."

I replied to her letter and she replied to my reply. At the end of her second letter she wrote, "Thank you for your service, Gary." The second I read those words I was deeply ashamed of what I had written in the newsletter.

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


Honoring Marine's Final Wish

By Rob Hughes
KOCO 5

A dying Marine had one final wish. He wanted to be buried in uniform, along with a Marine Corps flag.

"He had a good heart. He had a great sense of humor," said Christine Cleary with the Oklahoma City Veteran's Affairs Medical Center.

Donnie Loneman loved being a Marine. He was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. Doctors gave him three weeks to live.

"He was interested in who was going to be left behind," said Cleary, standing in the room Loneman passed away in the night before.

Cleary knew Loneman well and was by his side constantly in his final days.

Homeless for the last decade, Loneman didn't have a dress uniform, and couldn't afford one.

"Donnie was his own person. He did what he wanted, and a lot of people fell in love with him for that. We get guys like him once in a blue moon, who really make a difference for everyone here," said Cleary.

The Oklahoma City Veterans Affairs told Loneman's story and saw an outpouring of support and sympathy from many veteran's organizations, including the Folds of Honor Foundation, Honoring America's Warriors, Catholic War Veteran's League, Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve, Oklahoma Department of Veteran's Affairs and Disabled American Veterans.

The Kiowa Black Leggings Society, United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees and the Chickasaw Nation all worked with Sgt. Grit Marine Specialties to get the dress blues and flag donated. These organizations came together, not only to honor his final wish, but also to pay his funeral expenses and give him an honor guard.

Loneman wanted his pallbearers to be Marines.

"He said I don't want you guys to be sad, I want you guys to keep going, and keep helping people," said Cleary.

Loneman died Thursday night. He will be buried the same way he served our country, with honor and dignity.

"He said, 'I'm going to enter the gates, and I'm going to tell all the Marines that are standing there that they're relieved of their duty, and I'm going to take their place, and I'll stand there until my arm gets tired, and another Marine comes.' He said 'I'm ready to go," said Cleary.

One of Loneman's friends wrote the following letter to honor his legacy:

I first met Donnie Loneman at the Shawnee Native American Stand Down. I gave him my card, told him about my program and answered his questions. He moved on. This is a story that Carolyn Fletcher tells about that day: Donnie struck up a conversation with her, because he is Cheyenne-Arapaho. She explained that she could assist him with housing, but Donnie told her he was not ready for that responsibility. They talked for a bit, and Donnie moved on. Soon, he returned, showing her a cap he had been given by someone. He was like a kid at Christmas, big-eyed and excited. "Look what they gave me!" he said. Later he returned again, showing her the sleeping bag and shoes that he had received. Each time, there was a sense of wonder that someone cared about him, that he mattered enough to be given something.

Once more he returned, standing at attention with his cap on, his back pack in place, with his new boots. He said "Look!" and then removed his hat. He had a new haircut, what he called a "high and tight Marine cut." He was so proud, smiling from ear to ear. Shortly after he left, another lady approached Carolyn. She told Carolyn that she had seen Donnie around Shawnee for five years, but she had never seen him smile."

Shortly after that, Loneman moved to Oklahoma City. He was fighting his demons. Christine Cleary with the VA homeless program worked to get Donnie off the streets.

Loneman seemed to feel that he did not deserve it. He always said that we should save it for the veteran who needed it more than him.

He used to come and see me every week or so. I think he liked that I "mothered" him. When I scolded him for staying out in the cold, he always smiled real big, and told me that he was a Marine, and Marines are tough. "We can take it, we can take anything," he said.

So when a doctor told me that he had three weeks to live, he told me that they cried for a couple minutes, but that was it. He was happy, he said, for three reasons. One: He was going to see the Lord. Two: He was going to see his mother, and three: he knew that when he gets to the pearly gates, there would be a Marine standing guard. That Marine would salute him, and then go on into heaven. Then Donnie would stand guard until the next Marine arrived.

Christine and I listened while Donnie planned his funeral. He asked for three things, a Marine "high and tight" haircut, Marine dress blues and a Marine flag for his casket. Christine sent out a call for help, and the response was great. He received all of his requests.

He passed away Thursday evening with his friend Ricky, his sister-in-law, and his niece by his side. The nurses said that he looked "perfect" with eyes and mouth closed with a very peaceful smile on his face.

One nurse said "You could sure tell where he was going."


Shed Some Light

Saw this in an Antique Mall. I wondered if anyone could shed some light on it. I doubt a Drill Instructor would readily give it up.

Jim Grimes
Sgt. 1969-72


1st Fumagation and Bath Platoon

Sgt. Grit,

In my 88th year I was looking back on my times in WWII, Korean War and Vietnam. Korea had the most interesting things the Marine Corps found to do for us. They formed the 1st Fumigation and Bath Platoon who came behind the lines and set up. A Platoon would come off the lines and go into a tent, take your clothes off, put your valuables in a small ditty bag, then go into a tent connected where several shower heads poured out hot water. You scaped the dirt off, washed and shaved with hot soap and water. Then go back into the first tent and you were issued clean skivvys and dungarees.

When you got dressed you went into a tent near by and got Hot Chow. Sometimes you got paid and sometimes not. Once I got paid and went to the PX Truck and bought a case (24 bars) of candy and 3 cartoons of cigarettes. I bought Phillip Morris because the PX Truck went to the Officers first and the Luckys and Camels were all gone.

The rest of the time you washed in your helmet with cold water. The joke then was they poured water in your helmet, you washed and shaved, then washed your dungarees, then your blankets, all in the same water. Leaving Korea was a pleasure for more than usual.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, usmc Retired​


Apology From The Commandant

In my radio section in 3/27th Marines, we had a radio operator from Philadelphia. He reported in with several of us at the same time. Regt. HQ assigned us to 3/27. Six months later, he received a letter from his brother stating the FBI had been asking the neighbors about him. It seems the Marine Corps had listed him as a deserter. The mistake was straightened out. His brother who had served in the Corps was not too happy. He wrote the Commandant of the Marine Corps. My friend was notified one morning before muster, that he would be called front and center of the battalion formation. At formation his name was called. He was required to leave ranks and present himself to the Colonel. The Colonel read an apology from the Commandant of the Marine Corps to him and his family. It seems Regt HQ assigned him to 3/27 and sent his orders to 2/27.

After six months, 2/27 reported him as a deserter. Both battalions shared Camp Margarita on Pendleton. The good part was that he seemed privileged until it was old news.

Sgt. Kurt Schinze
USMC H & S Co. Comm. FAC Team


8-Man Squad Drill

I have a copy of LPM-1950. It does not include the 8-man Squad Drill, but I also do have a copy of the 8-man drill manual including Company Drill. The 8-man drill was re-introduced in 1954 for use in non-FMF units. It was a very difficult drill to learn, but impressive when well executed. As the Commandant's letter stated at its release, it was meant to enhance the junior NCO's (Squad leader) leadership. At that time, squad leaders were Sgt.(E-4) or Cpl. (E-3). I was at MCAS Quantico 1954-1956 and all our drills and reviews used the 8-man squad formation. You could get a platoon well scattered with a command such as 'On Right into Line', or Right Front Into Line. Company level of 3 platoons could get hairy.

GySgt Paul Santiago
1946-1968​


The Ghost Ship​

Hi Sgt. Grit,

At the age of 80 I wrote a book called "The Ghost Ship". It had that name because the Navy never knew where the ship was, could not tell anyone what missions they were on or even acknowledge that it existed. The only way we could find the ship was if we could see it tied up at the finger piers at North Island Naval air station, San Diego. The Ghost Ship was the most top secret ship in our Navy, the Marines that served on her were the most top secret Detachment in the Marine Corps and were classified Top Secret for 45 years. I served aboard her for two years and it was the most elite outfit in the Corps. Only the top two graduates of Sea School were picked for this Detachment. There was a group of Marines stationed at Sea School in 1953 called "The Movie Platoon", they also were the top two graduates of Sea School. They were making a movie for the Commandant on guard mounts. They also represented MCRD at official functions, funerals, etc., most of the Marines in this Platoon were also picked for the Top Secret Detachment. I served on three operations in those two years. Operation Castle was six nuclear tests, the Bravo shot was the largest hydrogen bomb the United States set off. Operation Surf Board was the largest peace time landing. We put 12,000 soldiers from Fort Ord and Camp Roberts ashore at San Simeon and shortly after that we were on Operation Wigwam, an atomic bomb set off 2000 feet underwater to see if an atomic bomb could be used against a sub and how it would effect surface ships. It was set off 450 miles southwest of San Diego. The profits are shared with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Curtiss Atomic Marines.

Get this book at The Ghost Ship.

Semper Fi and God Bless,
Ed Franklin 1953-56
Email: edmax60[at]comcast.net


What the "P" Meant

I went through Parris Island Boot Camp in August/1949. On the bottom of the pistol grip, of the wood stock, a circled "P" was stamped or branded on. What does this represent? At the final inspection, we were ordered, NEVER to say, "I do not know" to the inspection officer. When I was asked what the "P" meant, I blurted out, "Sir, that means that the stock was pressure tested." I know that was wrong. Any old salts around that really knows what the "P" stands for? Thank-you.

Emilio Galiano Reynoso


Iwo Jima 5th Marine Division Cemetery

Sgt. Grit,

My father Pfc. James Michels was one of the Marines that helped raise the first flag on Mt. Suribachi. He only talked about two things. One was of the cheering below as the small flag went up. The other was about the Dedication of the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima and how sad it was for everyone. He told me he cried. The following is something I want to share on this 70th Anniversary:

Betty McMahon​


Rabbi Roland B. Gittelsohn at the Dedication of the 5th Marine Division Cemetery on Iwo Jima.

This is perhaps the grimmest, and surely the holiest task we have faced since D-Day. Here, before us lie the bodies of comrades and friends. Men who until yesterday or last week laughed with us, joked with us, trained with us. Men who were on the same ships with us, and went over the sides with us as we prepared to hit the beaches of this island. Men who fought with us and feared with us. Somewhere in this plot of ground there may lie the man who could have discovered the cure for cancer. Under one of these Christian crosses, or beneath a Jewish Star of David, there may rest now a man who was destined to be a great prophet - to find the way, perhaps, for all to live in plenty, with poverty and hardship for none. Now they lie here silently in this sacred soil, and we gather to consecrate this earth in their memory.

It is not easy to do so. Some of us have buried our closest friends here. We saw these men killed before our very eyes. Any one of us might have died in their places. Indeed, some of us are alive and breathing at this very moment only because men who lie here beneath us had the courage and strength to give their lives for ours. To speak in memory of such men as these is not easy. Of them too can it be said with utter truth: "The world will little note nor long remember what we say here." It can never forget what they did here."

No, our poor power of speech can add nothing to what these men and the other dead who are not here have already done. All that we even hope to do is follow their example. To show the same selfless courage in peace that they did in war. To swear that by the grace of God and the stubborn strength and power of human will, their sons and ours shall never suffer these pains again. These men have done their job well. They have paid the ghastly price of freedom. If that freedom be once again lost, as it was after the last war, the unforgivable blame will be ours not theirs. So it is we the living who are here to be dedicated and consecrated.

Too much blood has gone into this soil for us to let it lie barren. Too much pain and heartache have fertilized the earth on which we stand. We here solemnly swear: This shall not be in vain! Out of this, and from the suffering and sorrow of those who mourn this, will come - we promise - the birth of a new freedom for the sons of men everywhere.


Cheese Louise, It Was About Time​

Life in the Old Corps, San Francisco, 1946, '47, '48.

The War had ended, San Francisco Naval Base was getting ships that had been moth balled and anchored in a section of the Base. Sailors were being Discharged from Ships and Submarines there. The Marine Guards at the base Guarded the Gates and the Warehouses full of Surplus Material. At the base, ships were docked and material removed from the ship and stored on the docks. In one place they were storing lead weights used as Ballast for ships, the lead weights were about 15 inches long and maybe 5 inches square and weighed about 25 pounds. Sailors and Marines were using the weights in the back of their cars to hold down the back so you could speed. I had a 1935 Ford coupe and loaned it to Marines off duty, they took it down and loaded weights in the trunk. Then they caught men selling the Lead Weights.

Base Housing was just out the gate, and outside the Front Gate were Two Bars that were infamous during the War, GIGI's and DAGO MARY's where Sailors and Marines from the Ships could have a cool one while waiting for the Bus to take them into San Francisco proper and sometimes find a girl or two. Duty was day on and day off, week end on and weekend off, later we had the Burial Details for the War dead brought back also. A Glue Factory was at the back Gate, the stench was unbearable.

We even had to set up Machine Guns during Training Missions on streets in the city, in case Russian Invasion (common stuff then). Two Commandants Inspected us while I was there, Gen. VanDer Grift and General Cates. Men were being Discharged and we Sometimes had running Guard, (4 Hours on and 8 Off), I heard the Marine Divisions at Camp Pendleton were short a complete Regiment but had a skeleton Regiment instead. Times were tough and those (not Quite) 75,000 of us had to fill the breach many times when we lacked the men to do as required, such as A Parade in San Francisco for Spanish American War Veterans. The Korean War brought us back soon enough and Congress realized they couldn't cut the Armed Forces down too low and finally Voted a full compliment of Navy, Marine, Army and Air Force along with a Pay Raise that helped the Military to Raise up quite a bit. "Cheese Louise" it was about time.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau


Got To Thinking About It

In boot camp, July-October of 1957, we were taught 13-man squad drill... may have gone by another name, but that's what we did... as mentioned, the 'pivot man' was crucial. The Squad Leader, while part of the formation, was in neither rank nor file, but marched along side his squad... who were arrayed four abreast, three deep. When the command was, for example "squads, right about'... 'march', each squad pivoted around their fire team leader, who would have been on the right... the squad leader had to step smartly through the gap that would appear, so as to wind up on the correct side. The pivot man, or more correctly the pivot men, three per squad, would be the extreme right or left of each four man rank... a platoon going straight ahead would have the Guide at the right front, and four columns behind him, with the squad leaders out on the left side of the column. (that trip between rotating squads was good for screwing up a shoe shine in later stages... boots or boondockers, not so much... I made it many times. (in between the times I was 'fired' as a Squad Leader... LOL) I recall our Senior DI/Platoon commander, SSGT J.A. Hollinshead, commenting that he had to memorize something like 435 different steps, most involving the pivot men. I have pictures in my platoon book of the platoon in those kinds of formations... from memory, at ITR and later on, most marchng (chow formations, etc) were some variant of the LPM... three files, NCO's at the front when in column, on the right when halted and given 'left face'... simple, and functional. I think the first ALMAR issued by General Shoup was something to the effect that 'henceforth, the USMC will utilize nothing other than Landing Party Manual Drill, as long as I am Commandant"... goin' on 55 years now, seems to be working pretty well. "Collumnnnn of Files... from the right"... right squad leader sounds off "Fooooward' (no command of execution... that will come from he/she who is in charge of the formation... middle and left squad leaders sound off "Stand Fast"... and will follow that with their commands of 'column half-right, column half-left, etc. so that their files fall in a single file behind the right squad...

Got to thinking about it, realized that a fairly large segment of your readership probably served relatively short times in the VN era, may have had the eight-week boot camp experience, and in sum, just didn't have to do a whole lot of close order drill, and even at that, the probability of several hours of COD on the training schedule would vary with the amount of equipment a unit had to maintain...

​ Ddick


Chuck Mawhinney​

Just finished reading Gunny Souder's post in this weeks letters, and couldn't let this one go by...Although Carlos Hathcock's was probably the most storied sniper during our Southeast Asian War Games, he did not have the most number of recorded kills at 93. That title goes to Chuck Mawhinney, who served as a Marine sniper for 16 months with 5th Marines in 1968-69. Mawhinney is on record having 103 confirmed kills, with 216 probables. There was another Marine sniper named Eric England, who also topped Hathcock's count with a recorded 98 confirmed kills during his tour. The top sniper during the Vietnam conflict was a US Army sniper named Adelbert Waldron, with a total of 109 confirmed kills.

Carlos Hathcock was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) and was medically retired at 100% disability from the Corps just 55 days short of serving his full 20 years. After retiring, he fell into a state of depression for a long time, eventually taking up shark fishing, which helped with his depression. After that, Hathcock provided sniper instruction to police departments and select military units. Because of his debilitating problems with MS, any correlation between the life of Carlos Hathcock and the Tom Berenger "Sniper" movies has to be viewed as pure Hollywood speculation. On 22 February 1999, Carlos Hathcock died of complications resulting from his MS. His son, Carlos Hathcock III went on to follow in his father's footsteps as a Marine sniper, and retired as a Gunnery Sergeant.

Chuck Mawhinney finished his enlistment in 1970, and has since retired from the US Forest Service, and currently lives in here in Oregon, in the small town of Lakeview, in the southeast part of the state.

S/F,
Jim Mackin
MGySgt USMC(Ret)
1964 - 1987


The Piece on Gy/Sgt Carlos Hathcock, states that Chuck Mawhinney was in the Army, Chuck Mawhinney was a 5th Marine Scout Sniper. I know because I served with him.

Former Sgt. and Scout Sniper,
Semper Fi,
Louie Mackey


Love getting your newsletter each Thursday; really makes my day!

I am sure by now GySgt. Lew Souder (Ret.) is getting a lot of fire called down on his head. The great Marine sniper Chuck Mawhinney would probably be a little upset to be referred to as an "Army sniper!"

Well, we all make mistakes. Don't be too hard on him.

S/F,
Wayne Dillon
SgtMaj. USMC (Ret.)
1975-2003​

Note: Myself and my trusted cohort Sgt Williams missed that army error. Sorry for the error. We should have corrected it.

Sgt Grit


Short Rounds

In the March 4th Newsletter C. Stoney Brooks stated that the latest engraved Expert Bar he had saw was '59-'60. My first bar I received for Expert was received in 1964, supposedly from HQMC which was the only place you could get them, was engraved on the bar '62 '63 '64. Not sure but I may still have it but don't remember when the stated AWARDS BARS came into place as in 1st Award Etc. and my current bar of 8th Award.

Semper Fi,
MGySgt (Ret'd) Billy J. Russell
1962-1985​


Old limerick for St. Patrick's Day

There was a young lass from Racine,
Who swore she was a "Lovemaking" machine,
But she said "I won't rust"
"Because I service the Lust"
"Of a s-x starved young U.S. Marine"!

"Down and Out if you want it, Prive"

Rusty Hubbarth


What a Dad, Husband and Navy Doc!

Everyone needs to watch this short video by Steven Spielberg. Cmdr. Bill Krissoff... A son is killed, what a father did to honor his son. An American Hero!

Steven Speilberg/Cmdr. Bill Krissoff


It is an identity, it is a cheer, it is a fact, it is a brag, it is a threat, it is a challenge, it is an honor, it is an explanation, it is courage, it is reality... but it is never false humility nor an excuse... "I am a United States Marine."

Old Pete and Daughter Khat


There's a great multi-page article in the March, 2015 issue of MAXIM MAGAZINE (close-up picture of Victoria's Secret model on cover). Its called "The Last Patrol" and is a great and detailed account of Marine Corps Force Recon in Nam.

Cpl. E-4 Bill Reed
Reno, NV


Quotes

When Private 1st Class Edward H. Ahrens in WWII was found clutching a sword surrounded by 13 dead Japanese soldiers, his final words were "I guess they didn't know I was a Marine."


"Perfection of means and confusion of ends seem to characterize our age."
--Albert Einstein


"It is error alone which needs the support of government. Truth can stand by itself. Subject opinion to coercion: whom will you make your inquisitors? Fallible men; men governed by bad passions, by private as well as public reasons. And why subject it to coercion? To produce uniformity. But is uniformity of opinion desirable?"
--Jefferson, Notes on State of Virginia, 1787​


"By their victory, the 3rd, 4th and 5th Marine Divisions and other units of the Fifth Amphibious Corps have made an accounting to their country which only history will be able to value fully. Among the Americans who served on Iwo Island, uncommon valor was a common virtue."
--Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, U.S. Navy


​"The Marine Corps has just been called by the New York Times, 'The elite of this country.' I think it is the elite of the world."
--Admiral William Halsey, U.S. Navy


"Asshole to Belly Button Girls."

"When I give a command, all I better see is A**holes and elbows!"

"Your OTHER LEFT, numbnuts!"

"Are YOU eyeballing me, boy?​"

"Sir! By your leave sir... GET!"

"When I say sh-t, I want you to swat and say what color sir?... Marine Corps Green!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 05 MAR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Mistakenly Listed As A Deserter
• Sorry About That
• The Senior Junior NCO

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Infant Devil Pup Henry Vincent

Sister wearing sisters Marines T-shirt

This is our little guy, Henry. He is 2 months old and the sweetest baby! His dad served as a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps from '90-'99. Our 14 year old is also currently a recruit with Young Marines. I also attached a picture of my 5 year old in her sister's Marines shirt. Our kids like "playing Marines" and we strive to instill in them the values of the Corps. Ooorah!

Danielle Vincent

Get your infant Devil Pup squared away at:

Semper Fi Little Guy Black / Red Body Suit

Semper Fi Little Guy Black / Red Body Suit


Mistakenly Listed As A Deserter

Sgt. Grit,

I can more than understand GySgt McMahon's frustration over not getting promoted. I made Sgt. in '69 while still attached to hospital following being med-evaced in Feb. '68. Due to doctor evaluations, I was told to either change MOS from 0311 to desk job or be forced out because the doctor told me he would not fudge my "fit for full duty" unless I did. I went over to 02 and found out that promotions came pretty slow in the intelligence MOS. Still I stuck it out, extending, then re-uping, and always hoping for promotion to staff each year following. It never happened and I was never given a real reason as to why. Finally, after 8 years in, 5 years a Sergeant, and with a family, I reluctantly figured I should leave the Corps. Still, I wanted to know why I had always been passed over. So, I made the trip to DC to see just what was in my book and what their main complaint was at HQ. I found out that I had been mistakenly listed as a deserter in '68 and that the paperwork was flagged at every promotion board - red ink all over that book. I went in to see the Sergeant Major of the Corps with the book. He looked it over, apologized, tore out the bad papers, and assured me I would make staff on the next go around. I had to inform him that I was getting out in a week and that I had a new house and civilian job waiting for me. And so, I left the Corps. Well, my life has worked out fine, really, with two college degrees and a good career. However, I have always regretted the way things worked out, and like so many others my age now, I wish my fate had been to finish my Marine Corps career to retirement.

Thomas Moore
Sergeant - 1/6, 2/4, then 0241 Intel​


Camp Fuji, 1960

Photos of Camp Fuji

Grit,

In previous newsletters, Camp Fuji has been discussed. I came across some photos taken there in 1960. My time in HQ-4-12, Camp Hague, Okinawa, included two trips to Fuji, one in August and one in Dec. 4-12 did live-fire exercises there with the 105's. The top 2 photos are in Aug., note no snow on Mt. Fuji. Also note the Japanese meatball flying alongside Old Glory. The next picture is of yours truly, sleeping off a hard night of liberty in Tomaho and Gotemba. We lived in 8 or 10-man tents, can't remember which, and our sleeping arrangements consisted of a fold-up cot, rubber air mattress, and sleeping bag. There was no need of brooms for housekeeping, just a rake, as the floor of the tents was volcanic ash and sand. Very easy to keep tidy. The next picture was taken the day we arrived in Dec. Note the snow on Fuji. We were issued (2) green wool long-sleeved shirts, and a parka hood that fastened onto our field jackets. They had some kind of fur around the edges, and were quite warm.

The first few days in camp were a frenzy of putting up tents, stringing wire, establishing the comm. center and fire control center, etc. After that things calmed down and were fairly routine. The last picture is of the LST Tom Green Cty., loading us up for the return trip to Okinawa. The Tom Green was based out of Yokusuka, and was the local taxi, shuttling troops all over westpac. Overall, living was good at Camp Fuji, but it was always good to get back home to our humble Quonset huts at Camp Hague.

Paul Lindner
Cpl. 1959-1963​


Marines Applique Fleece Crew Heavyweight Sweatshirt


Marine CID In DaNang

CID Marine guard shack in DaNang

Bombed out French villa in DaNang

The III MAF, I CORPS.

MARINE CID (crimnal investigation division) BILLET, Danang RVN-DocLop Street. Jan-Feb 1969...Bombed out French Villa...

Home Sweet Home...

Sgt. Raymond L. Mirabile
2067xxx


Images Of DaNang Part 3

Getting stormy fix the helicopters DaNang

Grocery deliver DaNang

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


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BAR Qualification

BAR Qualification: Sometime between '60-'62 while serving in Weapons Platoon (0351 Rockets) all Battalion Marines went to a firing range at Pendleton and qualified with a BAR even though only the Squad Barman in the Company carried a BAR. They did score us on different range distances and loading/firing of extra magazines. I qualified Sharpshooter with the BAR. However, the BAR Sharpshooter qualification was never officially recognized in my records nor were we authorized to wear any badges or a BAR ladder on our Rifle badges. I don't remember if we were ever given any rationale as to why all the Battalion Marines had to qualify with a BAR other than familiarization with the automatic rifle. Soon thereafter the BAR was replaced with a fully automatic M-14.

L/Cpl DL Rupper '60-'64
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Sorry About That

I have no idea how the majority of combat vets feel about people thanking them for their service, but personally, I find it annoying at best and absurd at worst. I read an article in the New York Times a few days ago titled "Please Don't Thank me For My Service" that gave me a better understanding of my reaction. The article began with an experience of a veteran of Afghanistan:

HUNTER GARTH was in a gunfight for his life — and about to lose. He and seven other Marines were huddled in a mud hut, their only refuge after they walked into an ambush in Trek Nawa, a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Down to his last 15 bullets, one buddy already terribly wounded, Mr. Garth pulled off his helmet, smoked a cheap Afghan cigarette, and "came to terms with what was happening."

"I'm going to die here with my best friends," he recalled thinking.

The author of the article knew nothing of Mr. Garth's background when they met, but after learning he had served in Afghanistan thanked him for his service. When Mr. Garth replied, "No problem," he could see that there was a problem and asked him about it. This is what he learned:

Mr. Garth, 26, said that when he gets thanked it can feel self-serving for the thankers, suggesting that he did it for them, and that they somehow understand the sacrifice, night terrors, feelings of loss and bewilderment. Or don't think about it at all.

"I pulled the trigger," he said. "You didn't. Don't take that away from me."

Like I said, it really strikes me as absurd when someone learns I'm a Vietnam vet and thanks me for my service. I'd just as soon they be honest and say, "Oh, you served in Vietnam? Sorry about that."

Of course, there are exceptions--namely, when those words are uttered by fellow vets. For instance, back in 1979, after reading Jim Webb's great novel, "Fields of Fire", I wrote to Mr. Webb and thanked him profusely for writing a novel that mirrored my own experience--even down to the same TAOR. I received a reply which I will always treasure. It ended with these words, which pretty much explain why I regard "Thank you for your service" from non-veterans annoying and absurd:

"And thanks for your time in the Nam--it was such a f-cking intellectual gig for 99% of this country, and it's nice to bump into people who put their azs on the line instead of their ego. Best, Jim Webb"

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


So Am I

I spent 1965 in school at MCRD to be a Radio Relay tech, then the Corps sent me to the 10th Marines--with no RR gear. I was with Golf Battery, which was scheduled for a six-month deployment to the Caribbean. I ducked that; I volunteered for Vietnam. When they told me they had no orders, I requested mast with the Regimental Colonel to ask for orders, a right every Marine has. In theory, you could request mast with the President, though it might take a while, and it better be important! So I got orders for Vietnam. My parents were not too pleased. Neither was the battery--so they sent me on mess duty to Little Creek for the Reserves. Not too bad--good liberty in Virginia Beach. Back at Lejeune, I discovered I'd been promoted to Corporal. I think the CO must have thought if I was nuts enough to volunteer for Nam, I deserved a stripe. I was suddenly an NCO, which meant something in those days. There was a huge difference in the way you were treated, and Corporals and Sergeants still had authority. I went on leave. My buddy Charlie, whose Dad fought in Europe in WWII as a Sergeant, was impressed—or maybe amazed. "You're a frigging non-com," he said. Not a term we Marines use, but I was proud. So I am a Vietnam vet, though I had a LOT easier tour than most grunts. (My highest personal decoration is a richly-undeserved Good Conduct Medal.) A few rockets and mortars, but no firefights. (Let me tell you how I won the National Defense Medal! Ha!)...

In 2008 I was managing a doctors' association. At a reception, one of the docs was inveighing against a politician. "I'm a Vietnam Vet, you know," he said to validate his opinions about defense policy. "So am I," I said, "Where in Vietnam were you?" His face got red, "Well, I was at Great Lakes as a Navy doctor; I'm a Vietnam Era Veteran." He suddenly found he had business elsewhere. And we have a US Senator who made much of being a "Vietnam Vet" until called out and he had to add the "era" to his resume.

I can't tell folks what to do. But I don't think if I had spent 2001-2005 handing out rubber ladies in supply at Lejeune I'd tell people that I was an Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran, though I'd be proud of my service.

Robert A. Hall,
Once a SSgt, Still a Marine


This Week In Marine Corps History

First Marine landing on hostile shores in the Bahamas.

First Marine landing on hostile shores of Bahamas


The Senior Junior NCO

E-5 for nine years! Hell! You're a newbie, Gunny.

Got back from Nam and was assigned to Charlie Company, 13th Motor Transport Battalion, 5th MarDiv, Pendleton. Charlie Company was nothing more than a transition point for 17 year-old Marines to turn 18 and be given their orders to Nam as a "Birthday Present".

The entire strength of the Company at its highest was 67 Marines. That included the CO and the First Sergeant, an old "China Marine" (who, by the way, saved me from a "fate worser'n death" when I got engaged to a local babe and he had me transferred out).

Anyway, let me tell you about Corporal Grant. Grant had almost 19 years in the Corps. When I met him, he had made Sergeant four times and Corporal five. He once told me he hated the idea of the responsibilities of being a Sergeant.

Well, once again, because of time in grade and length of service, Grant went before the Promotion Board. An exemplary Marine, he was once again promoted to Sergeant. That evening, Sergeant Grant invited me and a few other junior NCO's out to celebrate in Oceanside.

When I left him at about 2200, Grant was already almost at full sail. The next morning he wasn't present at formation. Top contacted some Staff NCO's buddies of his and they went out into town and brought Grant back.

Long story made short, that afternoon I became the senior junior NCO to Corporal Grant.

Jerry "Ski" Czarnowski
Sgt '65-'69


Never Say Never

In the 28 Feb 2015 Newsletter, there were comments about what are (allegedly) my errors related to uniforms and qualification badges. Permit me to clarify:

James Merl reports the use of stenciled chevrons on utilities stopped "... long before 1959 ..." citing his enlistment in 1957 and recalls seeing the metal collar chevrons being worn simultaneously with jackets bearing stenciled chevrons.

My reference to the M1953 HBT utility uniform illustrated this was the final uniform to use the stenciled sleeve chevron and, after 1 Jan 1959, the stencils were no longer authorized by HQMC. The Transitional/Acting NCO ranks - using the 1-1/8" wide black metal screw-back chevrons without crossed rifles - were phased starting late 1956 and officially in place by 1 Jan 59, ending in mid-1962. I have seen numerous dated photos throughout these periods, showing Marines with either the metal or stenciled ranks and with both displayed together.

In theory, until 31 December 1958, Marines could still "officially" stencil chevrons on the jacket sleeves. However, it was foolish to do so on new uniforms because the item would be declared obsolete on 1 Jan 1959 and a new jacket must then be purchased. I believe this explains the observations of Marine Merl in 1957.

Mr. Ddick believes I mistakenly confused USMC qualification badges with "some Army badges", commenting there was "no BAR course" (that he recalls) and thus no BAR ladder device. I accept my error because I used the terms BAR and Browning Automatic Rifle; I should have used 'Auto-Rifle' to be proper although, in USMC lexicon of the day, these are synonymous.

The USMC Uniform Regulations of 1937 (when the Basic Badge was first authorized) displays the following weapons qualifications, each with Expert and Sharpshooter classifications:

Pistol (at that time, there was no separate badge as for the service rifle), Auto-Rifle (that's the BAR, folks), Mach. Gun (the light/heavy .30 caliber machine gun), Howitzer, T.S.M.G. (Thompson Submachine Gun), Bayonet (gasp!), Rifle-D (Reserves; also has a MM class), and Small Bore (.22 caliber).

By 1942-43 (WWII), there were additional bars for D-Arty and L-Arty (artillery). There are rumors of a qual bar - I've never seen one or documentation - for the 2.36" rocket launcher (aka 'bazooka') later in the war. Prior to 1937 the Marines used Army-style shooting badges, often at the same time as the USMC badges, and I have viewed many photos to confirm this, some dating to late 1941.

The actual qualification courses of fire for the above weapons have been problematic to locate but some WWII vets can probably enlighten us. I'd love to know how one scored 'Expert' with a bayonet... I'd hate to 'pull b-tts' on that range (or for the flamethrower or grenade, either).

For the Expert Rifle badge with crossed M1903 rifles (and, later, the M1 Garand), there was a suspended Requalification bar with engraved dates. The latest date I've seen engraved is 1959-60 but no documentation as to when HQMC declared these bars obsolete. Ddick is correct that the old style Marksman badge was a single silver bar, not with a suspended 'target' (pizza box) as the one used today.

With all due respect, just because we didn't fire a certain qualification course, wear a badge, chevron or device, or see anyone else do it, that doesn't mean it never happened in another clime, time or place, or even simultaneous to our own time of service. Never say never, especially where the Marines are involved.

Semper Fi,
C. Stoney Brook
0811/0844
1961-65​


Did They Stand Out

I enjoyed your last newsletter and found several topics that I would like to respond to.

Regarding rank structure. The change in rank structure went into effect on January 1, 1959. A Marine had until January 1, 1963 to attain the next rank or revert back to the lower one. I was well versed on this subject by a Sergeant E-4 that I served with at NAS Atsugi, Japan in 1961 and 1962. This Sergeant was a Korean War veteran and was concerned that he would not make E-5 and would no longer be a Sergeant. At that time he was the most muscular man I had ever seen. He spoke with a stutter that became really pronounced when he was excited. This guy was a good man, but not very bright and it was evident that he was not going to make E-5 and would probably be discharged. His physical appearance was excellent. The Sergeant was one squared away Marine in his starched herringbone twill utilities including the cover. I really liked the old HBT cover and I really wanted one.

I joined the Corps just a few weeks after I turned seventeen. It was the summer of 1960 and we traveled by train from New Orleans to San Diego. We were a large group and had almost enough people to form a platoon with most of the recruits coming from Louisiana and east Texas. The trip took three days.

I had been at MCRD San Diego less than a week when I, too, suffered a stress fracture in one of my legs. It was so severe that I could not lift that leg. I was sent to the hospital at Balboa and the leg was placed in a full length cast. From there I was sent to the casual company, which was anything but. I was there for 8 weeks or more before I was returned to training. This time with Platoon 363 which was starting the boot camp cycle that day. Most of these recruits hailed from the midwest with many being from Michigan and Iowa. I was the only southerner in the platoon.

In regard to the capture of the Russian made 122mm artillery pieces mentioned by S.R. Van Tyle. These weapons were seized by a platoon from Charlie 1/9 led by Lieutenant Archie Biggers who earned the Silver Star that day. This incident is covered in my recent book, Marines, Medals and Vietnam.

I agree with James Merl that Greens are a much better looking uniform than Blues. During my time in the Corps I never knew another Marine who owned a set of Blues. I certainly never saw anyone that I knew wearing them. I had the privilege of attending the Sunset Parade at 8th & I a few years back and sitting near me in the stands was a platoon of Marines dressed in Greens and all wearing P-sscutters. Man! Did they stand out. I still have my Greens which consists of a blouse, Ike jacket and an overcoat. All are made of wool.

The article about Daniel Brophy does not mention that he earned the Silver Star for bravery on February 29, 1969. His name also appears on a listing of Marines who earned this medal in the previously mentioned book.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
1960-64​


Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock

Sgt. Grit,

Here is some facts compiled from several articles on the Intenet.

This is a gentleman who just watched a video of Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock:

I just finished watching this video about 20 minutes ago and was totally enthralled with Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock as he talked about some of his more notable exploits during the Vietnam War and his skills as arguably the single greatest sniper in American military history with 93 confirmed kills and over 300 probable kills and a bounty of over $30,000.00 on his head. Sure there are other snipers with more confirmed kills, but none, and I mean NONE have had the exploits that Carlos Hathcock has, in his (3) years in Vietnam, nor have they done some of the truly remarkable things that he has done. In one of the articles, Gy/Sgt. Hathcock stated that the reason he had a low number of kills was because he preferred to go on missions by himself - if anything went wrong no one else would be killed. The longest sniper kill shot of 2500 yards (almost 1.5 miles), one kill shot through the enemies sniper's scope. With quite possibly the notable exception of U.S. Army Sniper Chuck Mawhinney with a record of 103 confirmed kills. Even the current record holder of 160 confirmed kills, Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History) admits that he doesn't hold a candle to the legend himself, Marine Corps Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock. When Kyle was asked who was the man who he thinks is the greatest sniper of all-time. If you're wondering who that person is, it's Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, the U.S. Marine sniper who tallied 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War (It was also reported, for the record, that Hathcock had a total of about 300 kills - 207 unconfirmed). Kyle, a very humble man according to those who knew him, tells Conan that he believes Hathcock was the best sniper ever.

Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock trained Navy Seals Team 6 Snipers... "I have more confirmed kills than [Hathcock] does, that doesn't mean I'm better than he is," said Kyle. "I was just put in a position where I had more opportunities." For the record, Kyle accumulated 160 confirmed kills during his career, which included deployments to such hotbeds as Ramadi and Fallujah.

There were (3) movies made with Tom Berenger: Sniper - Sniper II & Sniper 3, supposedly telling the exploits of GySgt. Hathcock before and after the Nam.

Respectfully Submitted - for your next News Letter,

"Semper-Fi"
Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder, USMC/Ret.


Marine Corps League Rifle Team

Marine Corps League Rifle Team

Semper Fi Marines!


Did Away With The Complexities

Fellow Marine Klein,

The manual you want to view can be accessed at:

The Landing Party Manual 1950

Only Chapter 2 regards drill. The LPM was written to give some guidance to US Navy personnel aboard ships to cover the situations when they would have to go ashore in a possible combatant situation and there were no Marines on the ship. It covers basic military maneuvers ashore.

You (and I) started with the Eight Man Squad Drill, where every man had a different movement, depending upon which position in the 8-man squad he had - Two ranks of 4 men each. Each movement required a different combination of steps and each position had to memorize each one and that of the others in case you had to move to another position. I used to have a mimeographed copy of the Eight Man, but no longer can find it (probably a good thing). I remember that the number 1 or number 4 man, depending upon which way a turning movement was made, was the "pivot man", and everyone else had to make a movement around the pivot.

I think when Shoup came in as CMC in 1960, he did away with the complexities of the Eight Man Squad Drill and implemented the LPM (doing away with the Eight Man and other accessories like the swagger stick and gloves, etc. - by the way, I still have my swagger stick as I had to buy one just before Shoup became CMC). The LPM, with three squads of variable numbers of men/women was more adaptable and much, much easier to teach and learn, leaving more time to teach important things like marksmanship, etc.

One of the important things of the LPM drill was that it allowed (finally) three squads of 13 (or less, depending upon manning level) to march as a unit. With the 8-man, a thirteen man squad was split and the Squad Leader did not even have an intact squad. The LPM also allowed units that did not have a 13-man squad, like many support units, to be able to look like Marines without going through the repetitive practice that the 8-man required. Plus, Corpsmen and other Navy personnel attached to Marine units could easily fit into the units for parades, etc.

Good to hear from someone who is in my era and still alive and kicking!

Semper Fi,
Hal Gosnell​


Sold Out

Sold Out book cover

Attn fans of Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy! You don't want to miss the break-out, Marine Sniper Thriller written by Stan R. Mitchell.

Get this book at "Sold Out".

​Thanks,
Stan R. Mitchell, Author
Website: http://stanrmitchell.com


Images From Gazette

Marines on the USS Wasp in 1814

Marines protecting Capt Perry in Africa 1843

I am trying to obtain some info on pictures from WWII Illustrators John Clymer & Tom Lovell who worked for the Marine Corps Gazette Magazine. They had done covers for the magazine in 1944-45 that were in turn available as prints to the magazine readers as a set of 8. (I have 6 of them) The set cost $1 at the time and were available "until the supply is exhausted". They included -- the Korean incident, the Florida war, the Boxer Rebellion, apprehending seal poachers, the flag goes up on Mt. Suribachi. I am wondering if you are familiar with these. I have inquired to the Gazette Editorial Office, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and neither have any info as to what these might be worth as collectible items. I have no idea how many remain or how rare they are or are not. I have attached some scans of them.

These were my fathers, who is a WWII Marine Corps veteran and 95 yrs old! Can anyone provide me with more info or possibly tell me what they might be worth as collectible items?

Thank you for any help you can give.

Doreen Apgar


Lost and Found

I graduated from PI in 4 December 1956 with platoon 293 from NYC and I served on the USS Randolph (CVA15) from March 1957 to August 1958 in the Marine Detachment. Anyone from those two duty stations still around? I would like to hear from them. (esp. Tom Cooper and Mike Camp.)

Tony Beyer 1626XXX
Email: Abeyer65[at]optonline.net
Thanks for the space Sgt. Grit.


Reunions

USS Wasp Marine Detachment CVS-18

Where: Quantico, VA
When: Aug.20 – 23, 2015
Hotel: Ramada Inn, Triangle, VA. Rt.95 exit 150A

Contact info: Joe Looker
E-mail: jsphlooker[at]aol.com

Semper Fi,
Sgt. J.P.Looker '65-'69


Short Rounds

I served with 1/5 aboard the USS Princeton LPH-5 Mar66-May66. HMM-163 was the squadron aboard ship to take us to all those hot vacation spots.

Cpl Bill Allen
'64-'70
RVN '66


Grit,

Be advised, you have an outstanding employee that works in your customs dept whose name is Cherish Mahaffey... She took the time to write a personal note thanking me for my service and she hoped I liked the shirt that I purchased. I am well satisfied with the shirt and In answer to her "Thank you for your service" I would like to reply that "you were well worth it".Please pass that on to her for me... She made an "old jarhead" happy...

On a side note... If it was 46 years ago (1969) I would jump on a chopper over at 1st MarDiv and if memory serves me correctly, in less than 30 minutes we could have been having a beer at the Marble mountain or Monkey mountain slop chute...

Semper Fi Grit,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret​


Quotes

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


"Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]​


​"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."
--General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946


"Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart."
--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson


"There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."
--Major General Smedley Butler, War Is a Racket [1935]


"You peoople, think we are gonna ease up on you? Well, you all are in for a big surprise!"

"Good Night Ladies... Good Morning Girls!"

"The most ferocious fighting force the world has ever seen is a 19-year-old p-ssed-off Marine."

"Stand by to stand by!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit​

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 05 MAR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 05 MAR 2015

In this issue:
• Mistakenly Listed As A Deserter
• Sorry About That
• The Senior Junior NCO

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This is our little guy, Henry. He is 2 months old and the sweetest baby! His dad served as a Staff Sergeant in the Marine Corps from '90-'99. Our 14 year old is also currently a recruit with Young Marines. I also attached a picture of my 5 year old in her sister's Marines shirt. Our kids like "playing Marines" and we strive to instill in them the values of the Corps. Ooorah!

Danielle Vincent

Get your infant Devil Pup squared away at:

Semper Fi Little Guy Black / Red Body Suit


Mistakenly Listed As A Deserter

Sgt. Grit,

I can more than understand GySgt McMahon's frustration over not getting promoted. I made Sgt. in '69 while still attached to hospital following being med-evaced in Feb. '68. Due to doctor evaluations, I was told to either change MOS from 0311 to desk job or be forced out because the doctor told me he would not fudge my "fit for full duty" unless I did. I went over to 02 and found out that promotions came pretty slow in the intelligence MOS. Still I stuck it out, extending, then re-uping, and always hoping for promotion to staff each year following. It never happened and I was never given a real reason as to why. Finally, after 8 years in, 5 years a Sergeant, and with a family, I reluctantly figured I should leave the Corps. Still, I wanted to know why I had always been passed over. So, I made the trip to DC to see just what was in my book and what their main complaint was at HQ. I found out that I had been mistakenly listed as a deserter in '68 and that the paperwork was flagged at every promotion board - red ink all over that book. I went in to see the Sergeant Major of the Corps with the book. He looked it over, apologized, tore out the bad papers, and assured me I would make staff on the next go around. I had to inform him that I was getting out in a week and that I had a new house and civilian job waiting for me. And so, I left the Corps. Well, my life has worked out fine, really, with two college degrees and a good career. However, I have always regretted the way things worked out, and like so many others my age now, I wish my fate had been to finish my Marine Corps career to retirement.

Thomas Moore
Sergeant - 1/6, 2/4, then 0241 Intel​


Camp Fuji, 1960

Grit,

In previous newsletters, Camp Fuji has been discussed. I came across some photos taken there in 1960. My time in HQ-4-12, Camp Hague, Okinawa, included two trips to Fuji, one in August and one in Dec. 4-12 did live-fire exercises there with the 105's. The top 2 photos are in Aug., note no snow on Mt. Fuji. Also note the Japanese meatball flying alongside Old Glory. The next picture is of yours truly, sleeping off a hard night of liberty in Tomaho and Gotemba. We lived in 8 or 10-man tents, can't remember which, and our sleeping arrangements consisted of a fold-up cot, rubber air mattress, and sleeping bag. There was no need of brooms for housekeeping, just a rake, as the floor of the tents was volcanic ash and sand. Very easy to keep tidy. The next picture was taken the day we arrived in Dec. Note the snow on Fuji. We were issued (2) green wool long-sleeved shirts, and a parka hood that fastened onto our field jackets. They had some kind of fur around the edges, and were quite warm.

The first few days in camp were a frenzy of putting up tents, stringing wire, establishing the comm. center and fire control center, etc. After that things calmed down and were fairly routine. The last picture is of the LST Tom Green Cty., loading us up for the return trip to Okinawa. The Tom Green was based out of Yokusuka, and was the local taxi, shuttling troops all over westpac. Overall, living was good at Camp Fuji, but it was always good to get back home to our humble Quonset huts at Camp Hague.

Paul Lindner
Cpl. 1959-1963​


Marine CID In DaNang

The III MAF, I CORPS.

MARINE CID (crimnal investigation division) BILLET, Danang RVN-DocLop Street. Jan-Feb 1969...Bombed out French Villa...

Home Sweet Home...

Sgt. Raymond L. Mirabile
2067xxx


Images Of DaNang Part 3

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


BAR Qualification

BAR Qualification: Sometime between '60-'62 while serving in Weapons Platoon (0351 Rockets) all Battalion Marines went to a firing range at Pendleton and qualified with a BAR even though only the Squad Barman in the Company carried a BAR. They did score us on different range distances and loading/firing of extra magazines. I qualified Sharpshooter with the BAR. However, the BAR Sharpshooter qualification was never officially recognized in my records nor were we authorized to wear any badges or a BAR ladder on our Rifle badges. I don't remember if we were ever given any rationale as to why all the Battalion Marines had to qualify with a BAR other than familiarization with the automatic rifle. Soon thereafter the BAR was replaced with a fully automatic M-14.

L/Cpl DL Rupper '60-'64
1/5, 1/9, 2/1, 1st Recon Bn


Sorry About That

I have no idea how the majority of combat vets feel about people thanking them for their service, but personally, I find it annoying at best and absurd at worst. I read an article in the New York Times a few days ago titled "Please Don't Thank me For My Service" that gave me a better understanding of my reaction. The article began with an experience of a veteran of Afghanistan:

HUNTER GARTH was in a gunfight for his life — and about to lose. He and seven other Marines were huddled in a mud hut, their only refuge after they walked into an ambush in Trek Nawa, a Taliban stronghold in Afghanistan. Down to his last 15 bullets, one buddy already terribly wounded, Mr. Garth pulled off his helmet, smoked a cheap Afghan cigarette, and "came to terms with what was happening."

"I'm going to die here with my best friends," he recalled thinking.

The author of the article knew nothing of Mr. Garth's background when they met, but after learning he had served in Afghanistan thanked him for his service. When Mr. Garth replied, "No problem," he could see that there was a problem and asked him about it. This is what he learned:

Mr. Garth, 26, said that when he gets thanked it can feel self-serving for the thankers, suggesting that he did it for them, and that they somehow understand the sacrifice, night terrors, feelings of loss and bewilderment. Or don't think about it at all.

"I pulled the trigger," he said. "You didn't. Don't take that away from me."

Like I said, it really strikes me as absurd when someone learns I'm a Vietnam vet and thanks me for my service. I'd just as soon they be honest and say, "Oh, you served in Vietnam? Sorry about that."

Of course, there are exceptions--namely, when those words are uttered by fellow vets. For instance, back in 1979, after reading Jim Webb's great novel, "Fields of Fire", I wrote to Mr. Webb and thanked him profusely for writing a novel that mirrored my own experience--even down to the same TAOR. I received a reply which I will always treasure. It ended with these words, which pretty much explain why I regard "Thank you for your service" from non-veterans annoying and absurd:

"And thanks for your time in the Nam--it was such a f-cking intellectual gig for 99% of this country, and it's nice to bump into people who put their azs on the line instead of their ego. Best, Jim Webb"

Semper Fidelis,
Gary Harlan
Sergeant of Marines


So Am I

I spent 1965 in school at MCRD to be a Radio Relay tech, then the Corps sent me to the 10th Marines--with no RR gear. I was with Golf Battery, which was scheduled for a six-month deployment to the Caribbean. I ducked that; I volunteered for Vietnam. When they told me they had no orders, I requested mast with the Regimental Colonel to ask for orders, a right every Marine has. In theory, you could request mast with the President, though it might take a while, and it better be important! So I got orders for Vietnam. My parents were not too pleased. Neither was the battery--so they sent me on mess duty to Little Creek for the Reserves. Not too bad--good liberty in Virginia Beach. Back at Lejeune, I discovered I'd been promoted to Corporal. I think the CO must have thought if I was nuts enough to volunteer for Nam, I deserved a stripe. I was suddenly an NCO, which meant something in those days. There was a huge difference in the way you were treated, and Corporals and Sergeants still had authority. I went on leave. My buddy Charlie, whose Dad fought in Europe in WWII as a Sergeant, was impressed—or maybe amazed. "You're a frigging non-com," he said. Not a term we Marines use, but I was proud. So I am a Vietnam vet, though I had a LOT easier tour than most grunts. (My highest personal decoration is a richly-undeserved Good Conduct Medal.) A few rockets and mortars, but no firefights. (Let me tell you how I won the National Defense Medal! Ha!)...

In 2008 I was managing a doctors' association. At a reception, one of the docs was inveighing against a politician. "I'm a Vietnam Vet, you know," he said to validate his opinions about defense policy. "So am I," I said, "Where in Vietnam were you?" His face got red, "Well, I was at Great Lakes as a Navy doctor; I'm a Vietnam Era Veteran." He suddenly found he had business elsewhere. And we have a US Senator who made much of being a "Vietnam Vet" until called out and he had to add the "era" to his resume.

I can't tell folks what to do. But I don't think if I had spent 2001-2005 handing out rubber ladies in supply at Lejeune I'd tell people that I was an Iraq and Afghanistan War Veteran, though I'd be proud of my service.

Robert A. Hall,
Once a SSgt, Still a Marine


The Senior Junior NCO

E-5 for nine years! Hell! You're a newbie, Gunny.

Got back from Nam and was assigned to Charlie Company, 13th Motor Transport Battalion, 5th MarDiv, Pendleton. Charlie Company was nothing more than a transition point for 17 year-old Marines to turn 18 and be given their orders to Nam as a "Birthday Present".

The entire strength of the Company at its highest was 67 Marines. That included the CO and the First Sergeant, an old "China Marine" (who, by the way, saved me from a "fate worser'n death" when I got engaged to a local babe and he had me transferred out).

Anyway, let me tell you about Corporal Grant. Grant had almost 19 years in the Corps. When I met him, he had made Sergeant four times and Corporal five. He once told me he hated the idea of the responsibilities of being a Sergeant.

Well, once again, because of time in grade and length of service, Grant went before the Promotion Board. An exemplary Marine, he was once again promoted to Sergeant. That evening, Sergeant Grant invited me and a few other junior NCO's out to celebrate in Oceanside.

When I left him at about 2200, Grant was already almost at full sail. The next morning he wasn't present at formation. Top contacted some Staff NCO's buddies of his and they went out into town and brought Grant back.

Long story made short, that afternoon I became the senior junior NCO to Corporal Grant.

Jerry "Ski" Czarnowski
Sgt '65-'69


Never Say Never

In the 28 Feb 2015 Newsletter, there were comments about what are (allegedly) my errors related to uniforms and qualification badges. Permit me to clarify:

James Merl reports the use of stenciled chevrons on utilities stopped "... long before 1959 ..." citing his enlistment in 1957 and recalls seeing the metal collar chevrons being worn simultaneously with jackets bearing stenciled chevrons.

My reference to the M1953 HBT utility uniform illustrated this was the final uniform to use the stenciled sleeve chevron and, after 1 Jan 1959, the stencils were no longer authorized by HQMC. The Transitional/Acting NCO ranks - using the 1-1/8" wide black metal screw-back chevrons without crossed rifles - were phased starting late 1956 and officially in place by 1 Jan 59, ending in mid-1962. I have seen numerous dated photos throughout these periods, showing Marines with either the metal or stenciled ranks and with both displayed together.

In theory, until 31 December 1958, Marines could still "officially" stencil chevrons on the jacket sleeves. However, it was foolish to do so on new uniforms because the item would be declared obsolete on 1 Jan 1959 and a new jacket must then be purchased. I believe this explains the observations of Marine Merl in 1957.

Mr. Ddick believes I mistakenly confused USMC qualification badges with "some Army badges", commenting there was "no BAR course" (that he recalls) and thus no BAR ladder device. I accept my error because I used the terms BAR and Browning Automatic Rifle; I should have used 'Auto-Rifle' to be proper although, in USMC lexicon of the day, these are synonymous.

The USMC Uniform Regulations of 1937 (when the Basic Badge was first authorized) displays the following weapons qualifications, each with Expert and Sharpshooter classifications:

Pistol (at that time, there was no separate badge as for the service rifle), Auto-Rifle (that's the BAR, folks), Mach. Gun (the light/heavy .30 caliber machine gun), Howitzer, T.S.M.G. (Thompson Submachine Gun), Bayonet (gasp!), Rifle-D (Reserves; also has a MM class), and Small Bore (.22 caliber).

By 1942-43 (WWII), there were additional bars for D-Arty and L-Arty (artillery). There are rumors of a qual bar - I've never seen one or documentation - for the 2.36" rocket launcher (aka 'bazooka') later in the war. Prior to 1937 the Marines used Army-style shooting badges, often at the same time as the USMC badges, and I have viewed many photos to confirm this, some dating to late 1941.

The actual qualification courses of fire for the above weapons have been problematic to locate but some WWII vets can probably enlighten us. I'd love to know how one scored 'Expert' with a bayonet... I'd hate to 'pull b-tts' on that range (or for the flamethrower or grenade, either).

For the Expert Rifle badge with crossed M1903 rifles (and, later, the M1 Garand), there was a suspended Requalification bar with engraved dates. The latest date I've seen engraved is 1959-60 but no documentation as to when HQMC declared these bars obsolete. Ddick is correct that the old style Marksman badge was a single silver bar, not with a suspended 'target' (pizza box) as the one used today.

With all due respect, just because we didn't fire a certain qualification course, wear a badge, chevron or device, or see anyone else do it, that doesn't mean it never happened in another clime, time or place, or even simultaneous to our own time of service. Never say never, especially where the Marines are involved.

Semper Fi,
C. Stoney Brook
0811/0844
1961-65​


Did They Stand Out

I enjoyed your last newsletter and found several topics that I would like to respond to.

Regarding rank structure. The change in rank structure went into effect on January 1, 1959. A Marine had until January 1, 1963 to attain the next rank or revert back to the lower one. I was well versed on this subject by a Sergeant E-4 that I served with at NAS Atsugi, Japan in 1961 and 1962. This Sergeant was a Korean War veteran and was concerned that he would not make E-5 and would no longer be a Sergeant. At that time he was the most muscular man I had ever seen. He spoke with a stutter that became really pronounced when he was excited. This guy was a good man, but not very bright and it was evident that he was not going to make E-5 and would probably be discharged. His physical appearance was excellent. The Sergeant was one squared away Marine in his starched herringbone twill utilities including the cover. I really liked the old HBT cover and I really wanted one.

I joined the Corps just a few weeks after I turned seventeen. It was the summer of 1960 and we traveled by train from New Orleans to San Diego. We were a large group and had almost enough people to form a platoon with most of the recruits coming from Louisiana and east Texas. The trip took three days.

I had been at MCRD San Diego less than a week when I, too, suffered a stress fracture in one of my legs. It was so severe that I could not lift that leg. I was sent to the hospital at Balboa and the leg was placed in a full length cast. From there I was sent to the casual company, which was anything but. I was there for 8 weeks or more before I was returned to training. This time with Platoon 363 which was starting the boot camp cycle that day. Most of these recruits hailed from the midwest with many being from Michigan and Iowa. I was the only southerner in the platoon.

In regard to the capture of the Russian made 122mm artillery pieces mentioned by S.R. Van Tyle. These weapons were seized by a platoon from Charlie 1/9 led by Lieutenant Archie Biggers who earned the Silver Star that day. This incident is covered in my recent book, Marines, Medals and Vietnam.

I agree with James Merl that Greens are a much better looking uniform than Blues. During my time in the Corps I never knew another Marine who owned a set of Blues. I certainly never saw anyone that I knew wearing them. I had the privilege of attending the Sunset Parade at 8th & I a few years back and sitting near me in the stands was a platoon of Marines dressed in Greens and all wearing P-sscutters. Man! Did they stand out. I still have my Greens which consists of a blouse, Ike jacket and an overcoat. All are made of wool.

The article about Daniel Brophy does not mention that he earned the Silver Star for bravery on February 29, 1969. His name also appears on a listing of Marines who earned this medal in the previously mentioned book.

Semper Fidelis!
Billy Myers
1960-64​


Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock

Sgt. Grit,

Here is some facts compiled from several articles on the Intenet.

This is a gentleman who just watched a video of Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock:

I just finished watching this video about 20 minutes ago and was totally enthralled with Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock as he talked about some of his more notable exploits during the Vietnam War and his skills as arguably the single greatest sniper in American military history with 93 confirmed kills and over 300 probable kills and a bounty of over $30,000.00 on his head. Sure there are other snipers with more confirmed kills, but none, and I mean NONE have had the exploits that Carlos Hathcock has, in his (3) years in Vietnam, nor have they done some of the truly remarkable things that he has done. In one of the articles, Gy/Sgt. Hathcock stated that the reason he had a low number of kills was because he preferred to go on missions by himself - if anything went wrong no one else would be killed. The longest sniper kill shot of 2500 yards (almost 1.5 miles), one kill shot through the enemies sniper's scope. With quite possibly the notable exception of U.S. Army Sniper Chuck Mawhinney with a record of 103 confirmed kills. Even the current record holder of 160 confirmed kills, Chris Kyle (American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History) admits that he doesn't hold a candle to the legend himself, Marine Corps Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock. When Kyle was asked who was the man who he thinks is the greatest sniper of all-time. If you're wondering who that person is, it's Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock, the U.S. Marine sniper who tallied 93 confirmed kills during the Vietnam War (It was also reported, for the record, that Hathcock had a total of about 300 kills - 207 unconfirmed). Kyle, a very humble man according to those who knew him, tells Conan that he believes Hathcock was the best sniper ever.

Gy/Sgt. Carlos Hathcock trained Navy Seals Team 6 Snipers... "I have more confirmed kills than [Hathcock] does, that doesn't mean I'm better than he is," said Kyle. "I was just put in a position where I had more opportunities." For the record, Kyle accumulated 160 confirmed kills during his career, which included deployments to such hotbeds as Ramadi and Fallujah.

There were (3) movies made with Tom Berenger: Sniper - Sniper II & Sniper 3, supposedly telling the exploits of GySgt. Hathcock before and after the Nam.

Respectfully Submitted - for your next News Letter,

"Semper-Fi"
Gy/Sgt. Lew Souder, USMC/Ret.


Did Away With The Complexities

Fellow Marine Klein,

The manual you want to view can be accessed at:

The Landing Party Manual 1950

Only Chapter 2 regards drill. The LPM was written to give some guidance to US Navy personnel aboard ships to cover the situations when they would have to go ashore in a possible combatant situation and there were no Marines on the ship. It covers basic military maneuvers ashore.

You (and I) started with the Eight Man Squad Drill, where every man had a different movement, depending upon which position in the 8-man squad he had - Two ranks of 4 men each. Each movement required a different combination of steps and each position had to memorize each one and that of the others in case you had to move to another position. I used to have a mimeographed copy of the Eight Man, but no longer can find it (probably a good thing). I remember that the number 1 or number 4 man, depending upon which way a turning movement was made, was the "pivot man", and everyone else had to make a movement around the pivot.

I think when Shoup came in as CMC in 1960, he did away with the complexities of the Eight Man Squad Drill and implemented the LPM (doing away with the Eight Man and other accessories like the swagger stick and gloves, etc. - by the way, I still have my swagger stick as I had to buy one just before Shoup became CMC). The LPM, with three squads of variable numbers of men/women was more adaptable and much, much easier to teach and learn, leaving more time to teach important things like marksmanship, etc.

One of the important things of the LPM drill was that it allowed (finally) three squads of 13 (or less, depending upon manning level) to march as a unit. With the 8-man, a thirteen man squad was split and the Squad Leader did not even have an intact squad. The LPM also allowed units that did not have a 13-man squad, like many support units, to be able to look like Marines without going through the repetitive practice that the 8-man required. Plus, Corpsmen and other Navy personnel attached to Marine units could easily fit into the units for parades, etc.

Good to hear from someone who is in my era and still alive and kicking!

Semper Fi,
Hal Gosnell​


Sold Out

Attn fans of Vince Flynn, Stephen Hunter, and Tom Clancy! You don't want to miss the break-out, Marine Sniper Thriller written by Stan R. Mitchell.

Get this book at "Sold Out".

​Thanks,
Stan R. Mitchell, Author
Website: http://stanrmitchell.com


Images From Gazette

I am trying to obtain some info on pictures from WWII Illustrators John Clymer & Tom Lovell who worked for the Marine Corps Gazette Magazine. They had done covers for the magazine in 1944-45 that were in turn available as prints to the magazine readers as a set of 8. (I have 6 of them) The set cost $1 at the time and were available "until the supply is exhausted". They included -- the Korean incident, the Florida war, the Boxer Rebellion, apprehending seal poachers, the flag goes up on Mt. Suribachi. I am wondering if you are familiar with these. I have inquired to the Gazette Editorial Office, the National Museum of the Marine Corps and neither have any info as to what these might be worth as collectible items. I have no idea how many remain or how rare they are or are not. I have attached some scans of them.

These were my fathers, who is a WWII Marine Corps veteran and 95 yrs old! Can anyone provide me with more info or possibly tell me what they might be worth as collectible items?

Thank you for any help you can give.

Doreen Apgar


Lost and Found

I graduated from PI in 4 December 1956 with platoon 293 from NYC and I served on the USS Randolph (CVA15) from March 1957 to August 1958 in the Marine Detachment. Anyone from those two duty stations still around? I would like to hear from them. (esp. Tom Cooper and Mike Camp.)

Tony Beyer 1626XXX
Email: Abeyer65[at]optonline.net
Thanks for the space Sgt. Grit.


Reunions

USS Wasp Marine Detachment CVS-18

Where: Quantico, VA
When: Aug.20 – 23, 2015
Hotel: Ramada Inn, Triangle, VA. Rt.95 exit 150A

Contact info: Joe Looker
E-mail: jsphlooker[at]aol.com

Semper Fi,
Sgt. J.P.Looker '65-'69


Short Rounds

I served with 1/5 aboard the USS Princeton LPH-5 Mar66-May66. HMM-163 was the squadron aboard ship to take us to all those hot vacation spots.

Cpl Bill Allen
'64-'70
RVN '66


Grit,

Be advised, you have an outstanding employee that works in your customs dept whose name is Cherish Mahaffey... She took the time to write a personal note thanking me for my service and she hoped I liked the shirt that I purchased. I am well satisfied with the shirt and In answer to her "Thank you for your service" I would like to reply that "you were well worth it".Please pass that on to her for me... She made an "old jarhead" happy...

On a side note... If it was 46 years ago (1969) I would jump on a chopper over at 1st MarDiv and if memory serves me correctly, in less than 30 minutes we could have been having a beer at the Marble mountain or Monkey mountain slop chute...

Semper Fi Grit,
Tom Kelly
GySgt USMC Ret​


Quotes

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


"Responsibility, not to a superior, but to one's conscience, the awareness of a duty not exacted by compulsion, the necessity to decide which of the things one values are to be sacrificed to others, and to bear the consequences of one's own decision, are the very essence of any morals which deserve the name."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]​


​"The bended knee is not a tradition of our Corps."
--General Alexander A. Vandergrift, USMC to the Senate Naval Affairs Committee, 5 May 1946


"Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart."
--Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson


"There are only two things we should fight for. One is the defense of our homes and the other is the Bill of Rights. War for any other reason is simply a racket."
--Major General Smedley Butler, War Is a Racket [1935]


"You peoople, think we are gonna ease up on you? Well, you all are in for a big surprise!"

"Good Night Ladies... Good Morning Girls!"

"The most ferocious fighting force the world has ever seen is a 19-year-old p-ssed-off Marine."

"Stand by to stand by!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit​

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• We Had A Colorful History
• E5 For Nine Years
• Captain Brophy

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This is my grandson Nikolai. East Tennessee Devil Dog... Oooorah!

Preston James

Marine grandson with Marine snowman


We Had A Colorful History

Blown 175mm gun at An Hoa Vietnam

Another view of blown 175mm Gun at An Hoa Vietnam

Hello Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to comment on Ddick's article about the 175mm guns (SP) titled "Sillyvillian". I have been reading your outstanding newsletters for a long time and have always enjoyed reading all the story's and Ddicks's comments.

He apparently has worked extensively with our battery, the 3rd 155/175mm Gun Battery (SP) while at AnHoa combat base. Our battery was in country for 5 years, August 1965 to August, 1970. We had a colorful history, some good times and some not so well. The battery was awarded four PUC's and one NUC for operations we participated in.

As Ddick mentions we had two 175's blow the tubes off, injuring several of our gun crew, I included pictures of the guns after the incidents. We also had one of our 155 guns blow the breach in August '68 that killed 3 of the gun crew and injured others. The 3rd Guns are having our fifth reunion this October in San Diego, CA, and some of our members after reading Ddick's comments would like to contact him to get some inside information on what caused the accidents and invite him to our reunion.

My email address is ed-kirby[at]comcast.net. Please contact me so our members can talk with you. You all do a great job!

S.F.,
L/Cpl. Ed Kirby
​Nam, '68-'69


Memories Of Times So Long Ago

Every Thursday I look forward to the letter... to me it's informative and gives me a pleasure to read the letters of all who have served in our Corps. Many opinions have been put down and some times there has been a few that could start arguments, but that's the Marine way... what would it be if we didn't have a friendly argument now and then. We as Marines would not have it any other way.

If it wasn't for the letters I would have gone on not knowing about the uniforms dress, utilities, badges, how and when they came about and of those who served before me and after. After reading of some of the experiences that some write, it brings back memories of times so long ago but closer than one thinks.

Thank you all for the great reading and to Sgt Grit for one hell of a letter and letters that I for one will not forget and always enjoy!

Semper Fi to all,
Vic DeLeon


Marines Laser Tech Applique Performance Hoodie Special


HMM-163​

I can tell you all that HMM-163 managed to get home sometime around 1969 or 1970. I was a member of '163 during 1971 prior to going overseas (Iwakuni, Japan and some other areas in SE Asia), and again from April 1973 to October 1, 1974 when I was released from Active Duty.

HMM-163 was at MCAS(H) Santa Ana, later Tustin, CA up the interstate from El Toro. We were in the old Blimp hangers east of the Orange County Airport (John Wayne International) and our hangar was where they filmed the movie Hindenburg with George Scott in '73 or '74. Proud to have served, best 5 years of my life in a lot of regards, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Gary Faeth, Capt (4562) USMCR 1969-74


Images Of DaNang Part 2

After dinner special coming

Back towards town

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


So Many Years

It has been 45 years since I took The Freedom Bird back to the World from DaNang, RVN. Before landing in LA, we were advised not to wear our uniforms around the area. It took another year before I got discharged in Beaufort, S.C. I grew my hair and went to college just trying to blend in. The years passed with jobs, family, friends and blessed with two sons. There was no joining the local VFW or Legion. I did support our Corps through Toys For Tots and The Marine Corps Association. I ordered a couple T-shirts from Sgt Grit but just wore them around the house. I don't know what made me do it but I ordered a ball cap with VietNam and Semper Fi on the front and started wearing it in public. I started to get "Thank you for your service" and "Welcome Home Brother" from strangers. I didn'​t know what to say. I have gone from trying to blend in to actively seeking out others with a shared background. I was even invited to the Veteran's Day program at the local elementary school. I wish it hadn't taken so many years but at least I can do it now.

Semper-Fi
Sam Nittle
Sgt of Marines
RVN '69-'70​


E5 For Nine Years

Sgt. Grit,

In the 19 Feb. newsletter, there was an article by Cpl Heyl regarding the rank transition. I was promoted to SSgt (E5) early in 1957, transferred to the I-I Staff, 35th Rifle Company, USMCR, Santa Rosa, CA in July, 1959 and remained there until August, 1962, as a Staff Sergeant.

When I received my orders to MACS-4, MCAF, Santa Ana, it was as a Sergeant (E5); two years with MACS-4, another year and half at MCAS, Yuma, AZ, and then promoted to SSgt (E6) in 1966. Anybody's calculations will show that I was an E5 for nine years. It's amazing what a hard-nosed, mustang Major can do to your career!

I always maintained that HQMC was the last place that I wanted to be stationed, so when I was transferred there in March, 1967, I made sure that it was. Last promotion to GySgt in 1968, and hung it up on 31 January 1970.

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


USMC American Legend KA-BAR


You Missed Me, You S.O.B.

Sgt. Grit,

Regarding the article by Ddick in last weeks newsletter concerning "The Patron Saint of Artillery", he mentioned that one or two Russian 152 mm field artillery pieces were captured by the 9th Marines. He is correct! I was serving with the "Striking 9th" in 1969, and we did indeed capture a Russian field artillery piece which was later shipped back to the USA. It is currently on display in the Vietnam section of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA. I viewed it back in October of 2014 while visiting the museum. If you are one of the many Marines who - like me - were serving near the DMZ in 1969 and got shot at (and missed) by that "mother" - like me - you can stop by and "visit it" at the museum, and tell it - like I did - "You missed me, you S.O.B." Sure did make me feel better!

Semper Fi
S.R. Van Tyle
NOLOAD - USMC​


Old Corps Uniforms

Cpl. Brook did a fine job of giving the history of the utility uniform. However, the stenciling of the rank on the sleeve had stopped long before 1959. I entered the Corps in January 1957. Anyone who was a PFC or higher rank already had the metal chevrons on their collars. Some of the old salts, usually Sgts and above had their salty utility jackets (with pockets tucked into their belts) with the stenciled stripes, but they still wore the medal chevrons. The saltier utility caps had the cardboard stays removed to give the wearer a "been there, done that" look.

We were issued a tie bar that was painted a bronze/black color to go with the EGAs of the dress uniform also. The brass ones were introduced later.

I love the green dress uniform but dislike the dress blues especially for senior NCOs with a large row of hash marks. Too many colors at work! Maybe just a return of the blue cover would tone down the uniform.

James V. Merl
1655XXX
USMC 1957-60


Who Wrote Your Paychecks

Sergeant,

I have to add my two cents worth to the Viet Nam Veteran conflict, mainly in response to L/CPL Corrales, C.E. About the only thing I have to say to him is "Who wrote your paychecks?"

My draft number was not due until 1972. When I discovered that my number was too high to be drafted, I joined the Marine Corps. The only volunteering I did was for Computer Programming School. I entered in May on the delay entry program, so didn't start boot camp in San Diego until September. I turned 21 in boot camp. I was "guaranteed" Ground Group 4, Electronics.

I started out with platoon 2123, and finished with 2143. During boot camp I got a stress fracture in my left leg so bad I couldn't lift my foot off the ground, so was dropped to Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP). Yes, I did get Christmas Leave in boot camp, one of 18 of my fellow wounded wanna-be warriors. After eight weeks of limping around I was picked up and finished training in early February, 1973.

By the time I got out of boot camp the U.S. was pulling Marines out of Viet Nam and not replacing them. I went on to Quantico, VA, for Computer Sciences School, studying COBOL Programming. After school I was assigned to Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. We processed information for all eastern Marines, in the U.S. and out. This lasted for two years, after which I was assigned to Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic (LFTCLANT) in Virginia Beach, VA.

After my four years were up I went home. When I joined I was promised $10,000 if I reenlisted. When it came time for reenlistment that bonus had been taken away, and I would have gotten the same reenlistment bonus as a clerk typist. There was more money in the real world, and I would not have to have some boot 2nd Lieutenant tell me my undershorts were folded wrong every three months. (We all know what a junk-on-the-bunk inspection is.) I was a 25 year old Marine Corps Sergeant, with a wife and two kids. I knew how to fold undershorts.

All of this is to say that when I am asked what I did during the "war" I respond that I spent the Viet Nam "war" in Virginia Beach, VA. The U.S. Government chose to call me a Viet Nam Veteran, and I am entitled to certain Veteran benefits. I do not consider myself in any way related to those of my brothers who spent time "in-country" except that I am a Marine and I served time during the Viet Nam "war". I consider myself a "Viet Nam Era Veteran" even though the U.S. Government and the Texas State Government consider me a "Viet Nam Veteran". The only medals I am entitled to are the "fire watch" (National Defense) and Good Conduct medals.

Since I am officially recognized by the Government of the United States and the state of Texas as a Viet Nam Veteran, I suppose I am. However, I will always consider myself a Viet Nam Era Veteran. I cannot, and do not try to, hold a candle for those who served in-country, and tear up when thinking of those who died there.

In Christ,
SGT. Charley Mitchell,
Hollywood Marine, to the core!
Semper Fi!


Drill Manual

Sgt. Grit,

When I entered boot camp at Parris Island in July of 1958, like all recruits we began to drill. At the time we started out performing, I believe, a drill manual called Landing Party Manual (LPM). As I remember it, it consisted of four (4) squads marching thru many formation and was different from Squad drill (just three (3) squads, which we transitioned to about 3 - 4 weeks into our training.

In the last few years I have been seeking the drill manual for LPM with very little success. If anyone has one or has an electronic version I'd like to discuss getting it.

Please contact me at kenklein39[at]gmail.com.

Thank you,
PFC Ken Klein, USMCR, inactive


The Old Corps

Old Corps... When the level of "Salty" has been surpassed!

The Old Corps


Get One Out Of The Pit

Was off about 30 millimeters on the bore of those NVA artillery pieces... they were 122MM, vs 152MM, and one of them is at the Heritage Museum outside Quantico...

The mention of a "BAR" ladder bar on a marksmanship badge?... I think the writer may have confused some Army or National Guard badge... to the best of my knowledge, there was no BAR qualification course, not to say that BAR men didn't put a lot of rounds downrange in firing exercises... we fired it for familiarization in boot camp, mostly just humped it in ITR. For the .30 cal Browning, there used to be a training course, known as 'the thousand inch range', which dealt with traversing and elevating... target was a bunch of small squares, idea was to get X number of rounds in each square... and the butts were about 80 feet from the firing position... but, again, don't recall any badges for machine gun in that era. The Marksman badge for the rifle was a single bar, with nothing suspended from it, in the late 50's... somewhere along in the 60's, the pizza box, or toilet seat (it was known informally as either) was added, and the straight bar went away. A Pistol badge was the indicator that the wearer, if enlisted, had a crew-served weapon MOS, and was required to qualify with both the rifle and the pistol (or, was a SNCO or Officer)... The Army, OTOH, had a dangly that said 'grenade'... meaning, I guess, that the wearer was able to get one out of the pit...

For Cpl Heyl... the new ranks started on 1 January, 1959... my date of rank as Cpl (E-3) was 29 December, 1958... (took a Request Mast, and an individual test/drill/junk on the bunk/etc. by the Bn XO to pull it off, but I was determined not to be a Lance Corporal... main difference at the time was that, regardless of pay grade, a CPL was a NCO... and a Lance Corporal wasn't... for about three years thereafter, all of the old NCO ranks became thespians... we were officially known as "Acting Corporal" or "Acting Sergeant", etc. I have fun with younger Marines, quizzing them on how I could have made Corporal twice, never having been busted, and having all straight time...

​Ddick


We Were Given Razor Blades

Sgt Grit,

In one of your recent newsletters "A Brief History", the writer described the changes of field uniforms worn by Marines. It brought to mind a memory for me of a boot camp experience.

In 1969, our platoon 2130 was fortunate enough to draw maintenance duty rather than working in the mess hall at MCRD San Diego. A number of us were assigned to work in the warehouses where uniforms were stored and issued from. One day we were taken by one of the supply NCO's to a warehouse and were given razor blades. In the warehouse were cases of utility uniforms, but when we opened the boxes, lo and behold all of the utility blouses were tagged with the black and gold tag above the breast pocket that said US ARMY!

Our NCO then instructed us to carefully "cut off that S%*#", so the uniforms could be issued to new recruits.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-72​


Captain Brophy

Capt Brophy giving a speech

The Dalles Chronicle, 9 FEB 2013
Article by RaeLynn Ricarte

The Dalles — US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy walked for the last time on Feb. 23, 1969, the day his body was broken by a .50 caliber bullet - but the warrior spirit that took him to Vietnam has enabled him to continue living with purpose from a wheelchair.

He has spent the past four decades helping other veterans realize that, although the war has come home with them, they can overcome combat-related injuries, both physical and mental. "Combat veterans all have varying degrees of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)," he said.

"When someone was in trouble, the flight schedule went by the wayside and we were there," said Brophy. "Anytime there was a gunship in the air, the infantry were happy because they knew there was going to be support."

He served as executive officer for the aerial reconnaissance team, which included nine helicopters and crews who earned a Presidential Unit Citation for running highly effective missions within their Tactical Area of Responsibility around Da Nang Air Base, in the northeast coastal region of Vietnam. That location was known as the "rocket belt" due to the large number of rockets and mortars that rained down on soldiers from the Republic of Vietnam and their U.S. allies.

The helicopters on the team typically flew about 100 feet off the ground and Brophy and his crew had been shot down three times during the deployment.

On Feb. 29, he and his fellow Marines were determined to protect infantrymen dug into the hillside at the triangular point of a pass and in danger of being overrun by a larger enemy force.

"Those guys were stressed and up to their elbows," Brophy recalled.

He was on an adrenaline high from an action-packed morning and vigilantly scanning the terrain below for threats. When he spotted adversaries, he fired off tracers from his M14 that guided his gunner - who would later be killed in combat - to these targets. He also threw purple smoke grenades to mark an area for incoming fighter jets to launch a rocket or napalm strike.

His crew was inflicting heavy losses on the enemy about 11:30 a.m. when Brophy felt something slam into his body with great force. The bullet that was capable of penetrating three-fourths inches of armored plating had come through the hull of the Loach, entered his foot and decimated his knee before hitting the carotid artery in his neck. Blood poured from his wounds and he quickly sank into unconsciousness as crew members scrambled to save him and the pilot wrestled with controls to fly the helo that had lost hydraulics to a Navy medical station near Dia Loc Pass, about four flight minutes away.

"I was aware that I'd been hit; it felt like someone had slammed me in the head with a sledge hammer during that moment when I was awake - and then I wasn't," said Brophy.

He was transported to Da Nang Field Hospital and then flown to the U.S.S. Repose in the nearby harbor and on to the 106th Army Hospital in Japan before arriving at a naval hospital in San Diego, Calif. His return to the U.S. came in the dead of night so he was able to avoid the abuse heaped upon his fellow veterans by anti-war protesters during that era - something he is grateful for.

The large bullet - more than 2 inches long and about one-half inch diameter - had torn him up internally enough that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Brophy said he handled the news that he would never walk again "poorly" and it took five years for him to adjust to the loss of mobility and the end of a military career that had begun with his enlistment at 17 in 1957.

He credits his strong Christian faith and the endless patience of his wife, Lynn, with helping him process the horrors he had seen and endured and begin using his experiences for the benefit of others. The Brophy's had married in 1963 and she had single parented their daughter, born that same year, when he went to Vietnam as an advisor in 1964.

When that tour began he held the rank of Sergeant and by the time he came home in 1965, he was slated to become a second lieutenant - a rank that would not catch up with him until the following year. His battlefield commission was granted after he was forced to take charge of about 120 Marines in an artillery unit on top of Hill 157 in Quang Ngai Province following the injury of the commanding officer and higher-ranking Sergeant. They had both been taken out of action by the seriousness of their wounds, so Brophy called in air strikes and issued directives during hostilities that ended with only 80 men uninjured.

"The only thing you are thinking about in a time like that is what you are supposed to do next," he said.

His finally came in 1966 when, at the age of 24, he was working as a series instructor of recruits - overseeing the activities of drill instructors - at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, Calif.

His son was born in 1967, after Brophy had completed aerial observation school in New River, N.C., and gone to a 36-week language school to learn more Vietnamese. Lynn was once again left behind as a single parent when he departed for Vietnam again in 1968.

"The families left behind serve as much as the troops on the front lines," he said. "While I was gone, my wife was up to her beltloops in alligators." Brophy had planned to be a "lifer" in the Marines but that dream was cut short by his severe injury. He was full of anger when he had to take a medical retirement from the Corps in 1970. He believes great memories of a joyous family vacation in Hawaii just one month before he was injured provided the glue to hold his marriage together during rough times. He said Lynn was his primary caregiver and had to cope with his volatile emotions while also caring for their two young children.

He became an ordained minister in 1978 and Lynn convinced him to return to college. He graduated with a master's in social work from Portland State University in 1980 and then went to work for the Veterans Administration.

Over the years, Brophy counseled veterans who suffered from PTSD and, in 1986, became involved with Point Man International Ministries while living in several different locations. He and Lynn settled in The Dalles in 1998 and he now serves as Outpost Leader for the Christian-based organization. In addition to their own son and daughter, the couple has raised a dozen foster children.

"I am proud to say we will be married 50 years in January of 2013," said Brophy.


In the straight-talking style of a Marine drill instructor, Brophy also has some advice for the parents and spouses of deployed troops on the front lines.

"You might not recognize your son or daughter because they will not be the same."
--US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy

Thanks Sgt. Grit for your newsletter. Captain Brophy was my drill instructor in 1963.

Sgt. C. Jones


That Dog's Motivated

This is my little Devil Dog. Thanks Sgt Grit for the awesome shirt.

Julia Brown

Get your Devil Pup this moto shirt at:

Julia's dog in Sgt Grit wear

Devil Dog Doggie Shirts

Devil Dog Doggie Shirts


No Disrespect

Grit,

Noted in your newsletter was a comment about "No Disrespect" concerning Chris Kyle and Carlos Hathcock and why a movie is not made about Hathcock and his almost unbelievable exploits while in Vietnam.

I agree completely a movie should be made about Carlos and his service in the Marines and especially his Vietnam experiences.

Here is a quote from Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper":

"Carlos Norman Hathcock II, (USMC) the most famous member of the sniping profession, a true legend and a man Whom I look up to, tallied ninety-three confirmed kills during his three years of tours in the Vietnam War. I'm not saying I was in his class - in my mind, he was and always will be the greatest sniper ever."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle

That's my two cents worth...

Bill Lang
USMC Cpl. E-4
0331
1963 - 1966


RE: No Disrespect Intended response to last week's Post.

I've watched the recent Movie in question, and it's a great movie. I WISH it hadn't been a Marine that ended his Life. However, there is a Movie, Sniper, that loosely depicts Carlos Life. It was mostly about the eye shot through the Scope, and his knocking off the VC General. All in all, I thought it was about as good as Chris's Movie.

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003XXX
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966​


Guam Greasy Grill

Guam Seabees were on 24-hour work - fight shifts.

Seabees who went into Guam with the Marines worked by day, fought by night, and in between times still found opportunities to display the ingenuity for which they have become famous, according to Sgt. Harold A. Breard, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent writing from the newly-conquered island.

During the first few days of the battle the Seabees acted as part of the Marines shore party. Besides working on the beaches all day and doing some emergency road building on the side, at night they moved into the front line area to back up the assault troops. At one time, when Marine tanks had to move up a steep ridge to blast Japs entrenched in caves, the Seabees braved sniper fire to bulldoze a 1000-yard road up the incline. The tanks followed in their wake.

The battle for the island was still in its infancy, said the Marine Corps correspondent, when the Seabees tired of the tarpaulin-covered galley their cooks had thrown together on the beach when they first came ashore. Instead, the builders set up the "Guam Greasy Grill," reputed to be the most elaborate galley on Guam. The Grill was built of odds and ends of lumber, sheet metal and canvas, and screened with mosquito netting. A carpenter's crayon was enough to produce the sign above the doorway announcing the name.

​John Ratomski


Brotherhood

In mid-January, my buddie Joe Schaffner who I attended boot camp with in 1981 (Platoon 3312) called me and said "we are going to Parris Island next month." I replied that I was game, but why? He tells me that he has a friend that he coached high school football with who is a Vietnam Vet Marine who's Grandson would be graduating on February 13, 2015.

So Joe meets me in Cincinnati on the morning of Feb. 12 and we make the 10 hour drive to Beaufort. The following day we proceed to MCRD Parris Island for the graduation ceremony that is scheduled at 0900. This was the 3rd graduation ceremony that I have attended (other than my own) and they never get old.

Joe's friend John Agenbroad did not inform us that he would be part of the ceremony. After his military and civilian accomplishments were read to those in attendance, he reviewed the graduating Marines.

At the completion of the ceremony, I was introduced to John and his wife Patti. John was so happy that we had driven down just to attend the Graduation and that he would be treating us to dinner that evening.

Later that evening we drove to Hilton Head Island to have dinner with John and Patti and there friends Mr. and Mrs. Willie Bryan.

We enjoyed each others company over dinner and drank for a few hours and told stories, and laughed and had a great time as if we had known each other our entire lives.

You see, Joe served from 1980-1984, I served from 1980-1989, John was a Vietnam combat Vet and Mr. Willie Bryan is a WW II Veteran and a survivor of Iwo Jima. So we had three generations of Marines enjoying each others company.

After dinner as we were parting ways, Joe and I each shook both men's hands and told them thank you and what an honor it was to dine with them. Both of them stated that they were honored as well.

It just goes to show you that no matter when you served, what your job was or whether you served in combat. We are all Marines and that was all that mattered.

Semper Fi
Tom Cranmer
Sgt


Snipers - US Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps is rather big compared to many other special forces units, and their lets call it policy is that everyone is a Marine Rifleman regardless of Military specialty. However within the Marine Corps we do have "specialized units" and one of them is what we call Force Reconnaissance. Plus there are specialized schools and units for Snipers. Here is a nice pictorial overview of this school and the candidates that try out. As you shall see in the write-up many other militaries send some of their troops here to this school.

See What Makes US Marine Scount Snipers The Deadliest Shots On The Planet.


Reunions

MSGs... Past & Present. Start making your plans for the 2015 MEGA Reunion.

Where: Providence, RI
When: June 3 - 7, 2015

Contact for more info:
Kevin J. Hermening
2245 County Rd. KK
Mosinee, WI 54455
Email: kevinh[at]hermeningfinancialgroup.com


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit & Sgt Williams,

Thanks for all the times you shipped me the Grit Magazine for me to give away at the Marine Expo's. All were given away at each Expo, if they already received your Magazine they were always thankful and nothing but good to say about it.

I went thru MCRD SanDiego, then 2dITR & Rifle range (we hiked with full pack and rifles back to San Diego). Then on to 1st Division Tank Battalion at Pendleton, 1st Marine Air Wing ElToro, and last station was 1st Marine Air Wing FMFPac in Hawaii (Camp Smith). While in California we went on Operation "SilverSword". If any readers were stationed with me on any of these, I would like to hear from you.

SemperFi,
LCpl Kenneth Kemper
Now Dr Kenn Kemper
Home: 623-846-5296
Office: 602-881-1400
Email: GreatAmerithon[at]Msn.Com


Plt 1001, 1st Bn, A Co MCRD PI

Grit,

March 21, 1980 a new group of Marines were released into the Corps. Plt. 1001, 1st Bt., A Co. Parris Island. This year is our 35th anniversary. Any of you guys out there reading this give me a shout.

Jeff Strayer
Email: jeff.strayer[at]turbocam.com


Short Rounds

Navajo Code Talker Samuel Holiday

Navajo Code Talker Sergeant Major Danakee

70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade. Held in Sacaton, Arizona.

See more photos at 2015 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade.

Semper Fi
Frank V. Aiello


As the CMC said there are no longer "former Marines" only Marines. Marines of yesteryear and into the future needs to be as responsible as Woody and Jim. They showed the Pride and Leadership qualities of Marines, and how we should do the same in teaching and demonstrating to all people (young and old) to make this world a better place to live. These two Marines took time out of their long lives to do exactly what the United States and the world needs to do to make it a better place to live. Semper Fi Marines.

Ted Shimono
1959-1968​


This is my rifle there are many like it...

In case you have never seen this. It appears to be somewhere around WWII to the late 50s. Note the canted garrison covers, longer hair and the '03 Springfield.

Marines Swear In On The Rifle


You have finally solved the mystery of the attachment medals that I had next to my Rifle range medal. 25 of us Marines in November 1959 were sent to a range where we fired any weapon that a Marine Battalion would be using in combat anywhere in the world. We became very proficient with each weapon from the .45 pistol to the Ontos, flamethrowers, bazookas, to any weapons that were issued and not issued to a BLT. We had to know the entire ins and outs of each weapon.

Ted USMC
1959-1968​


I was on the Princeton from April 15, 1959 to May 27, 1961. I made the cruise to Japan February 1960. I was with the U.S. Marine guards 2nd Division. I remember the ship on the hanger deck.

L/Cpl G. Hammer
1848XXXXX


Hello fellow Marines and friends of Marines. I enjoyed the article about Woody Williams. When I see his name I am reminded of our company gunny. They lived not to far from each other and to my surprise I received a signed picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima from Woody Williams via Gunny McMillion. It has a page in my 3/3 scrapbook. So sad both Marines are gone now.

Cpl. TC Mosher, USMC
Viet Nam '66 & '67​


Cpl. TC Mosher,

Hershel Woody Williams has not reported to the Pearly Gates yet. He is alive and well brother.

Sgt J. Williams
'00 - '07


Parris Island 1970.

Marines, enjoy the next thirty minutes of this old video. Semper Fi!

This Is Parris Island (1970)

Gerry A. Flowers
USMC 0311 / 8654​


"I received my order and everything is perfect! Just wanted to thank you. I especially wanted to thank Cherish Mahaffey for the outstanding work she did on my hat, and the inspiring note. I have received so many positive compliments about that hat at the VA Hospital when I visit patients there, also at my local DAV and VFW."​

Sgt TM, Nam '67


To honor the first man killed in their outfit on Bougainville, a Marine unit named its bivouac area "Camp Tipton" for PFC. James C. Tipton, Detroit, who was killed charging a machine gun nest, but who took at least two of the enemy with him as he fell.

​John Ratomski


Quotes

"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


Quote by General Mad Dog Mattis

"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


Hell raisers quote

"America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer and spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved only by those same types of citizens."
--Unknown


"How many pushups can you do? All of them!"

"I'm a Moma Lootin, Routin Tootin, 100 lbs of hell-dipped destruction with temporary duty as a House Mouse."

"I can't believe that YOU were the fastest sperm?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 FEB 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 26 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• We Had A Colorful History
• E5 For Nine Years
• Captain Brophy

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We Had A Colorful History

Hello Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to comment on Ddick's article about the 175mm guns (SP) titled "Sillyvillian". I have been reading your outstanding newsletters for a long time and have always enjoyed reading all the story's and Ddicks's comments.

He apparently has worked extensively with our battery, the 3rd 155/175mm Gun Battery (SP) while at AnHoa combat base. Our battery was in country for 5 years, August 1965 to August, 1970. We had a colorful history, some good times and some not so well. The battery was awarded four PUC's and one NUC for operations we participated in.

As Ddick mentions we had two 175's blow the tubes off, injuring several of our gun crew, I included pictures of the guns after the incidents. We also had one of our 155 guns blow the breach in August '68 that killed 3 of the gun crew and injured others. The 3rd Guns are having our fifth reunion this October in San Diego, CA, and some of our members after reading Ddick's comments would like to contact him to get some inside information on what caused the accidents and invite him to our reunion.

My email address is ed-kirby[at]comcast.net. Please contact me so our members can talk with you. You all do a great job!

S.F.,
L/Cpl. Ed Kirby
​Nam, '68-'69


Memories Of Times So Long Ago

Every Thursday I look forward to the letter... to me it's informative and gives me a pleasure to read the letters of all who have served in our Corps. Many opinions have been put down and some times there has been a few that could start arguments, but that's the Marine way... what would it be if we didn't have a friendly argument now and then. We as Marines would not have it any other way.

If it wasn't for the letters I would have gone on not knowing about the uniforms dress, utilities, badges, how and when they came about and of those who served before me and after. After reading of some of the experiences that some write, it brings back memories of times so long ago but closer than one thinks.

Thank you all for the great reading and to Sgt Grit for one hell of a letter and letters that I for one will not forget and always enjoy!

Semper Fi to all,
Vic DeLeon


HMM-163​

I can tell you all that HMM-163 managed to get home sometime around 1969 or 1970. I was a member of '163 during 1971 prior to going overseas (Iwakuni, Japan and some other areas in SE Asia), and again from April 1973 to October 1, 1974 when I was released from Active Duty.

HMM-163 was at MCAS(H) Santa Ana, later Tustin, CA up the interstate from El Toro. We were in the old Blimp hangers east of the Orange County Airport (John Wayne International) and our hangar was where they filmed the movie Hindenburg with George Scott in '73 or '74. Proud to have served, best 5 years of my life in a lot of regards, wouldn't have missed it for the world.

Gary Faeth, Capt (4562) USMCR 1969-74


So Many Years

It has been 45 years since I took The Freedom Bird back to the World from DaNang, RVN. Before landing in LA, we were advised not to wear our uniforms around the area. It took another year before I got discharged in Beaufort, S.C. I grew my hair and went to college just trying to blend in. The years passed with jobs, family, friends and blessed with two sons. There was no joining the local VFW or Legion. I did support our Corps through Toys For Tots and The Marine Corps Association. I ordered a couple T-shirts from Sgt Grit but just wore them around the house. I don't know what made me do it but I ordered a ball cap with VietNam and Semper Fi on the front and started wearing it in public. I started to get "Thank you for your service" and "Welcome Home Brother" from strangers. I didn'​t know what to say. I have gone from trying to blend in to actively seeking out others with a shared background. I was even invited to the Veteran's Day program at the local elementary school. I wish it hadn't taken so many years but at least I can do it now.

Semper-Fi
Sam Nittle
Sgt of Marines
RVN '69-'70​


E5 For Nine Years

Sgt. Grit,

In the 19 Feb. newsletter, there was an article by Cpl Heyl regarding the rank transition. I was promoted to SSgt (E5) early in 1957, transferred to the I-I Staff, 35th Rifle Company, USMCR, Santa Rosa, CA in July, 1959 and remained there until August, 1962, as a Staff Sergeant.

When I received my orders to MACS-4, MCAF, Santa Ana, it was as a Sergeant (E5); two years with MACS-4, another year and half at MCAS, Yuma, AZ, and then promoted to SSgt (E6) in 1966. Anybody's calculations will show that I was an E5 for nine years. It's amazing what a hard-nosed, mustang Major can do to your career!

I always maintained that HQMC was the last place that I wanted to be stationed, so when I was transferred there in March, 1967, I made sure that it was. Last promotion to GySgt in 1968, and hung it up on 31 January 1970.

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


You Missed Me, You S.O.B.

Sgt. Grit,

Regarding the article by Ddick in last weeks newsletter concerning "The Patron Saint of Artillery", he mentioned that one or two Russian 152 mm field artillery pieces were captured by the 9th Marines. He is correct! I was serving with the "Striking 9th" in 1969, and we did indeed capture a Russian field artillery piece which was later shipped back to the USA. It is currently on display in the Vietnam section of the Marine Corps Museum in Quantico, VA. I viewed it back in October of 2014 while visiting the museum. If you are one of the many Marines who - like me - were serving near the DMZ in 1969 and got shot at (and missed) by that "mother" - like me - you can stop by and "visit it" at the museum, and tell it - like I did - "You missed me, you S.O.B." Sure did make me feel better!

Semper Fi
S.R. Van Tyle
NOLOAD - USMC​


Old Corps Uniforms

Cpl. Brook did a fine job of giving the history of the utility uniform. However, the stenciling of the rank on the sleeve had stopped long before 1959. I entered the Corps in January 1957. Anyone who was a PFC or higher rank already had the metal chevrons on their collars. Some of the old salts, usually Sgts and above had their salty utility jackets (with pockets tucked into their belts) with the stenciled stripes, but they still wore the medal chevrons. The saltier utility caps had the cardboard stays removed to give the wearer a "been there, done that" look.

We were issued a tie bar that was painted a bronze/black color to go with the EGAs of the dress uniform also. The brass ones were introduced later.

I love the green dress uniform but dislike the dress blues especially for senior NCOs with a large row of hash marks. Too many colors at work! Maybe just a return of the blue cover would tone down the uniform.

James V. Merl
1655XXX
USMC 1957-60


Who Wrote Your Paychecks

Sergeant,

I have to add my two cents worth to the Viet Nam Veteran conflict, mainly in response to L/CPL Corrales, C.E. About the only thing I have to say to him is "Who wrote your paychecks?"

My draft number was not due until 1972. When I discovered that my number was too high to be drafted, I joined the Marine Corps. The only volunteering I did was for Computer Programming School. I entered in May on the delay entry program, so didn't start boot camp in San Diego until September. I turned 21 in boot camp. I was "guaranteed" Ground Group 4, Electronics.

I started out with platoon 2123, and finished with 2143. During boot camp I got a stress fracture in my left leg so bad I couldn't lift my foot off the ground, so was dropped to Medical Rehabilitation Platoon (MRP). Yes, I did get Christmas Leave in boot camp, one of 18 of my fellow wounded wanna-be warriors. After eight weeks of limping around I was picked up and finished training in early February, 1973.

By the time I got out of boot camp the U.S. was pulling Marines out of Viet Nam and not replacing them. I went on to Quantico, VA, for Computer Sciences School, studying COBOL Programming. After school I was assigned to Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune. We processed information for all eastern Marines, in the U.S. and out. This lasted for two years, after which I was assigned to Landing Force Training Command, Atlantic (LFTCLANT) in Virginia Beach, VA.

After my four years were up I went home. When I joined I was promised $10,000 if I reenlisted. When it came time for reenlistment that bonus had been taken away, and I would have gotten the same reenlistment bonus as a clerk typist. There was more money in the real world, and I would not have to have some boot 2nd Lieutenant tell me my undershorts were folded wrong every three months. (We all know what a junk-on-the-bunk inspection is.) I was a 25 year old Marine Corps Sergeant, with a wife and two kids. I knew how to fold undershorts.

All of this is to say that when I am asked what I did during the "war" I respond that I spent the Viet Nam "war" in Virginia Beach, VA. The U.S. Government chose to call me a Viet Nam Veteran, and I am entitled to certain Veteran benefits. I do not consider myself in any way related to those of my brothers who spent time "in-country" except that I am a Marine and I served time during the Viet Nam "war". I consider myself a "Viet Nam Era Veteran" even though the U.S. Government and the Texas State Government consider me a "Viet Nam Veteran". The only medals I am entitled to are the "fire watch" (National Defense) and Good Conduct medals.

Since I am officially recognized by the Government of the United States and the state of Texas as a Viet Nam Veteran, I suppose I am. However, I will always consider myself a Viet Nam Era Veteran. I cannot, and do not try to, hold a candle for those who served in-country, and tear up when thinking of those who died there.

In Christ,
SGT. Charley Mitchell,
Hollywood Marine, to the core!
Semper Fi!


Drill Manual

Sgt. Grit,

When I entered boot camp at Parris Island in July of 1958, like all recruits we began to drill. At the time we started out performing, I believe, a drill manual called Landing Party Manual (LPM). As I remember it, it consisted of four (4) squads marching thru many formation and was different from Squad drill (just three (3) squads, which we transitioned to about 3 - 4 weeks into our training.

In the last few years I have been seeking the drill manual for LPM with very little success. If anyone has one or has an electronic version I'd like to discuss getting it.

Please contact me at kenklein39[at]gmail.com.

Thank you,
PFC Ken Klein, USMCR, inactive


Get One Out Of The Pit

Was off about 30 millimeters on the bore of those NVA artillery pieces... they were 122MM, vs 152MM, and one of them is at the Heritage Museum outside Quantico...

The mention of a "BAR" ladder bar on a marksmanship badge?... I think the writer may have confused some Army or National Guard badge... to the best of my knowledge, there was no BAR qualification course, not to say that BAR men didn't put a lot of rounds downrange in firing exercises... we fired it for familiarization in boot camp, mostly just humped it in ITR. For the .30 cal Browning, there used to be a training course, known as 'the thousand inch range', which dealt with traversing and elevating... target was a bunch of small squares, idea was to get X number of rounds in each square... and the butts were about 80 feet from the firing position... but, again, don't recall any badges for machine gun in that era. The Marksman badge for the rifle was a single bar, with nothing suspended from it, in the late 50's... somewhere along in the 60's, the pizza box, or toilet seat (it was known informally as either) was added, and the straight bar went away. A Pistol badge was the indicator that the wearer, if enlisted, had a crew-served weapon MOS, and was required to qualify with both the rifle and the pistol (or, was a SNCO or Officer)... The Army, OTOH, had a dangly that said 'grenade'... meaning, I guess, that the wearer was able to get one out of the pit...

For Cpl Heyl... the new ranks started on 1 January, 1959... my date of rank as Cpl (E-3) was 29 December, 1958... (took a Request Mast, and an individual test/drill/junk on the bunk/etc. by the Bn XO to pull it off, but I was determined not to be a Lance Corporal... main difference at the time was that, regardless of pay grade, a CPL was a NCO... and a Lance Corporal wasn't... for about three years thereafter, all of the old NCO ranks became thespians... we were officially known as "Acting Corporal" or "Acting Sergeant", etc. I have fun with younger Marines, quizzing them on how I could have made Corporal twice, never having been busted, and having all straight time...

​Ddick


We Were Given Razor Blades

Sgt Grit,

In one of your recent newsletters "A Brief History", the writer described the changes of field uniforms worn by Marines. It brought to mind a memory for me of a boot camp experience.

In 1969, our platoon 2130 was fortunate enough to draw maintenance duty rather than working in the mess hall at MCRD San Diego. A number of us were assigned to work in the warehouses where uniforms were stored and issued from. One day we were taken by one of the supply NCO's to a warehouse and were given razor blades. In the warehouse were cases of utility uniforms, but when we opened the boxes, lo and behold all of the utility blouses were tagged with the black and gold tag above the breast pocket that said US ARMY!

Our NCO then instructed us to carefully "cut off that S%*#", so the uniforms could be issued to new recruits.

Greg Pawlik
Cpl 1969-72​


Captain Brophy

The Dalles Chronicle, 9 FEB 2013
Article by RaeLynn Ricarte

The Dalles — US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy walked for the last time on Feb. 23, 1969, the day his body was broken by a .50 caliber bullet - but the warrior spirit that took him to Vietnam has enabled him to continue living with purpose from a wheelchair.

He has spent the past four decades helping other veterans realize that, although the war has come home with them, they can overcome combat-related injuries, both physical and mental. "Combat veterans all have varying degrees of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)," he said.

"When someone was in trouble, the flight schedule went by the wayside and we were there," said Brophy. "Anytime there was a gunship in the air, the infantry were happy because they knew there was going to be support."

He served as executive officer for the aerial reconnaissance team, which included nine helicopters and crews who earned a Presidential Unit Citation for running highly effective missions within their Tactical Area of Responsibility around Da Nang Air Base, in the northeast coastal region of Vietnam. That location was known as the "rocket belt" due to the large number of rockets and mortars that rained down on soldiers from the Republic of Vietnam and their U.S. allies.

The helicopters on the team typically flew about 100 feet off the ground and Brophy and his crew had been shot down three times during the deployment.

On Feb. 29, he and his fellow Marines were determined to protect infantrymen dug into the hillside at the triangular point of a pass and in danger of being overrun by a larger enemy force.

"Those guys were stressed and up to their elbows," Brophy recalled.

He was on an adrenaline high from an action-packed morning and vigilantly scanning the terrain below for threats. When he spotted adversaries, he fired off tracers from his M14 that guided his gunner - who would later be killed in combat - to these targets. He also threw purple smoke grenades to mark an area for incoming fighter jets to launch a rocket or napalm strike.

His crew was inflicting heavy losses on the enemy about 11:30 a.m. when Brophy felt something slam into his body with great force. The bullet that was capable of penetrating three-fourths inches of armored plating had come through the hull of the Loach, entered his foot and decimated his knee before hitting the carotid artery in his neck. Blood poured from his wounds and he quickly sank into unconsciousness as crew members scrambled to save him and the pilot wrestled with controls to fly the helo that had lost hydraulics to a Navy medical station near Dia Loc Pass, about four flight minutes away.

"I was aware that I'd been hit; it felt like someone had slammed me in the head with a sledge hammer during that moment when I was awake - and then I wasn't," said Brophy.

He was transported to Da Nang Field Hospital and then flown to the U.S.S. Repose in the nearby harbor and on to the 106th Army Hospital in Japan before arriving at a naval hospital in San Diego, Calif. His return to the U.S. came in the dead of night so he was able to avoid the abuse heaped upon his fellow veterans by anti-war protesters during that era - something he is grateful for.

The large bullet - more than 2 inches long and about one-half inch diameter - had torn him up internally enough that he was paralyzed from the waist down. Brophy said he handled the news that he would never walk again "poorly" and it took five years for him to adjust to the loss of mobility and the end of a military career that had begun with his enlistment at 17 in 1957.

He credits his strong Christian faith and the endless patience of his wife, Lynn, with helping him process the horrors he had seen and endured and begin using his experiences for the benefit of others. The Brophy's had married in 1963 and she had single parented their daughter, born that same year, when he went to Vietnam as an advisor in 1964.

When that tour began he held the rank of Sergeant and by the time he came home in 1965, he was slated to become a second lieutenant - a rank that would not catch up with him until the following year. His battlefield commission was granted after he was forced to take charge of about 120 Marines in an artillery unit on top of Hill 157 in Quang Ngai Province following the injury of the commanding officer and higher-ranking Sergeant. They had both been taken out of action by the seriousness of their wounds, so Brophy called in air strikes and issued directives during hostilities that ended with only 80 men uninjured.

"The only thing you are thinking about in a time like that is what you are supposed to do next," he said.

His finally came in 1966 when, at the age of 24, he was working as a series instructor of recruits - overseeing the activities of drill instructors - at Marine Corps Recruiting Depot in San Diego, Calif.

His son was born in 1967, after Brophy had completed aerial observation school in New River, N.C., and gone to a 36-week language school to learn more Vietnamese. Lynn was once again left behind as a single parent when he departed for Vietnam again in 1968.

"The families left behind serve as much as the troops on the front lines," he said. "While I was gone, my wife was up to her beltloops in alligators." Brophy had planned to be a "lifer" in the Marines but that dream was cut short by his severe injury. He was full of anger when he had to take a medical retirement from the Corps in 1970. He believes great memories of a joyous family vacation in Hawaii just one month before he was injured provided the glue to hold his marriage together during rough times. He said Lynn was his primary caregiver and had to cope with his volatile emotions while also caring for their two young children.

He became an ordained minister in 1978 and Lynn convinced him to return to college. He graduated with a master's in social work from Portland State University in 1980 and then went to work for the Veterans Administration.

Over the years, Brophy counseled veterans who suffered from PTSD and, in 1986, became involved with Point Man International Ministries while living in several different locations. He and Lynn settled in The Dalles in 1998 and he now serves as Outpost Leader for the Christian-based organization. In addition to their own son and daughter, the couple has raised a dozen foster children.

"I am proud to say we will be married 50 years in January of 2013," said Brophy.


In the straight-talking style of a Marine drill instructor, Brophy also has some advice for the parents and spouses of deployed troops on the front lines.

"You might not recognize your son or daughter because they will not be the same."
--US Marine Corps Capt. Daniel Brophy

Thanks Sgt. Grit for your newsletter. Captain Brophy was my drill instructor in 1963.

Sgt. C. Jones


No Disrespect

Grit,

Noted in your newsletter was a comment about "No Disrespect" concerning Chris Kyle and Carlos Hathcock and why a movie is not made about Hathcock and his almost unbelievable exploits while in Vietnam.

I agree completely a movie should be made about Carlos and his service in the Marines and especially his Vietnam experiences.

Here is a quote from Chris Kyle's book "American Sniper":

"Carlos Norman Hathcock II, (USMC) the most famous member of the sniping profession, a true legend and a man Whom I look up to, tallied ninety-three confirmed kills during his three years of tours in the Vietnam War. I'm not saying I was in his class - in my mind, he was and always will be the greatest sniper ever."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle

That's my two cents worth...

Bill Lang
USMC Cpl. E-4
0331
1963 - 1966


RE: No Disrespect Intended response to last week's Post.

I've watched the recent Movie in question, and it's a great movie. I WISH it hadn't been a Marine that ended his Life. However, there is a Movie, Sniper, that loosely depicts Carlos Life. It was mostly about the eye shot through the Scope, and his knocking off the VC General. All in all, I thought it was about as good as Chris's Movie.

Hanline, Ralph J. 2003XXX
Feb. 20, 1962 - Aug. 20, 1966​


Guam Greasy Grill

Guam Seabees were on 24-hour work - fight shifts.

Seabees who went into Guam with the Marines worked by day, fought by night, and in between times still found opportunities to display the ingenuity for which they have become famous, according to Sgt. Harold A. Breard, Marine Corps Combat Correspondent writing from the newly-conquered island.

During the first few days of the battle the Seabees acted as part of the Marines shore party. Besides working on the beaches all day and doing some emergency road building on the side, at night they moved into the front line area to back up the assault troops. At one time, when Marine tanks had to move up a steep ridge to blast Japs entrenched in caves, the Seabees braved sniper fire to bulldoze a 1000-yard road up the incline. The tanks followed in their wake.

The battle for the island was still in its infancy, said the Marine Corps correspondent, when the Seabees tired of the tarpaulin-covered galley their cooks had thrown together on the beach when they first came ashore. Instead, the builders set up the "Guam Greasy Grill," reputed to be the most elaborate galley on Guam. The Grill was built of odds and ends of lumber, sheet metal and canvas, and screened with mosquito netting. A carpenter's crayon was enough to produce the sign above the doorway announcing the name.

​John Ratomski


Brotherhood

In mid-January, my buddie Joe Schaffner who I attended boot camp with in 1981 (Platoon 3312) called me and said "we are going to Parris Island next month." I replied that I was game, but why? He tells me that he has a friend that he coached high school football with who is a Vietnam Vet Marine who's Grandson would be graduating on February 13, 2015.

So Joe meets me in Cincinnati on the morning of Feb. 12 and we make the 10 hour drive to Beaufort. The following day we proceed to MCRD Parris Island for the graduation ceremony that is scheduled at 0900. This was the 3rd graduation ceremony that I have attended (other than my own) and they never get old.

Joe's friend John Agenbroad did not inform us that he would be part of the ceremony. After his military and civilian accomplishments were read to those in attendance, he reviewed the graduating Marines.

At the completion of the ceremony, I was introduced to John and his wife Patti. John was so happy that we had driven down just to attend the Graduation and that he would be treating us to dinner that evening.

Later that evening we drove to Hilton Head Island to have dinner with John and Patti and there friends Mr. and Mrs. Willie Bryan.

We enjoyed each others company over dinner and drank for a few hours and told stories, and laughed and had a great time as if we had known each other our entire lives.

You see, Joe served from 1980-1984, I served from 1980-1989, John was a Vietnam combat Vet and Mr. Willie Bryan is a WW II Veteran and a survivor of Iwo Jima. So we had three generations of Marines enjoying each others company.

After dinner as we were parting ways, Joe and I each shook both men's hands and told them thank you and what an honor it was to dine with them. Both of them stated that they were honored as well.

It just goes to show you that no matter when you served, what your job was or whether you served in combat. We are all Marines and that was all that mattered.

Semper Fi
Tom Cranmer
Sgt


Snipers - US Marine Corps

The US Marine Corps is rather big compared to many other special forces units, and their lets call it policy is that everyone is a Marine Rifleman regardless of Military specialty. However within the Marine Corps we do have "specialized units" and one of them is what we call Force Reconnaissance. Plus there are specialized schools and units for Snipers. Here is a nice pictorial overview of this school and the candidates that try out. As you shall see in the write-up many other militaries send some of their troops here to this school.

See What Makes US Marine Scount Snipers The Deadliest Shots On The Planet.


Reunions

MSGs... Past & Present. Start making your plans for the 2015 MEGA Reunion.

Where: Providence, RI
When: June 3 - 7, 2015

Contact for more info:
Kevin J. Hermening
2245 County Rd. KK
Mosinee, WI 54455
Email: kevinh[at]hermeningfinancialgroup.com


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit & Sgt Williams,

Thanks for all the times you shipped me the Grit Magazine for me to give away at the Marine Expo's. All were given away at each Expo, if they already received your Magazine they were always thankful and nothing but good to say about it.

I went thru MCRD SanDiego, then 2dITR & Rifle range (we hiked with full pack and rifles back to San Diego). Then on to 1st Division Tank Battalion at Pendleton, 1st Marine Air Wing ElToro, and last station was 1st Marine Air Wing FMFPac in Hawaii (Camp Smith). While in California we went on Operation "SilverSword". If any readers were stationed with me on any of these, I would like to hear from you.

SemperFi,
LCpl Kenneth Kemper
Now Dr Kenn Kemper
Home: 623-846-5296
Office: 602-881-1400
Email: GreatAmerithon[at]Msn.Com


Grit,

March 21, 1980 a new group of Marines were released into the Corps. Plt. 1001, 1st Bt., A Co. Parris Island. This year is our 35th anniversary. Any of you guys out there reading this give me a shout.

Jeff Strayer
Email: jeff.strayer[at]turbocam.com


Short Rounds

70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade. Held in Sacaton, Arizona.

See more photos at 2015 70th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima parade.

Semper Fi
Frank V. Aiello


As the CMC said there are no longer "former Marines" only Marines. Marines of yesteryear and into the future needs to be as responsible as Woody and Jim. They showed the Pride and Leadership qualities of Marines, and how we should do the same in teaching and demonstrating to all people (young and old) to make this world a better place to live. These two Marines took time out of their long lives to do exactly what the United States and the world needs to do to make it a better place to live. Semper Fi Marines.

Ted Shimono
1959-1968​


This is my rifle there are many like it...

In case you have never seen this. It appears to be somewhere around WWII to the late 50s. Note the canted garrison covers, longer hair and the '03 Springfield.

Marines Swear In On The Rifle


You have finally solved the mystery of the attachment medals that I had next to my Rifle range medal. 25 of us Marines in November 1959 were sent to a range where we fired any weapon that a Marine Battalion would be using in combat anywhere in the world. We became very proficient with each weapon from the .45 pistol to the Ontos, flamethrowers, bazookas, to any weapons that were issued and not issued to a BLT. We had to know the entire ins and outs of each weapon.

Ted USMC
1959-1968​


I was on the Princeton from April 15, 1959 to May 27, 1961. I made the cruise to Japan February 1960. I was with the U.S. Marine guards 2nd Division. I remember the ship on the hanger deck.

L/Cpl G. Hammer
1848XXXXX


Hello fellow Marines and friends of Marines. I enjoyed the article about Woody Williams. When I see his name I am reminded of our company gunny. They lived not to far from each other and to my surprise I received a signed picture of the flag raising at Iwo Jima from Woody Williams via Gunny McMillion. It has a page in my 3/3 scrapbook. So sad both Marines are gone now.

Cpl. TC Mosher, USMC
Viet Nam '66 & '67​


Cpl. TC Mosher,

Hershel Woody Williams has not reported to the Pearly Gates yet. He is alive and well brother.

Sgt J. Williams
'00 - '07


Parris Island 1970.

Marines, enjoy the next thirty minutes of this old video. Semper Fi!

This Is Parris Island (1970)

Gerry A. Flowers
USMC 0311 / 8654​


"I received my order and everything is perfect! Just wanted to thank you. I especially wanted to thank Cherish Mahaffey for the outstanding work she did on my hat, and the inspiring note. I have received so many positive compliments about that hat at the VA Hospital when I visit patients there, also at my local DAV and VFW."​

Sgt TM, Nam '67


To honor the first man killed in their outfit on Bougainville, a Marine unit named its bivouac area "Camp Tipton" for PFC. James C. Tipton, Detroit, who was killed charging a machine gun nest, but who took at least two of the enemy with him as he fell.

​John Ratomski


Quotes

"We Marines are Truly Blessed. We get to enjoy the Sweet Taste of Freedom because we know its Price."
--(Marine Veteran, John Chipura, Survivor of the 1983 Beirut Bombing. He became a New York Fireman who wrote the above for the 225 Birthday of the Marine Corps. He was killed September 11 at the World Trade Center.)


"When you men get home and face an anti-war protester, look him in the eyes and shake his hand. Then, wink at his girlfriend, because she knows she's dating a p-ssy."
--Gen. James "Mad Dog" Mattis


"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)


"America was founded by tough hell-raisers. Rugged citizens who evaded taxes, spoke strongly against tyranny, grew tobacco, brewed beer and spirits, and smuggled weapons. And it will be saved only by those same types of citizens."
--Unknown


"How many pushups can you do? All of them!"

"I'm a Moma Lootin, Routin Tootin, 100 lbs of hell-dipped destruction with temporary duty as a House Mouse."

"I can't believe that YOU were the fastest sperm?"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• L/Cpl James Fuller
• USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened
• Patron Saint Of Artillery

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Interview of MOH recipient Hershel Woody Williams

Sgt Grit,

Hope that you enjoy, just a little insight into "Woody". The awesome story of Hershel Woody Williams, the last living recipient of the Medal Of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War 2. A Medal Of Honor recipient, a family man, and an all-around awesome person!

Watch the interview of the Super Awesome: Hershel Woody Williams.

Semper Fi,
R.L. "Rick" Given
Board of Trustee's
Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation


Silence

Cpl Gregory in the seat of A6A

The attached picture was taken at MCAS Iwakuni in 1970. That's me in the B/N seat of a VMA(aw)533 A6A. After I posted this picture to my Facebook page, my daughter posted "My Dad's cooler than your dad!" One of her friends replied, "My Dad was a pilot (Vietnam)." My daughter's response, "My Dad is a Marine." Her friends response, silence!

Cpl. Gregory Hockenberry
1967 - 1971
VMA(aw)533 '69-'70


L/Cpl James Fuller

L/Cpl Fuller, Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and SSgt Huntsinger

It is with a heavy heart that I must advise all of the passing of L/Cpl James Fuller. He was a proud member of the 11th Marine Regiment serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He has left behind two grieving families, The Fuller family and our Marine Corps Family.

I would like to address the Marine Corps Family and our brothers, Our Corpsmen.

To those Marines of the past, know that their legacy was always remembered by L/Cpl Fuller. Names like Santo Domingo, Belleau Wood, Verdun, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bougainville, Saipan, Peleliu, Chosin Reservoir, and so many more were studied and honored by L/Cpl Fuller. He would always stop and say hello to older Marines that preceded him in the Corps. Their legacy was secure.

To the Marines of the Vietnam era, L/Cpl Fuller would always stop and chat. Welcome home was said daily to a vet and always with sincerity and a smile. Although he did not hear it often enough, he would always add "great job". Places like Hue and Khe Sanh were always spoken of with reverence. Operations named Oklahoma Hills, Taylor Common, Arizona were always remembered with a prayer. His service in that conflict was a source of pride that lasted to the last breath. Three of his fellow 11th Marines were honored to see L/Cpl Fuller shortly before his passing. Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and S/Sgt Huntsinger reminisced about at the end of every conversation he would always say: "I love you Buddy". At the time of his passing, His watch partner at 11th Marines, and also his best friend, Cpl John Gugliotta was at his side.

To the Marines serving in this era under the names Operation Desert Shield, Somalia, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Enduring Freedom, and so many others that tested the resolve of our Corps; know that each and every day you were prayed for and supported without hesitation or reservation by L/Cpl Fuller.

Finally, to those young men and women who have not earned the title United States Marine, know that the words Semper Fidelis are not a motto or a catch phrase. Those words are a lifestyle. The words Honor, Courage, and Commitment are not goals. Those words are what defines a Marine. If you want to have the privilege of wearing the uniform and earning the title, look at the life of L/Cpl Fuller. He is your guide. He is a Marine.

(Pictured from L-R: Cpl Gugliotta, SSgt Huntsinger, Sgt Whitton (Sgt Grit), and L/Cpl Fuller)

Semper Fi!
S/Sgt Huntsinger


Images Of DaNang Part 1

Navy bar in DaNang

Highlight of the week

Provided by Marine Corps Veteran Doug Hancock.


Made Me Smile

Song sung to the tune of MTA

I was part of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Princeton when HMM 163 came aboard in the early 1960's. As I recall, they were in WestPac with us and they never left. We got to return and HMM 163 stayed on. As part of ship's company, we were responsible for the maintenance of certain areas of the ship... our Division (OS) had the responsibility of maintaining a couple of troop compartments... one of them was the compartment that housed HMM 163... while cleaning up, I picked up the attached... not sure who wrote it, but, it made me laugh and I must have put it in my pocket... I was cleaning out my seabag (getting ready to toss all of my "junk"), when I ran across this and it still made me smile! Remember the song, "MTA"? Poor ole Charlie!

Howard Hada
#19898xxx


Not As Lean Long Sleeve Pocket Tee


P.O.W. Network

P.O.W. Network Juanabee display

Our friends at the P.O.W. Network have assisted us for years on determining the actual validity of decorated Marine Corps veterans from the posers seeking to benefit from Stolen Valor. Recently, we received a picture from the network Chairman, Mary Schantag, showing a display of what a poser may look like. Semper Fi ladies and gents.

Find out more about the P.O.W. Network at:

P.O.W. Network

Think that you know a poser? Visit the Fake Warriors website at:

Fake Warriors


Old Corps Shooting Badge

In the 12 Feb 15 edition, Sgt George Cale provided a picture of an Old Corps (shooting) badge. This was commonly called the Basic (Weapons Qualification) Badge and was adopted about 1937 and used until approx. 1959-60 (sources vary).

The badge had suspended bars - worn 'ladder style' - for a variety of weapons, such as TSMG (Thompson Submachine Gun), BAR (Browning Auto Rifle), hand grenades, bayonet, pistol, several artillery pieces, and such. There were bars marked for Ex, SS and MM. For Reserves, some weapons had a 'B' suffix for the B Course of Fire used by Reserves.

Many WWII photos show veterans wearing these Basic Badges to the left of their primary shooting badge on the green or blue blouse.

Prior to 1937 the Marines used a US Army style shooting badge, much like those worn today by Doggies.

C. Stoney Brook
Old 782 Gear
1961-65


USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened

USNS Lewis B. Puller

Chesty's daughter Martha Puller Downs christening father's ship

General Dynamics NASSCO, on Saturday christened the U.S. Navy's newest ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3 AFSB). The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard with the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as the ceremony's principal speaker. Ms. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, served as the ship's sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's hull.

"Today was a proud moment for the thousands of men and women involved with the design and construction of the USNS Lewis B. Puller," said Kevin M. Graney, vice president and general manager of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. "Like its namesake, Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, the ship signifies strength and increased mobility and capability to support a variety of missions carried out by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy."

This third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), adding a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, repair spaces, and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

USNS Lewis B. Puller will be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2015.


I Volunteered

To all Marines who wonder if they are Nam vets (or era). I volunteered for the Marine Corps in 1969 when there was a draft. I had around six months of training all in Calif. Got orders for Camp Lejeune, N.C. I advised them that I joined to go to Nam and I got my wish. Bravo 1/11 1st Mar. Div. I was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon plus others. Plt. 3118 San Diego. So some of you say "I was not ordered to Nam," I say "I Volunteered!"

L/CPL Corrales, C.E.
El Paso, Texas​


Seeing Of The Light

Sgt. Grit,

I was in from 1963 to 1967 - and the Drill Instructors sometimes manhandled you back then - they had a short time during training to whip you into shape as a unit - and sometimes had to do what was needed to instill the - "Seeing of the Light" for inspiration?

One guy was a wimp - (or not as squared away as others) a slow learner and scared of the Drill Instructor - and literally was SCARED SH-TLESS - when singled out. One day we were doing an exercise called the "Rocker" and the D I was annoyed at some of our responses to getting it the right way. The D I went to this guy and used his foot to correct the recruit - but something went wrong and the recruit hit his chin wrong and started bleeding heavily - he was taken to the hospital and questioned by the series commander - guy was told to tell the truth and nothing would happen to him - as he would be placed in another platoon and lose no time in training either. Recruit said he was a clutz and it was his own fault for not properly listening to D I? Series Commander was p-ssed - and sent him back to platoon. Guy was a hero after that - and the other guys helped him overcome any difficulties in the future. We were a team of recruits and hoped to be Marines eventually. It molded the group.

We all got love taps for one reason or another. I spoke to our New Corps - and they say the D I cannot use their hands to emphasize a point any more. Hey, I think we were better off then then now - we were in Vietnam then and mistakes would cost lives back then.

Amazed at the gear we carry into combat today - and how much gear is needed in the field today. Heavier rifles - that can shot bullets or mini grenades - more than one weapon for each Marine - ammo - etc. I was not a big dude - but we all carried our own weight back then - and we went to the gym - and had weights in the squad bay - but a new respect for the new Marines - was working at a facility and was asked when I was in by a big guy - huge shoulders - tats - and a very friendly Marine - (served in Afghanistan ).

ONE DAY - even had 4 Marines in Dress Blues ask me for directions during lunch in New York City - there was (1) Gunny - (2) S/SGT's and a M/SGT - (they looked so young with all that rank) but us old salts can say - we've been there and done that too!

What are our Brothers comments on this!

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL.


Spreading The Love

Even Cupid's little helper shops at Sgt Grit!

Cupid's little helper


Patron Saint Of Artillery

'Harassing and Interdiction", or "H&I" fires (by artillery) as they were known before somebody decided 'Terrain Denial Mission' was nicer, were pretty common in Viet Nam... on both sides, come to think of it, although Charlie (the VC), and the NVA didn't, to my limited knowledge, use ammo to deny us the use of an area for staging... or farming, as we did to them. H&I might be observed fire... or just pre-planned into an area where the bad guys might be known or suspected to use, any time of the night or day. Most of the 'incoming' mortars and/or rockets I happened to be in the area of in two years was indeed harassing... could mess up your whole day, but not even at Khe Sanh (I was never there...) did it totally interdict (stop) the accomplishment of the mission.

There are lots of adages (don't say "old adage"... that's redundant... to be an adage, it has to be old, and don't make me repeat myself again) about incoming rounds, some probably dating back to the time when Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Artillery) had yet to come up with the recipe for that swill known as 'Artillery Punch'... it will be a minority of readers who have never heard "you never hear the one that gets you"... or, "I'm not worried about the one with my name on it, but there sure seems to be a lot of them addressed 'to whom it may concern'"... and others.

Depending on your unit, and its locale during the time you were there, what you got shot at with was kinda like Grandpa's underwear... 'all depends'... but the most common denominator would have been mortars... either a 60 or 82MM type. In the northern parts, the NVA had some big-azz towed pieces with a pretty good range on them. 152MM, Russian design, might have been either Russian or Chinese built. Some of these, (two, I think) were captured by the Ninth Marines during Dewey Canyon, and brought back to the land of the big PX. Just to make sure that credit went where credit was due, it was directed that the pertinent info would be welded onto the trails... and so it was done.

Any decent stick welder can write with his arc, leaving a bead of steel standing an eighth of an inch or so proud of the base metal... and even if that is ground off (by a jealous sister service type... won't name names, but it begins with an 'A')... the heat-affected zone in the base metal can still be discerned. Dong Ha complex, home to Force Logistics Support Group Bravo... 'Floosie B', at one time was within range of NVA artillery... and there was a story about an Engineer (or maybe a communicator, wireman), who was headed for office hours, because instead of running to a bunker when incoming was coming in, used his pole-climbing equipment, and climbed to the top of a utility pole... his reasoning being that in that fashion, he would present the smallest possible target... made sense to me...

Charlie's version of H&I by 1970 consisted of two versions of a Russian/ChiCom rocket... a 120MM and a 140MM. These were hardly pin-point accuracy missiles, but an excellent choice for 'harassment'. The launchers were two boards, arranged in a "V", and those were propped against a paddy dike, adjusted for launch angle by adding or removing dirt, and fired by a time delay device. The CPE, or Circular Probable Error for these things was 'one grid square'... meaning that on a good day, the thing would come down somewhere within an area 1,000 meters on a side. The time delay device might be a can or bucket filled with water, having an electrical wire attached to the bottom, with another attached to a nail driven through a board floating on the water... punch a hole in the can, and after the water has slowly trickled out, the board and nail would have sunk enough to make contact and complete the circuit, firing the rocket(s). By this time, Ol' Charlie, having used the cool of the morning to hump these things out to the paddy and set them up, has long since repaired to his hooch, and is trying to convince his spouse that it is a good time for some 'afternoon delight'... and a long way from any 'counter-battery fire' coming in...

The 175MM gun battery at An Hoa during my vacation there, got to shoot a lot of H&I... they could reach a loooooong way out there, and did... almost always with 72 round missions... I finally asked the Battery XO, why it always seemed to be 72 rounds? His reply was 'it's simple... six rounds per pallet, two pallets per gun (there were six in position)... 72... makes the book keeping easier... Since they were almost always shooting over the cantonment, out to the south and south west, a lot of those rounds went over my hooch... 'Whap' (the round going overhead) followed by 'boom'... the muzzle report... absolutely harrassment!... I couldn't keep a 100watt light bulb more than a day or two... either the whap or the boom would take'm out, every time.

BTW... incoming?... you might think that among the 'safest' MOS's, would be 'rations clerk'... wrong, REMF breath... had three medevacs from a mortar round, and the LSU-1 Gunny was WIANE from a piece of that...

​ Ddick


We Don't Like To Sugarcoat Things

The Marine Corps doesn't like to make promises that would keep people from enlisting. They would rather wait until you arrive at MCRD San Diego or Parris Island.

Marine Corps recruiting poster


No Disrespect Intended

No disrespect intended to Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle... but where's the movie about Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock?

Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle and Marine Sniper Carlos Hathcock


Chicken Fat

I was there! I was in Kilo Company! Weapons Platoon... 0331... Because I had a set of Dress Blues (Sea Duty), I escorted Vicki Carr down the "red carpet" as she sang, "You're a Grand Old Flag"... as memory serves me, we filmed this on the roof of CBS Studios...

This was a special program for physical fitness (Remember doing pushups and side straddle hops in the parking lot of CBS Studios?). Our President, John F. Kennedy was pushing physical fitness for the youth of America at the time... The program was a Meredith Wison production called, "Chicken Fat"...

This song should trigger some memories for you... I know it certainly did for me!

Listen the song "Chicken Fat".

Howard Hada
1989xxx


Vietnam Era

I've been reading all of the discussion about whether or not a Marine, or any one for that matter, that served in the Service during the Vietnam War, but didn't go to Vietnam is to be considered a Vietnam War Veteran. Here is my take on the issue.

I joined our beloved Corps in June of 1968 and went to MCRDSD right out of high school. Upon completion of boot and ITR at Camp Pendleton I received orders to report to MCDEC Quantico, VA. There I was to become an armorer, or 2111. After school, I was given orders for MCB 29 Palms, California. I served there for about a year and then went to Marine Barracks, Rodman Canal Zone in Panama and served there for 13 months before returning to MCB Quantico. My final duty station was at MCAS El Toro, California. Where I served until April 1st 1975. While at MCAS El Toro, I became the NCOIC of the pistol range and really enjoyed serving there. That MOS was 8531 according to my SRB which I earned by way of OJT.

As you can see by the above I never made it to Vietnam during my tour of duty. I would have gone had I ever gotten the orders to go. I guess that the Marine Corps felt I was needed here in the states and in Panama instead. I am proud of my service and would gladly do it again if given the opportunity.

Since becoming a NOLOAD (no longer on active duty) Marine I have been able to join the American Legion and The Vietnam Veterans of America here in Texas. I am not eligible to join the VFW however since I did not serve overseas in a combat area. I first went to a VVA meeting at the request of an Army Vietnam Veteran who had informed me that anyone who served and was discharged honorably from the service could join no matter where they served in the world. I found this fact rather interesting and went to a couple of meetings before joining and eventually became a life member. The men of the chapter welcomed me as their brother. They all know that I and several other members are not actual combat veterans and that's cool with them. Women veterans may also join the VVA as full fledged members as long as they too were discharged honorably. Just check your area for a local VVA chapter for details.

However, the guys also know that I will not wear any cap or badge that states that I am a Vietnam War Veteran. What I am referring to here is the caps that show the ribbons that 'Nam Vets got for being in country. I do however wear a cap that says I am a Vietnam Era Veteran.

Just my two cents worth here.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Sgt of Marines
1968 - 1975​


Heavy Shooting

One of the tough, unpublicized jobs of the Pacific campaign has been that of picked teams of Marines and Seabees assigned to mop-up work on the tiny coral islands which surround larger, already captured atolls.

The assignment calls for many miniature invasions. Like their larger counterpart, each follows a familiar pattern. The islands are shelled in advance; H-Hour sees the initial wave swarming over the beaches, and each Jap fights to the death.

"You've heard what it's like to go through an invasion," says James R. Williams, CM2c, who Participated in one of these missions, "Well, multiply one of them by ten, and youll have an idea of how we felt after the last Jap outpost was cleaned out."

"And do our Marines go in for heavy shooting," the Seabee said sorrowfully, "I know... I carried the ammunition!"

John Ratomski


Lost And Found

Platoon 1114/ 1966

I'm front row, six in from the left. Anybody out there remember? If so drop me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Larry Curry
lcjp2340[at]aol.com

USMC Platoon 1114 in 1966


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

Do you or any of our brother Marines know when the rank L/Cpl came to be? In 1958 I was an E3 Cpl. I left active duty April 1959 and when I received my DD214 my rank was listed as E3 L/Cpl. A rank that I never held and no one ever wore at that time. When I received my Honorable Discharge my rank was listed as E3 Cpl. I have since all these years have past, heard that in the transition period to L/Cpl that E3 Cpl's, E4Sgt's and up would hold their rank until promoted to E4 Cpl or E5 Sgt and so on. I would like to know if there is any information on this out there.

Semper Fi,
Cpl E Heyl 1612xxx


Sgt. Grit,

I got a nice surprise today, My (2) Jackets I ordered over the weekend came to my back door. Sure was delighted to get them [since they were my valentines day gift]... wife said order them, so like a good Marine I obeyed. I know I will be getting some great compliments on them, I'll let you all know what the Army says.

Thanks,
Sgt. Larry Walker
Nam '67-'70​


In boot in the '60s, I qualified as Marksman with M1 and B.A.R. Was awarded Rifle Marksman badge and B.A.R. 'bar' above it. Later, I qual'ed 'Expert' with the .45 and rec'd the pistol badge. Have looked and looked but cannot find B.A.R. 'bar' today. Looks like they had qual'd for bayonet and grenade as well at some point.


No changes, just keep it comin' every Thursday morning, so I can have my fix of USMC in my life. Gung Ho!

​Paul Cole


Quotes

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Marine Division Chaplain, Korean War


"There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp."
--James Brady, columnist, novelist, Press Secretary to President Reagan, television personality and Marine


"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afganistan)


"Head and eyes straight to the front, heels together, feet at a 45 degree angle and thumbs along the seams of your trousers. Suck in that gut."

"What's your ninth general order, maggot?"

"A Marine recruit is a green amphibious animal that thrives on Horse Sh-t!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 19 FEB 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 19 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• L/Cpl James Fuller
• USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened
• Patron Saint Of Artillery

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Sgt Grit,

Hope that you enjoy, just a little insight into "Woody". The awesome story of Hershel Woody Williams, the last living recipient of the Medal Of Honor from the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War 2. A Medal Of Honor recipient, a family man, and an all-around awesome person!

Watch the interview of the Super Awesome: Hershel Woody Williams.

Semper Fi,
R.L. "Rick" Given
Board of Trustee's
Hershel "Woody" Williams Medal of Honor Foundation


Silence

The attached picture was taken at MCAS Iwakuni in 1970. That's me in the B/N seat of a VMA(aw)533 A6A. After I posted this picture to my Facebook page, my daughter posted "My Dad's cooler than your dad!" One of her friends replied, "My Dad was a pilot (Vietnam)." My daughter's response, "My Dad is a Marine." Her friends response, silence!

Cpl. Gregory Hockenberry
1967 - 1971
VMA(aw)533 '69-'70


L/Cpl James Fuller

It is with a heavy heart that I must advise all of the passing of L/Cpl James Fuller. He was a proud member of the 11th Marine Regiment serving in the Republic of Vietnam in 1969 and 1970. He has left behind two grieving families, The Fuller family and our Marine Corps Family.

I would like to address the Marine Corps Family and our brothers, Our Corpsmen.

To those Marines of the past, know that their legacy was always remembered by L/Cpl Fuller. Names like Santo Domingo, Belleau Wood, Verdun, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Bougainville, Saipan, Peleliu, Chosin Reservoir, and so many more were studied and honored by L/Cpl Fuller. He would always stop and say hello to older Marines that preceded him in the Corps. Their legacy was secure.

To the Marines of the Vietnam era, L/Cpl Fuller would always stop and chat. Welcome home was said daily to a vet and always with sincerity and a smile. Although he did not hear it often enough, he would always add "great job". Places like Hue and Khe Sanh were always spoken of with reverence. Operations named Oklahoma Hills, Taylor Common, Arizona were always remembered with a prayer. His service in that conflict was a source of pride that lasted to the last breath. Three of his fellow 11th Marines were honored to see L/Cpl Fuller shortly before his passing. Cpl Gugliotta, Sgt Whitton, and S/Sgt Huntsinger reminisced about at the end of every conversation he would always say: "I love you Buddy". At the time of his passing, His watch partner at 11th Marines, and also his best friend, Cpl John Gugliotta was at his side.

To the Marines serving in this era under the names Operation Desert Shield, Somalia, Operation Desert Storm, Operation Provide Comfort, Operation Enduring Freedom, and so many others that tested the resolve of our Corps; know that each and every day you were prayed for and supported without hesitation or reservation by L/Cpl Fuller.

Finally, to those young men and women who have not earned the title United States Marine, know that the words Semper Fidelis are not a motto or a catch phrase. Those words are a lifestyle. The words Honor, Courage, and Commitment are not goals. Those words are what defines a Marine. If you want to have the privilege of wearing the uniform and earning the title, look at the life of L/Cpl Fuller. He is your guide. He is a Marine.

(Pictured from L-R: Cpl Gugliotta, SSgt Huntsinger, Sgt Whitton (Sgt Grit), and L/Cpl Fuller)

Semper Fi!
S/Sgt Huntsinger


Made Me Smile

I was part of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Princeton when HMM 163 came aboard in the early 1960's. As I recall, they were in WestPac with us and they never left. We got to return and HMM 163 stayed on. As part of ship's company, we were responsible for the maintenance of certain areas of the ship... our Division (OS) had the responsibility of maintaining a couple of troop compartments... one of them was the compartment that housed HMM 163... while cleaning up, I picked up the attached... not sure who wrote it, but, it made me laugh and I must have put it in my pocket... I was cleaning out my seabag (getting ready to toss all of my "junk"), when I ran across this and it still made me smile! Remember the song, "MTA"? Poor ole Charlie!

Howard Hada
#19898xxx


P.O.W. Network

Our friends at the P.O.W. Network have assisted us for years on determining the actual validity of decorated Marine Corps veterans from the posers seeking to benefit from Stolen Valor. Recently, we received a picture from the network Chairman, Mary Schantag, showing a display of what a poser may look like. Semper Fi ladies and gents.

Find out more about the P.O.W. Network at:

P.O.W. Network

Think that you know a poser? Visit the Fake Warriors website at:

Fake Warriors


Old Corps Shooting Badge

In the 12 Feb 15 edition, Sgt George Cale provided a picture of an Old Corps (shooting) badge. This was commonly called the Basic (Weapons Qualification) Badge and was adopted about 1937 and used until approx. 1959-60 (sources vary).

The badge had suspended bars - worn 'ladder style' - for a variety of weapons, such as TSMG (Thompson Submachine Gun), BAR (Browning Auto Rifle), hand grenades, bayonet, pistol, several artillery pieces, and such. There were bars marked for Ex, SS and MM. For Reserves, some weapons had a 'B' suffix for the B Course of Fire used by Reserves.

Many WWII photos show veterans wearing these Basic Badges to the left of their primary shooting badge on the green or blue blouse.

Prior to 1937 the Marines used a US Army style shooting badge, much like those worn today by Doggies.

C. Stoney Brook
Old 782 Gear
1961-65


USNS Lewis B. Puller Christened

General Dynamics NASSCO, on Saturday christened the U.S. Navy's newest ship, the USNS Lewis B. Puller (MLP-3 AFSB). The ship is named in honor of the late U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, the most decorated Marine and the only one to be awarded five Navy Crosses.

The Saturday morning christening ceremony took place at NASSCO's San Diego shipyard with the commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps, General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., as the ceremony's principal speaker. Ms. Martha Puller Downs, daughter of General Puller, served as the ship's sponsor. She christened the ship by breaking the traditional bottle of champagne against the vessel's hull.

"Today was a proud moment for the thousands of men and women involved with the design and construction of the USNS Lewis B. Puller," said Kevin M. Graney, vice president and general manager of the General Dynamics NASSCO shipyard. "Like its namesake, Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, the ship signifies strength and increased mobility and capability to support a variety of missions carried out by the U.S. Marine Corps and Navy."

This third Mobile Landing Platform (MLP) is the first ship of the class to be configured as an Afloat Forward Staging Base (AFSB), adding a flight deck, berthing, fuel storage, equipment storage, repair spaces, and accommodations for up to 250 personnel. The ship is capable of supporting missions including counter-piracy operations, maritime security operations, humanitarian aid and disaster relief missions and Marine Corps crisis response.

USNS Lewis B. Puller will be delivered to the Navy in the second quarter of 2015.


I Volunteered

To all Marines who wonder if they are Nam vets (or era). I volunteered for the Marine Corps in 1969 when there was a draft. I had around six months of training all in Calif. Got orders for Camp Lejeune, N.C. I advised them that I joined to go to Nam and I got my wish. Bravo 1/11 1st Mar. Div. I was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon plus others. Plt. 3118 San Diego. So some of you say "I was not ordered to Nam," I say "I Volunteered!"

L/CPL Corrales, C.E.
El Paso, Texas​


Seeing Of The Light

Sgt. Grit,

I was in from 1963 to 1967 - and the Drill Instructors sometimes manhandled you back then - they had a short time during training to whip you into shape as a unit - and sometimes had to do what was needed to instill the - "Seeing of the Light" for inspiration?

One guy was a wimp - (or not as squared away as others) a slow learner and scared of the Drill Instructor - and literally was SCARED SH-TLESS - when singled out. One day we were doing an exercise called the "Rocker" and the D I was annoyed at some of our responses to getting it the right way. The D I went to this guy and used his foot to correct the recruit - but something went wrong and the recruit hit his chin wrong and started bleeding heavily - he was taken to the hospital and questioned by the series commander - guy was told to tell the truth and nothing would happen to him - as he would be placed in another platoon and lose no time in training either. Recruit said he was a clutz and it was his own fault for not properly listening to D I? Series Commander was p-ssed - and sent him back to platoon. Guy was a hero after that - and the other guys helped him overcome any difficulties in the future. We were a team of recruits and hoped to be Marines eventually. It molded the group.

We all got love taps for one reason or another. I spoke to our New Corps - and they say the D I cannot use their hands to emphasize a point any more. Hey, I think we were better off then then now - we were in Vietnam then and mistakes would cost lives back then.

Amazed at the gear we carry into combat today - and how much gear is needed in the field today. Heavier rifles - that can shot bullets or mini grenades - more than one weapon for each Marine - ammo - etc. I was not a big dude - but we all carried our own weight back then - and we went to the gym - and had weights in the squad bay - but a new respect for the new Marines - was working at a facility and was asked when I was in by a big guy - huge shoulders - tats - and a very friendly Marine - (served in Afghanistan ).

ONE DAY - even had 4 Marines in Dress Blues ask me for directions during lunch in New York City - there was (1) Gunny - (2) S/SGT's and a M/SGT - (they looked so young with all that rank) but us old salts can say - we've been there and done that too!

What are our Brothers comments on this!

Bruce Bender
1963-1967 CPL.


Patron Saint Of Artillery

'Harassing and Interdiction", or "H&I" fires (by artillery) as they were known before somebody decided 'Terrain Denial Mission' was nicer, were pretty common in Viet Nam... on both sides, come to think of it, although Charlie (the VC), and the NVA didn't, to my limited knowledge, use ammo to deny us the use of an area for staging... or farming, as we did to them. H&I might be observed fire... or just pre-planned into an area where the bad guys might be known or suspected to use, any time of the night or day. Most of the 'incoming' mortars and/or rockets I happened to be in the area of in two years was indeed harassing... could mess up your whole day, but not even at Khe Sanh (I was never there...) did it totally interdict (stop) the accomplishment of the mission.

There are lots of adages (don't say "old adage"... that's redundant... to be an adage, it has to be old, and don't make me repeat myself again) about incoming rounds, some probably dating back to the time when Saint Barbara (Patron Saint of Artillery) had yet to come up with the recipe for that swill known as 'Artillery Punch'... it will be a minority of readers who have never heard "you never hear the one that gets you"... or, "I'm not worried about the one with my name on it, but there sure seems to be a lot of them addressed 'to whom it may concern'"... and others.

Depending on your unit, and its locale during the time you were there, what you got shot at with was kinda like Grandpa's underwear... 'all depends'... but the most common denominator would have been mortars... either a 60 or 82MM type. In the northern parts, the NVA had some big-azz towed pieces with a pretty good range on them. 152MM, Russian design, might have been either Russian or Chinese built. Some of these, (two, I think) were captured by the Ninth Marines during Dewey Canyon, and brought back to the land of the big PX. Just to make sure that credit went where credit was due, it was directed that the pertinent info would be welded onto the trails... and so it was done.

Any decent stick welder can write with his arc, leaving a bead of steel standing an eighth of an inch or so proud of the base metal... and even if that is ground off (by a jealous sister service type... won't name names, but it begins with an 'A')... the heat-affected zone in the base metal can still be discerned. Dong Ha complex, home to Force Logistics Support Group Bravo... 'Floosie B', at one time was within range of NVA artillery... and there was a story about an Engineer (or maybe a communicator, wireman), who was headed for office hours, because instead of running to a bunker when incoming was coming in, used his pole-climbing equipment, and climbed to the top of a utility pole... his reasoning being that in that fashion, he would present the smallest possible target... made sense to me...

Charlie's version of H&I by 1970 consisted of two versions of a Russian/ChiCom rocket... a 120MM and a 140MM. These were hardly pin-point accuracy missiles, but an excellent choice for 'harassment'. The launchers were two boards, arranged in a "V", and those were propped against a paddy dike, adjusted for launch angle by adding or removing dirt, and fired by a time delay device. The CPE, or Circular Probable Error for these things was 'one grid square'... meaning that on a good day, the thing would come down somewhere within an area 1,000 meters on a side. The time delay device might be a can or bucket filled with water, having an electrical wire attached to the bottom, with another attached to a nail driven through a board floating on the water... punch a hole in the can, and after the water has slowly trickled out, the board and nail would have sunk enough to make contact and complete the circuit, firing the rocket(s). By this time, Ol' Charlie, having used the cool of the morning to hump these things out to the paddy and set them up, has long since repaired to his hooch, and is trying to convince his spouse that it is a good time for some 'afternoon delight'... and a long way from any 'counter-battery fire' coming in...

The 175MM gun battery at An Hoa during my vacation there, got to shoot a lot of H&I... they could reach a loooooong way out there, and did... almost always with 72 round missions... I finally asked the Battery XO, why it always seemed to be 72 rounds? His reply was 'it's simple... six rounds per pallet, two pallets per gun (there were six in position)... 72... makes the book keeping easier... Since they were almost always shooting over the cantonment, out to the south and south west, a lot of those rounds went over my hooch... 'Whap' (the round going overhead) followed by 'boom'... the muzzle report... absolutely harrassment!... I couldn't keep a 100watt light bulb more than a day or two... either the whap or the boom would take'm out, every time.

BTW... incoming?... you might think that among the 'safest' MOS's, would be 'rations clerk'... wrong, REMF breath... had three medevacs from a mortar round, and the LSU-1 Gunny was WIANE from a piece of that...

​ Ddick


Chicken Fat

I was there! I was in Kilo Company! Weapons Platoon... 0331... Because I had a set of Dress Blues (Sea Duty), I escorted Vicki Carr down the "red carpet" as she sang, "You're a Grand Old Flag"... as memory serves me, we filmed this on the roof of CBS Studios...

This was a special program for physical fitness (Remember doing pushups and side straddle hops in the parking lot of CBS Studios?). Our President, John F. Kennedy was pushing physical fitness for the youth of America at the time... The program was a Meredith Wison production called, "Chicken Fat"...

This song should trigger some memories for you... I know it certainly did for me!

Listen the song "Chicken Fat".

Howard Hada
1989xxx


Vietnam Era

I've been reading all of the discussion about whether or not a Marine, or any one for that matter, that served in the Service during the Vietnam War, but didn't go to Vietnam is to be considered a Vietnam War Veteran. Here is my take on the issue.

I joined our beloved Corps in June of 1968 and went to MCRDSD right out of high school. Upon completion of boot and ITR at Camp Pendleton I received orders to report to MCDEC Quantico, VA. There I was to become an armorer, or 2111. After school, I was given orders for MCB 29 Palms, California. I served there for about a year and then went to Marine Barracks, Rodman Canal Zone in Panama and served there for 13 months before returning to MCB Quantico. My final duty station was at MCAS El Toro, California. Where I served until April 1st 1975. While at MCAS El Toro, I became the NCOIC of the pistol range and really enjoyed serving there. That MOS was 8531 according to my SRB which I earned by way of OJT.

As you can see by the above I never made it to Vietnam during my tour of duty. I would have gone had I ever gotten the orders to go. I guess that the Marine Corps felt I was needed here in the states and in Panama instead. I am proud of my service and would gladly do it again if given the opportunity.

Since becoming a NOLOAD (no longer on active duty) Marine I have been able to join the American Legion and The Vietnam Veterans of America here in Texas. I am not eligible to join the VFW however since I did not serve overseas in a combat area. I first went to a VVA meeting at the request of an Army Vietnam Veteran who had informed me that anyone who served and was discharged honorably from the service could join no matter where they served in the world. I found this fact rather interesting and went to a couple of meetings before joining and eventually became a life member. The men of the chapter welcomed me as their brother. They all know that I and several other members are not actual combat veterans and that's cool with them. Women veterans may also join the VVA as full fledged members as long as they too were discharged honorably. Just check your area for a local VVA chapter for details.

However, the guys also know that I will not wear any cap or badge that states that I am a Vietnam War Veteran. What I am referring to here is the caps that show the ribbons that 'Nam Vets got for being in country. I do however wear a cap that says I am a Vietnam Era Veteran.

Just my two cents worth here.

Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Sgt of Marines
1968 - 1975​


Heavy Shooting

One of the tough, unpublicized jobs of the Pacific campaign has been that of picked teams of Marines and Seabees assigned to mop-up work on the tiny coral islands which surround larger, already captured atolls.

The assignment calls for many miniature invasions. Like their larger counterpart, each follows a familiar pattern. The islands are shelled in advance; H-Hour sees the initial wave swarming over the beaches, and each Jap fights to the death.

"You've heard what it's like to go through an invasion," says James R. Williams, CM2c, who Participated in one of these missions, "Well, multiply one of them by ten, and youll have an idea of how we felt after the last Jap outpost was cleaned out."

"And do our Marines go in for heavy shooting," the Seabee said sorrowfully, "I know... I carried the ammunition!"

John Ratomski


Lost And Found

Platoon 1114/ 1966

I'm front row, six in from the left. Anybody out there remember? If so drop me a line and let me know how you are doing.

Larry Curry
lcjp2340[at]aol.com


Short Rounds

Sgt. Grit,

Do you or any of our brother Marines know when the rank L/Cpl came to be? In 1958 I was an E3 Cpl. I left active duty April 1959 and when I received my DD214 my rank was listed as E3 L/Cpl. A rank that I never held and no one ever wore at that time. When I received my Honorable Discharge my rank was listed as E3 Cpl. I have since all these years have past, heard that in the transition period to L/Cpl that E3 Cpl's, E4Sgt's and up would hold their rank until promoted to E4 Cpl or E5 Sgt and so on. I would like to know if there is any information on this out there.

Semper Fi,
Cpl E Heyl 1612xxx


Sgt. Grit,

I got a nice surprise today, My (2) Jackets I ordered over the weekend came to my back door. Sure was delighted to get them [since they were my valentines day gift]... wife said order them, so like a good Marine I obeyed. I know I will be getting some great compliments on them, I'll let you all know what the Army says.

Thanks,
Sgt. Larry Walker
Nam '67-'70​


In boot in the '60s, I qualified as Marksman with M1 and B.A.R. Was awarded Rifle Marksman badge and B.A.R. 'bar' above it. Later, I qual'ed 'Expert' with the .45 and rec'd the pistol badge. Have looked and looked but cannot find B.A.R. 'bar' today. Looks like they had qual'd for bayonet and grenade as well at some point.


No changes, just keep it comin' every Thursday morning, so I can have my fix of USMC in my life. Gung Ho!

​Paul Cole


Quotes

"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth - and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
--Father Kevin Keaney, 1st Marine Division Chaplain, Korean War


"There was always talk of espirit de corps, of being gung ho, and that must have been a part of it. Better, tougher training, more marksmanship on the firing range, the instant obedience to orders seared into men in boot camp."
--James Brady, columnist, novelist, Press Secretary to President Reagan, television personality and Marine


"A Marine will dive into the Jaws of Death and bring back the Jaw Bone."
--(WWII era Commedian whose Brother was a Marine)


"He shows the Resolute countenence of a Marine who just went through Hell and has lit his cigarette on the tines of the Devils pitchfork."
--(A Marine Serving in Iraq or Afganistan)


"Head and eyes straight to the front, heels together, feet at a 45 degree angle and thumbs along the seams of your trousers. Suck in that gut."

"What's your ninth general order, maggot?"

"A Marine recruit is a green amphibious animal that thrives on Horse Sh-t!"

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 12 FEB 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• My Jacket Honors My Service
• Camouflage Combat Uniforms
• Sillyvilian Asked

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Unit Pride

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Marine Vietnam Veteran Barn Decoration

Sgt Grit,

My wife had our barn roof painted to salute the Ospreys as the fly over our property. We live about 80 miles south of New River Air Station, Camp Lejeune, NC and the Ospreys do touch-and-go training exercises at our local airport.

Cpl David Dorsett, RVN 1965, USMC


One Of The Guys

One of the guys from the fire hall bought this motor home and this mural was on the back. I thought it looked good.

​ Cpl Jerry Knavel
11th Marines '69-'70

Iwo Jima Flag Raising mural on back of RV


2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Got my 2/1 shirt today from Sgt Grit Marine Specialties. Thanks for another great product Sgt Grit and Staff. Semper Fi!

Scott Yoder

Browse all of our Marine Corps Unit Apparel!

Scott's Sgt Grit Unit T-shirt


Hands In The Pockets

Throw back Thursday image of Marine General and Officers

All I can say is it must have been a rought day! The picture is cool, 1942 and all, and it was a relaxed moment. But all I can think about is how many times I was asked if I was in the Airwing. Mind you, I was a P.F.C. several times and my time in was 1975 to 1979. No war, no sweat, but hey peacetime could be rough. The lifers bored sh-tless and us sh-tbirds just trying to get by without being dressed down that day. Amtrackers ain't known to be the poster Marine type, but hands in the pockets? Come on! I guess there wasn't a broom handy!

Semper Fi - Do or Die,
LCpl McChesney
2nd Amtrac Bn
Courthouse Bay, N.C.


Not As Lean Long Sleeve Pocket Tee


My Jacket Honors My Service

USMC Firefighter jacket front

USMC Firefighter jacket back

In your last newsletter you had a Fire Fighter and a Marine with 'follow your dreams'. I was a Fire Fighter for 36 years in Rochester New York and in the Marine Reserve for 6 years. I had a jacket made up to honor both. The front of the jacket has a Maltese Cross with 9-11 on the inside and Never Forget for the Twin Towers. The other side the Eagle Globe and Anchor with Semper Fidelis. On the back it says it all. The Jacket is worn by my son Cameron for the picture.

Cpl. Girvin
USMCR xxxx872


Old Corps Badge

Here is something that I've never seen before. I was talking with this woman who was giving haircuts and she said her dad served in the Marines in the WWII. She then brought out his ribbons and medals. Wow, it was something to see something that I've never seen before. I took a few pictures so I could pass it along. Enjoy!

Sgt George E. Cale III
'71 - '74

WWII USMC rifle, bayonet, and hand grenade badge


Grunt Cheerleaders

Larry's granddaughters wearing USMC cheerleader outfits

Dear fellow Jarheads,

Here with my granddaughters Morgan (age 5, on left) and Madison (age 4) in their Grunt cheerleader outfits you recently sent me. They indeed will make beautiful WMs in about 16 years.

Larry Schnabel
USMCR-R 1963-1966

Get this for your Devil Pup at:

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress


Special Offer


Feel More Alive

I just read Cpl Eric Stump's letter and it brought back many memories. When he mentioned the rain and mud I thought about the times I laid in that soup in Vietnam so many years ago. However the thing that stuck out in the letter was when he said, "... after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nation's behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan." I know I had and still have those feelings of wanting to be back there. I think most, if not all who served in combat have those feelings.

I may be wrong but I think the reason for this is many; First, and above all, being that close to death makes you feel more alive then anything else in life. Second, it was a simpler time. You knew what had to be done almost without thinking about it. You didn't have to think about what to wear, what to eat, what your buddies were up to, or the thousands of things that life dumps on you every day. Third, the friendships you formed were the strongest you well ever make in life. Fourth, is just what was stated in the letter. It was what we trained for from the minute we entered to Corps and now it's over. I think everyone who retires or hangs up their jersey for the last time has those feelings as well.

And so, what can one do about it? The thing is, not everything you learned in the Corps will carry over into your new life. However, some things will and you need to set down with a paper and pencil and write down everything the Marines taught you. Some will carry forward into your new life. It's been almost 50 years since I fought in Vietnam and now I'm 75 pounds heavier then when I came back from there. I wish there would have been someone who would have had a Marine Corps type of exercise program to keep us in shape. Maybe you are the one to start that. I also spent several years writing a book about my time in Vietnam that I hope others will learn from. Maybe before those things escape you, you may want to try that. It is also a great way to deal with what you have gone through.

It can be a bright new world out there for you... go for the gold... attack the day, don't let the day just happen to you.

Semper Fi Brother,
Ron Hoffman USMC
Charlie Battery 1/13
RVN 1966-'67​


Camouflage Combat Uniforms

In the previous Sgt. Grit Newsletter, we outlined the basic utility uniforms worn by Marines from pre-WWII through Vietnam.

​As far back as 1940, the Marines considered camouflage combat uniforms but the first recorded use was by Carlson's Raiders (2nd Raider Battalion) in August, 1942. For the Makin Island raid, some of the Marines dyed their khaki uniforms black.

The first officially adopted uniform was the Model (M) 1942 one-piece reversible Jungle Suit as used by the US Army. This had a multi-shade green mottled 'cloud' (called 'frogskin') pattern that reversed to mottled brown/tan 'clouds.' Very awkward to use when nature called - especially under fire - and quite hot in tropics, it wasn't too popular.

In May, 1942, the Marines adopted a two-piece camouflage suit modeled after the P41 sage green utility uniform, with multi-green 'frogskin' reversing to brown/tan. Unlike the P41 utilities, the camo uniform used the Army herringbone twill material. The jacket has the USMC/EGA stenciled on the left breast pocket and displayed on both sides. Unlike other Marine utilities, this has domed snap fastener closure instead of the bronze/steel riveted version marked 'US Marine Corps'. This uniform remained in use into the Korean War and photos suggest some were still in use by Recon units even later.

NOTE: Over the years (1940-present), Marines have used specialized camo, like white parkas for artic conditions or Ghillie sniper suits. Those variants won't be addressed here.

In late 1942 the Marines adopted the classic camouflage helmet cover, using the same reversible 'frogskin' pattern in cotton twill. This helmet cover became the icon of Marines fighting in the Pacific and was worn through the Korean War (1950-53) era. The Marines (and Navy shore parties) received a reversible camo poncho in this same 'frogskin' pattern, with Marines also being issued a shelter half and securing straps to match. The shelter half is seen in many films and photos, worn rolled horseshoe-style over the Marine field marching/transport pack.

In 1959 the 'Mitchell' camouflage pattern helmet cover was adopted. This used a three tone green 'wine leaf' and red-brown 'branches' design, with a hint of yellow, interspersed on a light green background, and reversed to a brown/tan/sand mottled 'cloud' pattern. A matching 'Mitchell' shelter half was provided, although not as widely issued as a simple olive green [OD] version. The shelter halves had matching straps to secure the rolled shelter, blanket, tent pins & rope together, them using web straps, affixed horseshoe-style over the haversack.

The Mitchell pattern was used for US Marine and US Army helmet covers throughout the Vietnam War and into the mid-1970s when the Woodland pattern was adopted.

NOTE: The author has owned several in-country made full suits or jackets, dating to1960-61, created from the Mitchell pattern shelter halves (actually too hot to be practical) and commercially made hunting suits/jackets using a lighter weight cotton in this pattern. The author recalls seat and windshield covers for the M422 "Mighty Mite" (the USMC's AMC Jeep substitute) made on Okinawa from Mitchell shelter halves.

The commercial Mitchell pattern, along with a cloud-based pattern commonly called 'duck hunter' in shades of greens or browns, was used by early US Marine and Army Special Forces advisors in Vietnam.

With the US entry into the Vietnam War, US Marine Corps advisors assigned to the South Vietnamese Marine Corps [SVNMC] often wore the tiger stripe 'sea wave' pattern uniform of that service with a 'US Marines' embroidered tape worn over the left breast pocket. The SVNMC adopted this style uniform in 1956 and its use continued through 1972.

As mentioned in Part 1, the Marines used the ERDL camouflage Tropical Combat rip-stop cotton poplin utility uniform, based on the Third Pattern OG107 (olive green) uniform, circa 1968. This uniform was issued in either lime-green and brown-dominate patterns to better match the various micro-climates of Vietnam (mountains/jungle or coastal). There was a matching full-brim 'boonie' hat provided but no helmet cover. Although issued unmarked, documented examples show the EGA iron-on transfer on the left breast pocket flap and USMC on the gusseted pocket.

In the late 1970's (post-Vietnam War), the services began to adopt the Woodland pattern utility uniform. Made of cotton/poly blends, it used a pattern of green, black and tans to provide camo under varied situations. During the next few years, the uniform was modified several times by changing materials, pocket design, and other features. The author has observed no less than six variations dated from 1974 to 1985. The USMC/EGA was applied to the left breast pocket using an iron-on transfer and an embroidered name tape applied over the right breast pocket.

In the mid-1980's, the Battle Dress Utility uniform [BDU] using a cotton/poly blend material was adopted. In 1989, the uniform was also made in rip-stop cotton. This camo pattern was 1.6 times larger than the earlier Woodland pattern and used special dyes to reduce infrared signature. Again, several variants of this uniform exist. This pattern used the sewn-on name tape (right breast) and a 'US Marines' tape over the left breast.

In 1990, the six-color [browns/tan/black/white] Desert Battle Dress Utility uniform (called the 'chocolate chip' pattern) was adopted, along with a Nighttime Desert Grid pattern. This was the uniform commonly worn during the (First) Gulf War of August 1990 to February 1991.

In 1992, the simplified three-color [browns/black] Desert Combat Uniform (called the 'coffee stain' pattern) was adopted. Both Desert uniform designs used sewn-on name tapes and branch of service tapes.

The Desert Combat Uniform [DCU] 'coffee stain' was used in the early years of the Iraq War (2003-05) until phased out for the MARPAT uniform.

Circa 2004-05, the Marine Corps discarded the all-services BDU/DCUs in favor of the MARPAT digital design. This uses a unique pattern of greens (tropical) or browns (arid) computer-designed grids to create a camouflage effect. Official USMC utilities have a small EGA/USMC icon imbedded randomly throughout the design. Like the previous uniforms, sewn-on name tapes and US Marine tapes are used. This pattern is currently in use.

For future articles, we'll describe the evolution of Marine Corps '782 gear'... What did the Marines do differently than the Doggies for web gear and why is it called '782 gear'?

Semper Fi,
C. 'Stoney' Brook
11th & 12th Marines
1961-65


No Thanks

I got this story second hand (third?) from my daughter who got it from a teacher. At the school complex that encloses three separate schools, (elementary, middle and high school) my eight year old granddaughter was attending a presentation by mixed service representatives that did NOT include any Marines. They had a jet to display, much talk, etc. She raised her hand and when recognized asked, "When are the Marines going to be here?". One of the servicemen replied that "we represent all services." She came back with, "So, no Marines are going to be here?" He said, "no, but we can help you with your questions." She simply replied, "No thanks." and turned away. I understand every adult present fell out laughing! I would LOVE to have seen it!

Ron Perkins
Sgt. '65-'74
Nam '68-'70


Sillyvilian​ Asked

Hot dang!... finally, something that I know something about!... that being the 175... supported them at An Hoa for about six months in '70... and had staff cognizance (was the Ordnance Ossifer at higher) over a couple batteries at 29 Palms in the mid-70's... First and Third batteries, from fuzzy memory... three tours in that particular sand pile can affect the brain... Regarding barrel life... this can get a bit complicated, so bear with me. The early barrels had an "EFC" or Effective Full Charge life of 375 rounds. There were three different charges... charge 3 was an Effective Full Charge. Beyond that, arithmetic came in... if they were shooting closer in, with, for example, charge 1, it took three rounds to equal one Effective Full Charge... or, maybe a charge 1 for a mission, followed by a charge two... equaling an EFC. Keeping accurate log books was important, as reaching the 375 EFC total meant a barrel change... which was not a task you were going to accomplish with the $49.95 hundred piece tool set from Sears. Our cannon mech crew at LSU-1 an An Hoa usually did the swap with one M543 5-ton truck wrecker, and a borrowed LVT-R1 (amtrack maintenance version... had a boom on it that could handle the weight.) Gunny Flannagan and his crew once pulled off a swap in less than an hour from parking the carriage until it drove away. Bear in mind that the swap also meant that the breech mechanism had to come off the old barrel and be threaded onto a new one, along with disconnecting and reconnecting the recoil mechanism. Later barrels, known as "auto-frettage" barrels, had a much longer EFC life... not real sure, but it may have been as high as a thousand EFC rounds. Shipping the things meant a tractor-trailer, which could carry two... they didn't always make it back to Da Nang and the Defense Property Disposal lot (run by Dept of the Army Civilians)... I think we may have buried a couple at An Hoa, for lack of retrograde shipping. Besides the EFC count, there were a couple other ways that a barrel might be condemmed. Artillery (and tank main guns) were subjected to periodic inspection by borescope, and 'pull-over' gauge. The borescope came in several sections that screwed together, took 110V power for the built-in light, and had optics and a angled mirror that allowed the operator to visually inspect the length of the bore for heat checking, cracks, erosion, etc. (If you saw this monster, you would complain less about a colonoscopy...).

The pull-over gauge was a flat plate with a vernier scale on it, with a sliding section, and two toggles. It would be inserted, folded nearly flat, and as it was 'pulled-over' past center, would measure the interior diameter of the bore at specific distances from the breech. During my time at An Hoa, 3rd Guns had two in-bore premature detonations... the first splintered the barrel (we lost some infantry Marines in their tent) on that one, and the second one cut the barrel neatly in two, with the b-tt falling on the transmission cover... the aluminum valve body on top of the tranny looked like a hot spoon had scooped through a pound of butter.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds flew a civilian expert all the way from Maryland to look at the problem... he really, really didn't want to be there. The VIP helo landed close to the gun position, and the blades were still turning, when the sillyvilian asked "ever had this before?"... Battery XO said, yeah, once... couple months ago. With that the expert said "I dunno what you had before, but you got it again... ship all the pieces to Aberdeen"... and went an got back in the Huey.

I think that if you look it up, you will find that the muzzle velocity of the 175, fired at charge 3, is the same as an M-16 firing ball... and the obturator pad, AKA 'gas check pad' in the breech assembly of a 175, also fits the 8". Long story to go with that, for another time.

Ddick


Vicariously Relive​

50 years ago today, I was on mess duty at MCAS Cherry Point and next month would extend my tour of active duty by three months so I could go to Viet Nam with Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn. At the time, I had no appreciation for what I had because I was a rebellious individual and bridled at authority. To this day, I say the Corps and I were incompatible and it's true. It took me almost 50 years to gain appreciation for that period of my life. I've always been proud of being a Marine but never had the inclination to go back and do it again. All that has changed in the Fall of my life. On the occasions when I'm told, "Thank you for your service." I usually reply, "It was my pleasure. I'd go back and do it again but I get to be 17 years old again." and incompatible or not, I mean it. Thank you Sgt. Grit for allowing me to vicariously relive that most important part of my life through your weekly newsletters. I appreciate the newsletter and the Marines who contribute to it, more than you will ever know.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966


A Jarhead's Journey

I am a decorated combat veteran that served as an adviser to the 1st Division of ARVN along the DMZ in 1965 and 1966. I take the most pride in one thing along with my brothers and sisters who served in the Corps: War or peace time, combat or combat support (1) we all signed that blank check, (2) earned the title of Marine, and (3) paid that check in full with an honorable discharge. Semper Fi!

(Capt.) Jim Lowe

Available in paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

All royalties donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Old WWI Vet

Cootie removal tool closed

Cootie removal tool open

Sgt. Grit,

Some years ago I was visiting an Old WWI Vet. We talked about our wars and he said, one of the biggest problems of WWI was the "COOTIE's" which were lice. He showed me the outfit he made to help remove cooties which was much like the one I have shown here, the date on this cartridge head is 1917. When they were relieved from the front lines and moved to the rear area they started big fires and got great pots of water boiling. They took their clothes off and dropped them in the boiling water, while the clothes were boiling they bathed usually like I did in my three wars, in a small basin (helmet) of water. The clothes were taken out dried and put on again free of "Cooties". The VFW even had a "COOTIE" Club after the war for the guys that served in the trenches and suffered "COOTIE's". The club was phased out after some of the other wars we had to fight. I would imagine that Iran and Iraq have some dandy bugs.

Gy. Sgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Boot Camp Buddies

Boot Camp photos of Marines 1958

Reunion of Marine buddies in 2014

Hi Sgt Grit,

In March of 2012 I submitted a story about my foolish act at MCRDPI rifle range back in 1958, which appeared in Sgt Grit newsletter of April 5, 2012. Surprisingly, another member of my boot camp Platoon 281 happened to see it and requested my contact info. After receiving notice from Sgt Grit I promptly and eagerly replied and days later I received an email from that Parris Island "boot camp buddy" Richard "Rich" Robbins on the west coast. We both thought it a little amazing, that after 56 years, we once youthful, 17 year old Marine recruits, now 73 and 74 year old senior (Marine) citizens, were suddenly re-connected by an electronic device called email. Needless to say, this mutually unexpected reunion has been enjoyable for both of us, engaging in nostalgic boot camp recollections and typical USMC scuttlebutt. Comparing notes we find our civilian lives and interests have many similarities, plus we both still adhere to certain Marine Corps habits, such as grabbing our shirt-sides, pulling them tightly-in backward then stuffing them into the backside of our trousers and also, aligning the edges of our shirt-front, belt buckle and zipper flap of our trousers. And don't even think of stepping on our shined (for the most part) shoes.

Both Rich and I hail from different parts of eastern Massachusetts but while I still live here Rich (smartly) relocated to California in the early 80's. We didn't know each other at the time of our individual enlistments but assuredly, we must have been on the same train that July of 1958 from Boston to Yemassee, and on that nice bus to PI. We ended up in the same platoon for those 13 awesome weeks of hell and graduation day of October 1958 was the last time we would muster together, until June of 2014.

We both pulled the same duty station, 1st Mar. Div., Camp Pendleton but as typical, our paths never again crossed (including ITR Camp Geiger at Lejeune). Rich was assigned to 3rd Amtrac Bn (Camp Del Mar) for a year then to electronics schooling at TI and San Diego after which he was sent to 1st Marine Brigade (Airwing) FMF at Kanehoe. I went to 1st Bn 9th Marines (then based at Camp San Mateo) for a little over a year before shipping out to 1st Bn 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. FMF (then based on Okinawa). While in SE Asia in 1961 our separate units were summoned to readiness to respond to Pathet Lao communist aggression in that country of Laos, but which our orders would be recalled. We would both make it to Cpl-E4 before completing of our four years.

Since our initial emails of 2012 Rich and I have stayed in touch and plan to carry it on. And as luck would have it, we had the opportunity and pleasure to meet in person last June when Rich happened to travel to Mass. for another purpose. We met for lunch in Plymouth, which by-the-way is hometown to his Pilgrim ancestors, securing his membership in the Mayflower Society (I hope he doesn't mind me taking the liberty to mention this personal, but rather interesting fact. If he does, guess I'll have to get down and give him fifty). I'll go further to say that he's also a dedicated member of his local chapter of The Marine Corps League, which he proudly and effectively serves.

Anyway Sgt Grit, thanks to you and to your dedicated staff for your superb website and products catalog, which caters specifically to Marines and especially for your newsletter, which provides a convenient path in helping make these kind of unexpected reunions possible.

Lastly, for a grin, I've attached two different sets of photos of Rich and myself: one of "then" from our 1958 MCRDPI book and the other of "now" from our 2014 lunch reunion. Regardless of the space in time and age, I think we all share the same passion for our great United States Marine Corps and always will... so here we both stand, Recruits then, Marines still.

Semper Fi, even after we die,
Lionel "Leo" Caldeira 1958-1962

"Once a Marine, Always a Marine"​


I Don't Feel So Bad

"This is NOT a problem, but a thank you for the speed in which my order was filled & shipped. I ordered the Marine Corps cane & the John Wayne coffee mug. I love the cane. I was upset when my doctor told me I had to start using a cane, but now that I have this Marine Corps cane, I don't feel so bad. Fedex delivered my box with three of four sides ripped and taped up. Luckily nothing was damaged. The funny thing is the rips were right at the 'Fragile Handle with Care' sticker.

Again, thanks.​


Providing Support

Marine Hershel Woody Williams MoH Recipient

Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation

Established in 2012, is a charitable 501c.3, not-for-profit organization that pursues specific endeavors and goals through the vision of Marine Corps Medal of Honor Recipient Hershel "Woody" Williams. The Foundation is carrying out his vision to honor and recognize Gold Star Families by establishing permanent memorial monuments in communities throughout our country.

Our Goals:

- Educate and raise awareness in the American public about Gold Star Families and the sacrifices that they have made for the freedoms we enjoy every day as Americans, through outreach, education, and example.

- To assist in the promotion, creation, and implementation of Gold Star Families Memorial Monuments in every state throughout the country, and in many communities.

Donations can be made at Hershel Woody Williams Medal of Honor Foundation.


Short Rounds

Lance Corporal has more letters than most of the other ranks, so Lance Corporals must be more important.

LCpl Fuller


The greatest customer service ever. Far beyond expectations, but came as no suprise. Semper Fidelis Marines!

Hector Lopez, D.D.S.
Family Dentistry


Glad to be part of the Greatest Brotherhood in the World!

Sgt. Thomas J. Murphy (Ret.)


Cpl. Stumps letter needs to be posted and read at every VA hospital, all Marine Corps League meetings. He may get his wish and save some lives.

Bailey, CPL '62-'66


All Marines should try to get a copy of the most recent Leatherneck February 2015. It has an outstanding story "10 Days on Iwo Jima" reprinted from May 1945. This is the 70th Anniversary.

What is really gripping is the sermon given by the 5th MarDiv Chaplin at a religious service dedicating the 5thMarDiv cemetery on Iwo 21 Mar 1945.

That's WHY WE FIGHT.

JM Stone, LCpl, '65-'69


Sgt Grit,

I want to say the suicide letter by Cpl Eric Stump, USMC, 0311/0351 was OUTSTANDING!

J Kanavy,Cpl​


Quotes

"In my experience, Marines are gung ho no matter what. They will all fight to the death. Every one of them just wants to get out there and kill. They are bad-azs, hard-charging mothers."
--From the book "American Sniper" by Chris Kyle


"A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, like the ancient knights; and it is not the least of these necessary hardships to have to serve with sailors."
--Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery


"Lying offshore, ready to act, the presence of ships and Marines sometimes means much more than just having air power or ship's fire, when it comes to deterring a crisis. And the ships and Marines may not have to do anything but lie offshore. It is hard to lie offshore with a C-141 or C-130 full of airborne troops."
--Gen. Colin Powell, U. S. Army Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff During Operation Desert Storm


"Get on line with two sheets and a blanket... move!"

"Get on my quarterdeck... NOW!"

"Scuz brush bulkhead... move!​"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 12 FEB 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10431/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 12 FEB 2015

In this issue:
• My Jacket Honors My Service
• Camouflage Combat Uniforms
• Sillyvilian Asked

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

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Sgt Grit,

My wife had our barn roof painted to salute the Ospreys as the fly over our property. We live about 80 miles south of New River Air Station, Camp Lejeune, NC and the Ospreys do touch-and-go training exercises at our local airport.

Cpl David Dorsett, RVN 1965, USMC


One Of The Guys

One of the guys from the fire hall bought this motor home and this mural was on the back. I thought it looked good.

​ Cpl Jerry Knavel
11th Marines '69-'70


2nd Battalion, 1st Marines

Got my 2/1 shirt today from Sgt Grit Marine Specialties. Thanks for another great product Sgt Grit and Staff. Semper Fi!

Scott Yoder

Browse all of our Marine Corps Unit Apparel!


Hands In The Pockets

All I can say is it must have been a rought day! The picture is cool, 1942 and all, and it was a relaxed moment. But all I can think about is how many times I was asked if I was in the Airwing. Mind you, I was a P.F.C. several times and my time in was 1975 to 1979. No war, no sweat, but hey peacetime could be rough. The lifers bored sh-tless and us sh-tbirds just trying to get by without being dressed down that day. Amtrackers ain't known to be the poster Marine type, but hands in the pockets? Come on! I guess there wasn't a broom handy!

Semper Fi - Do or Die,
LCpl McChesney
2nd Amtrac Bn
Courthouse Bay, N.C.


My Jacket Honors My Service

In your last newsletter you had a Fire Fighter and a Marine with 'follow your dreams'. I was a Fire Fighter for 36 years in Rochester New York and in the Marine Reserve for 6 years. I had a jacket made up to honor both. The front of the jacket has a Maltese Cross with 9-11 on the inside and Never Forget for the Twin Towers. The other side the Eagle Globe and Anchor with Semper Fidelis. On the back it says it all. The Jacket is worn by my son Cameron for the picture.

Cpl. Girvin
USMCR xxxx872


Old Corps Badge

Here is something that I've never seen before. I was talking with this woman who was giving haircuts and she said her dad served in the Marines in the WWII. She then brought out his ribbons and medals. Wow, it was something to see something that I've never seen before. I took a few pictures so I could pass it along. Enjoy!

Sgt George E. Cale III
'71 - '74


Grunt Cheerleaders

Dear fellow Jarheads,

Here with my granddaughters Morgan (age 5, on left) and Madison (age 4) in their Grunt cheerleader outfits you recently sent me. They indeed will make beautiful WMs in about 16 years.

Larry Schnabel
USMCR-R 1963-1966

Get this for your Devil Pup at:

USMC Toddler Jersey Cheer Dress


Feel More Alive

I just read Cpl Eric Stump's letter and it brought back many memories. When he mentioned the rain and mud I thought about the times I laid in that soup in Vietnam so many years ago. However the thing that stuck out in the letter was when he said, "... after all my years of service, training to fight and fighting on our nation's behalf of freedom and safety I found myself not in service to my true calling, my obligation, my oath to protect this nation. I found myself laying on my barracks room floor, wishing I was still in Afghanistan." I know I had and still have those feelings of wanting to be back there. I think most, if not all who served in combat have those feelings.

I may be wrong but I think the reason for this is many; First, and above all, being that close to death makes you feel more alive then anything else in life. Second, it was a simpler time. You knew what had to be done almost without thinking about it. You didn't have to think about what to wear, what to eat, what your buddies were up to, or the thousands of things that life dumps on you every day. Third, the friendships you formed were the strongest you well ever make in life. Fourth, is just what was stated in the letter. It was what we trained for from the minute we entered to Corps and now it's over. I think everyone who retires or hangs up their jersey for the last time has those feelings as well.

And so, what can one do about it? The thing is, not everything you learned in the Corps will carry over into your new life. However, some things will and you need to set down with a paper and pencil and write down everything the Marines taught you. Some will carry forward into your new life. It's been almost 50 years since I fought in Vietnam and now I'm 75 pounds heavier then when I came back from there. I wish there would have been someone who would have had a Marine Corps type of exercise program to keep us in shape. Maybe you are the one to start that. I also spent several years writing a book about my time in Vietnam that I hope others will learn from. Maybe before those things escape you, you may want to try that. It is also a great way to deal with what you have gone through.

It can be a bright new world out there for you... go for the gold... attack the day, don't let the day just happen to you.

Semper Fi Brother,
Ron Hoffman USMC
Charlie Battery 1/13
RVN 1966-'67​


Camouflage Combat Uniforms

In the previous Sgt. Grit Newsletter, we outlined the basic utility uniforms worn by Marines from pre-WWII through Vietnam.

​As far back as 1940, the Marines considered camouflage combat uniforms but the first recorded use was by Carlson's Raiders (2nd Raider Battalion) in August, 1942. For the Makin Island raid, some of the Marines dyed their khaki uniforms black.

The first officially adopted uniform was the Model (M) 1942 one-piece reversible Jungle Suit as used by the US Army. This had a multi-shade green mottled 'cloud' (called 'frogskin') pattern that reversed to mottled brown/tan 'clouds.' Very awkward to use when nature called - especially under fire - and quite hot in tropics, it wasn't too popular.

In May, 1942, the Marines adopted a two-piece camouflage suit modeled after the P41 sage green utility uniform, with multi-green 'frogskin' reversing to brown/tan. Unlike the P41 utilities, the camo uniform used the Army herringbone twill material. The jacket has the USMC/EGA stenciled on the left breast pocket and displayed on both sides. Unlike other Marine utilities, this has domed snap fastener closure instead of the bronze/steel riveted version marked 'US Marine Corps'. This uniform remained in use into the Korean War and photos suggest some were still in use by Recon units even later.

NOTE: Over the years (1940-present), Marines have used specialized camo, like white parkas for artic conditions or Ghillie sniper suits. Those variants won't be addressed here.

In late 1942 the Marines adopted the classic camouflage helmet cover, using the same reversible 'frogskin' pattern in cotton twill. This helmet cover became the icon of Marines fighting in the Pacific and was worn through the Korean War (1950-53) era. The Marines (and Navy shore parties) received a reversible camo poncho in this same 'frogskin' pattern, with Marines also being issued a shelter half and securing straps to match. The shelter half is seen in many films and photos, worn rolled horseshoe-style over the Marine field marching/transport pack.

In 1959 the 'Mitchell' camouflage pattern helmet cover was adopted. This used a three tone green 'wine leaf' and red-brown 'branches' design, with a hint of yellow, interspersed on a light green background, and reversed to a brown/tan/sand mottled 'cloud' pattern. A matching 'Mitchell' shelter half was provided, although not as widely issued as a simple olive green [OD] version. The shelter halves had matching straps to secure the rolled shelter, blanket, tent pins & rope together, them using web straps, affixed horseshoe-style over the haversack.

The Mitchell pattern was used for US Marine and US Army helmet covers throughout the Vietnam War and into the mid-1970s when the Woodland pattern was adopted.

NOTE: The author has owned several in-country made full suits or jackets, dating to1960-61, created from the Mitchell pattern shelter halves (actually too hot to be practical) and commercially made hunting suits/jackets using a lighter weight cotton in this pattern. The author recalls seat and windshield covers for the M422 "Mighty Mite" (the USMC's AMC Jeep substitute) made on Okinawa from Mitchell shelter halves.

The commercial Mitchell pattern, along with a cloud-based pattern commonly called 'duck hunter' in shades of greens or browns, was used by early US Marine and Army Special Forces advisors in Vietnam.

With the US entry into the Vietnam War, US Marine Corps advisors assigned to the South Vietnamese Marine Corps [SVNMC] often wore the tiger stripe 'sea wave' pattern uniform of that service with a 'US Marines' embroidered tape worn over the left breast pocket. The SVNMC adopted this style uniform in 1956 and its use continued through 1972.

As mentioned in Part 1, the Marines used the ERDL camouflage Tropical Combat rip-stop cotton poplin utility uniform, based on the Third Pattern OG107 (olive green) uniform, circa 1968. This uniform was issued in either lime-green and brown-dominate patterns to better match the various micro-climates of Vietnam (mountains/jungle or coastal). There was a matching full-brim 'boonie' hat provided but no helmet cover. Although issued unmarked, documented examples show the EGA iron-on transfer on the left breast pocket flap and USMC on the gusseted pocket.

In the late 1970's (post-Vietnam War), the services began to adopt the Woodland pattern utility uniform. Made of cotton/poly blends, it used a pattern of green, black and tans to provide camo under varied situations. During the next few years, the uniform was modified several times by changing materials, pocket design, and other features. The author has observed no less than six variations dated from 1974 to 1985. The USMC/EGA was applied to the left breast pocket using an iron-on transfer and an embroidered name tape applied over the right breast pocket.

In the mid-1980's, the Battle Dress Utility uniform [BDU] using a cotton/poly blend material was adopted. In 1989, the uniform was also made in rip-stop cotton. This camo pattern was 1.6 times larger than the earlier Woodland pattern and used special dyes to reduce infrared signature. Again, several variants of this uniform exist. This pattern used the sewn-on name tape (right breast) and a 'US Marines' tape over the left breast.

In 1990, the six-color [browns/tan/black/white] Desert Battle Dress Utility uniform (called the 'chocolate chip' pattern) was adopted, along with a Nighttime Desert Grid pattern. This was the uniform commonly worn during the (First) Gulf War of August 1990 to February 1991.

In 1992, the simplified three-color [browns/black] Desert Combat Uniform (called the 'coffee stain' pattern) was adopted. Both Desert uniform designs used sewn-on name tapes and branch of service tapes.

The Desert Combat Uniform [DCU] 'coffee stain' was used in the early years of the Iraq War (2003-05) until phased out for the MARPAT uniform.

Circa 2004-05, the Marine Corps discarded the all-services BDU/DCUs in favor of the MARPAT digital design. This uses a unique pattern of greens (tropical) or browns (arid) computer-designed grids to create a camouflage effect. Official USMC utilities have a small EGA/USMC icon imbedded randomly throughout the design. Like the previous uniforms, sewn-on name tapes and US Marine tapes are used. This pattern is currently in use.

For future articles, we'll describe the evolution of Marine Corps '782 gear'... What did the Marines do differently than the Doggies for web gear and why is it called '782 gear'?

Semper Fi,
C. 'Stoney' Brook
11th & 12th Marines
1961-65


No Thanks

I got this story second hand (third?) from my daughter who got it from a teacher. At the school complex that encloses three separate schools, (elementary, middle and high school) my eight year old granddaughter was attending a presentation by mixed service representatives that did NOT include any Marines. They had a jet to display, much talk, etc. She raised her hand and when recognized asked, "When are the Marines going to be here?". One of the servicemen replied that "we represent all services." She came back with, "So, no Marines are going to be here?" He said, "no, but we can help you with your questions." She simply replied, "No thanks." and turned away. I understand every adult present fell out laughing! I would LOVE to have seen it!

Ron Perkins
Sgt. '65-'74
Nam '68-'70


Sillyvilian​ Asked

Hot dang!... finally, something that I know something about!... that being the 175... supported them at An Hoa for about six months in '70... and had staff cognizance (was the Ordnance Ossifer at higher) over a couple batteries at 29 Palms in the mid-70's... First and Third batteries, from fuzzy memory... three tours in that particular sand pile can affect the brain... Regarding barrel life... this can get a bit complicated, so bear with me. The early barrels had an "EFC" or Effective Full Charge life of 375 rounds. There were three different charges... charge 3 was an Effective Full Charge. Beyond that, arithmetic came in... if they were shooting closer in, with, for example, charge 1, it took three rounds to equal one Effective Full Charge... or, maybe a charge 1 for a mission, followed by a charge two... equaling an EFC. Keeping accurate log books was important, as reaching the 375 EFC total meant a barrel change... which was not a task you were going to accomplish with the $49.95 hundred piece tool set from Sears. Our cannon mech crew at LSU-1 an An Hoa usually did the swap with one M543 5-ton truck wrecker, and a borrowed LVT-R1 (amtrack maintenance version... had a boom on it that could handle the weight.) Gunny Flannagan and his crew once pulled off a swap in less than an hour from parking the carriage until it drove away. Bear in mind that the swap also meant that the breech mechanism had to come off the old barrel and be threaded onto a new one, along with disconnecting and reconnecting the recoil mechanism. Later barrels, known as "auto-frettage" barrels, had a much longer EFC life... not real sure, but it may have been as high as a thousand EFC rounds. Shipping the things meant a tractor-trailer, which could carry two... they didn't always make it back to Da Nang and the Defense Property Disposal lot (run by Dept of the Army Civilians)... I think we may have buried a couple at An Hoa, for lack of retrograde shipping. Besides the EFC count, there were a couple other ways that a barrel might be condemmed. Artillery (and tank main guns) were subjected to periodic inspection by borescope, and 'pull-over' gauge. The borescope came in several sections that screwed together, took 110V power for the built-in light, and had optics and a angled mirror that allowed the operator to visually inspect the length of the bore for heat checking, cracks, erosion, etc. (If you saw this monster, you would complain less about a colonoscopy...).

The pull-over gauge was a flat plate with a vernier scale on it, with a sliding section, and two toggles. It would be inserted, folded nearly flat, and as it was 'pulled-over' past center, would measure the interior diameter of the bore at specific distances from the breech. During my time at An Hoa, 3rd Guns had two in-bore premature detonations... the first splintered the barrel (we lost some infantry Marines in their tent) on that one, and the second one cut the barrel neatly in two, with the b-tt falling on the transmission cover... the aluminum valve body on top of the tranny looked like a hot spoon had scooped through a pound of butter.

Aberdeen Proving Grounds flew a civilian expert all the way from Maryland to look at the problem... he really, really didn't want to be there. The VIP helo landed close to the gun position, and the blades were still turning, when the sillyvilian asked "ever had this before?"... Battery XO said, yeah, once... couple months ago. With that the expert said "I dunno what you had before, but you got it again... ship all the pieces to Aberdeen"... and went an got back in the Huey.

I think that if you look it up, you will find that the muzzle velocity of the 175, fired at charge 3, is the same as an M-16 firing ball... and the obturator pad, AKA 'gas check pad' in the breech assembly of a 175, also fits the 8". Long story to go with that, for another time.

Ddick


Vicariously Relive​

50 years ago today, I was on mess duty at MCAS Cherry Point and next month would extend my tour of active duty by three months so I could go to Viet Nam with Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn. At the time, I had no appreciation for what I had because I was a rebellious individual and bridled at authority. To this day, I say the Corps and I were incompatible and it's true. It took me almost 50 years to gain appreciation for that period of my life. I've always been proud of being a Marine but never had the inclination to go back and do it again. All that has changed in the Fall of my life. On the occasions when I'm told, "Thank you for your service." I usually reply, "It was my pleasure. I'd go back and do it again but I get to be 17 years old again." and incompatible or not, I mean it. Thank you Sgt. Grit for allowing me to vicariously relive that most important part of my life through your weekly newsletters. I appreciate the newsletter and the Marines who contribute to it, more than you will ever know.

Semper Fi,
Cpl. Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966


A Jarhead's Journey

I am a decorated combat veteran that served as an adviser to the 1st Division of ARVN along the DMZ in 1965 and 1966. I take the most pride in one thing along with my brothers and sisters who served in the Corps: War or peace time, combat or combat support (1) we all signed that blank check, (2) earned the title of Marine, and (3) paid that check in full with an honorable discharge. Semper Fi!

(Capt.) Jim Lowe

Available in paperback form at "A Jarhead's Journey".

All royalties donated to the Wounded Warrior Project.


Old WWI Vet

Sgt. Grit,

Some years ago I was visiting an Old WWI Vet. We talked about our wars and he said, one of the biggest problems of WWI was the "COOTIE's" which were lice. He showed me the outfit he made to help remove cooties which was much like the one I have shown here, the date on this cartridge head is 1917. When they were relieved from the front lines and moved to the rear area they started big fires and got great pots of water boiling. They took their clothes off and dropped them in the boiling water, while the clothes were boiling they bathed usually like I did in my three wars, in a small basin (helmet) of water. The clothes were taken out dried and put on again free of "Cooties". The VFW even had a "COOTIE" Club after the war for the guys that served in the trenches and suffered "COOTIE's". The club was phased out after some of the other wars we had to fight. I would imagine that Iran and Iraq have some dandy bugs.

Gy. Sgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Boot Camp Buddies

Hi Sgt Grit,

In March of 2012 I submitted a story about my foolish act at MCRDPI rifle range back in 1958, which appeared in Sgt Grit newsletter of April 5, 2012. Surprisingly, another member of my boot camp Platoon 281 happened to see it and requested my contact info. After receiving notice from Sgt Grit I promptly and eagerly replied and days later I received an email from that Parris Island "boot camp buddy" Richard "Rich" Robbins on the west coast. We both thought it a little amazing, that after 56 years, we once youthful, 17 year old Marine recruits, now 73 and 74 year old senior (Marine) citizens, were suddenly re-connected by an electronic device called email. Needless to say, this mutually unexpected reunion has been enjoyable for both of us, engaging in nostalgic boot camp recollections and typical USMC scuttlebutt. Comparing notes we find our civilian lives and interests have many similarities, plus we both still adhere to certain Marine Corps habits, such as grabbing our shirt-sides, pulling them tightly-in backward then stuffing them into the backside of our trousers and also, aligning the edges of our shirt-front, belt buckle and zipper flap of our trousers. And don't even think of stepping on our shined (for the most part) shoes.

Both Rich and I hail from different parts of eastern Massachusetts but while I still live here Rich (smartly) relocated to California in the early 80's. We didn't know each other at the time of our individual enlistments but assuredly, we must have been on the same train that July of 1958 from Boston to Yemassee, and on that nice bus to PI. We ended up in the same platoon for those 13 awesome weeks of hell and graduation day of October 1958 was the last time we would muster together, until June of 2014.

We both pulled the same duty station, 1st Mar. Div., Camp Pendleton but as typical, our paths never again crossed (including ITR Camp Geiger at Lejeune). Rich was assigned to 3rd Amtrac Bn (Camp Del Mar) for a year then to electronics schooling at TI and San Diego after which he was sent to 1st Marine Brigade (Airwing) FMF at Kanehoe. I went to 1st Bn 9th Marines (then based at Camp San Mateo) for a little over a year before shipping out to 1st Bn 3rd Marines, 3rd Mar. Div. FMF (then based on Okinawa). While in SE Asia in 1961 our separate units were summoned to readiness to respond to Pathet Lao communist aggression in that country of Laos, but which our orders would be recalled. We would both make it to Cpl-E4 before completing of our four years.

Since our initial emails of 2012 Rich and I have stayed in touch and plan to carry it on. And as luck would have it, we had the opportunity and pleasure to meet in person last June when Rich happened to travel to Mass. for another purpose. We met for lunch in Plymouth, which by-the-way is hometown to his Pilgrim ancestors, securing his membership in the Mayflower Society (I hope he doesn't mind me taking the liberty to mention this personal, but rather interesting fact. If he does, guess I'll have to get down and give him fifty). I'll go further to say that he's also a dedicated member of his local chapter of The Marine Corps League, which he proudly and effectively serves.

Anyway Sgt Grit, thanks to you and to your dedicated staff for your superb website and products catalog, which caters specifically to Marines and especially for your newsletter, which provides a convenient path in helping make these kind of unexpected reunions possible.

Lastly, for a grin, I've attached two different sets of photos of Rich and myself: one of "then" from our 1958 MCRDPI book and the other of "now" from our 2014 lunch reunion. Regardless of the space in time and age, I think we all share the same passion for our great United States Marine Corps and always will... so here we both stand, Recruits then, Marines still.

Semper Fi, even after we die,
Lionel "Leo" Caldeira 1958-1962