The attached photos are of my totally handmade Cornhole games. I
searched far and wide for a store made game set depicting Marine Corps
lineage. Finally decided to build my own and adorn it with Sgt Grit
decals. The decal story line on the boards tracks my time in the
Corps from MCRD Parris Island (Sept '59) to assignment with the 1st
MAW Iwakuni, Japan to Soc Trang, Vietnam and discharge rank E4
Corporal (Sept '63).
James T. Kline
Check out all Sgt Grit Decals and Stickers.
Sitting here watching a Military Channel program on the Browning
'Stinger' 30-cal as used by the Marines in WW2 - very interesting
story behind it; Marines took Browning A-2's out of damaged SBD's and
used an M-1 rear stock, BAR rear sight, bipod, and carrying handle,
plus a modified trigger and lighter barrel, to make a light machine
gun. Showed re-enactment of Marine PFC Tony Stein using one to take
out numerous bunkers and pillboxes on Iwo - kept running to and from
the beach to replenish the 100-rd ammo belts... took off his shoes and
socks to run better in the sand. Pretty neat little MG, supposed to
have a 1300rpm rate of fire!
Gotta love those ingenious Jarheads! Wonder if they used any Johnson
automatic rifles there as well?
I bet John Browning is still smiling...
Get Off My Bus
"Get off my BUS!", and I'm not a drill instructor!
Last year I was driving a bus. As a bus operator you're responsible
for your passengers just like in the CORPS... we look out for our
fellow Marines. I came to a complete stop and a passenger got off the
bus and from my mirrors I saw huge flames from the rear of my bus. I
had approximately 20 passengers on board. I quickly put the emergency
brake ON, and went to neutral. I then yelled "Get off the Bus! All my
passengers quickly left the bus without knowing what was going on. As
my passengers were exiting my bus I quickly grabbed my COMM and loud
and clearly stated the information. I then hung up the radio and ran
inside the bus double checking for any passengers left behind. Just
like we do in the CORPS we double check, and look out for Marines!
Let me tell you, it was getting hot in the bus. I was running inside
looking for any passengers left behind. It was all clear... good to
go! I then grabbed my personal trash and walked out of the bus and
dialed 911 and gave them an update. Within 5 minutes emergency
personal arrived on scene. I was told it was the first time something
like this ever happened. Someone, let's keep his name out of this, but
he said "I'm glad it happened to you." Knowing I was in the Corps and
very d-nm proud of it!
From somewhere in California.
Kicked Out Of The Marine Corps
I joined the Women Marines in 1972 but didn't make it through OCS, so
joined the Army as enlisted. Women Marines were almost unheard of in
those days. I have some stories that I think are humorous. This is an
My first assignment in the Army was to the United States Military
Liaison Mission in Potsdam, East Germany. We actually worked out of
West Berlin, with an official "residence" in Potsdam. The USMLM
personnel were approximately 2/3 Army, 1/3 Air Force, with a Navy
mission that was so small a lone Marine was assigned to that slot and
he normally did an Army mission.
On the day I arrived in May 1974, the Mission was receiving a unit
award from the Commanding General of USAREUR. I had traveled overnight
on the American duty train and was asked to mind the phones while the
unit received the award in formation. Afterwards, at the luncheon that
was served, the Mission Chief brought me up to the head table and
introduced me to the USAREUR Commander (a 4 star) as "our newest
member, sir, she just arrived this morning." The General began asking
me all kinds of O-10 talking to an E-3 type questions, one of which
"Why did you join the Army?"
When I sighed and answered "Well, sir, I got kicked out of the Marine
Corps" the general jumped back about a foot and said, "Would you mind
running that by me again?" Across the table, I saw an AF major, an
Army SGT (both men) and another female PFC looking back and forth with
I had the highest GT score of any person ever assigned to the Mission
and our Marine member, Lt Col John J Guenther (a really good guy with
a great sense of humor) had to put up with comments that I was kicked
out because my IQ was too high (no offense meant).
A few weeks later, Marine BG Blaha (former enlisted like Lt Col
Guenther) came for a visit. Lt Col Guenther introduced us and told BG
Blaha the story of my encounter with the USAREUR Commander. At a later
function, BG Blaha told me that since I was a former Marine, I had to
smoke an after dinner cigar with him.
Smedley Darlington Butler is still my hero; the only Army General
comparable to him is Sidney Schachnow of Special Forces. I will tell
more in the next installment.
We all fought for the same flag.
My First Experiences As A Corpsman
Dear Sgt. Grit,
I was eighteen years old when I joined the Navy. My first experiences
as a Corpsman of the Marine Corps stand out like they were yesterday,
and not thirty-five years ago. The first experience occurred when I
was nineteen. I had been stationed on Camp Pendleton for four months.
I decided to go hiking in to the hills. I had been walking along for
a while. I was deep in the hills when I saw a sign hanging from a
barbwire fence, that I could not read because of the distance. So I
started walking toward it. When I finally got close enough to read
it, it said, "Impact Area. Hearing Protection Required". It was then
that I realized that I had walked into an area where shells and bombs
could be dropped. At the time, I thought to myself, "well, as long as
I didn't step over any fences, I should be safe." (The very idea that
Marines would miss a target was absurd and never considered.) So I
continued walking. I started to climb a hill. About three-quarters
of the way up, I realized I could hear a roaring sound that was
getting louder. When I crested the hill, an F-4 Phantom came booming
over the hill at lower than tree top level, right over my head. MAN!
That was loud. But I continued walking to the far side of the hill
and saw a valley open up in front of me. There was a military
exercise in progress. I saw lots of armed Marines on foot and I saw
tanks, firing weapons. I sat down and watched our Nation's Finest on
a typical day at the Office.
My second experience of "A Marine At The Office" occurred at Camp
Pendleton, Area 21. Again, I was 19 years old. On my first night in
the barracks at Del Mar, I couldn't sleep. So I decided to walk down
to the beach. On my way to the waves, I saw a Marine standing guard
duty over the AMTRAKS, walking away from me. So I kept going. I got
to the beach and sat there watching the moon's reflection on the
waves. When I got sleepy, I headed back to my barracks. No sooner
had I passed the sentry, when I heard running footsteps. I heard,
(for my first time), the sound of an M-16 bolt being locked and
cocked. "Freeze!" I stopped and held my hands out to the side.
"Turn around, Slowly!" I turned around and found the barrel of an
M-16 (without a BFA) just a couple of feet from my face. "Identify
yourself!" I told him my name. "Let me see your ID card!" I had
forgotten it in my room. "How do I know you are military and not a
civilian trespassing?" And the answer popped into my head. "Because
I know you are following the Eleventh General Order; "To be especially
watchful at night, and during the time for challenging. To challenge
all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without
proper authority." It was convincing. He said, "OK. You can pass".
But he kept his rifle trained on the back of my head as I turned
around and returned to my barracks."
Those first experiences, along with a life time of other experiences,
provides me with confidence in the professionalism of Marines. For
those of us who served in the military, we have a very different take
on the arguments surrounding our 2nd Amendment Rights. It is an
experience that civilians will never understand. Semper Fi!
My Current Mess Sergeant
I reported to the 5th Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, in early 1968.
I was a young PFC not that long out of boot camp. I was originally
from Upstate New York and had never really had any allergy problems
before. California, I was soon to find out, was not Upstate New
Well, I was almost immediately assigned 30 days mess duty and the
first morning I reported at zero dark thirty sneezing every few
seconds. I thought at first that I had somehow caught a cold on the
plane ride to California, but other than sneezing and a runny nose I
had no other symptoms. The sneezing wouldn't stop... all morning...
all afternoon... until finally the Mess Sergeant sent me to Sick Bay
where I learned that I had developed allergies. When I reported back
to the Mess Sergeant he informed me that I was relieved of mess duty
and to never darken his door again. In four years, I never did. I
still have allergies but my current Mess Sergeant (wife) assures me
that they will not get me out of "KP" anymore.
15 Freeking Armorers
In 1959 I was selected the Chief Armorer for the AR15/M16 Test Series,
a platoon of Marines were armed with the AR15 and a Platoon was armed
with the M14. They fired their rifles for Qualification, Infantry
Training, cleaning, taking apart, everything a Marine might use his
rifle for. During the Test Series WE, everybody connected with the
Test Series, were warned to not make any comments pro or con about the
Weapons. However the troops started saying, "It's Swell, Made by
Mattel", and a comment or two slipped through like a Range NCO said;
"I know why they call it the AR15... It takes 15 Freeking Armorers to
keep it firing." There was at least one Officer that was relieved,
what he did I don't know.
When we tested it, we taught the Marines to fire rifle Grenades with
it but that became a NO NO because it bent the barrels.
During the Test Series I asked for a "MAD MINUTE" which is where you
fire as fast as you can for a minute, loaded mags are ready for you to
grab after you dump the empty one. I put all my loaded mags in a
bucket full of water, (remember the monsoons in Vietnam?) and in 45
seconds I had to stop firing because a bulge in the barrel was so bad
the front sight was tipping forward. When we tried it the second time
I had to stop firing in less time due to the same problem.
When we heard about the problems with the rifle in Vietnam and General
Walt was CG of 3rd MAF, I sent him a letter asking him to get me there
so I could help. His Letter back to me said to train Marines there at
Camp Pendleton how to clear jams and cartridge cases frozen in the
chambers. Marines in Vietnam were using Ka-Bars to remove frozen cases
in the chambers. I don't know how many cleaning rods were broken
trying to remove cases. We've had the rifle over 60 years and they are
still trying to get it working like the M1 and M14, but the little
cartridge makes that difficult.
Want to know the NOT SO funny part of all this, the rifle was adopted
by General LeMaY, USAF Commander, so they could carry more rifles and
ammo for the Rifles with the weight restrictions of aircraft, General
LeMay adopted it for the Air Force and after Our Test series, though
the Army and Marines rejected the Rifle, McNamara, Secretary of
Defense said, "There will only be one weapons system in the United
States Armed Forces!" So an Air Force General was responsible for us
getting an Infantry Rifle. God Help Us from Politicians.
Retired Marine Gunny who prefers his name not be used.
I just finished reading the latest newsletter about all the hearing
loss suffered by my fellow Marines. I remember the cotton balls
provided for "protection" on the range and how my ears would ring for
hours after firing the M-14. I too suffer some hearing loss but not as
bad as some. Anyway for those interested there is a product called TV
Ears that is supposed to be an excellent product for the hearing
impaired. A friend of mine that has 90% hearing loss raves about this
product. It is a wireless system that hooks up to your TV and assists
you in hearing the program you are watching. He claims he can hear
everything said on the shows where he could hardly hear anything
before. If anyone is watching with you they hear at the normal level
coming from the TV while you get a different level wearing the ears,
and they don't interfere with each other. I've never tried them myself
as I am not at a point that I need them. For anyone interested they
are sold at Radio Shack for about $90 and online at
TV EARS, I think for $129.
Unfortunately they only help with TV and not normal conversations
Cpl. Howard "Nate" Nethery
Dear Sgt. Grit,
Was in Cherry Point in Group Supply - two huge bay doors were open in
the morning - facing the flight line - jets revving engines all day -
planes going on the runway - take-offs and landings - the sound was
intense - and we had no protection for our ears? Now the Old War
Horse is pushing 69 and had his hearing checked, and it was determined
that he definitely has a hearing loss NOW - I do not think it was from
normal everyday age old factor of usage of normal hearing - but the
bodacious - loud engine noise from many moons ago.
Alas - my Marines I don't think that the VA will consider this a
Marine Corps related problem now after over 47 years...
CPL USMC 1963-1967
Do It Again, I Have No Regrets
As I was reading the new Sgt. Girt newsletter I came across a story
about plt. 1006 in July 6, 1969 by Lanny Cotton. I was in plt. 1006 in
late Nov. 1960 at PI and I was in the old wooden barracks. So it looks
like maybe it is about nine years in between the same boot camp
platoons (is that possible?) at P.I. as you can see it is almost fifty
years ago and I would do again. I would really like to go down to P.I.
to see how things have changed and where is the first battalion
location? What are the barracks made of? Where are the parade
It would be a good day for me to see a series graduate and the new
young Marines. My whole life is what I was taught by my D.I. and I
have no regrets.
Moe LeBlanc Cpl. E4
I/3/4 & C/1/8
Parris Island 1958
July 1958 – 56 years ago.
The group I was in, about 20 of us, all from the Boston area arrived
first at Yammasee by Pullman train. Then we were bused to Recruit
Receiving and spent a night in a large barracks room. No DI's, just a
Corporal who had the Duty.
Next morning we were assigned to platoons where we met Tech. Sgt.
Laymance (E6) and Sgt. (E4) Roberts. What a pair of nice gentleman.
So soft spoken and caring of all of us. So quick to respond to our
every wish. LOL! (BTW, no yellow footprints) After some BS, we had
haircuts, sent our civvies home, and then were issued uniforms. We
did not get greens or tropicals then. All we got were herringbone
utilities, brown high top and brown low cut boots (with fuzzy leather)
and drawers, tees shirts, green or faded green color socks with
cushion soles that the DI's made us wear inside out so we didn't get
blisters, etc. (I have yet to figure that one out).
As far as the boots were concerned we were not allowed to polish them
at all, let alone spit shine. I never heard any commands to spit
shine boots, even after we went to the plain, smooth leather. I have
heard people get some sh-t for spit shining boots and them being asked
if they wanted to transfer to the doggie airborne! We applied lots of
saddle soap to both high and low tops. We rubbed that SS in until we
got the boots looking pretty good. We didn't wear the high boots
until late in training. Wore the low-cuts all the time.
When we did get shoes and barracks caps, they were dark brown and we
used KIWI Dark Brown Polish. I still have a can of it at home. It
did give a great shine and if you put a coat of clear polish on over
the dark brown, they would really shine. One of the hard parts was
keeping your girlfriend, other friends, etc. from grabbing your
barracks cap by the brim and smudging the shine!
Everyone in the platoon and probably the series got the heavy wool
overcoat, brown leather winter gloves, and silk scarf. In fact I was
elected to show the platoon how to wear it. Both items came in handy
when we got liberty from Camp Lejeune in December back to
No bloused utilities at PI then. And we wore "chrome domes" for
covers 99% of the time, except to chow. They were simply helmet
liners that had been painted silver to reflect the sun and ward off
the rifle butt that occasionally fell from behind.
We went to black shoes in the 60's and most guys just dyed their brown
shoes. We blamed the Army for having to change to black! BTW,
tattoos were verboten then! I got out of the Reserves in 1968 and I
still have and occasionally wear my brown, dyed black dress shoes and
someone always comments on the spit shine!
So, that's the straight scoop from Platoon 174, July - October 1958,
Sgt. Philip E. Drugge USMCR
1/25 4th Mar. Div.
A Btry 3D LAAM BN Reunion
Pic L-R: (Sgt) Pat McKenna, (Sgt) Charles "Buddy" Calhoun, (Sgt) Frank
"Gunner Grabin Jr" Thompson.
This is a pic taken after our unit reunion. We had a reunion 27-29 Jun
2014 in Nashville, Tn. Great time and Great People.
I'm waiting for more Pics, but they are currently "Classified" and
waiting for the clearance to see them.
Most at the reunion haven't seen each other for at least 30 plus yrs.
That's why you have to Love the Marine Corps. It was like we never
(on a side note) Bill Morris phone home.
Embarrassment To Our Corps
In 1969 they Navy was looking for a Guard Chief for Camp David. The
Navy wanted a MSgt and the Marine Corps said they would get a GySgt.
Capt. Adkins for 3rd 8" ExO, Btry Cmdr. of 1stGuns was the
interviewing officer from HQMC. I had interviewed at the Bn level,
Regimental level and was nominated from the 10th Marines. When Capt.
Adkins interviewed me he said he could stop right there and recommend
me for the job. I told him no, I wanted to be evaluated along with all
the other candidates.
A couple of weeks later one evening he called me from Chicago and said
he selected a GySgt who was an Engineer who just return from WestPac
and was selected for MSgt.
God was looking after me because I would have been at Camp David when
the Marines were busted for smoking Mary Jane. So those who were
busted were not exactly the cream of the crop, but a bunch of
derelicts who were an embarrassment to our Corps.
William J Bock
Fair To A Fault
I enjoy your weekly newsletters more than I could possibly reiterate.
They bring me back to a time at 19-years of age in 1960 when I entered
those hallowed gates July 28th of MCRD - San Diego. "Platoon 271... on
the road"... I believe was the sound most heard through the months of
training. My drill instructors for the cycle were SSgt. Harris,
Sgt's. Wright, Bulknight and Fuller. They were, and hopefully still
are great role models. Some had combat experience from Korea. All
were disciplined, tough, but fair to a fault. All veterans of every
branch of service have and will continue to have their own unique
twist on the stories we've all heard and experienced, but nonetheless
we relish hearing them over and over again. I'll have a few to add in
the years to come, but for now please continue to include me in your
weekly mailings. I've been a follower of the email site since 2007.
Thank you in advance for all you do to keep the traditions alive.
Cpl. Terrence (Terry) Carbonara, 193xxxx
Marine Ink Of The Week
Small Marine World
Last October, my wife, & I took a cruise down the Danube. Prior to
said cruise, we stopped in Prague for 3 days. In Prague, I met with
the NCOIC of the Marine Detachment there, a Gunny Ortizhartshorn. We
developed one of those MSG/Marine Corps friendships that keep us in
contact with one-another now.
Recently, he has just been made First Sergeant, and has taken over a
Reserve Unit in Folsom, PA.
Last Wednesday, I sent him an E-mail... congratulating him on his
promotion, and new job. In the same note, I told him that I had been
invited to the Recruiting Headquarters Change of Command Ceremony here
in OKC. An Infantry Major, Ryan B. Cohen would be replacing an
Artillery Major, Richard H Robinson III as the Commanding Officer.
I sent the E-mail off.
Within 15 minutes, I received the following reply: "HOLY CR-P! Major
Cohen is an extremely close battle buddy of mine. We know each other
intimately. I knew he was taking over the station in OKC, but I
didn't put two & two together with you there too. Feel free to throw
my name out there. He knows me as "White Papa", which was my call
sign when we fought side by side in Afghanistan together. Please
tell him I said "congratulations, and Semper Fi".
At the conclusion of the CofC Ceremony on Friday, I told Major Cohen
that I had a message for him from a friend of mine. "I was requested
to tell you "Congratulations & Semper Fi from 'White Papa'." His eyes
got as big as saucers, and his jaw dropped, and there was a long
silence. Then he said: "How in the H-ll, do you know 'White Papa'?
Never mind. When I am settled in in a couple of weeks, come to the
office, and we will have a little talk."
I then went to the luncheon tables.
It's a small world.
Before There Was Rock And Roll
One young Marine Wrote about Mess Duty; when I went in we all had a
week of mess duty after Rifle Range (in those days they paid us $5.00
monthly for Mess Duty), aboard ship they assigned a few of us to Mess
Duty... when I went overseas in WWII our entire Replacement draft was
assigned to a Flotilla of LSM's. I don't recall how many were assigned
to each LSM, but we're allotted a space in the lower aft section of
the ship. If you know LSM's they are round bottomed ships much smaller
than an LST, the compartment we slept in was visited daily by a Sailor
that opened a fuel tank that had a place to measure the amount of fuel
which left the lingering smell of diesel oil in the compartment. The
round bottom gave Rock and Roll to the ship before there was Rock and
Roll. We were fed twice a day in our meat can and cover, for lunch we
were issued "K" rations.
As usual there were men lining the rails relieving themselves of a
meal with old time Marines and Sailors saying odd things like; "Don't
waste food, swallow it" and such terrible comments. I have always felt
lucky because I never got sea sick. But was thankful to get off the
LSM's and get ashore. I was amazed at what the Navy did with some of
its ships. The LSM became an LSM (R) which had a lot of 5 inch rocket
launchers mounted on a deck which unleashed rockets on the island
being attacked... many ships were damaged by the usually very accurate
fire the Japanese sent. They also had the LCI (Landing Craft,
Infantry) that carried troops ashore and they ran off platforms on
each side, however in the Pacific War they used the LCI as a Mortar
Ship that had 4.2 Mortars that got in close to shore and fired the
mortars. The LCI (G) was another ship used to get close to shore and
deliver accurate fire at the enemy. However, if you want to read a
tale of remarkable Heroism of the Navy, on LCI (G) Flotilla... Three
that went in on Iwo Jima, I don't recall all the remarkable damage
that happened, but at least one LCI had to be towed from the beach
area, all the LCI's were hit with artillery fire with many dead and
wounded. One LCI Captain earned a Medal of Honor and there were lots
for medals awarded this LCI (G) Flotilla 3 group that went into Iwo to
unloaded their share of destruction on the enemy. Don't put the Navy
Down because they did some remarkable things to get us ashore. Being a
Coxwain on a Peter Boat carrying Marines ashore and making return
trips seems to need remarkably Brave Men. There is a Book; "Iwo Jima
Recon" that deserves reading by Marines about the Heroism of the Navy
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired
The DISBURSING CHIEF
(Vol #7, #2)
I asked this gorgeous lady why she had looked at me so peculiarly
when I picked up her son out front. She said, "His father would
NEVER have picked him up when in uniform and I don't believe he
would have been able to do that anyway. He wasn't very strong." I
asked "Was he more concerned about his uniform than his son?" She
replied "I'm sure he was!" I told her "He should turn in his uniform
and get his priorities in order."
The waitress handed me the check. I was looking at it. It was for
$7.45. She pulled it from my hand and said, "I'll take care of this."
I told her I would take care of the tip. Back then a proper tip was
10%. I left $2.00 on the table. We left the restaurant and I then
saw the Camp Lejeune tag on her car for the first time. It was an
officers tag #O-38). I knew the sequences of the tags (#O-1 to 10
were for General officers, #O-11 to 30 for Colonels and #O-31 to 60
for LtCols). They were issued in early 1950 and all of these were in
order of seniority. #O-38 went to the 8th highest ranking LtCol on
the Post. That told me more that I did not know.
It must have been about 1720 and I was certain that all the north-
bound enlisted men had passed us. We resumed a leisurely trip to
Washington. Our next stop would be at the American station in
Petersburg for the absolute best full service anywhere. We had a very
nice conversation all the way. We got there at about 2030. I told
Kitty to "Just watch the service you get at this station. We
all got out of the car. I had to take S_____ to the restroom. She
watched as 5 men serviced the car (1 to fill the tank, 2 to wash ALL
the windows outside, 1 to check the tire pressure and the 5th to check
the fluids under the hood). I returned and got S______ back in the
car. She was watching the man checking everything beneath the hood.
The station owner was standing next to her. When he saw me he said,
"Your car went through about half an hour ago." I asked, "Did he pay
the tab?" He said, "No... that you would get it when you came
through. Do you want to pay it now or next time?" I said, "I may as
well do so now." He went into his office to get the check. When he
returned he asked, "Is this your wife?" She heard what he said and
was looking at me. I said, "No, Not Yet!" - I got another one of
those big, broad smiles. When everyone had completed their jobs he
wrote a check for the gas. She said, "I'll take that." She paid it
and gave him a $5.00 tip. He said, "Oh No. We do not charge for our
service." She replied, "I have never seen such excellent service. I
want you to give each of your men $1." He said, "Okay. I will do
that. I am certain they will appreciate it. He said to me, "When is
the wedding?" I got another one of those beautiful smiles - and we
moved on north.
'til next week. The old, real old, real, real old (85) Master Gunny.
Harold T. Freas, Sr.
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted By: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #9, #9 (Sept. 2019)
Part #2: (VMO-6 cont.)
Another MARINE first was the deployment of four (4) Atlantic TA-1 and
TA-2 Transports, which were American built versions of the Dutch
Fokker F-VII tri-motored transports. Withe these aircraft the MARINES
of VO-6M developed, implemented and refined large-scale aerial supply
operations to cope with the lack of infrastructure on the ground. In
1931, after returning to Quantico, VM-6O assembled a team of six F8C
dive bombers called the "Hell-divers", which represented MARINE
aviation at U.S. Events such as, the National Air Races in Cleveland,
Ohio. Soon, the team expanded to nine aircraft and continued to
favorably exhibit MARINE tactical flying presentations to national
audiences. Unfortunately, a re-organization of Naval (and thus
MARINE) Aviation in 1933 determined that a MARINE squadron had to be
dis-assembled to make way for a new dive bombing squadron, and VO-6M
was disbanded at the end of June of that year. Eleven years later,
World War II was entering it's final phase of combat in the Pacific,
and in November 1944, MARINE observation Squadron 6 (VMO-6) was
reactivated at Quantico. It's original missions were to conduct
aerial observation and artillery direction for ground troops while
flying in OY-1 Sentinel Light aircraft, similar to the civilian
Stenson 105 Voyager. The squadron participated in the Okinawa assault
in early April 1945, coordinating artillery fire and delivering
messages to ground commanders. Two months later, VMO-6 began making
casualty evacuation flights in their OY-1's. Ultimately, the squadron
flew 460 "Combat Missions" and evacuated 195 causalities at Okinawa.
After World War II's end in Sept. 1945, VMO-6 was moved to China for
fifteen months to report on communist Chinese operations and support
U.S. Operations within the Country. VMO-6 was then moved to
California's Camp Pendleton in January of 1947, and for three and one
half years the squadron trained with west coast MARINES and Navy units
perfecting radio procedures and even participating in "Cold Weather"
exercises with their OY-1's. Then suddenly everything changed. The
Korean War erupted in June of 1950. Almost immediately, VMO-6 was
called upon to support the MARINE Brigade that was being sent across
the Pacific Ocean. Helicopters and men from Quantico's HMX-1 test
unit were operationally attached for their combat debut, Sikorsky HO3S
helicopters joined OY-1 Sentinels aboard and aircraft carrier that
arrived in Japan on the last day of July in 1950. Three day's later,
the aircraft and men were in action in Korea, the fixed wing aircraft
were flying reconnaissance and artillery spotting missions and the
helicopters were evacuating causalities from the front lines.
Aircraft with the "WB" tail code would become familiar sights with
MARINES on the ground, throughout the war.
Favorite Marine SNCO Story
Another inspection at Marine Barracks, Naha... the inspecting officer
is Lt.Gen Alan Shapely, at the time the CG, FMF PAC. On December 7th,
1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona, as a Major, and had just been
relieved the previous day as the CO of Arizona's Marine Detachment.
He had stayed aboard, as his Marines were scheduled to play in a
championship baseball game that Sunday. He was aloft, with a cup of
coffee, when the Japanese struck. He was blown, naked, into the
water... and helped others swim ashore on Ford Island. Note, if you
can see the detail, that those are brass claws, just above my left
hand... meaning that we had leather slings... field marching pack, one
The officer behind him appears to be Major Nick Capelleto (sp?)... who
would have been freshly promoted... he was the Barracks XO as a
Captain when he arrived... saw him years later with FSR at Chu Lai...
CO of Ordnance Maintenance Co. as I recall...
When drafting the text to go with the picture of LtGen Alan Shapely...
(taken at Marine Barracks, Naha)... I neglected to mention that as CO
of the 4th Marines, he was decorated for... taking the Japanese
airfield... at Naha... Wikipedia has a decent bio on the gentleman...
A favorite Marine SNCO story of mine... usually set at 29 Palms (my
three tours there having absolutely no influence... nor my few months
as a SNCO)... anyway, if you can provide your own slightly southern
accent for the characters, it goes like this: Pitcher night at the
SNCO club, quite coincidentally timed to fall on a payday... two
Gunnies hit the club at 1600, quickly go through a first pitcher...
then a second... then a third... after which the younger of the two
allowed it was time for a head call. The elder of the two opined that
his acolyte should just go ahead by himself, as he (the elder) had no
need. This scenario repeated itself throughout the evening, and up to
the National Anthem playing on the backbar TV... at which point the
club manager insisted that these seasoned warriors depart his
premises. As they wended their wobbly way out the front sidewalk, the
elder Gunny said "Wait jush a minute... I gotta p-ss." His friend,
still having at least a few functioning brain cells, and some
recognition of their possible location at the moment, exclaimed:
"Gunny! You can't p-ss here!"... to which his now BFF pointed off in
the distance, and explained: "I'm not gonna pish here... I'm gonna
p-ss WAAAAAY... over there!"
(well... maybe you had to be there?)
My first morning at PI was 50 years ago right NOW! I arrived at the
front gate on the bus at 3:30 the morning of 2 July 1964.
How Marines Are Made!
Parris Island: Cradle of the Corps.
I was reading your latest catalog and I told Connie it looked like a
friggin' magazine. She answered: Marines don't read magazines... they
She's a keeper!
"I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude."
"The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to
fill the world with fools."
--Herbert Spencer, Essays 
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There
won't be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and
take our women and breed a hardier race!"
--Lt.Gen. Lewis "Chesty" Puller, USMC
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a
difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Ronald Reagan, 1985
"Heads up, Shoulders back, Strut, Strut, Strut!"
"You little maggot, I'm gonna screw your head off and sh-t in the
"You! You! Do I look like a female sheep boy!"
"You look like Alley Oop with a head full of hair-er"
"Are you looking at me boy?"
"Yeah you are, I think you like me!"
"Do you like me boy?"
(no good answer here so you say YES SIR)
"You like me?"
"Liken' leads to loven' and loven' leads to f---'n."
"You want to f--- me boy?"
(And round we go)