Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 APR 2015

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• Guard Duty
• A Private-Proof Tool

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Larry Hamilton in Vietnam with 40-round magazine

I saw an AK-47 while in Vietnam and it had a 30 round magazine. So I cut the top and bottom off of a couple of M-14 Magazines and welded them together and made a "40" Round magazine for my M-14. It really didn't work very well when test firing it, several of the last rounds would not chamber with only two springs. So I put "three" springs into the magazine, but then I could only load a little over 30 rounds. There just wasn't enough room for three springs and 40 Full Metal Jacket rounds in that magazine. I sure received some strange looks while walking around with my 40 round magazine.

Semper Fi,
Larry


Lock And Load

Range Officer:

"With a clip and two rounds, lock and load."
"Ready on the Left."
"Ready on the right."
"All ready on the firing line."
"Watch your targets."
"TARGETS!"

Hit the deck, prone position, squeeze off two rounds, bam, bam. Empty clip ejects, pull full eight round clip from cartridge belt, tap on helmet to seat short rounds, insert in breech, lock and load, squeeze off eight more, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam ,bam, bam, bam, 10 rounds on target in less than a minute.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964​


Nike Special


Jerk The Tail

When I was stationed at 8th & I with the U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own", one of it's members, a MGySgt was retiring. He had been in the island campaigns of WWII before eventually becoming a Marine Bandsman. I was a SSgt (crossed rifles) at the time and the Band's PIO and we had struck up a friendship. He came to me and showed me an M1 Rifle in beautiful condition. He then showed me the original issue slip that used to be given to the Marine when the rifle was assigned to him and he signed the other half which was retained by the armory. Well, it looked old so I looked closer at it, and d-mn if it hadn't been issued in the early part of WWII! I was blown away! He smiled and asked me how bad I thought it was going to gum up the works when he turned it in?

He went over to the Barracks Armory and presented the M1 Rifle and the issue slip and asked for them to sign off he had turned it in properly and clear him off the books as possessor of that rifle. The young armor, a new Cpl quickly called his Sgt. The Sgt asked the MGySgt if he was pulling a joke and he assured them he wasn't and they needed to clear him properly of possession of that rifle. The Sgt quickly went up to his Boss the Co Gunny who looked at the slip and sent him over to a MGySgt in supply at the Barracks. He looked at it and said he hadn't seen one of those slips since WWII and didn't have a clue about how to handle it. He called his counterpart over at HQMC. HQMC "suggested" that perhaps the MGySgt with the rifle might just like to keep it as a souvenir and not create a major problem for the supply network. Back down the line this same and of course the retiring MGySgt looked at them and said, "NO!" "I'm turning in my rifle per regulations and you'll have to properly relieve me of it!" Boy did that ever create a cluster F-ck at HQMC! The next day at lunch in the SNCO Mess the Bks SgtMaj sat down at my table. After some pleasantries he asked me if I thought the Band MGySgt with the M1 could be talked out of turning it in? I told the SgtMaj that I didn't think there was a remote possibility of that happening. He said, "Oh well, I tried!" and that was that! It took HQMC over a week to work out how to handle it and properly sign for the return of the weapon. They couldn't even find a record of the Corps ever having had possessed that rifle! So, records were created, and the MGySgt got his properly signed receipt, clearing him of possession of the weapon! I believe the Marine Corps Museum eventually got the weapon for it's use.

The MGySgt Bandsman would drop by my office daily telling me the latest problems that had arisen. He said after over 30 years in the Corps it was finally his turn to jerk the tail of the Corps instead of them jerking his!

Semper Fi,
DB Wright
'59-'74


Huge Sigh Of Relief

Sgt. Grit,

In the newsletter of April 16, you asked for some stories from veterans of WWII. My wife warns me to watch out as I can ruin a whole afternoon by not knowing when to stop my stories.

In the last few months of 1942 I was assigned duty at the residence of Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. He had two automobiles at his disposal. One was a large Packard driven by a chief water tender who had driven the Admiral for over fifteen years. The other was a custom built Dodge which was given to the Navy by Major Bowes the host of the very popular radio program Major Bowes' Amateur Hour.

A new driver was selected to drive the Dodge. One evening the Admiral and his wife wanted to see a program at a theater on Times Square. The driver was to see that a hood was placed over stars on the front of car as they wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. As luck would have it just as they were pulling up to the front of the theater the foot of the new driver slipped and landed on the button which set off a loud howl from the siren. Poor fellow spent eight hours each day for the next three weeks polishing that Dodge.

About four months out of boot camp I found myself as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. My station was on the bottom level of his quarters. I had never been upstairs so I had no idea what things were like up there. About midnight my phone rang. The operator said for me to tell the Admiral that his 'command phone' was off the hook. I took my flashlight and started for the top floor. Not knowing where anybody was located, I knocked on the first door I found. Luckily Mrs. Andrews answered and thanked me for delivering my message. This buck private breathed a huge sigh of relief and hurried back down to his post. Wonder if I was half as scared when I hit island beaches later.

One evening in the Fall of 1942, Admiral Andrews called me, as his orderly, up to the main floor of quarters and told me to call for the President's car and to stay with him until he had driven away. I phoned the garage for the car and then went up to the porch overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had no idea who to expect as my chow relief had been on duty earlier. I waited on the porch for several minutes until Herbert Hoover came out to chat until the car arrived. Quite a surprise for me.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


Vietnam Veteran Brother In Arms T-shirt


All Time Classic

Sgt. Grit,

Each week I look forward to the newsletter and crack up laughing at a number of the stories, many of which take me back to my time in the Corps. All of us have names that we were called in boot camp by our DI's and I have a few that are personal favorites, but the most favorite name was one that I (we) were called after boot camp. I never heard this name before or since, but it was used regularly by one Gunny Silas (sp) when I reported to Lima 3/8 out of ITS in December of 1981. The good Gunny was a Viet Nam vet I believe and a former recon Marine and at some point a DI I think, but not completely sure of that. I do know that he was a little squared away spitfire, dynamo that took sh-t from no one. He was "in your face" just to let you know that he was watching you. My very first company formation with Lima was on a cold December, North Carolina morning and he called out those of us who had just reported to the unit and referred to us as "broke d-cks" who had better not ease up just because we were out of boot camp and f-ck up his company. If not still too scared to do so, I would have busted out laughing when I heard the term "broke d-cks", but I had already been forewarned that the Gunny did not mess around. This was a bit of a shock to me because ITS was a breeze compared to Parris Island and without all the DI's games and drama, so when I heard Gunny Silas tee off like that I started to think that I was back at Parris Island again.

He was of Japanese descent I believe and was only about 5'5" tall, but what I recall most about him from that first meeting was that his cammies were pressed so well and the pockets on the blouse were so flat that the blouse looked like it would have stood up on its own. His boots had that ripple sole on them and I remember thinking how neat they looked. I immediately took a pair of mine to one of those silver warehouse like buildings on Camp Geiger that shipped the boots off to a cobbler to have them resoled. If I recall correctly, we only did a few field ops with the Gunny before he moved back to Recon, but his force marches were azs kickers. Gunny Backus took over from Gunny Silas just before we headed out on a Med and eventually to Beirut. But after Gunny Silas left, I never heard the term broke d-ck again and that's a shame because I regard that as an all time "classic".

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt


Unbroken

Marines with Louis Zamperini before his passing

One of my custom coin customers visited Louis Zamperini before his passing. This is a picture of them all together. Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini was an American prisoner of war survivor in World War II, a Christian inspirational speaker, and an Olympic distance runner. Zamperini is the subject of two biographies and the 2014 film "Unbroken".

Becca Casey
Sgt Grit Custom Orders Specialist


Rifle Serial Numbers

Sgt. Grit,

Re: Still Remember My Rifle Number by George Engel.

I still remember my 'best friend' in North Korea, M1 rifle number 698627.

Sgt. Max Sarazin 1194xxx


The Marine from 12/54 who still remembers his rifle number. I thought I remembered mine but a few years ago, I checked my discharge papers to make sure and found my rifle #2561020 was indeed as I remembered. San Diego 6/54.

Semper Fi,
Ron S.​


United States Rifle, caliber .30, M-1, 2229569.

5 December 1959
MCRD San Diego
David W. Long​


Regarding rifle serial numbers, I too remember my rifle serial number. Imprinted on my brain for ever, by a couple of really disciplined Drill Instructors. My rifle was a Winchester, serial number 1036301, same forward and backward. Issued to me in San Diego November 1954.

D. L. Meenach 1511XXX​


Marine Quote Of The Day

Marine Quote of the Day

Guard Duty

It was late 1971 and I was newly assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Mar Div, at Camp Pendleton, California as a Field Radio Operator. Being a private and new to the battalion, it didn't take long until I was assigned guard duty. Camp Pendleton is right on the coast and during the winter there's always a cold breeze at night. Quickly I found out walking guard wearing a set of thermal underwear under my utilities and field jacket was barely enough to ward off the cold. It seemed I was always assigned night shift and guarded the tank ramp.

Our tanks were parked side by side down a long concrete slab, across the end, and back up the other side facing each other. Around the perimeter of the parked tanks were a few tall lamp posts which cast a feeble light on everything. At the near end was a ramp that led up a small incline to a work area. One tank was parked on this ramp.

About 0-Dark-Thirty I began to occasionally hear a metallic creaking sound but couldn't determine just where it was coming from. It wasn't constant, just now and then.

When my round brought me to the base of the ramp I heard it again, and looking up, noticed the tank was slowly inching down the ramp on its own. Not good. So I called the Sgt of the Guard and informed him of the situation. He came out and verified it and went back to the guard shack. It wasn't long before a group of tankers were rousted out of their sacks and sent out to deal with it. I was glad to see them.

Things quieted down and got boring again, but not for long. As I paused and looked down the ramp, a large owl slowly flew by about 20 feet off the ground hunting in the dim light. He got to the end of the ramp, turned around and flew back again, all without making any sound at all. Then he flew away. I was totally amazed by his silent flight.

The rest of the shift passed quickly without more excitement, but I never forgot that night of guard duty.

Rodger Childs
Formerly, Corporal of Marines


Semper Fi Marine

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket

Today I stopped at Woodman's Grocery Store, here in Rockford, IL, to restock the pantry shelves. I had just finished checking out and was heading towards the door when I noticed a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps jacket. With my ice cream melting, I waited for him to finish his own check out and gave him my standard "Semper Fi Marine". I asked when he was in and if he got his jacket at Sgt Grits and he gave me dates in the late '90s/early 2000s (my memory sucks), then said he did get the jacket at Sgt Grits. This is the jacket he had on. It's pretty spectacular in person.

Fifty years ago, on or about April 18th, Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn, MCAS Cherry Point NC loaded our entire Battery including all gear and personnel on C-130s bound for Vieques Island Puerto Rico for a two week firing exercise. My first time in the Caribbean and I loved it. We were fortunate enough to get overnight liberty in San Juan the next weekend and enjoyed that immensely. Had my first glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and it ruined me for life for anything less. We no sooner returned from liberty on Sunday afternoon than the word was passed that a crisis had broken out on The Dominican Republic. Of course the rumors flew fast and furious among enlisted personnel that since we were so close we would be going to the D.R. to help manage the situation. NOT In retrospect it didn't make any sense because they needed grunts not a bunch of HAWK Marines stumbling around trying to figure out what they should be doing. A bunch of disappointed Marines returned to Cherry Point that next weekend on C-130s leaving our equipment for Charlie Battery to use for their two week FireEx. Good times.

MCRD San Diego map that shows location of quonset huts

In the 4-15 newsletter, 1st Sgt Brewer said: "There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center." Actually 1st Sgt, we had a 48 year Platoon 145 reunion at MCRD San Diego in September of 2010 and there are 15 quonset huts remaining. In neglected condition (inside) they are used for storage and are directly across the street south of receiving. The reviewing stand is quite a bit west (a little nw) of there in the middle of the south side of the Grinder across from the big flag pole. Pictures on request.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Get this squared away jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


Add My Own

I've been reading all the story's from my Marine Brethren and wanted to add my own.

I'm an Okie from Antlers, OK. I went to the Hotel Black several times to join the service on the "buddy plan". When we all came to OKC to depart in June, they wouldn't take me as I had been in a motorcycle accident. On July 27, 1972, I was finally accepted and traveled to San Diego. We were in the Quonset huts just a short time before we went to the barracks. Company "A", 1st. RTBN, Plt. 1094. Did not meet Drill Instructor Brewer, as we had Sgt. Tingley, Sgt. H. F. Haskins, and Sgt. Navarette.

We were again in Quonset huts in Pendleton, with the "heads" at the end of the aisles.

I was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in November 1972 for Infantry Weapons Training and graduated 2111 (Gunny Rousseau) and sent to Cherry Point, NC. Sent to the armory at 3rd, LAAM Bn. and immediately sent to the Cherry Point rifle range as a armorer and instructor. I spent my weekends as a cross-country prisoner "chaser." I spent 2 years at the range and with a Meritorious Mast and a Meritorious Promotion, went back to 3rd LAAM as a corporal.

I requested orders and was sent to Marine Barracks, USN SubBase, New London, CT. There I completed my obligation, transferred to the active reserves that took me to New Haven (Truck Company), Hartford (Grunts), Alameda, CA (Air Wing) and finally to OKC with the 9" self-propelled artillery.

Dwight Morgan
S/Sgt. USMC​


A Private-Proof Tool

For Herb Brewer... those 16 lb sledgehammers that Correctional Custody used?... they started out, in 1964, being quite ordinary 8 lb sledges. (CC and Motivation both 'stood up' as new units within STB (Special Training Branch) in Feb '64... I was a plankholder in Motivation, across the street from Correctional Custody, which was behind the base theatre and the old swimming pool... there is a 30" diameter pine tree growing now about where our hatch was... the pool, etc. are gone)... We were feeling our way with the programs at the time... from CC, I recall a Gy Humphrys (sp?), (last seen as a retired WO managing a Hardee's in J'ville... circa 1976 or so), Sgt Larry Grubbs, a Sgt Hill (dude had like 20" guns)... the Pvts lived in their skivvies whenever inside the barracks, stripped and folded their bunks at reveille, got a 'ration" at morning chow... one egg, one piece of bacon, one slice of toast, milk, then fell out at 0700 with helmet liners, clip-on safety toes on their boots, safety goggles, and at port sledgehammer for their run out to the back gate to bust concrete... it didn't take the maggots long to figure out that with a judicious 'over-strike', they could bust the wooden handle on the sledge next to the head, making it useless until they returned to the area at noon chow... CC was going through a lot of sledgehammer handles, so Facilities Maintenance figured out that instead of hickory handles, they would just weld a piece of pipe into the head for the handle... which added some weight. It didn't take long for the maggots to figure out that the same over-strike would bend the pipe handle... so Fac Maint, then welded 4" triangles of 1/2" steel plate on both sides of the handle and to the head, producing a Pvt-proof tool. Standard sentence to CC was 3 days... nobody came back for seconds... ever.

Those sledges are probably still around the Depot somewhere... it would take a 10KT nuke to destroy them... Once had a Pettibone field rep come to the Equipment Allowance Pool at the Stumps to put some new rough terrain forklifts into service... I told him that if he had a Marine PFC-Proof piece of equipment there, he really had something. His reply was that Marine PFC's were 'easy'... that the toughest on equipment was the SeaBees... said if you gave them a new anvil, and they couldn't bust it, they'd stand around and pizz on it until it rusted away...​

Ddick


Lost And Found

It's been a long time, but I had quite a few good times with guys I went to C&E school with: Stan Wheeler, Pete Stratos, (Brian?) Johnson, all 2841s at the time. Would like to get in touch with them if they are so inclined.

Thanks and Semper Fi!

Art Grant


Dear Sgt Grit,

I graduated at Parris Island with Platoon 227, Second Battalion in 1958. My Drill Instructors were Gunny Sgt. Starrett SDI, Jr. D.I.'s Staff Sgt. Dennison and Sgt. Centers. I read that Centers succumbed to agent orange after serving as an officer in Nam. I would love to contact any of them and find out if the story about Centers is true. My e-mail address is: sullyusmc1775[at]aol.com.

Leo J. Sullivan


I entered Boot Camp June 1958, Plt 151 MCRD San Diego. After Boot Camp I attended AV Prep School NAS Jax Fl then Radar Operators School MCRD San Diego the MACS-7 at the Air Fac in New River NC from 59061 until the entire Squadron was transferred to NAS Atsugi Japan After out tour in Japan (18 mo) I was stationed with MACS-1 at MCAF Yuma Az. until Feb '66. While at MACS-1, I was trained as an Air Intercept Controller and was sent to Air Controllers school as a Cpl at FAAWTC, San Diego in 1964 where I was the only Marine in the class and the lowest ranked. In 1965, I was promoted to Sgt.(E-5) and in Feb '66 I was sent to Vietnam where I joined MACS-7 at Chu-Lai and after 3 months there was sent north to their early warning site at Phu-Bai where I was promoted to S/Sgt. In Feb '67 we were mortared in the middle of the night and I was wounded and after a week sent back to Chu-Lai until I returned to CONUS and I&I Duty with MACS-26 at NAS So. Weymouth MA. I was Honorably Discharged. After Discharge I returned to my home state of California an applied to the California Highway Patrol and exactly one year later (Aug 1968) I had graduated form the CHP Academy and reported in to the Oceanside, CA CHP Office where I spent the next 29 years, retiring from the CHP in 1996. I currently live in Roseville, CA and have two grandsons who were and one still is in the Marine Corps. One is Sgt Joe Muslin stationed at Camp LeJuene, NC and was with "E" 2/9 for 2 tours in Afghanistan and currently with the Combat Training School there. The other was Sgt. Sam Muslin who was with HMM-268 at Camp Pendleton CA. I guess what I'm really looking is to find anyone who was with Plt 151 in '58 or MACS-7 in New River or Vietnam or anyone with MACS-1 in Yuma. A few of the names of people I remember are Cpl Michael Boline, Sgt/WO F.O. Moore, Gy/Sgt Piper, Lt. Abernathy (wounded the same night as I) Maj Mel Salter (F-8 pilot pulling a desk job with MACS-1 in Yuma) or anyone else who either knew me or served with me in either of the MACS units.

Gerald (Jerry) Caughman
1820xxx
S/Sgt USMC
State Traffic Officer California Highway Patrol (ret)
Roseville​


Taps

My father, Sgt. John C. Thrasher Jr., service number 1803xxx, reported to his final duty station yesterday morning (April 16, 2015) at 3:32 am, taking up his post at Heaven's Gate. He served in the Marine Corps from 1958 to 1962 with the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

I followed in his footsteps, serving our Corps from 1983 to 1989 with the 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

Fair winds and following seas dad. You will be missed.

Semper Fidelis,
Cpl. John C. Thrasher III
0341​


Short Rounds

To: GYSGT Archuleta

Did you attend 3MARDIV schools in Camp Mercy Oct or Nov of 1958 with Cpl (then GYSGT) Kearney teaching us cw? Jim Nelson and I were hit by a car inside the gate at Mercy about halfway through school and finished wearing casts on both of our left legs. I was then assigned to Comm Co at Camp Hague. Best messhall in the USMC across the street from our quonset huts. I do not remember any other designation but Comm Co HQ BN 3RD Mar Div. But I left in Nov 1959 and I don't think the USMC uses cw anymore.


I was once a highly motivated, truly dedicated, kickazs little green amphibious monster... but I've ate since then.


I'm so short I can sit on a dime and dangle my legs.

Larry Jenkins


I'm so short, when I fart, I get dust in my eyes.

Steve Stefko


I'm so short, the pizz ants pee on me.

Jacqueline Vick


I remember being so short I had to free fall out of the rack in the mornings!

Steve Fremgen


Quotes

"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 36, [1788]


"Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed."
--Isocrates, Areopagiticus [355 B.C.]


"If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war."
--General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
--Gen. Pershing, US.ARMY


"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"
--Ferdinand Foch


Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle.

Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

"Keep your interval!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Lock And Load
• Guard Duty
• A Private-Proof Tool

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

I saw an AK-47 while in Vietnam and it had a 30 round magazine. So I cut the top and bottom off of a couple of M-14 Magazines and welded them together and made a "40" Round magazine for my M-14. It really didn't work very well when test firing it, several of the last rounds would not chamber with only two springs. So I put "three" springs into the magazine, but then I could only load a little over 30 rounds. There just wasn't enough room for three springs and 40 Full Metal Jacket rounds in that magazine. I sure received some strange looks while walking around with my 40 round magazine.

Semper Fi,
Larry


Lock And Load

Range Officer:

"With a clip and two rounds, lock and load."
"Ready on the Left."
"Ready on the right."
"All ready on the firing line."
"Watch your targets."
"TARGETS!"

Hit the deck, prone position, squeeze off two rounds, bam, bam. Empty clip ejects, pull full eight round clip from cartridge belt, tap on helmet to seat short rounds, insert in breech, lock and load, squeeze off eight more, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam ,bam, bam, bam, 10 rounds on target in less than a minute.

"The deadliest weapon in the world is a Marine and his rifle."

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964​


Jerk The Tail

When I was stationed at 8th & I with the U.S. Marine Band, "The President's Own", one of it's members, a MGySgt was retiring. He had been in the island campaigns of WWII before eventually becoming a Marine Bandsman. I was a SSgt (crossed rifles) at the time and the Band's PIO and we had struck up a friendship. He came to me and showed me an M1 Rifle in beautiful condition. He then showed me the original issue slip that used to be given to the Marine when the rifle was assigned to him and he signed the other half which was retained by the armory. Well, it looked old so I looked closer at it, and d-mn if it hadn't been issued in the early part of WWII! I was blown away! He smiled and asked me how bad I thought it was going to gum up the works when he turned it in?

He went over to the Barracks Armory and presented the M1 Rifle and the issue slip and asked for them to sign off he had turned it in properly and clear him off the books as possessor of that rifle. The young armor, a new Cpl quickly called his Sgt. The Sgt asked the MGySgt if he was pulling a joke and he assured them he wasn't and they needed to clear him properly of possession of that rifle. The Sgt quickly went up to his Boss the Co Gunny who looked at the slip and sent him over to a MGySgt in supply at the Barracks. He looked at it and said he hadn't seen one of those slips since WWII and didn't have a clue about how to handle it. He called his counterpart over at HQMC. HQMC "suggested" that perhaps the MGySgt with the rifle might just like to keep it as a souvenir and not create a major problem for the supply network. Back down the line this same and of course the retiring MGySgt looked at them and said, "NO!" "I'm turning in my rifle per regulations and you'll have to properly relieve me of it!" Boy did that ever create a cluster F-ck at HQMC! The next day at lunch in the SNCO Mess the Bks SgtMaj sat down at my table. After some pleasantries he asked me if I thought the Band MGySgt with the M1 could be talked out of turning it in? I told the SgtMaj that I didn't think there was a remote possibility of that happening. He said, "Oh well, I tried!" and that was that! It took HQMC over a week to work out how to handle it and properly sign for the return of the weapon. They couldn't even find a record of the Corps ever having had possessed that rifle! So, records were created, and the MGySgt got his properly signed receipt, clearing him of possession of the weapon! I believe the Marine Corps Museum eventually got the weapon for it's use.

The MGySgt Bandsman would drop by my office daily telling me the latest problems that had arisen. He said after over 30 years in the Corps it was finally his turn to jerk the tail of the Corps instead of them jerking his!

Semper Fi,
DB Wright
'59-'74


Huge Sigh Of Relief

Sgt. Grit,

In the newsletter of April 16, you asked for some stories from veterans of WWII. My wife warns me to watch out as I can ruin a whole afternoon by not knowing when to stop my stories.

In the last few months of 1942 I was assigned duty at the residence of Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. He had two automobiles at his disposal. One was a large Packard driven by a chief water tender who had driven the Admiral for over fifteen years. The other was a custom built Dodge which was given to the Navy by Major Bowes the host of the very popular radio program Major Bowes' Amateur Hour.

A new driver was selected to drive the Dodge. One evening the Admiral and his wife wanted to see a program at a theater on Times Square. The driver was to see that a hood was placed over stars on the front of car as they wanted to be as inconspicuous as possible. As luck would have it just as they were pulling up to the front of the theater the foot of the new driver slipped and landed on the button which set off a loud howl from the siren. Poor fellow spent eight hours each day for the next three weeks polishing that Dodge.

About four months out of boot camp I found myself as orderly to Vice Admiral Andrews, Commandant of the Eastern Frontier. My station was on the bottom level of his quarters. I had never been upstairs so I had no idea what things were like up there. About midnight my phone rang. The operator said for me to tell the Admiral that his 'command phone' was off the hook. I took my flashlight and started for the top floor. Not knowing where anybody was located, I knocked on the first door I found. Luckily Mrs. Andrews answered and thanked me for delivering my message. This buck private breathed a huge sigh of relief and hurried back down to his post. Wonder if I was half as scared when I hit island beaches later.

One evening in the Fall of 1942, Admiral Andrews called me, as his orderly, up to the main floor of quarters and told me to call for the President's car and to stay with him until he had driven away. I phoned the garage for the car and then went up to the porch overlooking the Brooklyn Navy Yard. I had no idea who to expect as my chow relief had been on duty earlier. I waited on the porch for several minutes until Herbert Hoover came out to chat until the car arrived. Quite a surprise for me.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


All Time Classic

Sgt. Grit,

Each week I look forward to the newsletter and crack up laughing at a number of the stories, many of which take me back to my time in the Corps. All of us have names that we were called in boot camp by our DI's and I have a few that are personal favorites, but the most favorite name was one that I (we) were called after boot camp. I never heard this name before or since, but it was used regularly by one Gunny Silas (sp) when I reported to Lima 3/8 out of ITS in December of 1981. The good Gunny was a Viet Nam vet I believe and a former recon Marine and at some point a DI I think, but not completely sure of that. I do know that he was a little squared away spitfire, dynamo that took sh-t from no one. He was "in your face" just to let you know that he was watching you. My very first company formation with Lima was on a cold December, North Carolina morning and he called out those of us who had just reported to the unit and referred to us as "broke d-cks" who had better not ease up just because we were out of boot camp and f-ck up his company. If not still too scared to do so, I would have busted out laughing when I heard the term "broke d-cks", but I had already been forewarned that the Gunny did not mess around. This was a bit of a shock to me because ITS was a breeze compared to Parris Island and without all the DI's games and drama, so when I heard Gunny Silas tee off like that I started to think that I was back at Parris Island again.

He was of Japanese descent I believe and was only about 5'5" tall, but what I recall most about him from that first meeting was that his cammies were pressed so well and the pockets on the blouse were so flat that the blouse looked like it would have stood up on its own. His boots had that ripple sole on them and I remember thinking how neat they looked. I immediately took a pair of mine to one of those silver warehouse like buildings on Camp Geiger that shipped the boots off to a cobbler to have them resoled. If I recall correctly, we only did a few field ops with the Gunny before he moved back to Recon, but his force marches were azs kickers. Gunny Backus took over from Gunny Silas just before we headed out on a Med and eventually to Beirut. But after Gunny Silas left, I never heard the term broke d-ck again and that's a shame because I regard that as an all time "classic".

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt


Unbroken

One of my custom coin customers visited Louis Zamperini before his passing. This is a picture of them all together. Louis Silvie "Louie" Zamperini was an American prisoner of war survivor in World War II, a Christian inspirational speaker, and an Olympic distance runner. Zamperini is the subject of two biographies and the 2014 film "Unbroken".

Becca Casey
Sgt Grit Custom Orders Specialist


Rifle Serial Numbers

Sgt. Grit,

Re: Still Remember My Rifle Number by George Engel.

I still remember my 'best friend' in North Korea, M1 rifle number 698627.

Sgt. Max Sarazin 1194xxx


The Marine from 12/54 who still remembers his rifle number. I thought I remembered mine but a few years ago, I checked my discharge papers to make sure and found my rifle #2561020 was indeed as I remembered. San Diego 6/54.

Semper Fi,
Ron S.​


United States Rifle, caliber .30, M-1, 2229569.

5 December 1959
MCRD San Diego
David W. Long​


Regarding rifle serial numbers, I too remember my rifle serial number. Imprinted on my brain for ever, by a couple of really disciplined Drill Instructors. My rifle was a Winchester, serial number 1036301, same forward and backward. Issued to me in San Diego November 1954.

D. L. Meenach 1511XXX​


Guard Duty

It was late 1971 and I was newly assigned to the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Mar Div, at Camp Pendleton, California as a Field Radio Operator. Being a private and new to the battalion, it didn't take long until I was assigned guard duty. Camp Pendleton is right on the coast and during the winter there's always a cold breeze at night. Quickly I found out walking guard wearing a set of thermal underwear under my utilities and field jacket was barely enough to ward off the cold. It seemed I was always assigned night shift and guarded the tank ramp.

Our tanks were parked side by side down a long concrete slab, across the end, and back up the other side facing each other. Around the perimeter of the parked tanks were a few tall lamp posts which cast a feeble light on everything. At the near end was a ramp that led up a small incline to a work area. One tank was parked on this ramp.

About 0-Dark-Thirty I began to occasionally hear a metallic creaking sound but couldn't determine just where it was coming from. It wasn't constant, just now and then.

When my round brought me to the base of the ramp I heard it again, and looking up, noticed the tank was slowly inching down the ramp on its own. Not good. So I called the Sgt of the Guard and informed him of the situation. He came out and verified it and went back to the guard shack. It wasn't long before a group of tankers were rousted out of their sacks and sent out to deal with it. I was glad to see them.

Things quieted down and got boring again, but not for long. As I paused and looked down the ramp, a large owl slowly flew by about 20 feet off the ground hunting in the dim light. He got to the end of the ramp, turned around and flew back again, all without making any sound at all. Then he flew away. I was totally amazed by his silent flight.

The rest of the shift passed quickly without more excitement, but I never forgot that night of guard duty.

Rodger Childs
Formerly, Corporal of Marines


Semper Fi Marine

Today I stopped at Woodman's Grocery Store, here in Rockford, IL, to restock the pantry shelves. I had just finished checking out and was heading towards the door when I noticed a gentleman wearing a Marine Corps jacket. With my ice cream melting, I waited for him to finish his own check out and gave him my standard "Semper Fi Marine". I asked when he was in and if he got his jacket at Sgt Grits and he gave me dates in the late '90s/early 2000s (my memory sucks), then said he did get the jacket at Sgt Grits. This is the jacket he had on. It's pretty spectacular in person.

Fifty years ago, on or about April 18th, Bravo Battery 3rd LAAM Bn, MCAS Cherry Point NC loaded our entire Battery including all gear and personnel on C-130s bound for Vieques Island Puerto Rico for a two week firing exercise. My first time in the Caribbean and I loved it. We were fortunate enough to get overnight liberty in San Juan the next weekend and enjoyed that immensely. Had my first glass of fresh squeezed orange juice and it ruined me for life for anything less. We no sooner returned from liberty on Sunday afternoon than the word was passed that a crisis had broken out on The Dominican Republic. Of course the rumors flew fast and furious among enlisted personnel that since we were so close we would be going to the D.R. to help manage the situation. NOT In retrospect it didn't make any sense because they needed grunts not a bunch of HAWK Marines stumbling around trying to figure out what they should be doing. A bunch of disappointed Marines returned to Cherry Point that next weekend on C-130s leaving our equipment for Charlie Battery to use for their two week FireEx. Good times.

In the 4-15 newsletter, 1st Sgt Brewer said: "There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center." Actually 1st Sgt, we had a 48 year Platoon 145 reunion at MCRD San Diego in September of 2010 and there are 15 quonset huts remaining. In neglected condition (inside) they are used for storage and are directly across the street south of receiving. The reviewing stand is quite a bit west (a little nw) of there in the middle of the south side of the Grinder across from the big flag pole. Pictures on request.

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.

Get this squared away jacket at:

USMC Black/Digital Desert Twill Jacket


Add My Own

I've been reading all the story's from my Marine Brethren and wanted to add my own.

I'm an Okie from Antlers, OK. I went to the Hotel Black several times to join the service on the "buddy plan". When we all came to OKC to depart in June, they wouldn't take me as I had been in a motorcycle accident. On July 27, 1972, I was finally accepted and traveled to San Diego. We were in the Quonset huts just a short time before we went to the barracks. Company "A", 1st. RTBN, Plt. 1094. Did not meet Drill Instructor Brewer, as we had Sgt. Tingley, Sgt. H. F. Haskins, and Sgt. Navarette.

We were again in Quonset huts in Pendleton, with the "heads" at the end of the aisles.

I was sent to Aberdeen Proving Grounds in November 1972 for Infantry Weapons Training and graduated 2111 (Gunny Rousseau) and sent to Cherry Point, NC. Sent to the armory at 3rd, LAAM Bn. and immediately sent to the Cherry Point rifle range as a armorer and instructor. I spent my weekends as a cross-country prisoner "chaser." I spent 2 years at the range and with a Meritorious Mast and a Meritorious Promotion, went back to 3rd LAAM as a corporal.

I requested orders and was sent to Marine Barracks, USN SubBase, New London, CT. There I completed my obligation, transferred to the active reserves that took me to New Haven (Truck Company), Hartford (Grunts), Alameda, CA (Air Wing) and finally to OKC with the 9" self-propelled artillery.

Dwight Morgan
S/Sgt. USMC​


A Private-Proof Tool

For Herb Brewer... those 16 lb sledgehammers that Correctional Custody used?... they started out, in 1964, being quite ordinary 8 lb sledges. (CC and Motivation both 'stood up' as new units within STB (Special Training Branch) in Feb '64... I was a plankholder in Motivation, across the street from Correctional Custody, which was behind the base theatre and the old swimming pool... there is a 30" diameter pine tree growing now about where our hatch was... the pool, etc. are gone)... We were feeling our way with the programs at the time... from CC, I recall a Gy Humphrys (sp?), (last seen as a retired WO managing a Hardee's in J'ville... circa 1976 or so), Sgt Larry Grubbs, a Sgt Hill (dude had like 20" guns)... the Pvts lived in their skivvies whenever inside the barracks, stripped and folded their bunks at reveille, got a 'ration" at morning chow... one egg, one piece of bacon, one slice of toast, milk, then fell out at 0700 with helmet liners, clip-on safety toes on their boots, safety goggles, and at port sledgehammer for their run out to the back gate to bust concrete... it didn't take the maggots long to figure out that with a judicious 'over-strike', they could bust the wooden handle on the sledge next to the head, making it useless until they returned to the area at noon chow... CC was going through a lot of sledgehammer handles, so Facilities Maintenance figured out that instead of hickory handles, they would just weld a piece of pipe into the head for the handle... which added some weight. It didn't take long for the maggots to figure out that the same over-strike would bend the pipe handle... so Fac Maint, then welded 4" triangles of 1/2" steel plate on both sides of the handle and to the head, producing a Pvt-proof tool. Standard sentence to CC was 3 days... nobody came back for seconds... ever.

Those sledges are probably still around the Depot somewhere... it would take a 10KT nuke to destroy them... Once had a Pettibone field rep come to the Equipment Allowance Pool at the Stumps to put some new rough terrain forklifts into service... I told him that if he had a Marine PFC-Proof piece of equipment there, he really had something. His reply was that Marine PFC's were 'easy'... that the toughest on equipment was the SeaBees... said if you gave them a new anvil, and they couldn't bust it, they'd stand around and pizz on it until it rusted away...​

Ddick


Lost And Found

It's been a long time, but I had quite a few good times with guys I went to C&E school with: Stan Wheeler, Pete Stratos, (Brian?) Johnson, all 2841s at the time. Would like to get in touch with them if they are so inclined.

Thanks and Semper Fi!

Art Grant


Dear Sgt Grit,

I graduated at Parris Island with Platoon 227, Second Battalion in 1958. My Drill Instructors were Gunny Sgt. Starrett SDI, Jr. D.I.'s Staff Sgt. Dennison and Sgt. Centers. I read that Centers succumbed to agent orange after serving as an officer in Nam. I would love to contact any of them and find out if the story about Centers is true. My e-mail address is: sullyusmc1775[at]aol.com.

Leo J. Sullivan


I entered Boot Camp June 1958, Plt 151 MCRD San Diego. After Boot Camp I attended AV Prep School NAS Jax Fl then Radar Operators School MCRD San Diego the MACS-7 at the Air Fac in New River NC from 59061 until the entire Squadron was transferred to NAS Atsugi Japan After out tour in Japan (18 mo) I was stationed with MACS-1 at MCAF Yuma Az. until Feb '66. While at MACS-1, I was trained as an Air Intercept Controller and was sent to Air Controllers school as a Cpl at FAAWTC, San Diego in 1964 where I was the only Marine in the class and the lowest ranked. In 1965, I was promoted to Sgt.(E-5) and in Feb '66 I was sent to Vietnam where I joined MACS-7 at Chu-Lai and after 3 months there was sent north to their early warning site at Phu-Bai where I was promoted to S/Sgt. In Feb '67 we were mortared in the middle of the night and I was wounded and after a week sent back to Chu-Lai until I returned to CONUS and I&I Duty with MACS-26 at NAS So. Weymouth MA. I was Honorably Discharged. After Discharge I returned to my home state of California an applied to the California Highway Patrol and exactly one year later (Aug 1968) I had graduated form the CHP Academy and reported in to the Oceanside, CA CHP Office where I spent the next 29 years, retiring from the CHP in 1996. I currently live in Roseville, CA and have two grandsons who were and one still is in the Marine Corps. One is Sgt Joe Muslin stationed at Camp LeJuene, NC and was with "E" 2/9 for 2 tours in Afghanistan and currently with the Combat Training School there. The other was Sgt. Sam Muslin who was with HMM-268 at Camp Pendleton CA. I guess what I'm really looking is to find anyone who was with Plt 151 in '58 or MACS-7 in New River or Vietnam or anyone with MACS-1 in Yuma. A few of the names of people I remember are Cpl Michael Boline, Sgt/WO F.O. Moore, Gy/Sgt Piper, Lt. Abernathy (wounded the same night as I) Maj Mel Salter (F-8 pilot pulling a desk job with MACS-1 in Yuma) or anyone else who either knew me or served with me in either of the MACS units.

Gerald (Jerry) Caughman
1820xxx
S/Sgt USMC
State Traffic Officer California Highway Patrol (ret)
Roseville​


Taps

My father, Sgt. John C. Thrasher Jr., service number 1803xxx, reported to his final duty station yesterday morning (April 16, 2015) at 3:32 am, taking up his post at Heaven's Gate. He served in the Marine Corps from 1958 to 1962 with the 8th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

I followed in his footsteps, serving our Corps from 1983 to 1989 with the 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, NC.

Fair winds and following seas dad. You will be missed.

Semper Fidelis,
Cpl. John C. Thrasher III
0341​


Short Rounds

To: GYSGT Archuleta

Did you attend 3MARDIV schools in Camp Mercy Oct or Nov of 1958 with Cpl (then GYSGT) Kearney teaching us cw? Jim Nelson and I were hit by a car inside the gate at Mercy about halfway through school and finished wearing casts on both of our left legs. I was then assigned to Comm Co at Camp Hague. Best messhall in the USMC across the street from our quonset huts. I do not remember any other designation but Comm Co HQ BN 3RD Mar Div. But I left in Nov 1959 and I don't think the USMC uses cw anymore.


I was once a highly motivated, truly dedicated, kickazs little green amphibious monster... but I've ate since then.


I'm so short I can sit on a dime and dangle my legs.

Larry Jenkins


I'm so short, when I fart, I get dust in my eyes.

Steve Stefko


I'm so short, the pizz ants pee on me.

Jacqueline Vick


I remember being so short I had to free fall out of the rack in the mornings!

Steve Fremgen


Quotes

"Happy will it be for ourselves, and most honorable for human nature, if we have wisdom and virtue enough to set so glorious an example to mankind!"
--Alexander Hamilton, Federalist No. 36, [1788]


"Where there is a multitude of specific laws, it is a sign that the state is badly governed."
--Isocrates, Areopagiticus [355 B.C.]


"If I had one more division like this First Marine Division I could win this war."
--General of the Armies Douglas McArthur in Korea, overheard and reported by Marine Staff Sergeant Bill Houghton, Weapons/2/5


"The deadliest weapon in the world is a MARINE and his rifle!"
--Gen. Pershing, US.ARMY


"Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I am attacking!"
--Ferdinand Foch


Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle.

Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

"Keep your interval!"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Major Rich Risner
• WWII Marines
• All The Way To Tijuana

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Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Jimmy Craig

Marine Corps Wounded Warrior Marine Appreciation Day

Great t-shirt, Thank you Sgt GRIT!

The attached images show Marine Wounded Warrior Lead Clinician Jimmy Craig (Cpl. USMC-R) as he instructs umpires from the Marine Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at the Palm Beach Challenge. Marine Appreciation Day sponsored by The Semper Fi Fund and Sgt. Grit. Six Sergeants - Boles, Rogers, Dean, Bletcher, Simmonds, Mauro. These Marines will become instructor qualified and will help us reach full Marine implementation and direction.

Daniel J. Weikle

Get this moto t-shirt at:

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt


So Called Dummy Round

Sgt. Grit,

In 1950, I was going to Small Arms Ordnance School in Quantico, Virginia. We were being taught the Functions and repair of Small Arms which included the M1911 .45 Pistol up to and including the 75mm Recoiless Rifle. While we were Learning the 75mm Recoiless rifle we had an Empty Casing, regarded as a 75mm Recoiless Dummy casing. During a break, we all were looking over the 75 and playing with the Dummy casing (we didn't have a complete dummy round) and I opened the 75 breech block which laid back flat so the rifle could be loaded. The Dummy 75mm round was bent around the mouth and couldn't be loaded into the rifle. I had the breech block open and sat the (so called) dummy round on the OPEN breech block, twisted the safety on the trigger and pressed the trigger button. A LOUD BLAST went off. I rolled off the table because I was holding the 75 casing on the breech block, the room was filled with Smoke, Officers and Senior NCO's in seconds. I was taken to Sick Bay to see if there was any damage to me and the only thing that kept me from being the Goat of this incident was the fact that the Ammunition Section had provided the (so called) blank (with a live Primer) so the Ammunition Section got the blast on my screw up. AH, the days of our Youth.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Marines Stainless Steel Drinkware


Major Rich Risner

​In honor of all our Marines who served in Vietnam, I submitted the following to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation:

On 20 August 1968, while serving with the MAG-12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai, RVN, our leader, Major Rich Risner, was captured by the enemy. We were on a mission to deliver school supplies to the village of Khuong Quang when the Major and I got separated as he returned to our vehicles to meet another Army Major who was the Ly Tin District Advisor. Waiting for him to return for over 30 minutes, I left our group already in route to the village while I went back to find Major Risner. To my dismay he was nowhere to be seen and was later listed as Missing in Action. Three days later he was spotted on Highway One about 6 km south of Chu Lai by an Army MP who returned him to our group HQ. During his three day ordeal he had been interrogated, tortured and subjected to humiliating treatment that included dislocating both his shoulders and smashing his toes with a hammer to keep him from escaping. While being blindfolded with hands tied in front he was being led to a POW camp in Cambodia when he made a daring escape killing two of his captors. His training and determination guided him back to his unit where we all celebrated his return. Decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts he was a true hero who left this earth in 2005 always haunted by his ordeal.

I salute him and all of my Marine brothers, some of whom never made it home. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


He Was Just Resting

In 1960, I was Sgt. of The Guard at a camp on Okinawa when I observed a guard asleep in a jeep with his hand on the muzzle of his M-1. Knowing he would deny being asleep I lifted his hand off the weapon and gently let hang down. Now I had his rifle, removed the trigger housing group and pocketed it, then I woke him up. He of course said he was just "resting". I replied, "Get out now and patrol this motor pool!" (Plus the popular expletives of the day). When he slung his M-1 up on his shoulder he realized it was in two parts, hanging down his side. I could see his red face and embarrassment even in the semi-darkness. After a little pleading from him I said, "You owe me a beer or two, get going." After all, it was peacetime in a friendly country.​


Marines T-Shirt, Hat and Moto Bracelet Combo


WWII Marines

Sgt Grit,

I know WWII Marines are a thinning heard, but there are still some of us around. Maybe not enough of us for Sgt Grit to feature the era. Even if we won't be around long, our grand children and great-Grand children enjoy the history of old Grandpa.

Thanks,
Bud

Note: OK... I get this type of email occasionally. I, Sgt Grit, write nothing. This newsletter is for and by YOU! If YOU do not send me stories you will not see stories about your era, unit, war, location, platoon etc...

I always respond to this type of email asking for a story. In twenty years of doing this I do not remember one story coming back. If you don't see something about your famous Third Combat Mess Gear Repair Battalion it is because you didn't send something in. Almost all stories sent to me get published. So get off your lazy azs put your fingers to the key board and write me. You enjoy reading everyone else's story, they will enjoy reading yours. Do it now!

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

And by the way, we have several WWII contributors. GySgt Rousseau being the most prolific.


The Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I bought a pair of your Ka-Bars... one the Marine Corps Combat knife, the other a Kukri Nepalese Machete. The Combat Knife is just a sacred artifact of the Corps. This letter is to comment on the Kukri.

The balance of the Kukri is stunning... the grip solid and perfect. And the edge of the Kukri is something one doesn't want to trifle with, a casual brush lifted the tip of a finger and the surface of my bib overalls. But, I'm not b-tching.

In my City of New Haven, Indiana, we have a "Greenway" trail that goes through an ancient, deep woods. Many of the trees are draped in either wild grape, or world class poison ivy. As you might guess the latter makes it less than desirable for many people. So, I decided to engage in a bit of Guerilla Maintenance... chopping sections out of the poison ivy to kill it. The folks at Parks and Rec. are thrilled. The tool of choice, of course, is the Kukri. Today I harvested the stalk of a 3-5/8 inch diameter vine {the vine from hell}.

No, I'm not nuts... but I am a former Staff Sgt. of Marines. Nearly 30 years ago, following a horrid accident and many transfusions, I acquired an immunity to P.I. which I formerly did not have. Since I can handle it with impunity I figured I should help my neighbors, starting in deep snow, moving now to the greening of the 5-acre wood.

The shape of the Kukri is magnificent... and the steel of the blade is magical, it will take and hold an edge through chopping on the tree, or in the dirt {not a good idea for blade longevity}. I am so impressed I had to let you know. What you sell isn't an illusion... it's the real deal... which means that I can respect you like I do my Corps.

Thanks, Sgt. Grit, for making my belief make sense.

S/Sgt. Tim Doyle

Get your hands on your own Kukri at:

Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Kukri Machete KA-BAR


You Grew Into It

Sgt. Grit,

My First Issue of Greens were compared by the DI and made sure Blouse and Trousers were the same hue (color). I never realized just how much some Marines worked at being a MARINE. Being a Marine to some is enlisting, going to boot camp and wearing the Uniform. I knew Old Marines that made sure everything was the same. In those days we didn't have back pockets, to keep a flat front you carry your cigarettes and wallet in your socks. The blouse looked like you grew into it, the Leather Belt was shined like the shoes, the trousers had a sharp edge running down the front, we didn't have to steal Girls from the Swab Jocks Or Army, they came readily because nothing in this world looks as good as a Marine Squared away, Standing Tall with a Bearing and look on his face of complete control of his day and time.

We had survey in those days and I surveyed my Green Trousers at least twice due to splits in the creases from being ironed so many times. My pay was $50.00 month with $6.35 taken for GI Insurance and I sent home $25.00 month savings. I was young and dumb in those days until I realized it cost more than $20 a month to exist in the Marine Corps at the time. In 1947, I got Married in my Greens, our wedding picture is fading now but you can still see the Greens and the Beautiful dress my Wife wore and 3 ribbons on my blouse, Pacific Theater, Asiatic Theater of War w/2 stars, Victory Ribbon. I learned later we had been awarded the Presidentual and the Naval Unit Citations.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


All The Way To Tijuana

MCRD, San Diego, 1955. Platoon 157 & 1/2.

That's what our squad was called one day while marching back to our Quonset huts after drill practice on the grinder. Reason was, us feather merchants at the rear of the platoon could not execute correctly the command, "Squads, Right About". There was always someone scr-wing up. Our DI was so p-ssed he wanted nothing to do with us so he positioned our squad about six feet behind the rest of the platoon when marching back to our area. We finally got our sh-t together but during final drill competition our stack of rifles fell during "Stack Arms". Some Pvt tried to align the stack more evenly with the rest of the field of stacked rifles and boom, there they go. Seemed that the noise of the rifles falling carried all the way to Tijuana. We survived however and were Honor Platoon for the series. Semper Fi!

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine

Post Script: In 1963 & 64 I was assigned to 1st Comm Provisional Company, HQ.Bn.,3dMarDiv at Camp Hauge, Okinawa. Does anybody out there know what happened to 1st Comm? I tried Googling with no results. Any info appreciated.​


My Trigger Has Been Squeezed

Once again my trigger has been squeezed. This time not only by Ddick but also GySgt. F. L. Rousseau. GySgt. Rousseau relates the story of turning a prisoner over to the brig and what a eye opening experience that was, I was also involved in the same scenario and came to the same conclusion, I wouldn't want to spend any time in the Brig! The Brig was in Alameda (I think) and it was around 0100 on 1-1-63 the other chaser and I then continued to T.I. As we went through the gate we were waved through by a very smart Marine guard. The next day with our liberty card in hand we headed for town and as we went out of the same gate, there was NO ONE on the gate! Seems the base security detail had been turned over to the Navy! I never felt secure for the next three days I was there.

​ John Selders


The Truth Of It

You can meet celebrities. You can meet the President. You can run into an old childhood friend. You can spend an entire lifetime meeting new and interesting people. You can love and give your all to your family. But remember this: There are few greater joys than getting back together with an old Marine Corps buddy.

Marine Buddy


Still Remember My Rifle Number

Read Malcolm Forbes letter and I agree with him.

I also went to P.I. in December '54 and was in Platoon 470, graduated Depot Honor platoon, Assistant D.I. Named Sgt. Callahan. Forget the Sr. D.I., but he had a great cadence and did Squad drills all the time.

Would you believe I still remember my rifle number 4278347... (60 years later). I even married a Woman Marine. My Brother, a Marine, and uncles who were at Saipan in WW2, both made it through and one still kicking today. Ornery cuss.

Once a Marine, always a Marine, I guess. Not worrying about a call up any more tho'!

Semper Fi, Malcolm!

George Engel,
1478XXX


Only A Marine

I work security - at our site - I was called on my radio and told to see the head of security at another building ASAP. I went to look for my boss and found him in front of a flagpole on a chilly windy day, and he needed help to replace (2) flags on the pole that morning. We lowered one flag and then the American Flag. We raised the bottom flag - then the new American Flag. The old American Flag was taken into one of the buildings and he asked me to help him fold the old American Flag. I instructed him in the proper way to fold the Flag of our Country. He could have asked anyone - but he commented - "Only a Marine can do this task properly!"

None of the flags touched the deck on my watch!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963-1967
Vietnam Era Veteran


Read The Obit

About a month ago, I found a plastic-encased obit in the "mail" box for items to be posted on the bulletin boards in our "park". I didn't look too closely, & figured it was someone from the park who had died & a relative or friend wanted the info posted. After about 2 weeks I figured I'd take it down as enough time had passed. Then I actually read the obit. It was for a man who had died several years ago. I felt real foolish. But I also noticed that he was a veteran, and he had a son who lived in Clermont, Florida. I checked out the White Pages online and found the son, and stuck the obit in an envelope with a little note as to where it was found, and mentioning that my husband & I were both veterans (Marine Corps, of course), signing only my initial and last name. Well, in today's mail a small padded envelope arrived, and I thought it was for my husband. I didn't notice how it was addressed, & gave it to my husband with his mail. He opened it, then asked me if I knew the person who sent the envelope. I didn't recognize the name, but when I read the note inside, I realized who it was. The son had written a nice note. It seems that he is a Marine (on civilian duty, don't ya know), and a veteran of Vietnam (2 tours), and was touched by my taking the time to return the obit. He said he didn't know how it came to be in Orlando, Florida. He also enclosed 2 golf ball markers with the Eagle Globe & Anchor on them for my kindness, and closed with "If I can ever be of service to help let me know."

Thank you, Mr. Hegg, for your service. Semper Fidelis!

Sharon Hill
1965-1967​


Found My Drill Instructor

Sgt. Grit,

I went through Parris Island in 1962, Plt. 352. I just found my Drill Instructors about five months ago. My Senior DI was Staff Sgt. Flynn, mustang over and retired as a Captian, lives in Ca. My junior DI was Sgt. Carswell, he also mustang over and retired as a Major. He lives in Tenn. I talk to them once or twice a week. I had two other DI's. Sgt. Joyce, which was promoted to Gunny, was killed in Vietnam and awarded the Silver Star. Then there was Sgt. Lee, which I have no clue where he is. God Bless them all.

Cpl. Girvin
xxxx872​


Khe Sanh

Semper Fi,

On the evening of November 30, 2014, I and two friends attended the showing of "Bravo" a movie about Bravo Co. and the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh. The movie took 5-years of research, and was produced and made about the history of the 77-day siege, by Ken and Betty Rodgers, and was well done. It had actual film footage that was taken at Khe Sanh, reports given by Marines who were there and took part in the action and is 118 minutes long. This is an outstanding report and as Ken Rodgers states, "I believe the film speaks for all veterans, time and again we have seen people transformed by this story, people suffering from mental fatigue of combat, people who have other battles in their lives, and people who have no idea what we ask of our military servicemen and women."

I had the honor of attending the film with two friends who were highly decorated Marine Veterans of Vietnam, one was Jon Sprison who received two purple hearts, and the other was Ricardo Figueroa a member of the 1/9 "Walking Dead" and received three Purple Hearts, and as they commented, any Veteran who served in Vietnam is a "Hero". The "Egyptain Theratre" in Boise Idaho was packed full of veterans and guests, wanting to see the film, we all had a great time talking to each other before and after the film, I can only say it was worthwhile, a few other showings will be in our area and information can be obtained from Ken at "bravotheproject.com". All proceeds from the show went to the Ada County Veterans' Court & Idaho Ceterans' Network.

Thank you and again Semper Fi,
James L Murrell
Cpl USMC


Great Pick-Up Place

While on Recruiting Duty in Detroit in the 1950's there was a plan to Recruit a Platoon of Detroit Marines. They would be sent to Parris Island as a Group and Boot Trained as such. I visited Family's to talk the Parents to sign for their son. They flew the entire Platoon down to PI in old DC-3's. There was a place in the center of Town where the Transportation People turned over to us a Booth they had. I worked the Booth several times. As far as I know we never recruited a soul from there but it was a Great Pick-up Place for the Single Marines because as I remember it was mostly girls that visited the booth. My tour of Duty was Two Years, I never went back on Recruiting Duty again and was thankful for that, Independent Duty wasn't all it was cracked up to be as I saw it. I was Promoted to Staff Sgt. Shortly after Returning to Regular Duty at Camp LeJeune, being a 2100 MOS I figured it was Recruiting Duty that got me that Promotion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired​


Cpl Blackburn Last Week

In the newsletter of 8 April, Alex Dimitrew posts a purported official document regarding the heroic actions of Marine CPL Alvin L. Blackburn, asking if it's true. This 'sea story' has been floating around for about 10 years or more... and it has been debunked.

In the accompanying 'statements' by the alleged survivors, there are references to how these Recon Marines made a parachute jump, used a BAR and other obsolete weapons (the BAR was gone by 1968), to name but a few technical and historical errors. The names of the KIAs do not appear on The Wall and there's no record of Blackburn being awarded any major combat decorations. There is no officer named William W. White and, according to one source, a Marine located through the FOIA named Alvin Blackburn appears to have been a personnel clerk for his entire career.

There's numerous references to this tall tale all across the Marine-related Internet sites. I put this out there with the story of Old Ironsides sinking British ships for rum (we weren't at war with England at the time), prayers for the "Blackhorse" Marines killed (the names of the KIAs are US Army + one British soldier) or Obama's forged birth certificate and Muslim faith.


​Probably apocryphal... not likely that a Colonel would recommend a MOH just in the closing paragraph of what purports to be an investigation... At the time, there was a standard format for investigations, which, from memory, started out with a paragraph (or two), citing the authority calling for the investigation, then a synopsis of what was being investigated, followed by "findings of fact" (these had to be backed up with evidence), then another section wherein opinions were rendered... these had to be identified as such, and drawn from/or supported by, the findings of fact, and finally, a recommendation as to further action... in the case of a violation of orders, would usually include a charge sheet or sheets. The typing, smudges, corrections, and mimeograph are well done, and pretty much representative of admin papers... long before IBM Selectric typewriters, word processors the size of desks, etc... and never mind 'death by Power Point'...

A MOH (or any other valor award) recommendation would require supporting info... etc.

Note: Sorry for the bogus story. It happens occasionally. Over the years we have gotten pretty good at sniffing them out. But not all.

Sgt Grit


Quonset huts, Graduation, and Range Flags

In the article from Graig "I Wandered Around for a While", appears to have taken place in 2010. Here is a general time frame when the Quonset huts were removed from the depot.

All the Quonset huts located in the 1st, and 3rd Battalion area were removed by 1974, leaving only the concrete forms the huts rested on. And during 1974 through 1975, the concrete foundations and asphalt streets were removed for reconstruction and renovation in the area. During this period, the Correctional Custody Platoon used some of the forms for hard labor swinging sixteen pound sludge hammers making small stones, from large ones: the end product was gravel. The gravel was used for walkways, roads, and parking lots that still exist today.

By 1976, most of the 2nd Battalion huts were removed to make way for "Recruit Hilton Hotels". There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center. Which by the way is "OFF LIMITS". After fifty-five years, those are the huts that remain, and only a few are left at Camp Pendleton. Attached is a current photo of just a few of the Quonset huts left at MCRD.

During the mid-sixties and early seventies, I completed two tours as a Drill Instructor at San Diego (hope you noticed I didn't say Hat). Most of it with "A" Company, and it sadden me to see the Quonset hut of "A" Company disappear.

As late as 1959 and until 1970, graduation ceremonies took place at the base theater composing of two parts. First, the inside ceremonies consisted of introductions, passing out awards, meritorious promotions, and the commencement by the Battalion Commanding Officer. Then to the outside where the series formed in front of the theater to retire the platoon guidons, and the recruits were dismissed for base liberty. In the olden-days, for most of the young Marines, the next day after graduation the series was bused to Camp Pendleton for four weeks of training at 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. Only then were they granted about ten days of leave to go home.

Range flag depended on the flexibility of the company, where the platoon drew up their own flag, and attached it to the platoon staff. Normally once the platoon returned from the range the flag was retired. However, if the platoon did exceptionally well on the range, the platoon was permitted to fly it up until the seventh week inspection. Not sure what was permitted at Parris Island, but I assume it was permissible.

If by chance you happen to see Gunny Lee Ermey, go ahead and shake his hand. He would be glad to meet you, and exchange in some sea stories of old.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


Every Word Was A Lie

In response to "Operation Hastings" by A Former Hat, GySgt USMC (Ret) in the 9 April 2015 newsletter.

More than a few of our members of India Company, 3/5 were disgusted at the entry which pertained to us in your last newsletter. The author of the entry obviously did not participate in Operation Hastings. Every word was a lie. Simple as that.

We've all experienced such people over the years, perfectly being defined in the book "Stolen Valor", but this time this person tread on sacred ground when he claimed such nonsense. His words bordered on blasphemy, tarnishing the memories of all the good men we lost those days. We few who have so far responded among ourselves to his entry have decided it's up to me personally to kick his worthless azs. I'm old and fat, but I think I'm up to it.

If he asks for my contact information please give it to him.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Holt
Email: joep0331[at]aol.com
India Company 3/5 1966


Marine Recruit: Tears In The Sand

Marine Recruit Tears In The Sand Book Cover

"Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand" is an epic novel of Marine Corps boot camp (San Diego). A compelling unabridged account of recruit training as told by the Drill Instructor.

Author of Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman, Retired 1st Sergeant Herb Brewer, USMC, now brings to life this outstanding all-encompassing witty honest, caringly brutal, human, and timeless narrative. Combining two stories into one, he takes you all the way from the grueling view of the recruit to the panoramic mission and perspective of the Drill Instructor.

At MCRD, you can count on two things the recruit is green, the Marine Drill Instructor is legendary. First Sergeant Brewer captures the essences and awareness of what it means to be both.

Marine Recruit is a rare and unparalleled look into MCRD. Enter now the revered birthplace of the Marine where every Drill Instructor was once a recruit.

Get the dust jacket hardcover copy of this book at "Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand".


Events

1st Annual SgtMaj “Hashmark” Johnson Charity Motorcycle Ride Flyer

This is the first ride of what will become an annual Event. We are honoring Sergeant Major "Hashmark" Johnson and the Montford Point Marines who dedicated their lives to the defense of our Nation. Hashmark was one of the First African Americans to join the Corps and one of the First African American Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Your Participation will support our building and scholarship fund. Share this with your friends and every rider you know. Semper Fi!

Ralph "Hawk" Jones
Capt USMC
National Montford Point Marine Association
Chapter #42
Greenville, MS
Email: ralph.hawk.jones[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Plt 1149, MCRD San Diego, 1970. Anybody out there?

Former Cpl R. Rivera​


Sgt Grit,

I was hoping that you might put this request in one of your future newsletters. This year and next starts a series of 50 year reunions and anniversaries for me so I thought I might try to put together a few of my own. These will mean more than some of the ones I'll be attending except for my 50th wedding anniversary. I would like to contact any graduate of "Warrant Officer Basic Class 79" especially from "I Company" 79.

In addition any recruit or Drill Instructors from Platoon 2063, MCRD Parris Island graduated 5 Oct 1966.

Especially from the following Drill Instructors:

S/Sgt (now SgtMaj) M. P. Martin
S/Sgt M. D. Fazio (Uncle Mike)
Sgt S. A. Downes

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.


Short Rounds

To Dick Martell... I graduated 24 March 1966... Platoon 127... our Senior DI was SSGT W.M. Martin, the only D.I. that did NOT touch me... and he scared me more than the Junior D.I.s. He was a d-mn good D.I.

Mark Gallant
L/Cpl '66-'69
Chu Lai '68​


Sgt Grit,

Love this website! Will stay on point with it as time flies by.

SEMPER FI Always... My Bros!

Another Short man in the tall grass '66-'67.


Look at that cover, Now that's salty!

Louis F. Lapointe

NAME


Quotes

"At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a nation; and if their citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own."
--George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783


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


"A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


Chesty, a reminder of what we are about and what we stand for.

NAME


"Keep Your Powder Dry!"

"Gimme a huss!"

"SQUAT THRUSTS, UNTIL MY MOTHER IN LAW DIES!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 APR 2015

In this issue:
• Major Rich Risner
• WWII Marines
• All The Way To Tijuana

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Great t-shirt, Thank you Sgt GRIT!

The attached images show Marine Wounded Warrior Lead Clinician Jimmy Craig (Cpl. USMC-R) as he instructs umpires from the Marine Wounded Warrior Battalion-East at the Palm Beach Challenge. Marine Appreciation Day sponsored by The Semper Fi Fund and Sgt. Grit. Six Sergeants - Boles, Rogers, Dean, Bletcher, Simmonds, Mauro. These Marines will become instructor qualified and will help us reach full Marine implementation and direction.

Daniel J. Weikle

Get this moto t-shirt at:

USMC Semper Fidelis Red T-shirt


So Called Dummy Round

Sgt. Grit,

In 1950, I was going to Small Arms Ordnance School in Quantico, Virginia. We were being taught the Functions and repair of Small Arms which included the M1911 .45 Pistol up to and including the 75mm Recoiless Rifle. While we were Learning the 75mm Recoiless rifle we had an Empty Casing, regarded as a 75mm Recoiless Dummy casing. During a break, we all were looking over the 75 and playing with the Dummy casing (we didn't have a complete dummy round) and I opened the 75 breech block which laid back flat so the rifle could be loaded. The Dummy 75mm round was bent around the mouth and couldn't be loaded into the rifle. I had the breech block open and sat the (so called) dummy round on the OPEN breech block, twisted the safety on the trigger and pressed the trigger button. A LOUD BLAST went off. I rolled off the table because I was holding the 75 casing on the breech block, the room was filled with Smoke, Officers and Senior NCO's in seconds. I was taken to Sick Bay to see if there was any damage to me and the only thing that kept me from being the Goat of this incident was the fact that the Ammunition Section had provided the (so called) blank (with a live Primer) so the Ammunition Section got the blast on my screw up. AH, the days of our Youth.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


Major Rich Risner

​In honor of all our Marines who served in Vietnam, I submitted the following to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation:

On 20 August 1968, while serving with the MAG-12 Civic Action Team in Chu Lai, RVN, our leader, Major Rich Risner, was captured by the enemy. We were on a mission to deliver school supplies to the village of Khuong Quang when the Major and I got separated as he returned to our vehicles to meet another Army Major who was the Ly Tin District Advisor. Waiting for him to return for over 30 minutes, I left our group already in route to the village while I went back to find Major Risner. To my dismay he was nowhere to be seen and was later listed as Missing in Action. Three days later he was spotted on Highway One about 6 km south of Chu Lai by an Army MP who returned him to our group HQ. During his three day ordeal he had been interrogated, tortured and subjected to humiliating treatment that included dislocating both his shoulders and smashing his toes with a hammer to keep him from escaping. While being blindfolded with hands tied in front he was being led to a POW camp in Cambodia when he made a daring escape killing two of his captors. His training and determination guided him back to his unit where we all celebrated his return. Decorated with a Silver Star, Bronze Star and two Purple Hearts he was a true hero who left this earth in 2005 always haunted by his ordeal.

I salute him and all of my Marine brothers, some of whom never made it home. Semper Fidelis.

Gene Hays
MSgt, USMC Retired
Author and Historian


He Was Just Resting

In 1960, I was Sgt. of The Guard at a camp on Okinawa when I observed a guard asleep in a jeep with his hand on the muzzle of his M-1. Knowing he would deny being asleep I lifted his hand off the weapon and gently let hang down. Now I had his rifle, removed the trigger housing group and pocketed it, then I woke him up. He of course said he was just "resting". I replied, "Get out now and patrol this motor pool!" (Plus the popular expletives of the day). When he slung his M-1 up on his shoulder he realized it was in two parts, hanging down his side. I could see his red face and embarrassment even in the semi-darkness. After a little pleading from him I said, "You owe me a beer or two, get going." After all, it was peacetime in a friendly country.​


WWII Marines

Sgt Grit,

I know WWII Marines are a thinning heard, but there are still some of us around. Maybe not enough of us for Sgt Grit to feature the era. Even if we won't be around long, our grand children and great-Grand children enjoy the history of old Grandpa.

Thanks,
Bud

Note: OK... I get this type of email occasionally. I, Sgt Grit, write nothing. This newsletter is for and by YOU! If YOU do not send me stories you will not see stories about your era, unit, war, location, platoon etc...

I always respond to this type of email asking for a story. In twenty years of doing this I do not remember one story coming back. If you don't see something about your famous Third Combat Mess Gear Repair Battalion it is because you didn't send something in. Almost all stories sent to me get published. So get off your lazy azs put your fingers to the key board and write me. You enjoy reading everyone else's story, they will enjoy reading yours. Do it now!

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

And by the way, we have several WWII contributors. GySgt Rousseau being the most prolific.


The Kukri Machete KA-BAR

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I bought a pair of your Ka-Bars... one the Marine Corps Combat knife, the other a Kukri Nepalese Machete. The Combat Knife is just a sacred artifact of the Corps. This letter is to comment on the Kukri.

The balance of the Kukri is stunning... the grip solid and perfect. And the edge of the Kukri is something one doesn't want to trifle with, a casual brush lifted the tip of a finger and the surface of my bib overalls. But, I'm not b-tching.

In my City of New Haven, Indiana, we have a "Greenway" trail that goes through an ancient, deep woods. Many of the trees are draped in either wild grape, or world class poison ivy. As you might guess the latter makes it less than desirable for many people. So, I decided to engage in a bit of Guerilla Maintenance... chopping sections out of the poison ivy to kill it. The folks at Parks and Rec. are thrilled. The tool of choice, of course, is the Kukri. Today I harvested the stalk of a 3-5/8 inch diameter vine {the vine from hell}.

No, I'm not nuts... but I am a former Staff Sgt. of Marines. Nearly 30 years ago, following a horrid accident and many transfusions, I acquired an immunity to P.I. which I formerly did not have. Since I can handle it with impunity I figured I should help my neighbors, starting in deep snow, moving now to the greening of the 5-acre wood.

The shape of the Kukri is magnificent... and the steel of the blade is magical, it will take and hold an edge through chopping on the tree, or in the dirt {not a good idea for blade longevity}. I am so impressed I had to let you know. What you sell isn't an illusion... it's the real deal... which means that I can respect you like I do my Corps.

Thanks, Sgt. Grit, for making my belief make sense.

S/Sgt. Tim Doyle

Get your hands on your own Kukri at:

Kukri Machete KA-BAR


You Grew Into It

Sgt. Grit,

My First Issue of Greens were compared by the DI and made sure Blouse and Trousers were the same hue (color). I never realized just how much some Marines worked at being a MARINE. Being a Marine to some is enlisting, going to boot camp and wearing the Uniform. I knew Old Marines that made sure everything was the same. In those days we didn't have back pockets, to keep a flat front you carry your cigarettes and wallet in your socks. The blouse looked like you grew into it, the Leather Belt was shined like the shoes, the trousers had a sharp edge running down the front, we didn't have to steal Girls from the Swab Jocks Or Army, they came readily because nothing in this world looks as good as a Marine Squared away, Standing Tall with a Bearing and look on his face of complete control of his day and time.

We had survey in those days and I surveyed my Green Trousers at least twice due to splits in the creases from being ironed so many times. My pay was $50.00 month with $6.35 taken for GI Insurance and I sent home $25.00 month savings. I was young and dumb in those days until I realized it cost more than $20 a month to exist in the Marine Corps at the time. In 1947, I got Married in my Greens, our wedding picture is fading now but you can still see the Greens and the Beautiful dress my Wife wore and 3 ribbons on my blouse, Pacific Theater, Asiatic Theater of War w/2 stars, Victory Ribbon. I learned later we had been awarded the Presidentual and the Naval Unit Citations.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


All The Way To Tijuana

MCRD, San Diego, 1955. Platoon 157 & 1/2.

That's what our squad was called one day while marching back to our Quonset huts after drill practice on the grinder. Reason was, us feather merchants at the rear of the platoon could not execute correctly the command, "Squads, Right About". There was always someone scr-wing up. Our DI was so p-ssed he wanted nothing to do with us so he positioned our squad about six feet behind the rest of the platoon when marching back to our area. We finally got our sh-t together but during final drill competition our stack of rifles fell during "Stack Arms". Some Pvt tried to align the stack more evenly with the rest of the field of stacked rifles and boom, there they go. Seemed that the noise of the rifles falling carried all the way to Tijuana. We survived however and were Honor Platoon for the series. Semper Fi!

GySgt G.R. Archuleta
Never Retired, Always a Marine

Post Script: In 1963 & 64 I was assigned to 1st Comm Provisional Company, HQ.Bn.,3dMarDiv at Camp Hauge, Okinawa. Does anybody out there know what happened to 1st Comm? I tried Googling with no results. Any info appreciated.​


My Trigger Has Been Squeezed

Once again my trigger has been squeezed. This time not only by Ddick but also GySgt. F. L. Rousseau. GySgt. Rousseau relates the story of turning a prisoner over to the brig and what a eye opening experience that was, I was also involved in the same scenario and came to the same conclusion, I wouldn't want to spend any time in the Brig! The Brig was in Alameda (I think) and it was around 0100 on 1-1-63 the other chaser and I then continued to T.I. As we went through the gate we were waved through by a very smart Marine guard. The next day with our liberty card in hand we headed for town and as we went out of the same gate, there was NO ONE on the gate! Seems the base security detail had been turned over to the Navy! I never felt secure for the next three days I was there.

​ John Selders


Still Remember My Rifle Number

Read Malcolm Forbes letter and I agree with him.

I also went to P.I. in December '54 and was in Platoon 470, graduated Depot Honor platoon, Assistant D.I. Named Sgt. Callahan. Forget the Sr. D.I., but he had a great cadence and did Squad drills all the time.

Would you believe I still remember my rifle number 4278347... (60 years later). I even married a Woman Marine. My Brother, a Marine, and uncles who were at Saipan in WW2, both made it through and one still kicking today. Ornery cuss.

Once a Marine, always a Marine, I guess. Not worrying about a call up any more tho'!

Semper Fi, Malcolm!

George Engel,
1478XXX


Only A Marine

I work security - at our site - I was called on my radio and told to see the head of security at another building ASAP. I went to look for my boss and found him in front of a flagpole on a chilly windy day, and he needed help to replace (2) flags on the pole that morning. We lowered one flag and then the American Flag. We raised the bottom flag - then the new American Flag. The old American Flag was taken into one of the buildings and he asked me to help him fold the old American Flag. I instructed him in the proper way to fold the Flag of our Country. He could have asked anyone - but he commented - "Only a Marine can do this task properly!"

None of the flags touched the deck on my watch!

Bruce Bender
CPL 1963-1967
Vietnam Era Veteran


Read The Obit

About a month ago, I found a plastic-encased obit in the "mail" box for items to be posted on the bulletin boards in our "park". I didn't look too closely, & figured it was someone from the park who had died & a relative or friend wanted the info posted. After about 2 weeks I figured I'd take it down as enough time had passed. Then I actually read the obit. It was for a man who had died several years ago. I felt real foolish. But I also noticed that he was a veteran, and he had a son who lived in Clermont, Florida. I checked out the White Pages online and found the son, and stuck the obit in an envelope with a little note as to where it was found, and mentioning that my husband & I were both veterans (Marine Corps, of course), signing only my initial and last name. Well, in today's mail a small padded envelope arrived, and I thought it was for my husband. I didn't notice how it was addressed, & gave it to my husband with his mail. He opened it, then asked me if I knew the person who sent the envelope. I didn't recognize the name, but when I read the note inside, I realized who it was. The son had written a nice note. It seems that he is a Marine (on civilian duty, don't ya know), and a veteran of Vietnam (2 tours), and was touched by my taking the time to return the obit. He said he didn't know how it came to be in Orlando, Florida. He also enclosed 2 golf ball markers with the Eagle Globe & Anchor on them for my kindness, and closed with "If I can ever be of service to help let me know."

Thank you, Mr. Hegg, for your service. Semper Fidelis!

Sharon Hill
1965-1967​


Found My Drill Instructor

Sgt. Grit,

I went through Parris Island in 1962, Plt. 352. I just found my Drill Instructors about five months ago. My Senior DI was Staff Sgt. Flynn, mustang over and retired as a Captian, lives in Ca. My junior DI was Sgt. Carswell, he also mustang over and retired as a Major. He lives in Tenn. I talk to them once or twice a week. I had two other DI's. Sgt. Joyce, which was promoted to Gunny, was killed in Vietnam and awarded the Silver Star. Then there was Sgt. Lee, which I have no clue where he is. God Bless them all.

Cpl. Girvin
xxxx872​


Khe Sanh

Semper Fi,

On the evening of November 30, 2014, I and two friends attended the showing of "Bravo" a movie about Bravo Co. and the 77-day siege of Khe Sanh. The movie took 5-years of research, and was produced and made about the history of the 77-day siege, by Ken and Betty Rodgers, and was well done. It had actual film footage that was taken at Khe Sanh, reports given by Marines who were there and took part in the action and is 118 minutes long. This is an outstanding report and as Ken Rodgers states, "I believe the film speaks for all veterans, time and again we have seen people transformed by this story, people suffering from mental fatigue of combat, people who have other battles in their lives, and people who have no idea what we ask of our military servicemen and women."

I had the honor of attending the film with two friends who were highly decorated Marine Veterans of Vietnam, one was Jon Sprison who received two purple hearts, and the other was Ricardo Figueroa a member of the 1/9 "Walking Dead" and received three Purple Hearts, and as they commented, any Veteran who served in Vietnam is a "Hero". The "Egyptain Theratre" in Boise Idaho was packed full of veterans and guests, wanting to see the film, we all had a great time talking to each other before and after the film, I can only say it was worthwhile, a few other showings will be in our area and information can be obtained from Ken at "bravotheproject.com". All proceeds from the show went to the Ada County Veterans' Court & Idaho Ceterans' Network.

Thank you and again Semper Fi,
James L Murrell
Cpl USMC


Great Pick-Up Place

While on Recruiting Duty in Detroit in the 1950's there was a plan to Recruit a Platoon of Detroit Marines. They would be sent to Parris Island as a Group and Boot Trained as such. I visited Family's to talk the Parents to sign for their son. They flew the entire Platoon down to PI in old DC-3's. There was a place in the center of Town where the Transportation People turned over to us a Booth they had. I worked the Booth several times. As far as I know we never recruited a soul from there but it was a Great Pick-up Place for the Single Marines because as I remember it was mostly girls that visited the booth. My tour of Duty was Two Years, I never went back on Recruiting Duty again and was thankful for that, Independent Duty wasn't all it was cracked up to be as I saw it. I was Promoted to Staff Sgt. Shortly after Returning to Regular Duty at Camp LeJeune, being a 2100 MOS I figured it was Recruiting Duty that got me that Promotion.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired​


Cpl Blackburn Last Week

In the newsletter of 8 April, Alex Dimitrew posts a purported official document regarding the heroic actions of Marine CPL Alvin L. Blackburn, asking if it's true. This 'sea story' has been floating around for about 10 years or more... and it has been debunked.

In the accompanying 'statements' by the alleged survivors, there are references to how these Recon Marines made a parachute jump, used a BAR and other obsolete weapons (the BAR was gone by 1968), to name but a few technical and historical errors. The names of the KIAs do not appear on The Wall and there's no record of Blackburn being awarded any major combat decorations. There is no officer named William W. White and, according to one source, a Marine located through the FOIA named Alvin Blackburn appears to have been a personnel clerk for his entire career.

There's numerous references to this tall tale all across the Marine-related Internet sites. I put this out there with the story of Old Ironsides sinking British ships for rum (we weren't at war with England at the time), prayers for the "Blackhorse" Marines killed (the names of the KIAs are US Army + one British soldier) or Obama's forged birth certificate and Muslim faith.


​Probably apocryphal... not likely that a Colonel would recommend a MOH just in the closing paragraph of what purports to be an investigation... At the time, there was a standard format for investigations, which, from memory, started out with a paragraph (or two), citing the authority calling for the investigation, then a synopsis of what was being investigated, followed by "findings of fact" (these had to be backed up with evidence), then another section wherein opinions were rendered... these had to be identified as such, and drawn from/or supported by, the findings of fact, and finally, a recommendation as to further action... in the case of a violation of orders, would usually include a charge sheet or sheets. The typing, smudges, corrections, and mimeograph are well done, and pretty much representative of admin papers... long before IBM Selectric typewriters, word processors the size of desks, etc... and never mind 'death by Power Point'...

A MOH (or any other valor award) recommendation would require supporting info... etc.

Note: Sorry for the bogus story. It happens occasionally. Over the years we have gotten pretty good at sniffing them out. But not all.

Sgt Grit


Quonset huts, Graduation, and Range Flags

In the article from Graig "I Wandered Around for a While", appears to have taken place in 2010. Here is a general time frame when the Quonset huts were removed from the depot.

All the Quonset huts located in the 1st, and 3rd Battalion area were removed by 1974, leaving only the concrete forms the huts rested on. And during 1974 through 1975, the concrete foundations and asphalt streets were removed for reconstruction and renovation in the area. During this period, the Correctional Custody Platoon used some of the forms for hard labor swinging sixteen pound sludge hammers making small stones, from large ones: the end product was gravel. The gravel was used for walkways, roads, and parking lots that still exist today.

By 1976, most of the 2nd Battalion huts were removed to make way for "Recruit Hilton Hotels". There are about a dozen huts left just north of the parade deck, behind the reviewing stand and across the street from recruit receiving center. Which by the way is "OFF LIMITS". After fifty-five years, those are the huts that remain, and only a few are left at Camp Pendleton. Attached is a current photo of just a few of the Quonset huts left at MCRD.

During the mid-sixties and early seventies, I completed two tours as a Drill Instructor at San Diego (hope you noticed I didn't say Hat). Most of it with "A" Company, and it sadden me to see the Quonset hut of "A" Company disappear.

As late as 1959 and until 1970, graduation ceremonies took place at the base theater composing of two parts. First, the inside ceremonies consisted of introductions, passing out awards, meritorious promotions, and the commencement by the Battalion Commanding Officer. Then to the outside where the series formed in front of the theater to retire the platoon guidons, and the recruits were dismissed for base liberty. In the olden-days, for most of the young Marines, the next day after graduation the series was bused to Camp Pendleton for four weeks of training at 2nd Infantry Training Regiment. Only then were they granted about ten days of leave to go home.

Range flag depended on the flexibility of the company, where the platoon drew up their own flag, and attached it to the platoon staff. Normally once the platoon returned from the range the flag was retired. However, if the platoon did exceptionally well on the range, the platoon was permitted to fly it up until the seventh week inspection. Not sure what was permitted at Parris Island, but I assume it was permissible.

If by chance you happen to see Gunny Lee Ermey, go ahead and shake his hand. He would be glad to meet you, and exchange in some sea stories of old.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


Every Word Was A Lie

In response to "Operation Hastings" by A Former Hat, GySgt USMC (Ret) in the 9 April 2015 newsletter.

More than a few of our members of India Company, 3/5 were disgusted at the entry which pertained to us in your last newsletter. The author of the entry obviously did not participate in Operation Hastings. Every word was a lie. Simple as that.

We've all experienced such people over the years, perfectly being defined in the book "Stolen Valor", but this time this person tread on sacred ground when he claimed such nonsense. His words bordered on blasphemy, tarnishing the memories of all the good men we lost those days. We few who have so far responded among ourselves to his entry have decided it's up to me personally to kick his worthless azs. I'm old and fat, but I think I'm up to it.

If he asks for my contact information please give it to him.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe Holt
Email: joep0331[at]aol.com
India Company 3/5 1966


Marine Recruit: Tears In The Sand

"Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand" is an epic novel of Marine Corps boot camp (San Diego). A compelling unabridged account of recruit training as told by the Drill Instructor.

Author of Chronicles of a Marine Rifleman, Retired 1st Sergeant Herb Brewer, USMC, now brings to life this outstanding all-encompassing witty honest, caringly brutal, human, and timeless narrative. Combining two stories into one, he takes you all the way from the grueling view of the recruit to the panoramic mission and perspective of the Drill Instructor.

At MCRD, you can count on two things the recruit is green, the Marine Drill Instructor is legendary. First Sergeant Brewer captures the essences and awareness of what it means to be both.

Marine Recruit is a rare and unparalleled look into MCRD. Enter now the revered birthplace of the Marine where every Drill Instructor was once a recruit.

Get the dust jacket hardcover copy of this book at "Marine Recruit: Tears in the Sand".


Events

This is the first ride of what will become an annual Event. We are honoring Sergeant Major "Hashmark" Johnson and the Montford Point Marines who dedicated their lives to the defense of our Nation. Hashmark was one of the First African Americans to join the Corps and one of the First African American Marine Corps Drill Instructors. Your Participation will support our building and scholarship fund. Share this with your friends and every rider you know. Semper Fi!

Ralph "Hawk" Jones
Capt USMC
National Montford Point Marine Association
Chapter #42
Greenville, MS
Email: ralph.hawk.jones[at]gmail.com


Lost And Found

Plt 1149, MCRD San Diego, 1970. Anybody out there?

Former Cpl R. Rivera​


Sgt Grit,

I was hoping that you might put this request in one of your future newsletters. This year and next starts a series of 50 year reunions and anniversaries for me so I thought I might try to put together a few of my own. These will mean more than some of the ones I'll be attending except for my 50th wedding anniversary. I would like to contact any graduate of "Warrant Officer Basic Class 79" especially from "I Company" 79.

In addition any recruit or Drill Instructors from Platoon 2063, MCRD Parris Island graduated 5 Oct 1966.

Especially from the following Drill Instructors:

S/Sgt (now SgtMaj) M. P. Martin
S/Sgt M. D. Fazio (Uncle Mike)
Sgt S. A. Downes

Capt. T. L. Johnson, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Ret.


Short Rounds

To Dick Martell... I graduated 24 March 1966... Platoon 127... our Senior DI was SSGT W.M. Martin, the only D.I. that did NOT touch me... and he scared me more than the Junior D.I.s. He was a d-mn good D.I.

Mark Gallant
L/Cpl '66-'69
Chu Lai '68​


Sgt Grit,

Love this website! Will stay on point with it as time flies by.

SEMPER FI Always... My Bros!

Another Short man in the tall grass '66-'67.


Quotes

"At this auspicious period, the United States came into existence as a nation; and if their citizens should not be completely free and happy, the fault will be entirely their own."
--George Washington, Letter to the Governors, 1783


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


"A Ship without Marines is like a garment without buttons."
--Adm. David Dixon Porter, USN in a letter to Colonel Commandant John Harris, USMC, 1863


"The Marines have landed and the situation is well in hand."
--Attributed to Richard Harding Davis (1864-1916)


"Keep Your Powder Dry!"

"Gimme a huss!"

"SQUAT THRUSTS, UNTIL MY MOTHER IN LAW DIES!"

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 APR 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 APR 2015

In this issue:
• 1922... Now This Is Old Corps
• Stories About Boot Camp
• No Sir, I AM A MARINE

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Letter from Carter to Sgt Grit

Dear Sgt Grit,

Jordan xxxxx died two years ago. I'm his oldest son. I'm ten years old. I have a younger brother and an older sister. So, I really like your magazines.

Sincerely,
Carter

P.S. Please send more magazines.

By the way, I like your magazines because my dad was a Marine. I want to be a Marine too.

Note: A catalog was mailed to Carter the same day we received his letter.

Sgt Grit


1922... Now This Is Old Corps

1922 Marine Corps Buglers

1922 Marines at the firing range in the Virgin Islands

I served with VMFA-314 from Nov. '67 to Dec. '68 in Chu Lai. In a past posting, I had mentioned Operation Military Embrace, and the Watermelon Run For The Fallen in Hempstead, TX, where I had reunited with some of my Vietnam brothers last August. This time, I'm sending some pictures of my father, Harry W. Kiehnle, who enlisted in 1922. He was a seagoing Marine and a bugler, who was stationed on the Battleship Utah for the Friendship tour of South America that sent General John J. Pershing to meet with South American heads of state, as he was still highly respected after having served as General of the Armies in WW I.

The first picture is four buglers (my father on the left) leaving music school at PI, headed for Sea School at Quantico, next are two pictures of the firing range in the Virgin Islands (my dad is in the t-shirt), third picture is inspection of the Marine Contingent on board the Utah, and finally, General Pershing and dignitaries aboard the ship.

CPL. James Kiehnle 1966-1970
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967-1968​


Sgt Grit's 2015 Spring Tent Sale


Stories About Boot Camp

Everybody has his stories about Boot Camp. 3 October 1958, 3rd Bn, Plt 347, Sgt Liston Baggett the first day.

"I'm from so far south I call people from Georgia Yankees"
"Raise your hand if the judge sent you here," about six or seven hands went up.
"Anyone from a town of more than twenty thousand is a Hoodlum, We specialize in Hoodlums."
From there on it was all down hill...

Now it's 1996, and I'm visiting my folks folks in Florida. I am living in Spain working in offshore drilling oilfield pretty sure I've got my sh-t together, as by that point, I'd worked offshore in more than twenty countries.

My Dad had received a phone call from a member of 347 looking to contact me. I called him in Indiana. He told me the Senior D.I. S/Sgt Truax had died of Lou Gehrig's Disease.

He had located retired Major (former Sgt) Baggett in Pensacola, and that he was terminal with cancer (I'm sure from Agent Orange), as he had done multiple tours in V.N.

Keep in mind this is thirty eight (38) years later. I actually got nervous and stood up as I dialed the number.

He answered. I explained who I was and that, while I was sure he didn't remember me, I called to thank him for discipline / lessons he taught me that had remained with me since 1958.

He then said, "I remember you, you're that hoodlum from Boston."

One of the proudest moments of my life.​

Bill McDermott

"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
--George F Tilton


Feather Merchants

Read your stories about The Corps with great interest. One of the recent ones about a Grunt commenting about one of the men in the Iwo flag raising having a bayonet on his carbine and all the resulting comments. Just maybe the carbine he used didn't have a bayonet socket - but that's a BIG maybe. Mine certainly had one and I kept the bayonet when mustering out in Dec. 1945. Google has PAGES of illustrations and words about the bayonet. There were two - a short (or knife) and the loonng one. Mine is the short, a USM 4 Imperial.

Also interesting are comments about the Old Corps and I have found no definition of this label - prior to WW II, China Service, or what. Don't know how I would fit into that category unless it includes us feather merchants who served in WW II. I got mine in Platoon 315 at MRDSD in the Spring of 1943, with a six digit serial number having an SS after it. I went in with a specific invitation from The President and chose to serve in the Marines. Can't remember my DI's name, but his side kick was a very tall lanky Corporal who had fought at the "Canal".

Went through the Radio School at MCBSD and upon graduation was assigned to the 6th Radio Intelligence Platoon training at Camp Elliott north of SD and later at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. Along with 2,000 other passenger Marines and swabies, we boarded the USS Wasp on its breakdown cruise in record time. Westaged at Camp Catlin just East of Pearl until we boarded troop ship USS Elliott to join Task Force 58 on the way to Saipan. We were attached to the 5th Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion. Our intercept radiomen were assigned to the USS Rocky Mount as a part of the Task Force Signal Battalion. A few of our men took part in the Tinian invasion and all of us sailed on the SS Azalea City to return to Pearl.

The 6X6's that met us at the dock took us to Navy Radio 41 up in the hills above Honolulu.

The men who didn't already know Japanese Morse code attended school to learn it and all of us stood watch in the comm room handling radio traffic between the battlefield in the West Pacific and Navy Headquarters in D.C. It was somewhere that we were redesginated as the 5th RIP. We were reorganized and I was assigned to the 4th Division Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO).

We now were training for the invasion of Japan when President Roosevelt died and continued until the B 29's operatng out of the Marianas dropped the Bomb that ended the War. I had enough points to return to the States and sailed on the USS Kalanin Bay, a Jeep carrier, to MCBSD and a train ride to Camp Lejeune to muster out.

Still close to the Corps, especially since so many of our time are transferring Home. Still going pretty well at nearly 92.

Semper Fi, Mac,
Burke O'Kelly​


Worst And Strangest Job I Had

Duty in the Old Corps

After World War II, I was stationed at Naval Prison, San Pedro because they were turning the Prison over to Los Angeles and we were taking Prisoners to Lock-ups closest to their home of Record. On board Trains we were in a Passenger Car all our own but to feed the Prisoners we had to take them to the Dining Car through Passenger cars with people staring at us, Prisoners marching through with leg Irons and Hand Cuffed right leg and right hand of his prisoner to the right leg and right hand of the next Prisoner. When we delivered them to the Prison, we marched the Prisoners into a cage outside the Prison, the Paper work was sent up to the Guard in a Tower by Basket and we went into another cage. Another basket was lowered and we sent our weapons up. A door opened in the Wall and the Prisoners went into the door into a secure Room, we went into the door into a cage nest to the Prisoners.

The Man in charge, a Navy CPO (only time I was under command of a Navy CPO while in the Marine Corps) signed the Papers turning the Prisoners over to the Prison and we left, picking up our weapons outside the Prison, they were lowered down to us from the Tower. Probably the worst and strangest job I had in the Corps.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


12 x 12 Marine On Duty Steel Stop Sign


"No sir, I AM A MARINE"

So my wife and I are having breakfast at McDonalds and I'm wearing my Marine Corps cover and these two gentlemen stop me and ask me if I WAS a Marine. Stopping in my tracks I said "No sir, I AM A MARINE." Engaging them in conversation one of them asked if I was in Vietnam to which I replied affirmative and then he goes on to say how the Marines lost the battle of Khe Sanh. Then I feel my hands starting to clinch into a fist and think better of it and inform them how 6,000 Marines held off 20,000 hardcore North Vietnamese for 47 days until they broke the seize, all the while my voice raising. They said, "Oh." Realizing they might want to leave well enough alone they thanked me for my service and I wished them a good day. Upon returning to our booth my wife said I was very rude to them by announcing I AM A MARINE, to which I replied I wasn't being rude, I was simply setting them straight and they probably won't make that mistake again.

"They say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it, but in the Marine Corps they can d-mn well make them wish they had."

Tom Gillespie
RVN '70 - '71


Everybody Got Into The Act

I have to disagree with 1st Sgt Brewer, because the 8-man squad drill came in earlier than 8 March, 1957. I went to PI December 1954, Plt 464, and we d-mn well did squads drill. By mid- summer 1955, I was stationed at H&S Co, Basic School, Camp Upshur, Quantico. When we had an IG or other big inspection, there was a "battalion" parade and review all conducted in Squads Drill, (a strange battalion because enlisted personnel were heavily outnumbered by 2nd Lts at the School). They would even bring the big band up from mainside.

The commands would be something like "Pass In Review!", "Column of Platoons, Leading Platoon, Squads Right..." Then commands would ring out all over the field even down to the squad level, depending where you were: "Squads Right!", "Forward!", "Stand Fast!"... "MARCH!"

And off we would go to Semper Fidelis first, and then the Hymn as we passed the reviewing stand. Somewhere in there was the "on left into line" or "left front into line", whatever, because we passed the reviewing stands with platoons in a long, 2 deep line.

Great stuff, everybody got into the act.

Malcolm Forbes
147XXXX, Cpl, USMC


It's The Norm

Grade school kids welcoming the Patriot Guard to their school

Grade school kids with cards that were made for the Patriot Guard

Before I get to the gist of my tale, I would like to say that, prior to 9-11, I was never thanked for my service. Since then, quite often. Usually by other veterans. Not always, but usually. If it's a veteran, I return the salutation. If not, I just say thank you and you're welcome.

I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and we escort the "Wreaths Across America" convoy of wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery every December. The escort takes a week and we make 20-30 stops at schools, Veterans homes, etc.

On the 2007 escort, one of our stops was at a grade school in Maine. It was about 25 degrees and snowing, but all the students were standing outside, waving flags to welcome us. In the attached pictures, you will see all the children are holding something in their hands. These were hand made "Thank You" cards, that they all had made. And, as we were getting ready to leave, every person in the convoy, was given one. I can tell you, there weren't many dry eyes as we pulled away.

I'm happy to say, that this type of reception is not unusual. It's the norm. That year we had about 50 people but only one Tractor trailer with 5000 wreaths. Now we have 150 folks, a dozen trucks, a bus with Gold Star family members and various police, fire and other support vehicles. And enough wreaths to cover Every grave at Arlington. My point being, there are teachers, in our education system, who get it and are instilling that respect and appreciation for our Veterans to our children.

Sgt Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77​


RVN Maps

Certainly one of the more interesting of the many interactive maps we've seen of RVN camps/etc. Folks need to know to "zoom in" on the map and then navigate around at various zoom levels. I noticed that some of the various road designations have changed (for example in the A Shau Valley) but one can still work thru it all and find some of their old stomping grounds/areas they flew over/etc.

Vietnam War - US Facilities


When Properly Relieved

Note: Two related stories between two Marines.

Sgt Grit


Funny you would mention that incident at White Beach. Small world. I had just reported aboard the day before at the White Beach pier and heard what sounded like bombs going off about 4 AM. Seems a mini-typhoon was sweeping by and caught the St. Paul with half its length exposed and no pier tied to it. My XO, Lt. Joe Ruane, was OOD in port and had no clue what to do with a ship underway with no way on (zero engines running). We were being swept away with the bow still tied up but it was those 4 inch hawser lines popping that sounded like bombs. Amazingly the Snipe Boss, Cmdr Murphy, got the engines started in 30 minutes and only yards from going aground, broadside. That was Pfc Jones, my brow sentry who refused to be relieved by anyone except the Cpl of The Guard who posted him. Several Naval officers and a Chief tried their best to have him stand down, to no avail short of carrying his azs off. As you know it made Stars & Stripes... the lone sentry, at attention, looking out at the ship as it "left port". Yep, my first day on board!

Bob Fischer


​1960-1962, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Naha... one of the Navy squadrons based there, VP-4, flew P2V's on patrol in the Taiwan Straits (inter-alia). On their bulletin board in one of the flight-line offices was a picture... a Marine, with M-1, standing at parade rest on a pier at White Beach. Behind him, lying on the pier, was what presumably had been the forward brow... and behind that was the Saint Paul, standing out to sea. The picture was captioned with a challenge to VP-4 sailors to exhibit similar dedication to assigned duties.

"I will quit my post only when properly relieved"...

Always wondered what happened to that sentry's Cpl of the Guard? I assumed the Saint Paul had received some sort of flap message to get underway ASAP...

​"Sea-going Dip"... is that a nerdy sailor?... or... a carefully shaped and cultivated crown on the cap, frame, one each... either white (for wear with Blues), green, or in way-back times, "tropical" (kahki color, but worsted wool materiel.) An affectation of many 'sea-going bellhops'... along with double-soled shoes (sometimes with metal taps or cleats), and the 'pony-tail' stand out knot in the field scarf (necktie, for you boots)... these non-regulation, but considered 'sharp' practices were also found at some Marine Barracks. Alas... MarDets (shipboard duty) and "Marine Barracks" are almost things of our storied past. There is still Eighth and I, but no other Barracks that I know of (OK... will Google it...), and Naval Bases are more likely to have civilian "Rent-A-Cops" standing gate watches...

Ddick


The Paper In Darwin, Australia

What will they write about us next? :)

Text the editor article in Australian paper


EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed​

Yo, Sgt Grit,

The letter, THE FORGOTTEN WAR, in today's Grit Newsletter almost jumped off the page at me! I want to assure Sgt. J. Davis, 7th Marines that those of you who fought in Korea have not been forgotten. My brother, Ken Lonn, Sgt, F-2-5, 1st MarDiv served in Korea from February 1951 to March 1952.

Thank you, Sgt Davis and all the other brave warriors for your service in a war that so many have shamefully forgotten!

About four years ago, Ken and I tossed around the idea of putting his experiences in book form. I had already published a fictional novel, titled American Holocaust, about Marines fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, and I decided this would be a great way to honor my hero and all those brave guys who fought in that long-ago war!

The title of the book is EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed. The official release date is in about two months, but the book can now be ordered direct from Tate Publishing (ISBN 978-1-68097-665-6). As I stated on the back cover of the book, "... recalls the good times and the not so good times, the laughs and the misery, the struggles and the accomplishments. This book will take the reader on an exciting journey from hometown U.S.A., through 'boot camp' and a year of combat, from a veteran's first person view of the realities of war."

The book not only tells his story in words but also in photos and paintings by Ken. His boot camp experiences in 1949 are very much like mine in 1964. In fact, an old Marine buddy of mine reviewed the book and wrote, "This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This the real deal!"

MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC Retired

So, to Sgt Davis and everyone else who fought/served in that war, SEMPER FIDELIS!

Bob Lonn
Once a Marine, Always a Marine!


Wondering If This Is A True Story

Cpl Blackburn investigation by Col White 1968

Cpl Blackburn investigation by Col White 1968 continued

I've had a copy of this message for a while and was wondering if this is a true story. You may have seen it already. Pretty spectacular if true.

S/F,
Alex Dimitrew


Lost And Found

Plt 119 PI 1965

This May 19th, will be 50 years that our platoon, #119, of the 116 series, graduated boot camp. We were honor platoon of the series. We took the General's trophy, at the rifle range and we won drill comp. (the bronze boots are in the graduation picture). I haven't seen anything on a 50 year reunion, for our platoon, so, I plan on being at Parris Island, for the 50 year anniversary of the graduation of Plt #119. If anyone else plans to attend, I'll see you there. In the picture, I'm 5th from the left, on the top row.

Semper Fi,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141XXX


I would like to hear from any of my DI's that put me through boot camp at Parris Island between 18 July 1950 - about 20 Sept. 1950 in Platoon #68. I don't remember any of their names, also I would like to hear from Marines I served with at Henderson Hall in the guard detachment 1951 - 1952, as back then we were walking guard duty at the Pentagon and other posts in the DC area.

Al Simmons
1950-1955​


I am 4th from the left in the front row. Anyone out there from this platoon?

Richard Kirby

Plt 384 MCRD PI 1957


Short Rounds

To the Marine who wrote the story about Okinawa in early April '45. My uncle was aboard one of the radar picket DD's. USS Laffey is now a museum ship at Patriot's Point in S. Carolina. Also a great book written by the Skipper called, "The ship that wouldn't die".

Regards,
Chuck "Doc" Stark


Snapping In:

Elbow under the piece, six o'clock on the bull.

Norm Spilleth
1960-1964​


Platoon 228 Jan-Mar 1966, Head DI Hegarty, Assistant DIs Bailey and McGlauhlin. May God bless them for making me a Marine.

George Tabor


From a Vet of the REAL Marine Corps Boot Camp - Parris Island.

DI's favorite put down that I still use at home and work. YOUR LOWER THAN WHALE SH-T AND THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN. Where did they find this stuff?

Brendan McCarron, Cpl, USMC, 1965 - 1969

SEMPER FI to all MARINES no matter which Boot Camp they suffered at.


Quotes

leadership quote with picture of 36th Commandant

"I liked the military life. They teach you self-sufficiency early on. I always say that I learned most of what I know about leadership in the Marine Corps. Certain basic principles stay with you - sometimes consciously, mostly unconsciously."
--Raymond Kelly


"For the majority of people liberty means only the system and the administrators they are used to."
--Albert Jay Nock


Quote by Marcus Aurelius

"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
--Marcus Aurelius


"I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps."
--Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine


"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."
--Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps


"Forged on the anvil of discipline."

"Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The "Oath' does not."

"You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'."

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 APR 2015
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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 APR 2015

In this issue:
• 1922... Now This Is Old Corps
• Stories About Boot Camp
• No Sir, I AM A MARINE

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Dear Sgt Grit,

Jordan xxxxx died two years ago. I'm his oldest son. I'm ten years old. I have a younger brother and an older sister. So, I really like your magazines.

Sincerely,
Carter

P.S. Please send more magazines.

By the way, I like your magazines because my dad was a Marine. I want to be a Marine too.

Note: A catalog was mailed to Carter the same day we received his letter.

Sgt Grit


1922... Now This Is Old Corps

I served with VMFA-314 from Nov. '67 to Dec. '68 in Chu Lai. In a past posting, I had mentioned Operation Military Embrace, and the Watermelon Run For The Fallen in Hempstead, TX, where I had reunited with some of my Vietnam brothers last August. This time, I'm sending some pictures of my father, Harry W. Kiehnle, who enlisted in 1922. He was a seagoing Marine and a bugler, who was stationed on the Battleship Utah for the Friendship tour of South America that sent General John J. Pershing to meet with South American heads of state, as he was still highly respected after having served as General of the Armies in WW I.

The first picture is four buglers (my father on the left) leaving music school at PI, headed for Sea School at Quantico, next are two pictures of the firing range in the Virgin Islands (my dad is in the t-shirt), third picture is inspection of the Marine Contingent on board the Utah, and finally, General Pershing and dignitaries aboard the ship.

CPL. James Kiehnle 1966-1970
Chu Lai, Vietnam 1967-1968​


Stories About Boot Camp

Everybody has his stories about Boot Camp. 3 October 1958, 3rd Bn, Plt 347, Sgt Liston Baggett the first day.

"I'm from so far south I call people from Georgia Yankees"
"Raise your hand if the judge sent you here," about six or seven hands went up.
"Anyone from a town of more than twenty thousand is a Hoodlum, We specialize in Hoodlums."
From there on it was all down hill...

Now it's 1996, and I'm visiting my folks folks in Florida. I am living in Spain working in offshore drilling oilfield pretty sure I've got my sh-t together, as by that point, I'd worked offshore in more than twenty countries.

My Dad had received a phone call from a member of 347 looking to contact me. I called him in Indiana. He told me the Senior D.I. S/Sgt Truax had died of Lou Gehrig's Disease.

He had located retired Major (former Sgt) Baggett in Pensacola, and that he was terminal with cancer (I'm sure from Agent Orange), as he had done multiple tours in V.N.

Keep in mind this is thirty eight (38) years later. I actually got nervous and stood up as I dialed the number.

He answered. I explained who I was and that, while I was sure he didn't remember me, I called to thank him for discipline / lessons he taught me that had remained with me since 1958.

He then said, "I remember you, you're that hoodlum from Boston."

One of the proudest moments of my life.​

Bill McDermott

"Success is never final. Failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts."
--George F Tilton


Feather Merchants

Read your stories about The Corps with great interest. One of the recent ones about a Grunt commenting about one of the men in the Iwo flag raising having a bayonet on his carbine and all the resulting comments. Just maybe the carbine he used didn't have a bayonet socket - but that's a BIG maybe. Mine certainly had one and I kept the bayonet when mustering out in Dec. 1945. Google has PAGES of illustrations and words about the bayonet. There were two - a short (or knife) and the loonng one. Mine is the short, a USM 4 Imperial.

Also interesting are comments about the Old Corps and I have found no definition of this label - prior to WW II, China Service, or what. Don't know how I would fit into that category unless it includes us feather merchants who served in WW II. I got mine in Platoon 315 at MRDSD in the Spring of 1943, with a six digit serial number having an SS after it. I went in with a specific invitation from The President and chose to serve in the Marines. Can't remember my DI's name, but his side kick was a very tall lanky Corporal who had fought at the "Canal".

Went through the Radio School at MCBSD and upon graduation was assigned to the 6th Radio Intelligence Platoon training at Camp Elliott north of SD and later at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside. Along with 2,000 other passenger Marines and swabies, we boarded the USS Wasp on its breakdown cruise in record time. Westaged at Camp Catlin just East of Pearl until we boarded troop ship USS Elliott to join Task Force 58 on the way to Saipan. We were attached to the 5th Amphibious Corps Signal Battalion. Our intercept radiomen were assigned to the USS Rocky Mount as a part of the Task Force Signal Battalion. A few of our men took part in the Tinian invasion and all of us sailed on the SS Azalea City to return to Pearl.

The 6X6's that met us at the dock took us to Navy Radio 41 up in the hills above Honolulu.

The men who didn't already know Japanese Morse code attended school to learn it and all of us stood watch in the comm room handling radio traffic between the battlefield in the West Pacific and Navy Headquarters in D.C. It was somewhere that we were redesginated as the 5th RIP. We were reorganized and I was assigned to the 4th Division Joint Assault Signal Company (JASCO).

We now were training for the invasion of Japan when President Roosevelt died and continued until the B 29's operatng out of the Marianas dropped the Bomb that ended the War. I had enough points to return to the States and sailed on the USS Kalanin Bay, a Jeep carrier, to MCBSD and a train ride to Camp Lejeune to muster out.

Still close to the Corps, especially since so many of our time are transferring Home. Still going pretty well at nearly 92.

Semper Fi, Mac,
Burke O'Kelly​


Worst And Strangest Job I Had

Duty in the Old Corps

After World War II, I was stationed at Naval Prison, San Pedro because they were turning the Prison over to Los Angeles and we were taking Prisoners to Lock-ups closest to their home of Record. On board Trains we were in a Passenger Car all our own but to feed the Prisoners we had to take them to the Dining Car through Passenger cars with people staring at us, Prisoners marching through with leg Irons and Hand Cuffed right leg and right hand of his prisoner to the right leg and right hand of the next Prisoner. When we delivered them to the Prison, we marched the Prisoners into a cage outside the Prison, the Paper work was sent up to the Guard in a Tower by Basket and we went into another cage. Another basket was lowered and we sent our weapons up. A door opened in the Wall and the Prisoners went into the door into a secure Room, we went into the door into a cage nest to the Prisoners.

The Man in charge, a Navy CPO (only time I was under command of a Navy CPO while in the Marine Corps) signed the Papers turning the Prisoners over to the Prison and we left, picking up our weapons outside the Prison, they were lowered down to us from the Tower. Probably the worst and strangest job I had in the Corps.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


"No sir, I AM A MARINE"

So my wife and I are having breakfast at McDonalds and I'm wearing my Marine Corps cover and these two gentlemen stop me and ask me if I WAS a Marine. Stopping in my tracks I said "No sir, I AM A MARINE." Engaging them in conversation one of them asked if I was in Vietnam to which I replied affirmative and then he goes on to say how the Marines lost the battle of Khe Sanh. Then I feel my hands starting to clinch into a fist and think better of it and inform them how 6,000 Marines held off 20,000 hardcore North Vietnamese for 47 days until they broke the seize, all the while my voice raising. They said, "Oh." Realizing they might want to leave well enough alone they thanked me for my service and I wished them a good day. Upon returning to our booth my wife said I was very rude to them by announcing I AM A MARINE, to which I replied I wasn't being rude, I was simply setting them straight and they probably won't make that mistake again.

"They say you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink it, but in the Marine Corps they can d-mn well make them wish they had."

Tom Gillespie
RVN '70 - '71


Everybody Got Into The Act

I have to disagree with 1st Sgt Brewer, because the 8-man squad drill came in earlier than 8 March, 1957. I went to PI December 1954, Plt 464, and we d-mn well did squads drill. By mid- summer 1955, I was stationed at H&S Co, Basic School, Camp Upshur, Quantico. When we had an IG or other big inspection, there was a "battalion" parade and review all conducted in Squads Drill, (a strange battalion because enlisted personnel were heavily outnumbered by 2nd Lts at the School). They would even bring the big band up from mainside.

The commands would be something like "Pass In Review!", "Column of Platoons, Leading Platoon, Squads Right..." Then commands would ring out all over the field even down to the squad level, depending where you were: "Squads Right!", "Forward!", "Stand Fast!"... "MARCH!"

And off we would go to Semper Fidelis first, and then the Hymn as we passed the reviewing stand. Somewhere in there was the "on left into line" or "left front into line", whatever, because we passed the reviewing stands with platoons in a long, 2 deep line.

Great stuff, everybody got into the act.

Malcolm Forbes
147XXXX, Cpl, USMC


It's The Norm

Before I get to the gist of my tale, I would like to say that, prior to 9-11, I was never thanked for my service. Since then, quite often. Usually by other veterans. Not always, but usually. If it's a veteran, I return the salutation. If not, I just say thank you and you're welcome.

I ride with the Patriot Guard Riders and we escort the "Wreaths Across America" convoy of wreaths from Maine to Arlington National Cemetery every December. The escort takes a week and we make 20-30 stops at schools, Veterans homes, etc.

On the 2007 escort, one of our stops was at a grade school in Maine. It was about 25 degrees and snowing, but all the students were standing outside, waving flags to welcome us. In the attached pictures, you will see all the children are holding something in their hands. These were hand made "Thank You" cards, that they all had made. And, as we were getting ready to leave, every person in the convoy, was given one. I can tell you, there weren't many dry eyes as we pulled away.

I'm happy to say, that this type of reception is not unusual. It's the norm. That year we had about 50 people but only one Tractor trailer with 5000 wreaths. Now we have 150 folks, a dozen trucks, a bus with Gold Star family members and various police, fire and other support vehicles. And enough wreaths to cover Every grave at Arlington. My point being, there are teachers, in our education system, who get it and are instilling that respect and appreciation for our Veterans to our children.

Sgt Bill Michell
'65-'68, '75-'77​


RVN Maps

Certainly one of the more interesting of the many interactive maps we've seen of RVN camps/etc. Folks need to know to "zoom in" on the map and then navigate around at various zoom levels. I noticed that some of the various road designations have changed (for example in the A Shau Valley) but one can still work thru it all and find some of their old stomping grounds/areas they flew over/etc.

Vietnam War - US Facilities


When Properly Relieved

Note: Two related stories between two Marines.

Sgt Grit


Funny you would mention that incident at White Beach. Small world. I had just reported aboard the day before at the White Beach pier and heard what sounded like bombs going off about 4 AM. Seems a mini-typhoon was sweeping by and caught the St. Paul with half its length exposed and no pier tied to it. My XO, Lt. Joe Ruane, was OOD in port and had no clue what to do with a ship underway with no way on (zero engines running). We were being swept away with the bow still tied up but it was those 4 inch hawser lines popping that sounded like bombs. Amazingly the Snipe Boss, Cmdr Murphy, got the engines started in 30 minutes and only yards from going aground, broadside. That was Pfc Jones, my brow sentry who refused to be relieved by anyone except the Cpl of The Guard who posted him. Several Naval officers and a Chief tried their best to have him stand down, to no avail short of carrying his azs off. As you know it made Stars & Stripes... the lone sentry, at attention, looking out at the ship as it "left port". Yep, my first day on board!

Bob Fischer


​1960-1962, I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Naha... one of the Navy squadrons based there, VP-4, flew P2V's on patrol in the Taiwan Straits (inter-alia). On their bulletin board in one of the flight-line offices was a picture... a Marine, with M-1, standing at parade rest on a pier at White Beach. Behind him, lying on the pier, was what presumably had been the forward brow... and behind that was the Saint Paul, standing out to sea. The picture was captioned with a challenge to VP-4 sailors to exhibit similar dedication to assigned duties.

"I will quit my post only when properly relieved"...

Always wondered what happened to that sentry's Cpl of the Guard? I assumed the Saint Paul had received some sort of flap message to get underway ASAP...

​"Sea-going Dip"... is that a nerdy sailor?... or... a carefully shaped and cultivated crown on the cap, frame, one each... either white (for wear with Blues), green, or in way-back times, "tropical" (kahki color, but worsted wool materiel.) An affectation of many 'sea-going bellhops'... along with double-soled shoes (sometimes with metal taps or cleats), and the 'pony-tail' stand out knot in the field scarf (necktie, for you boots)... these non-regulation, but considered 'sharp' practices were also found at some Marine Barracks. Alas... MarDets (shipboard duty) and "Marine Barracks" are almost things of our storied past. There is still Eighth and I, but no other Barracks that I know of (OK... will Google it...), and Naval Bases are more likely to have civilian "Rent-A-Cops" standing gate watches...

Ddick


EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed​

Yo, Sgt Grit,

The letter, THE FORGOTTEN WAR, in today's Grit Newsletter almost jumped off the page at me! I want to assure Sgt. J. Davis, 7th Marines that those of you who fought in Korea have not been forgotten. My brother, Ken Lonn, Sgt, F-2-5, 1st MarDiv served in Korea from February 1951 to March 1952.

Thank you, Sgt Davis and all the other brave warriors for your service in a war that so many have shamefully forgotten!

About four years ago, Ken and I tossed around the idea of putting his experiences in book form. I had already published a fictional novel, titled American Holocaust, about Marines fighting the terrorists in Afghanistan, and I decided this would be a great way to honor my hero and all those brave guys who fought in that long-ago war!

The title of the book is EXCITEMENT! Shot And Missed. The official release date is in about two months, but the book can now be ordered direct from Tate Publishing (ISBN 978-1-68097-665-6). As I stated on the back cover of the book, "... recalls the good times and the not so good times, the laughs and the misery, the struggles and the accomplishments. This book will take the reader on an exciting journey from hometown U.S.A., through 'boot camp' and a year of combat, from a veteran's first person view of the realities of war."

The book not only tells his story in words but also in photos and paintings by Ken. His boot camp experiences in 1949 are very much like mine in 1964. In fact, an old Marine buddy of mine reviewed the book and wrote, "This is one of the best military books I've read! It brought back memories of my time in the Marines. Everyone, whether a Marine or not, will enjoy this riveting, first-hand account of the F-2-5 Marines in Korea. The chapters concerning boot camp, both poignant and funny, brought back many memories of my time at MCRD. This the real deal!"

MSgt Miles Kelly Hill, USMC Retired

So, to Sgt Davis and everyone else who fought/served in that war, SEMPER FIDELIS!

Bob Lonn
Once a Marine, Always a Marine!

I've had a copy of this message for a while and was wondering if this is a true story. You may have seen it already. Pretty spectacular if true.

S/F,
Alex Dimitrew


Lost And Found

This May 19th, will be 50 years that our platoon, #119, of the 116 series, graduated boot camp. We were honor platoon of the series. We took the General's trophy, at the rifle range and we won drill comp. (the bronze boots are in the graduation picture). I haven't seen anything on a 50 year reunion, for our platoon, so, I plan on being at Parris Island, for the 50 year anniversary of the graduation of Plt #119. If anyone else plans to attend, I'll see you there. In the picture, I'm 5th from the left, on the top row.

Semper Fi,
Dick Martell
Cpl 2141XXX


I would like to hear from any of my DI's that put me through boot camp at Parris Island between 18 July 1950 - about 20 Sept. 1950 in Platoon #68. I don't remember any of their names, also I would like to hear from Marines I served with at Henderson Hall in the guard detachment 1951 - 1952, as back then we were walking guard duty at the Pentagon and other posts in the DC area.

Al Simmons
1950-1955​


I am 4th from the left in the front row. Anyone out there from this platoon?

Richard Kirby


Short Rounds

To the Marine who wrote the story about Okinawa in early April '45. My uncle was aboard one of the radar picket DD's. USS Laffey is now a museum ship at Patriot's Point in S. Carolina. Also a great book written by the Skipper called, "The ship that wouldn't die".

Regards,
Chuck "Doc" Stark


Snapping In:

Elbow under the piece, six o'clock on the bull.

Norm Spilleth
1960-1964​


Platoon 228 Jan-Mar 1966, Head DI Hegarty, Assistant DIs Bailey and McGlauhlin. May God bless them for making me a Marine.

George Tabor


From a Vet of the REAL Marine Corps Boot Camp - Parris Island.

DI's favorite put down that I still use at home and work. YOUR LOWER THAN WHALE SH-T AND THAT'S AT THE BOTTOM OF THE OCEAN. Where did they find this stuff?

Brendan McCarron, Cpl, USMC, 1965 - 1969

SEMPER FI to all MARINES no matter which Boot Camp they suffered at.


Quotes

"I liked the military life. They teach you self-sufficiency early on. I always say that I learned most of what I know about leadership in the Marine Corps. Certain basic principles stay with you - sometimes consciously, mostly unconsciously."
--Raymond Kelly


"For the majority of people liberty means only the system and the administrators they are used to."
--Albert Jay Nock


"Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one."
--Marcus Aurelius


"I've always been proud of being a Marine. I won't hesitate to defend the Corps."
--Jonathan Winters, comic and Marine


"Every Marine is, first and foremost, a rifleman. All other conditions are secondary."
--Gen. A. M. Gray, USMC Commandant of the Marine Corps


"Forged on the anvil of discipline."

"Our enlistment has a start and finish date. The "Oath' does not."

"You're Bouncin' Girls, You're Bouncin'."

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
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888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 APR 2015

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

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• 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

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 26 MAR 2015
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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

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


Newsletter Offer 10 off 40 - MARMAD315


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.