Sgt Grit Newsletter - 27 AUG 2015

In this issue:
• Gee Gunner
• Hit In The Butt
• Can Read Minds

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Here are two photos that are essentially 50 years apart. The more recent photo (color) was taken in July 2015 at MCAS Cherry Point. The two civilians in the photo are former Sgt. Kurt Helm (on the left) and former Cpl. Ed Barewich (on the right) standing with the crew of Cherry Point's Search and Rescue unit. The black and white photo comprises then PFC Kurt Helm standing in the back row on the left, and then PFC Ed Barewich standing in the back row, middle, with Cherry Point's Search and Rescue unit in December 1965.

Lt.Col. Marty Bedell, the current C.O. of Search and Rescue (standing in the back row between Kurt and me) and his men could not be a finer group of Marines. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome. As you might imagine, much of our conversation dealt with the changes in the SAR operation over the years; and there were many. As an example, today's SAR unit flies the CH-46E, where as in the sixties we flew the UH-2B. But the basic functions and procedures varied very little. No question though, today's SAR crew are better trained and have more resources available to them, than available in the sixties.

When first learned that the SAR function at Cherry Point was to be shut down, I contacted Kurt and with a very small window of opportunity, we made arrangements to visit the current SAR unit to say farewell to the last crew of Pedro. Pedro is the radio call sign for the search and rescue helicopter. Search and Rescue at MCAS Cherry Point was established in 1957. After 58 years of supporting the air operations for the headquarters of the Second Marine Air Wing, Pentagon budget cuts will find the SAR function, shutting down by the end of September. Over the years, Pedro has become somewhat of a celebrity within the surrounding communities, due in large part to the many life saving and disaster relief missions flown by the SAR unit, much as we did 50 years ago.

The SAR billet is very small in comparison to other Marine Corps operating units. For example, there were only eleven of us in SAR back in the mid-sixties, compared to thirty or so in today's SAR unit. Most Marine Corps air stations had an SAR function and Cherry Point's may very likely be the last. Nonetheless, it is gratifying to see that the legacy was brought forward with the same level of dedication, motivation and that crucial, can-do attitude.

To current and former Marine Corps air station search and rescue helicopter crews, I extend to you all, a Well Done!

Semper Fi
Ed Barewich USMC
Cpl. 1964-1968


Gee Gunner

I didn't know any flying enlisted pilots but I had the pleasure of serving with a CWO who was an A-4 pilot in VMA-224. I was working at my "additional job" as S&C clerk, swithcboard operator and mail man in the S-3 section. It was at Chu Lai in 1965-1966 so I'm not sure if the statute of limitations has expired yet. I'll just call him "Gunner R" and he was of native american extraction.

From the vantage point of our Operations hut which was located on a small hill overlooking the north end of the flightline and runway, I could observe the departing aircraft as they were launching on their missions. One morning, I was glancing at one of our "Whisky Kilo" birds as it lifted off the runway and was surprised to see an incident in the making. The wheels were not yet up when I saw the canopy blow and the seat come out. The chute blossomed and drifted down as the aircraft nosed into the sand ahead. As the "amcrash" raced to the crash site, I saw the intrepid aviator gather his chute into his arms and start walking up the hill toward the Operations hut. As he walked into the hut, one of the Operations officers asked him, "Gee,Gunner! What happened?" The Chief thought for a moment and then answered, "I guess I must have done something wrong." Naval aviators have such a sense of humor.

Frank Everett
Sgt USMC 6511
Semper Fi


Stole My Stolen

I just read Sgt Hulet's comments on the USS Henrico. He and I served together at LSU 2/5 An Hoa. It reminded me of July 4th 1967.

Before requesting and getting a transfer to LSU 2/5 just to get out of 'Red Beach' (inspections, etc.), I was assigned as a "checker" working nights with the Navy at the Tien Sha supply depot getting trucks loaded for transport to Red Beach. I developed a few contacts with the Navy.

So, a few days before 4 July I hitched a ride back to Da Nang to "requisition" a case of steaks from my Navy buddies for a July 4th party at An Hoa. I loaded the steaks aboard a pallet headed to An Hoa on a C-123. I arrived, the steaks didn't.

Not only was I in trouble for not providing the steaks as promised, An Hoa got hit pretty hard when I was gone. The guys were upset about the steaks and yours truly missing out on the fireworks provided by the VC.

Stinking Air Force, they stole my stolen steaks. And they lived like kings, they even had toilets that flushed.....can you imagine that!? Coincidentally, I found myself on 15 days of mess duty shortly after my return.

Mark Smith, Cpl LSU 2/5 An Hoa 1967
CW5 US Army Retired


Hit In The Butt

Sgt Grit:

My old buddy "Tex" Keyes told me this story. Tex and Sandoval, aka Tex for they were both from Texas, went out with a line company. They were the TAC team with one carrying the large radio and the other with a case of C-Rations and water on his pack board. He said they landed in a hot LZ with shrapnel flying all over. Tex said they manage to get into a small hole with neither able to move very much. Soon Sandoval asked Tex to feel his backside because it felt wet.

Tex said he felt the wetness and determined it was water. He told Sandoval you got hit in the butt and it is bleeding real bad. Tex said Sandoval got real quite and did not say anything else. When the fire lifted and they got up Sandoval found out it was only one canteen had been hit he chased Tex all over and said he was going to kick his butt. Tex went to Bangkok on R&R and brought a pet snake back to the Rockpile but that is another story.

That is picture of me and Tex at A-3 in 1968.

Vernon R.


Rubber Boats, Veno, Bread, Sardines

I have been following this site for about 5 years and was surprised to see a story from William c. about Montford Point. I was attending N.C.O. leadership School there in early 1964. I had just completed 2 years with I co 3bn 8th Marines at mainside. After completing School I received orders for 2nd recon bn at Montford pt and around june of 1964. I AM SURE William will remember, operation steel pike in September 1964 I went ashore in a rubber boat with 3 other Marines to Recon the area before the landing . We went in , Hid the boat and scaled the 200 ft hill on the beach we met many great natives who fed us plenty of (veno) Wine , home made bread and sardines . It was a fun operation for me I had a guy who could speak Spanish that helped a lot . My C.o. was Capt Charles Wellzant who later went to Vietnam. I am betting William and I crossed paths. William did you ever repell down that tower lol.

Edward libby Cpl U.S.M.C. 1992XXX


Fire Drill Valentine

In reading Cpl. Kanavy’s letter regarding close order drill with your footlockers on our shoulders reminded me of drill we used to do. One of our drill Instructors name was Sgt. Valentine. His favorite thing was Fire Drill. When he yelled Fire Drill we placed our footlocker on our shoulder and raced for the door. Now, we were in a Quonset hut and you can imagine all these boots trying to get through the door at the same time with their footlockers. Once outside in formation, we were dismissed to go back inside then we did it again. We called him Fire Drill Valentine.

Maskill Cpl. Plt. 266
57-60


Montford Pt

I was TAD from 4/10, (Mike Battery) to Montford Point from June, 1970 until July 1971. At that time, our area (towards the back of the base, I think on Company St. C) was a Comm school. I was an instructor in the field wireman's course, even though my MOS was 2531, field radio operator. New Marines were trained in their assigned MOS's at the Montford Point school. Ssgt. Jackson was our wireman's class NCOIC. It wasn't until after I left Montford Point that I learned of the history of that place. Anyone out there during that time? I'd like to hear from you.

Sgt. Crosby USMC '67 - '71.


Every Customer

This is how Andi has the cards displayed in the showroom. Notice the hand on the left is face down.. She said every customer that walks in has to lift up those cards to see what the hand is..

Semper Fidelis
Kristy Fomin, COO
Custom Service


Button Board

What you have is a pre WW II Barracks Cap Emblem for Marine Dress Blues, most likely late 1920's through mid thirties. The reason for the pin clasps vice the screw assembly was to make it easier to mount on a "Button Board" for sea going Marines to be able to polish their brass. They usually used navy brass polish which worked better with an old tooth brush and then cleaned it off and polished it with their Wool GI socks.

My late Father-In-Law was a Marine who entered service eight months before the WW II started. Some of his emblems and buttons were the same except they were brown or black vice the brass. His Dress Blue brass was similar and I have his "Button Board".

Hope that answers the question.

Semper Fi
Gunny John Sandle; USMC(Ret)


Anyone with Italian Ancestry

Sgt. Grit:

Seems that most of the older Marines have a story, or two, about an enlisted pilot, so I’ll add my .02 cents to the pile. After I returned from MACS-4 at MCAS, Iwakuni, in October, 1964, I was transferred to MCAS, Yuma, and assigned to the Station Admin Office, CO was Col. Joe McGlothlin, XO LtCol. Wilson Terry. Somehow I got involved in radio controlled model planes, and met Maj. William G. Siegfried, who had been an enlisted pilot and had flown the F4U Corsair. My wife and I were invited, on more than occasion to visit with him and his family in Phoenix.

My other story is about a gentlemen that I recently had a chance to spend some time with, in Gallatin, TN. He joined the Navy in 1942, when he was 16, sent to NTC, Great Lakes, and upon graduation was assigned to the CBs. He was sent to Mobile, AL, for training, and finally to Port Hueneme, for more specialized combat training. In addition to the various construction skills of the individuals, all were issued weapons of some type; his was a BAR. As the training was winding down, and the Battalion was getting close to embarking on ship, he said that the CO had everyone in formation on the grinder. The CO told everyone with Italian ancestry to take one step forward, and many did. Next, he told anyone from Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York to take one step forward. These men were then issued the Thompson .45 submachine gun. An interesting way to assign weapons, to say the least. On the day of embarkation, everyone, in the same utility uniform of the Marine Corps, was marched through a warehouse (in one door and out another), issued ammunition and rations, and then on to a Navy ship. He mentioned something that most Marines probably don’t know; on almost every landing craft that “hit the beach” in the Pacific, there were CBs aboard each one. He also said that in some of these landings, the CBs were already on the islands when the Marines landed.

On one occasion, the CBs were given the task of creating a landing strip, and were given 20 days to do it, on some little island that I never heard of, but they did it in 19 days. This particular strip was to be more like an emergency strip for the planes that couldn’t get back to the carriers, for whatever reason necessary. It’s always great to talk to these individuals.

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


Saluting the Marine Corps flag

This is our little guy, Barrett, saluting my Marine Corps flag and of course I bought it from you.
Semper Fi

This story was shared with us through the Sgt Grit Facebook page. Like us on Facebook to see new products, our USMC quote of the day, and more!


1945 Naval Armada Set to Invade Japan

View the 1945 Naval Armada Set to Invade Japan, Awesome! If you have any interest in WWII info, you may find this very interesting.

Here comes another surprise... It was 1944 and the pictures were not available during the war. The US kept this place unknown to the citizens of the US. This is quite a story!

This is phenomenal! An Armada of ships and airplanes poised for the invasion of Japan that never happened because President Truman authorized the dropping of “A” bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima that resulted in the Japanese surrender. Just think of the American lives that would have been lost had this invasion occurred. Be thankful that we had a President with the courage to make the call. Sadly most Americans today know nothing about this and the sacrifices made by those before us. We are not teaching US history in our schools anymore . Some great pictures of the Ulithi armada! US Naval armada deployed for invasion of Japan. Keep this for posterity. There will never be another assemblage of naval ships like this again. Staging area for the invasion of Japan. Check out the carriers on "Murderer's Row." If any of you folks had fathers, grandfathers or uncles in the Navy during World War II, they may well have been involved in this operation, given the tremendous number of the ships and personnel involved. You may also recognize them in some of the photos.

View the photos on the Warbird Information Exchange.


I'd Like To Clarify

I just finished reading Sgt. Mike Leonard's post in this last week's newsletter, and I too remember that fateful night on 5 February 1970. I was at the Maint Bn SNCO Club that night at a going away party, saying good-bye to an old friend who was rotating back to CONUS the next day, when we heard the grenade explosion over at the E-Club. Our club was emptied in minutes, as we all ran to the E-Club to see what happened.

I'd like to clarify Sgt. Leonard's comment about the perpetrator being an "agitated Marine". This incident was fratricide -- a racially motivated fragging committed by three black Marines. There had been three M-26 hand grenades tossed over the fence into the patio area of the club that night, and each grenade had the pin removed, and the spoon had been taped with a strip of duct tape for a delayed explosion. Fortunately, only one of those grenades went off that night, but that one caused a lot of devastation.

LCpl Pate (Pate was promoted to Cpl posthumously) was a 2841 ground radio repairman from my company (Electronics Maint Co), although at the time of his death, he was temporarily attached to H&S Co for a month of guard duty. I was there as the corpsmen tended to him, but he died of a sucking chest wound before he could be med-evac'd.

All three perpetrators were later identified and apprehended during the subsequent investigation. From everything that I've read about this incident, only one of the perpetrators stood trial, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The other two were never brought to trial because of some sort of "legal process issues" during the investigation, and so all three scumbags got away with murder.

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


More

I well remember the incident at 1st FSR, FLC of 2/5/70. There was a USO show featuring a group of beautiful Australian women. The show area, as I recall, was about 60' x 100' with small round tables and chairs set on the sand. There was a stage at the far end where a movie screen usually hung and an 8' vertical board fence at the sides joining the club building to the stage.The area behind the EM club was packed to the gills with Marines longing to see some round eyed women. Marines and beer (usually Iron City or Black Label) can make a rowdy combination but overly outrageous behavior was seldom a problem as we didn't want to lose the privilege of the club.

FLC was a fairly large compound and some of the personnel problems mirrored those happening back in the world. There had been a drug shakedown inspection in a company earlier that week and some Marines were caught dirty. As they all happened to be black, there was a cry of discrimination from a small group of radicals who called themselves the Black Panthers of Vietnam. A group of three decide to strike a blow for their cause by fragging the FSR EM club. That night the crowd was exceptionally unruly with beer and soda cans and other debris being thrown around. Things settled down as the show finally began. Behind me a full can of something thudded into the sand. Damn that would have hurt I thought. Seconds later about 30 ' to my left.... Kaboom! Something exploded. Incoming was the cry. Sappers on the compound! I hit the deck as Marines exited the area rapidly

As I got up, another Marine and I ran to a wounded man on the deck. We carried him out to a hopefully safer area. Looking at his wounds I said it looks like one of our frags did this. Leaving him to the docs we deedeed to our hooches to arm against who or whatever. Flares and choppers with searchlights lit the area all night while we looked for the intruders. Nobody and nothing were found. Then it hit us that it must have been an inside job. Because the perps were unknown there were extra internal patrols and special walking posts every night. The three were caught about a month later after one of them wrote home about their exploit and the recipient went to the authorities with the letter. The frag that did the damage had hit a table and bounced up and burst in the air thus the large number of casualties from one grenade. The can that landed behind me turned out to an M-26 with the pin not pulled. The three perps were tried but since the Corps only eyewitness was a co-conspirator turned state's witness they all skated. Although this happened 45 years ago, I believe my collections are accurate.

R/S


Can Read Minds

Parris Island, August 1960. Platoon 374 was going to the pugil stick fighting ground after noon chow. Earlier, me and my good buddy, the Moose, (we called him the moose for obvious reasons) worked out a deal that we would volunteer to fight each other and go easy with the blows. Now the moose was about three times bigger than I and because of this height/weight disparity, I figured the Drill Instructor would go along with the plan. Wrong! Standing in the chow line, our Junior DI called me out;

“Private Spilleth, get your boney a$$ up here boy”. “Aye, aye SIR”, says I as I ran up to the head of the line. “Private La---y, get your a$$ up here too”. His a$$ not being as boney as mine apparently. Now Private La---y was about my size from somewhere in New England and had been a Golden Gloves champ back in civilian life. “Private Spilleth do you think you can kick La---y’s a$$?” “YES SIR” (not really believing it, but averse to admitting it). “Private La---y, you hear that?” “Can you whip his a$$?” “Yes sir”, says he. “Well, we’re gonna find out after chow” says the Drill Instructor. “Oh s—t thinks I”. So goes the well laid plans of the moose and me, and I steel myself for an a$$ whoopin’. After chow, we double timed to the pugil stick field. Then after suiting up with the helmets and (thank God) the crotch guards, La---y and I are called into the ring and go at it. I was holding my own using the boxer stance bayonet fighting rules we were taught during bayonet training. Parry left, horizontal butt stroke, then smash. I had him down! As I turned to acknowledge the cheers from my platoon mates, La---y stood up in back of me holding his pugil stick like a baseball bat and not following the rules of bayonet fighting, smashed me upside the head like he was hitting a home run. First time in my life I actually saw stars as I hit the deck.

Among the several lessons learned that day;
1. There are no such thing as bayonet fighting rules and
2. Drill instructors can read minds.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. E-4, 1960-1964


Nice Piece of History

Sgt. Grit,
In this week's newsletter you showed a picture of a Eagle Globe and Anchor pin submitted by a gentleman named Mike. In his letter he asked about the pin. He was wanting information about it as he had evidently never seen one before.

I've bought two or three of these from eBay in the past. All of the auctions usually state that they are from WW II or even before. Like, Mike's mine do not have a screw post to put them on a cover but instead have either a pin that you push through the material and hook it behind the item or they have studs that allow you to attach clasps to hold them in place. Either way I think they look pretty cool.

I did have a Korean War Marine tell me that he seemed to remember having them back then but that his memory might be a bit fuzzy. Guess they could be a nice piece of history no matter how you look at them.

Just remember that at one time the ribbon that states Semper Fiedelis the eagle now holds at one time wasn't on our beloved Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Vietnam War Era Marine


GeeDunk

Getting older so one story brings back another. Wear a red USMC cover with USS Wisconsin Former Crew Member at all times in public and most asked question is "What the h.... did Marines do on a battleship" That takes a while... but in my early days aboard I served as Captains Orderly (Capt G.S. Patrick) whom I found later was Pacific Commander in Pearl Harbor in 1943. His father was chief of Naval Chaplains and he was a beauty. In over a year I heard him use swear words probably twice.

In any event we were at sea on bridge and he gave me 50 cents and said "Don please go get us a geedunk" that was soft ice cream from machine in ships store. Was feeling mean and said, "Hey Geedunks now 30 cents" so he asked when did this all happen. I said about 3 months ago. He asked me to get the OIC from ships store up to see him about the price change.

When JG got there they visited few minutes and then Capt asked about price change for geedunk. Response was, "Well, ship's store not making much money and 5 cents isn't much.

Captain's response was "Geedunk always been 25 cents. Please reconsider and change back. JG said fine Sir, will do, Aye Aye, etc. I was about to wet my pants to laugh but I knew I would be dead meat if I did. So, JG departed and I couldn't contain it and did laugh. Cap said "And what is funny Mr Wackerly." So I told him, here a Captain of a major ship of the US Navy was discussing pricing geedunk. He considered his response, always did, and then said "Son I am the captain of this vessel and as such responsible for ALL its functions, including geedunk pricing." I was justly chastised and we went from there.

Sgt Don Wackerly... 53-56


Taps

My mother, Mary Kerke, CPL US Marine Corps Womens Reserve WW2, stationed at Brown Field MCAS Quantico and Corsair aircraft machinist, received her final PCS Orders at age 91 on August 19, 2015.
Semper Fidelis.
Joseph Kerke

(former Lieutenant Colonel USMCR)


Frank Habern Jr., was born September 15, 1921, in Bogota, Texas, a small community just outside of Paris, Texas to parents Frank Habern Sr. and Jessie Davis Habern. He passed away peacefully in Lewisville, Texas on August 17, 2015 at the age of 93. Frank graduated from Bogota High School in May of 1940. He then joined the United States Marine Corps on September 13, 1940 in Paris, Texas just before his 19th birthday. After boot camp in North Carolina he was assigned to protect Iceland from a potential German invasion in early conflict in WW II. He was then transferred to Camp Pendleton in December of 1941 for the rapid buildup of Marine regiments because of the escalation of World War II. From Camp Pendleton he was shipped out to the Pacific where he found action in Guadalcanal, Guam, Okinawa, and Tsingtao, China. Frank Habern Jr., was in the first wave to hit the beach on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. He was one of the 3 platoon sergeants of G Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment of the 6th Marine Division. He participated in the long struggle to take Sugar Loaf Hill where 7,547 U.S. Marines lost their lives in nine days. He was promoted to first sergeant and he was one of only two survivors of his company of 140 Marines. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp. in December of 1946 at Camp Lejeune and then spent the next 5 years attending college where he earned a bachelors and masters degree in Aerospace Engineering.


LOWER, JOHN KENNETH "Jack" On August 1, 2015, Jack passed away in his home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, comforted by his family and the Florida Hospital Hospice staff. He was 73 years old. Jack was born in Hamilton, Ohio on October 13, 1941. He was the second child and only son of Kenneth Reed Lower and Cecilia Rigling Lower. He is preceded in death by his parents. Jack was an accomplished athlete in many sports, earning a scholarship to the University of Detroit where he was a successful football player while earning a Bacholer's degree in Chemistry. Jack had options to continue his athletic career in the NFL, but chose to serve his country by joining the Marine Corps after college graduation. He served in Vietnam as a CH-46 helicopter pilot. In his service in Vietnam, Jack received 20 air medals and two presidential commendations. After his return from Vietnam, Jack was a flight instructor in Pensacola. He continued to fly in the Marine Corps Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2001. Jack married Martha Louise Rose in 1965 In Oak Grove, Louisiana. They made their home in Pensacola and after several career moves to Chicago, Detroit, and South Bend they relocated to Florida where they resided for the last 37 years.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Lost And Found

I look forward each week to reading the letters from my fellow Marines and thank you for providing the space for us. I went to MCRD San Diego July 1958. 12 weeks MCRD, 4 weeks in advanced combat at Camp Pendleton. My platoon #360 Third Battalion. I do have a extra copy of our graduation book if anyone is looking for one. I was a Sea Going Marine for my whole time in the corps. Made two cruises on the carrier Hancock CVA 19 and served as Captain's Orderly for two Captains. Great Duty!

SDI was Sgt J.P. NOVAK
JDI was Sgt F.R. CORTEZ

LCPL James R Szatkowski
181XXXX


Short Rounds

Mike sent a picture of the EGA without a fouled line around the anchor. I was issued 2 pair of this same EGA in 1956 they are not pre WWII I still have them after 59 yrs.
E3 Cpl. E.Heyl


The story about "Chester" gave me a good chuckle. Hell; even the Army is aware of Chesty Puller! Thanks Brother.


Referring to the "unfouled anchor" question in your 8/12/15 Newsletter. I have no idea what that device was to be used on but I have the same miniature design on a Zippo lighter I bought in a PX in early 1945.
H.J. Sydnam


Quotes

"C'mon goddamnit! He ain't the last man who's gonna be hit today!"
-- 1stSgt Daniel "Pop" Hunter, 1/5, Belleau Wood KIA


"The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men."
-- Samuel Adams


"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men."
-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776


"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth--and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
-- Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War


"There are two and only two ways that any economy can be organized. One is by freedom and voluntary choice - the way of the market. The other is by force and dictation - the way of the State."
-- Murray Rothbard


"The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel."
-- H. L. Mencken, Chicago Tribune (23 May 1926)


"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOBs I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."
-- An Anonymous Canadian Citizen


Sir! Out of two hundred and fifty thousand men in the Marines Corps I am the only s--tbird with a gun.

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

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

Gung Ho!
Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 27 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 27 AUG 2015

In this issue:
• Gee Gunner
• Hit In The Butt
• Can Read Minds

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MCAS Cherry Point December 1965 MCAS Cherry Point July 2015

Here are two photos that are essentially 50 years apart. The more recent photo (color) was taken in July 2015 at MCAS Cherry Point. The two civilians in the photo are former Sgt. Kurt Helm (on the left) and former Cpl. Ed Barewich (on the right) standing with the crew of Cherry Point's Search and Rescue unit. The black and white photo comprises then PFC Kurt Helm standing in the back row on the left, and then PFC Ed Barewich standing in the back row, middle, with Cherry Point's Search and Rescue unit in December 1965.

Lt.Col. Marty Bedell, the current C.O. of Search and Rescue (standing in the back row between Kurt and me) and his men could not be a finer group of Marines. They went out of their way to make us feel welcome. As you might imagine, much of our conversation dealt with the changes in the SAR operation over the years; and there were many. As an example, today's SAR unit flies the CH-46E, where as in the sixties we flew the UH-2B. But the basic functions and procedures varied very little. No question though, today's SAR crew are better trained and have more resources available to them, than available in the sixties.

When first learned that the SAR function at Cherry Point was to be shut down, I contacted Kurt and with a very small window of opportunity, we made arrangements to visit the current SAR unit to say farewell to the last crew of Pedro. Pedro is the radio call sign for the search and rescue helicopter. Search and Rescue at MCAS Cherry Point was established in 1957. After 58 years of supporting the air operations for the headquarters of the Second Marine Air Wing, Pentagon budget cuts will find the SAR function, shutting down by the end of September. Over the years, Pedro has become somewhat of a celebrity within the surrounding communities, due in large part to the many life saving and disaster relief missions flown by the SAR unit, much as we did 50 years ago.

The SAR billet is very small in comparison to other Marine Corps operating units. For example, there were only eleven of us in SAR back in the mid-sixties, compared to thirty or so in today's SAR unit. Most Marine Corps air stations had an SAR function and Cherry Point's may very likely be the last. Nonetheless, it is gratifying to see that the legacy was brought forward with the same level of dedication, motivation and that crucial, can-do attitude.

To current and former Marine Corps air station search and rescue helicopter crews, I extend to you all, a Well Done!

Semper Fi
Ed Barewich USMC
Cpl. 1964-1968


Tough Old Marine T-shirt


Gee Gunner

I didn't know any flying enlisted pilots but I had the pleasure of serving with a CWO who was an A-4 pilot in VMA-224. I was working at my "additional job" as S&C clerk, swithcboard operator and mail man in the S-3 section. It was at Chu Lai in 1965-1966 so I'm not sure if the statute of limitations has expired yet. I'll just call him "Gunner R" and he was of native american extraction.

From the vantage point of our Operations hut which was located on a small hill overlooking the north end of the flightline and runway, I could observe the departing aircraft as they were launching on their missions. One morning, I was glancing at one of our "Whisky Kilo" birds as it lifted off the runway and was surprised to see an incident in the making. The wheels were not yet up when I saw the canopy blow and the seat come out. The chute blossomed and drifted down as the aircraft nosed into the sand ahead. As the "amcrash" raced to the crash site, I saw the intrepid aviator gather his chute into his arms and start walking up the hill toward the Operations hut. As he walked into the hut, one of the Operations officers asked him, "Gee,Gunner! What happened?" The Chief thought for a moment and then answered, "I guess I must have done something wrong." Naval aviators have such a sense of humor.

Frank Everett
Sgt USMC 6511
Semper Fi


Stole My Stolen

I just read Sgt Hulet's comments on the USS Henrico. He and I served together at LSU 2/5 An Hoa. It reminded me of July 4th 1967.

Before requesting and getting a transfer to LSU 2/5 just to get out of 'Red Beach' (inspections, etc.), I was assigned as a "checker" working nights with the Navy at the Tien Sha supply depot getting trucks loaded for transport to Red Beach. I developed a few contacts with the Navy.

So, a few days before 4 July I hitched a ride back to Da Nang to "requisition" a case of steaks from my Navy buddies for a July 4th party at An Hoa. I loaded the steaks aboard a pallet headed to An Hoa on a C-123. I arrived, the steaks didn't.

Not only was I in trouble for not providing the steaks as promised, An Hoa got hit pretty hard when I was gone. The guys were upset about the steaks and yours truly missing out on the fireworks provided by the VC.

Stinking Air Force, they stole my stolen steaks. And they lived like kings, they even had toilets that flushed.....can you imagine that!? Coincidentally, I found myself on 15 days of mess duty shortly after my return.

Mark Smith, Cpl LSU 2/5 An Hoa 1967
CW5 US Army Retired


Hit In The Butt

Sgt Grit:

Vernon and Tex My old buddy "Tex" Keyes told me this story. Tex and Sandoval, aka Tex for they were both from Texas, went out with a line company. They were the TAC team with one carrying the large radio and the other with a case of C-Rations and water on his pack board. He said they landed in a hot LZ with shrapnel flying all over. Tex said they manage to get into a small hole with neither able to move very much. Soon Sandoval asked Tex to feel his backside because it felt wet.

Tex said he felt the wetness and determined it was water. He told Sandoval you got hit in the butt and it is bleeding real bad. Tex said Sandoval got real quite and did not say anything else. When the fire lifted and they got up Sandoval found out it was only one canteen had been hit he chased Tex all over and said he was going to kick his butt. Tex went to Bangkok on R&R and brought a pet snake back to the Rockpile but that is another story.

That is picture of me and Tex at A-3 in 1968.

Vernon R.


Rubber Boats, Veno, Bread, Sardines

I have been following this site for about 5 years and was surprised to see a story from William c. about Montford Point. I was attending N.C.O. leadership School there in early 1964. I had just completed 2 years with I co 3bn 8th Marines at mainside. After completing School I received orders for 2nd recon bn at Montford pt and around june of 1964. I AM SURE William will remember, operation steel pike in September 1964 I went ashore in a rubber boat with 3 other Marines to Recon the area before the landing . We went in , Hid the boat and scaled the 200 ft hill on the beach we met many great natives who fed us plenty of (veno) Wine , home made bread and sardines . It was a fun operation for me I had a guy who could speak Spanish that helped a lot . My C.o. was Capt Charles Wellzant who later went to Vietnam. I am betting William and I crossed paths. William did you ever repell down that tower lol.

Edward libby Cpl U.S.M.C. 1992XXX


Fire Drill Valentine

In reading Cpl. Kanavy’s letter regarding close order drill with your footlockers on our shoulders reminded me of drill we used to do. One of our drill Instructors name was Sgt. Valentine. His favorite thing was Fire Drill. When he yelled Fire Drill we placed our footlocker on our shoulder and raced for the door. Now, we were in a Quonset hut and you can imagine all these boots trying to get through the door at the same time with their footlockers. Once outside in formation, we were dismissed to go back inside then we did it again. We called him Fire Drill Valentine.

Maskill Cpl. Plt. 266
57-60


Montford Pt

I was TAD from 4/10, (Mike Battery) to Montford Point from June, 1970 until July 1971. At that time, our area (towards the back of the base, I think on Company St. C) was a Comm school. I was an instructor in the field wireman's course, even though my MOS was 2531, field radio operator. New Marines were trained in their assigned MOS's at the Montford Point school. Ssgt. Jackson was our wireman's class NCOIC. It wasn't until after I left Montford Point that I learned of the history of that place. Anyone out there during that time? I'd like to hear from you.

Sgt. Crosby USMC '67 - '71.


2nd Battalion 3rd Marines Unit Gear


Every Customer

Sgt Grit Marine playing cards displayed on bar table in Sgt Grit showroom This is how Andi has the cards displayed in the showroom. Notice the hand on the left is face down.. She said every customer that walks in has to lift up those cards to see what the hand is.

Semper Fidelis
Kristy Fomin, COO
Customer Service


Button Board

What you have is a pre WW II Barracks Cap Emblem for Marine Dress Blues, most likely late 1920's through mid thirties. The reason for the pin clasps vice the screw assembly was to make it easier to mount on a "Button Board" for sea going Marines to be able to polish their brass. They usually used navy brass polish which worked better with an old tooth brush and then cleaned it off and polished it with their Wool GI socks.

My late Father-In-Law was a Marine who entered service eight months before the WW II started. Some of his emblems and buttons were the same except they were brown or black vice the brass. His Dress Blue brass was similar and I have his "Button Board".

Hope that answers the question.

Semper Fi
Gunny John Sandle; USMC(Ret)


Anyone with Italian Ancestry

Sgt. Grit:

Seems that most of the older Marines have a story, or two, about an enlisted pilot, so I’ll add my .02 cents to the pile. After I returned from MACS-4 at MCAS, Iwakuni, in October, 1964, I was transferred to MCAS, Yuma, and assigned to the Station Admin Office, CO was Col. Joe McGlothlin, XO LtCol. Wilson Terry. Somehow I got involved in radio controlled model planes, and met Maj. William G. Siegfried, who had been an enlisted pilot and had flown the F4U Corsair. My wife and I were invited, on more than occasion to visit with him and his family in Phoenix.

My other story is about a gentlemen that I recently had a chance to spend some time with, in Gallatin, TN. He joined the Navy in 1942, when he was 16, sent to NTC, Great Lakes, and upon graduation was assigned to the CBs. He was sent to Mobile, AL, for training, and finally to Port Hueneme, for more specialized combat training. In addition to the various construction skills of the individuals, all were issued weapons of some type; his was a BAR. As the training was winding down, and the Battalion was getting close to embarking on ship, he said that the CO had everyone in formation on the grinder. The CO told everyone with Italian ancestry to take one step forward, and many did. Next, he told anyone from Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York to take one step forward. These men were then issued the Thompson .45 submachine gun. An interesting way to assign weapons, to say the least. On the day of embarkation, everyone, in the same utility uniform of the Marine Corps, was marched through a warehouse (in one door and out another), issued ammunition and rations, and then on to a Navy ship. He mentioned something that most Marines probably don’t know; on almost every landing craft that “hit the beach” in the Pacific, there were CBs aboard each one. He also said that in some of these landings, the CBs were already on the islands when the Marines landed.

On one occasion, the CBs were given the task of creating a landing strip, and were given 20 days to do it, on some little island that I never heard of, but they did it in 19 days. This particular strip was to be more like an emergency strip for the planes that couldn’t get back to the carriers, for whatever reason necessary. It’s always great to talk to these individuals.

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


Saluting the Marine Corps flag

Sgt Grit Marine playing cards displayed on bar table in Sgt Grit showroom

This is our little guy, Barrett, saluting my Marine Corps flag and of course I bought it from you.
Semper Fi

This story was shared with us through the Sgt Grit Facebook page. Like us on Facebook to see new products, our USMC quote of the day, and more!


1945 Naval Armada Set to Invade Japan

View the 1945 Naval Armada Set to Invade Japan, Awesome! If you have any interest in WWII info, you may find this very interesting.

Here comes another surprise... It was 1944 and the pictures were not available during the war. The US kept this place unknown to the citizens of the US. This is quite a story!

This is phenomenal! An Armada of ships and airplanes poised for the invasion of Japan that never happened because President Truman authorized the dropping of “A” bombs at Nagasaki and Hiroshima that resulted in the Japanese surrender. Just think of the American lives that would have been lost had this invasion occurred. Be thankful that we had a President with the courage to make the call. Sadly most Americans today know nothing about this and the sacrifices made by those before us. We are not teaching US history in our schools anymore . Some great pictures of the Ulithi armada! US Naval armada deployed for invasion of Japan. Keep this for posterity. There will never be another assemblage of naval ships like this again. Staging area for the invasion of Japan. Check out the carriers on "Murderer's Row." If any of you folks had fathers, grandfathers or uncles in the Navy during World War II, they may well have been involved in this operation, given the tremendous number of the ships and personnel involved. You may also recognize them in some of the photos.

View the photos on the Warbird Information Exchange.


I'd Like To Clarify

I just finished reading Sgt. Mike Leonard's post in this last week's newsletter, and I too remember that fateful night on 5 February 1970. I was at the Maint Bn SNCO Club that night at a going away party, saying good-bye to an old friend who was rotating back to CONUS the next day, when we heard the grenade explosion over at the E-Club. Our club was emptied in minutes, as we all ran to the E-Club to see what happened.

I'd like to clarify Sgt. Leonard's comment about the perpetrator being an "agitated Marine". This incident was fratricide -- a racially motivated fragging committed by three black Marines. There had been three M-26 hand grenades tossed over the fence into the patio area of the club that night, and each grenade had the pin removed, and the spoon had been taped with a strip of duct tape for a delayed explosion. Fortunately, only one of those grenades went off that night, but that one caused a lot of devastation.

LCpl Pate (Pate was promoted to Cpl posthumously) was a 2841 ground radio repairman from my company (Electronics Maint Co), although at the time of his death, he was temporarily attached to H&S Co for a month of guard duty. I was there as the corpsmen tended to him, but he died of a sucking chest wound before he could be med-evac'd.

All three perpetrators were later identified and apprehended during the subsequent investigation. From everything that I've read about this incident, only one of the perpetrators stood trial, and was found not guilty by reason of insanity. The other two were never brought to trial because of some sort of "legal process issues" during the investigation, and so all three scumbags got away with murder.

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


More

I well remember the incident at 1st FSR, FLC of 2/5/70. There was a USO show featuring a group of beautiful Australian women. The show area, as I recall, was about 60' x 100' with small round tables and chairs set on the sand. There was a stage at the far end where a movie screen usually hung and an 8' vertical board fence at the sides joining the club building to the stage.The area behind the EM club was packed to the gills with Marines longing to see some round eyed women. Marines and beer (usually Iron City or Black Label) can make a rowdy combination but overly outrageous behavior was seldom a problem as we didn't want to lose the privilege of the club.

FLC was a fairly large compound and some of the personnel problems mirrored those happening back in the world. There had been a drug shakedown inspection in a company earlier that week and some Marines were caught dirty. As they all happened to be black, there was a cry of discrimination from a small group of radicals who called themselves the Black Panthers of Vietnam. A group of three decide to strike a blow for their cause by fragging the FSR EM club. That night the crowd was exceptionally unruly with beer and soda cans and other debris being thrown around. Things settled down as the show finally began. Behind me a full can of something thudded into the sand. Damn that would have hurt I thought. Seconds later about 30 ' to my left.... Kaboom! Something exploded. Incoming was the cry. Sappers on the compound! I hit the deck as Marines exited the area rapidly

As I got up, another Marine and I ran to a wounded man on the deck. We carried him out to a hopefully safer area. Looking at his wounds I said it looks like one of our frags did this. Leaving him to the docs we deedeed to our hooches to arm against who or whatever. Flares and choppers with searchlights lit the area all night while we looked for the intruders. Nobody and nothing were found. Then it hit us that it must have been an inside job. Because the perps were unknown there were extra internal patrols and special walking posts every night. The three were caught about a month later after one of them wrote home about their exploit and the recipient went to the authorities with the letter. The frag that did the damage had hit a table and bounced up and burst in the air thus the large number of casualties from one grenade. The can that landed behind me turned out to an M-26 with the pin not pulled. The three perps were tried but since the Corps only eyewitness was a co-conspirator turned state's witness they all skated. Although this happened 45 years ago, I believe my collections are accurate.

R/S


Can Read Minds

Parris Island, August 1960. Platoon 374 was going to the pugil stick fighting ground after noon chow. Earlier, me and my good buddy, the Moose, (we called him the moose for obvious reasons) worked out a deal that we would volunteer to fight each other and go easy with the blows. Now the moose was about three times bigger than I and because of this height/weight disparity, I figured the Drill Instructor would go along with the plan. Wrong! Standing in the chow line, our Junior DI called me out;

“Private Spilleth, get your boney a$$ up here boy”. “Aye, aye SIR”, says I as I ran up to the head of the line. “Private La---y, get your a$$ up here too”. His a$$ not being as boney as mine apparently. Now Private La---y was about my size from somewhere in New England and had been a Golden Gloves champ back in civilian life. “Private Spilleth do you think you can kick La---y’s a$$?” “YES SIR” (not really believing it, but averse to admitting it). “Private La---y, you hear that?” “Can you whip his a$$?” “Yes sir”, says he. “Well, we’re gonna find out after chow” says the Drill Instructor. “Oh s—t thinks I”. So goes the well laid plans of the moose and me, and I steel myself for an a$$ whoopin’. After chow, we double timed to the pugil stick field. Then after suiting up with the helmets and (thank God) the crotch guards, La---y and I are called into the ring and go at it. I was holding my own using the boxer stance bayonet fighting rules we were taught during bayonet training. Parry left, horizontal butt stroke, then smash. I had him down! As I turned to acknowledge the cheers from my platoon mates, La---y stood up in back of me holding his pugil stick like a baseball bat and not following the rules of bayonet fighting, smashed me upside the head like he was hitting a home run. First time in my life I actually saw stars as I hit the deck.

Among the several lessons learned that day;
1. There are no such thing as bayonet fighting rules and
2. Drill instructors can read minds.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. E-4, 1960-1964


Nice Piece of History

Sgt. Grit,
In this week's newsletter you showed a picture of a Eagle Globe and Anchor pin submitted by a gentleman named Mike. In his letter he asked about the pin. He was wanting information about it as he had evidently never seen one before.

I've bought two or three of these from eBay in the past. All of the auctions usually state that they are from WW II or even before. Like, Mike's mine do not have a screw post to put them on a cover but instead have either a pin that you push through the material and hook it behind the item or they have studs that allow you to attach clasps to hold them in place. Either way I think they look pretty cool.

I did have a Korean War Marine tell me that he seemed to remember having them back then but that his memory might be a bit fuzzy. Guess they could be a nice piece of history no matter how you look at them.

Just remember that at one time the ribbon that states Semper Fiedelis the eagle now holds at one time wasn't on our beloved Eagle, Globe and Anchor.
Semper Fi,
Carl Conkling
Vietnam War Era Marine


GeeDunk

Getting older so one story brings back another. Wear a red USMC cover with USS Wisconsin Former Crew Member at all times in public and most asked question is "What the h.... did Marines do on a battleship" That takes a while... but in my early days aboard I served as Captains Orderly (Capt G.S. Patrick) whom I found later was Pacific Commander in Pearl Harbor in 1943. His father was chief of Naval Chaplains and he was a beauty. In over a year I heard him use swear words probably twice.

In any event we were at sea on bridge and he gave me 50 cents and said "Don please go get us a geedunk" that was soft ice cream from machine in ships store. Was feeling mean and said, "Hey Geedunks now 30 cents" so he asked when did this all happen. I said about 3 months ago. He asked me to get the OIC from ships store up to see him about the price change.

When JG got there they visited few minutes and then Capt asked about price change for geedunk. Response was, "Well, ship's store not making much money and 5 cents isn't much.

Captain's response was "Geedunk always been 25 cents. Please reconsider and change back. JG said fine Sir, will do, Aye Aye, etc. I was about to wet my pants to laugh but I knew I would be dead meat if I did. So, JG departed and I couldn't contain it and did laugh. Cap said "And what is funny Mr Wackerly." So I told him, here a Captain of a major ship of the US Navy was discussing pricing geedunk. He considered his response, always did, and then said "Son I am the captain of this vessel and as such responsible for ALL its functions, including geedunk pricing." I was justly chastised and we went from there.

Sgt Don Wackerly... 53-56


Taps

My mother, Mary Kerke, CPL US Marine Corps Womens Reserve WW2, stationed at Brown Field MCAS Quantico and Corsair aircraft machinist, received her final PCS Orders at age 91 on August 19, 2015.
Semper Fidelis.
Joseph Kerke

(former Lieutenant Colonel USMCR)


Frank Habern Jr., was born September 15, 1921, in Bogota, Texas, a small community just outside of Paris, Texas to parents Frank Habern Sr. and Jessie Davis Habern. He passed away peacefully in Lewisville, Texas on August 17, 2015 at the age of 93. Frank graduated from Bogota High School in May of 1940. He then joined the United States Marine Corps on September 13, 1940 in Paris, Texas just before his 19th birthday. After boot camp in North Carolina he was assigned to protect Iceland from a potential German invasion in early conflict in WW II. He was then transferred to Camp Pendleton in December of 1941 for the rapid buildup of Marine regiments because of the escalation of World War II. From Camp Pendleton he was shipped out to the Pacific where he found action in Guadalcanal, Guam, Okinawa, and Tsingtao, China. Frank Habern Jr., was in the first wave to hit the beach on Okinawa on April 1, 1945. He was one of the 3 platoon sergeants of G Company, 2nd Battalion, 22nd Regiment of the 6th Marine Division. He participated in the long struggle to take Sugar Loaf Hill where 7,547 U.S. Marines lost their lives in nine days. He was promoted to first sergeant and he was one of only two survivors of his company of 140 Marines. He was honorably discharged from the Marine Corp. in December of 1946 at Camp Lejeune and then spent the next 5 years attending college where he earned a bachelors and masters degree in Aerospace Engineering.


LOWER, JOHN KENNETH "Jack" On August 1, 2015, Jack passed away in his home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, comforted by his family and the Florida Hospital Hospice staff. He was 73 years old. Jack was born in Hamilton, Ohio on October 13, 1941. He was the second child and only son of Kenneth Reed Lower and Cecilia Rigling Lower. He is preceded in death by his parents. Jack was an accomplished athlete in many sports, earning a scholarship to the University of Detroit where he was a successful football player while earning a Bacholer's degree in Chemistry. Jack had options to continue his athletic career in the NFL, but chose to serve his country by joining the Marine Corps after college graduation. He served in Vietnam as a CH-46 helicopter pilot. In his service in Vietnam, Jack received 20 air medals and two presidential commendations. After his return from Vietnam, Jack was a flight instructor in Pensacola. He continued to fly in the Marine Corps Reserve and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2001. Jack married Martha Louise Rose in 1965 In Oak Grove, Louisiana. They made their home in Pensacola and after several career moves to Chicago, Detroit, and South Bend they relocated to Florida where they resided for the last 37 years.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Lost And Found

I look forward each week to reading the letters from my fellow Marines and thank you for providing the space for us. I went to MCRD San Diego July 1958. 12 weeks MCRD, 4 weeks in advanced combat at Camp Pendleton. My platoon #360 Third Battalion. I do have a extra copy of our graduation book if anyone is looking for one. I was a Sea Going Marine for my whole time in the corps. Made two cruises on the carrier Hancock CVA 19 and served as Captain's Orderly for two Captains. Great Duty!

SDI was Sgt J.P. NOVAK
JDI was Sgt F.R. CORTEZ

LCPL James R Szatkowski
181XXXX


Short Rounds

Mike sent a picture of the EGA without a fouled line around the anchor. I was issued 2 pair of this same EGA in 1956 they are not pre WWII I still have them after 59 yrs.
E3 Cpl. E.Heyl


The story about "Chester" gave me a good chuckle. Hell; even the Army is aware of Chesty Puller! Thanks Brother.


Sgt Grit Marine playing cards displayed on bar table in Sgt Grit showroom Referring to the "unfouled anchor" question in your 8/12/15 Newsletter. I have no idea what that device was to be used on but I have the same miniature design on a Zippo lighter I bought in a PX in early 1945.
H.J. Sydnam


Quotes

"C'mon goddamnit! He ain't the last man who's gonna be hit today!"
-- 1stSgt Daniel "Pop" Hunter, 1/5, Belleau Wood KIA


"The liberties of our country, the freedoms of our civil Constitution are worth defending at all hazards; it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors. They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood. It will bring a mark of everlasting infamy on the present generation – enlightened as it is – if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of designing men."
-- Samuel Adams


"Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men."
-- John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776


"You cannot exaggerate about the Marines. They are convinced to the point of arrogance, that they are the most ferocious fighters on earth--and the amusing thing about it is that they are."
-- Father Kevin Keaney, 1st MarDiv Chaplain, Korean War


"There are two and only two ways that any economy can be organized. One is by freedom and voluntary choice - the way of the market. The other is by force and dictation - the way of the State."
-- Murray Rothbard


"The truth, indeed, is something that mankind, for some mysterious reason, instinctively dislikes. Every man who tries to tell it is unpopular, and even when, by the sheer strength of his case, he prevails, he is put down as a scoundrel."
-- H. L. Mencken, Chicago Tribune (23 May 1926)


"Marines are about the most peculiar breed of human beings I have ever witnessed. They treat their service as if it was some kind of cult, plastering their emblem on almost everything they own, making themselves up to look like insane fanatics with haircuts to ungentlemanly lengths, worshipping their Commandant almost as if he was a god, and making weird animal noises like a band of savages. They'll fight like rabid dogs at the drop of a hat just for the sake of a little action, and are the cockiest SOBs I have ever known. Most have the foulest mouths and drink well beyond man's normal limits, but their high spirits and sense of brotherhood set them apart and, generally speaking, of the United States Marines I've come in contact with, are the most professional soldiers and the finest men I have had the pleasure to meet."
-- An Anonymous Canadian Citizen


Sir! Out of two hundred and fifty thousand men in the Marines Corps I am the only s--tbird with a gun.

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

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

Gung Ho!
Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 20 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 20 AUG 2015

In this issue:
• Chester?
• Second Iwo Flag
• Makes Him My Brother

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One more story about the USS Henrico. On August 10th, 1965, fifty years ago, the 1st Force Logistics Regiment was mounted out of Camp Pendleton and aboard the USS Henrico (APA 45), ready to set sail for Okinawa. Finally, we started to slowly pull away from the pier at Long Beach. I was standing on the main deck near the stern of the ship. Just below me I noticed a 2 or 3 inch diameter rope that looked like it might be towing something. I followed the line of the rope to see what might be attached. I could not believe it. The line was still attached to one of the pilings on the pier. There was no one around that particular spot on the pier. I started poking the Marines around me and pointing out the mistake made by some Swabbie. The piling looked to be about two feet in diameter and about 15' above the water line.

Will the rope snap? Will the piling torpedo us? That line came up out of the water, got tight as a guitar string and yanked that piling right out of the pier. The ship was about 100' to 200' feet away from the pier and the piling shot like an arrow right at us. At about half the distance to the ship the piling hit the water. I can't remember a better laugh during my 4 years as a Marine.

Shout out to some of the guys on the ship. Jolly Bryant, Russ Hoover, Jerry Biglane, and Tom Brasswell

Rich Hulet, Sgt
3rd FSR, Okinawa 65-66
LSU 2/5 An Hoa 66/67


Marine Yard Art

Sgt Grit,

During the planning stage for the USMC sign, we contacted Sgt Grit and spoke with Kristy Fomin. We needed two large USMC emblems to attach to each leg of the USMC sign and she recommended Sgt Grit #16720. We got them and the rest is history.

Semper Fidelis,
Frank Hahnel
#2282xxx
1st Tank Bn, 1st MarDiv
DaNang, Vietnam May 1967-May 1968
Parris Island Plt. 3016


4th Marines

Dear SGT Grit:

In your 6 Aug issue of your newsletter, 1stSgt Jim Stelling states that a battalion of the 4th Marines defended Wake Island at the time it was captured by the Japanese, or at least that is my understanding of his statement.

No offense intended to Top Stelling, but I would beg to differ on that statement. The 4th Marine Regiment was stationed in China, until about two weeks before WWII broke out. At that time they were shipped to the Philippines, arriving there little more than a week before the Philippines was attacked on 8 Dec 1941. The regiment consisted of only two battalions at that time, which swelled to three battalions with the addition of the Marine guard detachments at Cavite Naval Station, Mariveles Navy Station, and one or two other detachments.

The 4th Marines were assigned to the defense of Corregidor Island, until they were surrendered by General Wainwright on or about 5 May 1942.

Wake Island was actually defended by the 1st Marine Defense Battalion.

Ron Mandell
Cpl USMC ’67-‘70
Son of GySgt Dave Mandell, who served with the 1st Marine Brigade in Iceland, and later with an Island Defense Battalion in the Pacific during WWII


Chester?

Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to post about my recent visit to Marine Barracks 8th and I. For the second year in a row I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of the Friday Evening Parades this past week. Even though I live in Baltimore, Maryland which is only an hour’s drive from DC, this was only my second visit to the barracks to see the parade. Whether a Marine or not, this production is really something to see for anyone who has not had the opportunity to experience it. My only complaint is the seating. Depending on where you sit, your line of sight is limited, especially when the Silent Drill Platoon performs on Center Walk.

This was my wife’s first time seeing the parade and while she is fairly well schooled on Marine lingo or vernacular having met me in 1984, a year before I left active duty, her Marine Corps knowledge is still limited. She knows Iwo Jima, and Beirut and hat from cover and trousers from pants and even some of the foul language slang that I sometimes spew, but she is not familiar with famous Marines. So while we were driving home that night I was not surprised when I asked her what her favorite part of the program was. She said she loved the Silent Drill Platoon, but because her line of sight was limited she missed a lot of what they did, but she thought “Chester” the 14th was really cute. I explained to her that his name was Chesty and that he was named after Chesty Puller. Her reply was, “well who is Chesty Puller?”

"Who is Chesty Puller”, I replied. “He is just one of the most highly decorated Marines who ever lived”, I replied. “Well his real name was Chester, right?” I replied that his real name was Louis B. Puller and I reminded her that the MC even explained that for the non-Marines in attendance, but I guess she missed that. So, then I had to explain that “Chesty” was a nickname given to him due to his chest full of medals, and her reply was, “see, that’s why I don’t ask you anything, because I always get the full history of the Marine Corps!”

Anyway, for those who have not had the chance to attend, do yourself a favor and make the visit – you won’t be disappointed!

Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon
1981-1985


49th Marines

Hope this finds all of you patriots healthy, happy and safe. Warmest regards from the 49th Marines on this first long weekend in August. From all of us, up here in British Columbia.

Enjoy the summer,
Gerry


Responsible for rebuilding Pearl Harbor

Sgt Grit, Spending several years handling pay accounts of both enlisted men and officers brought several stories to memory. In the last few months of 1942 there were a lot of transfers taking place as veterans of Guadalcanal were returning stateside.

One day a very pregnant woman came into the office seeking the whereabouts of her "husband" who had been transferred. She did not know his name but he was that big guard who had been on the main gate to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Sadly, we could not help her.

Then there was an item listing a summary court martial of one of my drill instructors who had been sent to State College, PA to train Marine recruits. He was fined $150 and transferred to Camp Lejeune. While on a 3-day pass I met some men from that unit who told me he had been convicted for playing poker with his subordinates. Somebody must have lost too heavily.

While on Guam a letter was received stating that the navy could only issue one monthly check for the family allowance. One Marine had a wife and child in the Boston area and had fathered a child while stationed in Oklahoma. It would be necessary for the mother receiving the one check to split it with the mother of the other child. The Marine was to decide which mother the navy should send the check to. I never saw his reply.

One day a commodore came to me requesting his pay records as he was going home for some R&R. He said that with his rank he was allowed to check himself into and out of the local hospital. He was the engineer who was responsible for rebuilding Pearl Harbor and the harbor at Guam and now they wanted him to rebuild Manila. He said he was very tired and it had been almost three years since he had seen his wife. He planned to take a little time off. I Googled his name and his record was verified.

There must be other items but these are the ones which most readily come to mind.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx



Second Iwo Flag

My wife and I were on vacation recently in Williamsburg, VA. and I suggested we take a side trip to the. National Museum of the Marine Corps. We had been to the Museum shortly after it opened and wanted to see what had been added since then.

What a special day it was.

While visiting the Museum we were treated to two very special things. There was a Basic Class from Quantico Marine Corps Officer Training School in attendance. These young men and women would graduate in a few days and will join the ranks of our Officer Corps. To talk with these young patriots was truly a treat. Then as we approached the section of the Museum dedicated to the Battle of Iwo Jima we were met by 91 year old Frank Matthews, a veteran of Iwo Jima and a docent at our Museum. Frank told my wife "there were only 2 things in the museum that were at Iwo Jima. That flag (pointing to the flag that was raised in the Joe Rosenthal photo), and me." Frank, as an 18 year old from South Carolina at the time, was a veteran of the entire campaign, landing on the first day with his unit. He provided the insight of one who was in the thick of that battle those years ago. As a flame thrower man he was wounded 3 times but refused to leave his unit. He said "when it was all over and we were leaving Iwo Jima I was the only survivor out of my Platoon of 36 that landed the first day."

I encourage all of my brothers and sisters to visit the Museum and spend time with Frank. He is an excellent example of our Corps and has accurate information about that horrendous battle which does not appear in history books.

What an honor to meet him, talk with him, shake his hand, and share the title Marine with this man. It was a humbling experience and saddens me that we are losing so many of these warriors daily. Thanks Frank, I admire your courage, dedication to your fellow Marines, and your country.

Fratres Aeterni, Semper Fidelis,

R. A. Kiser
Cpl of Marines for life


Wanted To Be My Friend

I am going to second what Sgt Mike Leonard commented on in the 08/13 newsletter. I am a member of Det. 141 of the Marine Corps League and all I ever run into is door gunners, demolition experts & grunts with exploits that you couldn’t see in the biggest Hollywood production.

Me on the other hand when I meet up with a Marine and they ask me what my M.O.S was I tell them I was one of the most feared men on every base I was at. Everyone wanted to be my friend. No one dared piss me off. And they all say the same “What were you a M.P?”

And I love the confused look on their face as I tell them I was a line cook.

I was actually sent to baking school. Who knew the Marine Corps had such a thing! Anyone who was ever talked into joining with an open M.O.S. by their recruiter, that’s who.

Saw the world, Had a great time, made lots of friends. (And I was never hungry).

Semper Fi
Cpl. John Johnson
1977-1980


George Tweed

Gunny Rousseau wrote in the newsletter of 13 August. A very factual report of the aid given to the navy by George Tweed who had survived thirty-one months of enemy occupation. He did not mention the notoriety Tweed received nor the reaction of the people on Guam.

I Googled George Tweed as Gunny Rousseau suggested. I was looking for the report which circulated on the island following Tweed's notoriety connected with his reporting details to help the navy in the Guam invasion.

The story was that after Tweed returned to the island the navy had to get him immediately out of there because the citizens were so incensed because some of them had been punished since Tweed had not stayed hidden when and where they had told him to. The navy was afraid for his safety. We heard no more of Tweed once Guam was declared secure.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


MCRDSD Plt 178 July 1957

I arrived at receiving barracks at 0600, spent the next fifteen weeks getting an attitude adjustment. They don't tell you that the twelve weeks advertised are when you are in series. And btw, we were in series with an all Hawaiian plt. 177, who won all the inspections until we threw a clothes pin under one of their bunks just before a junk on the bunk. But what I want to say is that I don't see any tales from the Gulf War vets. I was lucky to have been of some service to the beloved USMC a few miles south of Kafji while operating an AT&T Call Home Center. Our security was provided by a TOW outfit from Hawaii. Great bunch of guys as usual with the Green Machine.

Former PFC J.L.Lynch 1695xxx "the stumps 1957/58"


Running Down His Leg

SSGT Bob Gaston's report of a perforated canteen brought to mind an incident somewhere in the Tam Ky area in the summer of 1966. Short version was that we had in the 1st Platoon both a member who stuttered, and a Corpsman who had a solid grasp of a Bill Cosby routine where he is a Navy Corpsman (he really was, just never in combat, so far as I know). We had been acting as a janitorial force, 'sweeping,' seems like we were always 'sweeping' an area, when a single shot, as they say, 'rang out'. Probably a .30 cal carbine, US made, as the VC seemed to have a fairly good supply of them.

Anyway, our stutterer is down in a dry paddy, clutching at his hip. We called him 'Peanut', probably because his love of peanut butter would let him trade peaches for peanut butter. The Corpsman who was close by me, thinking platoon sergeants had some sort of invisible force shield, called to Peanut, saying "Peanut??? you OK?" to which Peanut replied "NO!...I'm h...h...hi...hi...aw, sh-t, I'm shot!" To which our stand-up comic replied, a' la Cosby routine, "I don't make house calls," which prompted said Platoon Sgt to exclaim, rather forcefully, "Duffy!...get your azz out there." (That's what they get paid for, right?)

As it turned out, Peanut had been hit, in the canteen and with all that warm water running down his leg, he was reasonably certain that he was on the verge of exsanguination, a fancy term for bleeding to death, or for the more sensitive, 'bleeding out'. Peanut eventually shipped over, re-trained as an Engineer, and retired as a MSGT. Haven't been able to locate the Corpsman, but he's not 'on the wall'.

"Alcohol, because no good sea story ever began with a salad". Quotation credit to a good friend and Texas Aggie, and an otherwise normal sort of Marine Major, if such exist.

Dress Blues and tennis shoes, with a light coat of oil throughout.

I ain't got it, you don't rate it, and besides that, I got'em counted....get oudda here (Company Supply NCO)

"Two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't be here if I coulda got special liberty." (response to "Platoon Sergeants report!")

ddick


I Was A Mailman

In response to Sgt.Mike Leonard,
Hi Sarge!

I was a mailman (0161) during the TET offensive in 1968. I was NOT in the rear with the gear! I was stationed North of Khe Sanh at L.Z. Stud.(It later became Combat base Vandergrift) In Northern I Corps, TAD to HQ Company 4th Marines We fought with the North Vietnamese regulars. I have a Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple Heart to prove it!

They started calling me "Postal Recon Dude"! I saw more crap than some of the Grunts!

Welcome Home Mike, glad you made it too!

Cpl. Charles (Chip) Morgan


FLC

Mike, I know where you're coming from when you say that everyone you meet was some kind of a bad azz in Nam. Talk to them for a minute or two, tho, and you can read right thru their b.s. Rest assured that there are a whole bunch of guys out here that were with the gear in the rear. I, myself, was in supply. Every year there is a reunion for the Marines that was at Red Beach with FLC, Chu Lai, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, ect. that was with FLSGA & FLSGB. This year it is at Myrtle Beach, S.C. from October 4 thru 8. I'm pretty sure that it is listed on the reunion page on Sgt. Grit's site. Also check out this website for more info.

SSgt. Ed Gruener
FLC,Red Beach 1967-68
FLSGB,Dong Ha 1968-69


Camp Wilson, 29 Palms

Sgt. Grit,

Attached is a picture of me and a buddy named Max Lesko outside the old tin and wooden huts at Camp Wilson CAX 29 Palms, California in June 1982 before leaving for a Med Cruise and eventually Beirut. One day just after arriving, but before going on the actual training exercise a few of us decided to hump on over to the base of the mountain range. Needless to say, we never got there. We kept turning around and looking back at Camp Wilson and it kept getting smaller, but the base of the mountain never got closer and we just turned around and headed back. That Monday we were trucked out to the area where the live-fire operations were taking place, but I never did pay attention to how far the base of the mountain range was from the camp. Can any Jarhead or Doc who was ever at Camp Wilson tell me how far it actually is from Camp Wilson to the base of the mountain in the photo?

Incidentally, it was during this time that I was involved in a minor Helicopter crash. One evening during a night Helo operation (Lima 3/8 was a Helo Assault Unit) several of us 0331 m60 machine gunners were cross-training with a 50 cal machine gun team and we were loaded onto a CH53. This next part I am unclear of as my memory is a bit cloudy, but we were fully combat loaded down both sides of the benches of the 53 and I think we had a jeep in there with us as part of the cargo that belonged to the 50cal gun crew. The 53 lifted and moved up and forward as they typically did on takeoff, but the bird started shuttering and then dove forward and crashed. It was pitch black outside in the desert so we had no idea how high we were, but I later was told that we were only about 20 feet off the ground when the 53 pitched forward and crashed. We were seat-belted into the bench seats, but the crew-chief was thrown forward and bounced forward to the cockpit because he was just supported by a lanyard I believe. We were not injured and the crew chief was only slightly hurt, but I never heard any more about the incident. Is there any Jarhead or Doc reading this that recalls that incident?

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon
1981-1985


P.T.S.D.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I remember well my first day in Viet Nam,
As I stepped down from the plane.
I stopped and stared as the flag draped boxes glared,
Thinking our loss would be Gods gain.

I spent the next few days, trying to learn the ways,
To keep my self alive.
I knew what it would take, without mistake,
Just to survive.

I had not been in country, but a few short days,,
When reality hit me in the face.
It was me and a Viet Cong, trying to occupy,
the same old dirty space.

It was I who won, as he lay there dead,
I am the lucky one,
Many years later, as I dream of him,
I wonder who really won.

I get up in the middle of the night,
and pace across the floor,
I look out the windows,
then check all the doors.

Now they say I have P.T.S.D.
I guess they could be right,
But no one knows, just how I felt,
When I pulled the trigger that night,

Robert J Haney
U.S.M.C.
Viet Nam 1969-1970


Air Force Had A Problem

In response to MSGT Farmers letter, “Wheels Watch”, I also flew with Top O’Neill.

I was stationed at MCAS El Toro. (1972-1974) I was then a SGT and crew on the station C-131 & C-117’s. One flight I remembered we flew with Top O’Neill as the pilot and a CWO-4 as co-pilot. Mission was to haul some passengers to an Air Force Base in Northern CA. we needed to refuel our C-131, but the Air Force had a problem with us having no commissioned officers as the air crew to sign for the fuel. We got the fuel, but I don’t remember how the deal was completed.

Top O’Neill was confident, and no nonsense, let’s get it done, kick the tires, light the fires kind of pilot. I’d fly with him anywhere, anytime.

MSGT Stan Deeke
1968-1991


"Magnificent Bastards"

July 22-26 I had the honor along with two Marine buddies, from Hotel 2/4 the "Magnificent Bastards" (We reunited a few years back), to attend the Battalion Re-Union in Quantico, Virginia. Our spouses wanted to attend. We were somewhat reluctant since this was our first re-union not knowing what to expect. After contacting a board member via e-mail with two follow up e-mails by board members we were welcomed and advised looking forward to meeting us. Wives, family members & guests were invited.

Attached is a picture of the 2/4 Memorial located in "Semper Fidelis" Park. A trail with bricks engraved with names and units, and various memorials are displayed throughout the park located next to the Marine Corps Museum. Nearby is the Marine Corps Quantico Base & Basic School.

At the initial evening reception we were informed there were two hundred plus signed up including, spouses, family members & friends.

Our scheduled itinerary was to meet & greet the first evening. The second day was to depart for the chapel located at the top of the hill to the park trail located adjacent to the Marine Corps Museum & nearby the Quantico Marine Corps Base & Basic School.

At the chapel, various Speakers, Commandants and Generals spoke of the Marine Corps history With prayers, songs, and the Marine Corps Hymn.

Brick dedication located at the nase of the 2/4 Memorial honoring the three Gold Star families in attendance.

We then departed for the Basic School for lunch. Then a briefing of today's training for future Officers. Ending with a demo of the required "Martial Arts " training.

The following day was stuffed with highlights. At the Vietnam Memorial all Vietnam Veterans received a commemorative 50 Year Anniversary of the Vietnam War pin in a special ceremony. Following the ceremony I was able to direct my Marine Buddies, now numbered five members from our Company included our Platoon Sargent to panel 17E.

I scrolled thru the nine Men's names, our buddies from First Platoon who on March 30 '67 paid the ultimate sacrifice. Upon Departure we said a silent prayer than to the Iwo Jima Memorial. A short break then to dinner at the Reagan Building, With now renewed acquaintances and new found friends. We awaited the " highlight" of the evening. The "8th & I " Parade by the Marine Corps Barracks Band & Drill team. Needless to say this was "Awesome & Outstanding."

The fourth day of touring the Museum lunch in the "Tun Tavern" & the finale at The Marine Corps Museum, "The Banquet Dinner," speakers & recognition & new found friends, buddies. Reuniting & saying our farewells.

I encourage any former or Active members to join the 2/4 Association or units you served with .
I encourage you to visit the Marine Corps Museum in Triangle ( Quantico VA Or Attend the 8th& I Parade
I am personally proud to have served with the Marines as a Navy Combat Corpsman and attend in support my buddies, at our "Magnificent Bastard reunion."

Semper Fidelis
Hospital Corpsman
Petty Officer 3rd C
'Doc "Morelli


Makes Him My Brother

Sgt. Grit,

I did not attend boot camp at Parris Island or MCRD San Diego, rather I went to OCS & TBS at Quantico. I served in the Corps from 1967 - 1973, and my observation of the enlisted Marines I served with at Quantico, at Camp Pendleton, in Vietnam, on Okinawa, and at Camp Lejeune is as follows: A squared away Marine was squared away regardless of where he went to boot camp. He was forged on the anvil of discipline and he earned the eagle, globe and anchor and the title "United States Marine" - either on the east coast or the west coast, but he earned it the same way. I could not distinguish a P.I. trained Marine from a San Diego trained Marine as they performed the duties of their individual MOS's in the units in which I served. Having lived in the low country of South Carolina, I know first hand that the heat, humidity, mosquitos and sand fleas provide a different environment than California, but the training is the same at both locations, and one either passes or fails the training requirements. To my mind a Marine is a Marine-period! Doesn't matter where he went to boot camp, when he served, or what his MOS was when he served, All that matters is that he earned the eagle, globe and anchor and the title of United States Marine - and that makes him my brother for life.

Semper Fi,
Captain Jinx


Montford Point

I was at Montford Point in 1963 in the 2nd Recon Bn. and left in 1965 for Vietnam. Montford Point was my first duty station. When I returned to the states in 1966, 2nd Recon Bn. moved to Onslow Beach. They are now located at Courthouse Bay.

I see a lot of information on Montford Point and the black marines but nothing about what was there afterward.

It was mixed race when I was first there in 1963. I'm white.

William C.


Excitement never ends at Sgt Grit

Last week a man came into our showroom, well dressed and hoping to meet Sgt Grit himself to have a picture taken with him. Unfortunately Sgt Grit was out of town, or should we say fortunately. He made small talk with our employees while shopping our showroom. Finding himself a mug and a toy set he wanted to buy. Showing us his business cards for his investigation services, he talked of his time in Iraq as a Major and his sad story of being wounded. How since he could no longer chase bad guys in the Corps, he would now do it at home as an investigator. He even had the badge and the Crown Victoria to go along with his story. He claimed he had metal plates all over his body along with numerous surgeries. All false.

Being interested in all of our heroes, we looked him up on Google. SURPRISE! Not a Marine at all. Not an investigator, but yes a convicted sex offender who prays on children. His MO is to carry around candy and toys to lure them in. We called 911 and stalled the felon in our showroom long enough for officers to arrive. Four OCPD Officers arrived, two were Marines and one was Army. They cuffed him and took him outside for questioning. Sadly, he had skirted around the questioning by saying he was not posing as an officer but as a self-employed bounty hunter, so there was nothing they could take him in on.

They couldn’t not prove, nor disprove his story. The officers were not stupid though, they had taken time to look on Google and see everything we had seen and alerted others between here and Florida about him. They have now found out that he is out of his home state without knowledge of the authorities, which is a crime and they are currently issuing a warrant for his arrest. They have also found that he cannot be a bounty hunter, so that too is being handled. Let’s hope this imposter is caught soon.


Lost And Found

Looking for any, and all, Marines who served with, or fought with USMC SGT. Mathew Caruso in Korea. He died diving on a Navy Chaplain and taking the Red Chinese bullets meant for the chaplain as he administered to wounded and dying Marines. Mathew received a temporary Silver Star, which would have been strongly considered for an upgrade to the MOH. His brother, and other Marines here in CT are working to get the upgrade he so richly earned many years ago. Please send any personal knowledge of Mathew' ultimate sacrifice to John Caruso at jrc.uconn[at]gmail.com. John is also a Marine and escorted his brother's body back home years later. He is currently working on a book to recognize the impact of Mathew's death on so many who lived to remember him. Thanks, for any help you can give, and SEMPER FI!


Short Rounds

I knew of one enlisted pilot and watched him climb into an F4U and take off, This Marine's name was Master Sgt Bumgardner not sure of the spelling. He also was in 214. This was a long time ago and my mind is getting a little fuzzy. CWO-4 Cimbalo VMF-124


Marines say farewell to the CH-46 (Phrog) after its final flight

Marines say farewell to the Phrog after its final flight 30996613 CHANTILLY, Va. — It served Marines in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. For more than half a century, the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter was a...

Read the full article on the Marine Corps Times website.


Sgt Grit, I see in every newsletter some DI antics. I remember doing close order rifle drill with my foot locker (the whole platoon did it). The DI would call "Right shoulder footlocker, left shoulder footlocker, present footlocker!" it got pretty heavy at present footlocker but god help you if you let it fall.

Semper Fi, Cpl J Kanavy PI Plt 321 Jan to march 1966.


In response to LCpl Noll input about Ribbon Creek I was a recruit in Plt 27,4th Bn. We lived in Quonset huts. My Drill Instructors were TSgt C.W. Phillips and Cpl F. Maynard. In my old age I had to look at my Plt photo to make sure.

MSgt Bill Dugan Retired


Quotes

"What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves. If all the means of production were vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of 'society' as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us."
-- Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]


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


"If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field."
- Col David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret), one of Americas most highly decorated soldier


If you can’t carry it, eat it or shoot it, don’t bring it.

Private - What was the best screwing you ever got - be truthful numnuts!
Sir, When I joined the Marine Corps Sir!

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

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 20 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 20 AUG 2015

In this issue:
• Chester?
• Second Iwo Flag
• Makes Him My Brother

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One more story about the USS Henrico. On August 10th, 1965, fifty years ago, the 1st Force Logistics Regiment was mounted out of Camp Pendleton and aboard the USS Henrico (APA 45), ready to set sail for Okinawa. Finally, we started to slowly pull away from the pier at Long Beach. I was standing on the main deck near the stern of the ship. Just below me I noticed a 2 or 3 inch diameter rope that looked like it might be towing something. I followed the line of the rope to see what might be attached. I could not believe it. The line was still attached to one of the pilings on the pier. There was no one around that particular spot on the pier. I started poking the Marines around me and pointing out the mistake made by some Swabbie. The piling looked to be about two feet in diameter and about 15' above the water line.

Will the rope snap? Will the piling torpedo us? That line came up out of the water, got tight as a guitar string and yanked that piling right out of the pier. The ship was about 100' to 200' feet away from the pier and the piling shot like an arrow right at us. At about half the distance to the ship the piling hit the water. I can't remember a better laugh during my 4 years as a Marine.

Shout out to some of the guys on the ship. Jolly Bryant, Russ Hoover, Jerry Biglane, and Tom Brasswell

Rich Hulet, Sgt
3rd FSR, Okinawa 65-66
LSU 2/5 An Hoa 66/67


Concealed Holster T-Shirt


Marine Yard Art

Sgt Grit,

Frank's Iwo Jima flag raising art and USMC sign During the planning stage for the USMC sign, we contacted Sgt Grit and spoke with Kristy Fomin. We needed two large USMC emblems to attach to each leg of the USMC sign and she recommended Sgt Grit #16720. We got them and the rest is history.

Semper Fidelis,
Frank Hahnel
#2282xxx
1st Tank Bn, 1st MarDiv
DaNang, Vietnam May 1967-May 1968
Parris Island Plt. 3016


4th Marines

Dear SGT Grit:

In your 6 Aug issue of your newsletter, 1stSgt Jim Stelling states that a battalion of the 4th Marines defended Wake Island at the time it was captured by the Japanese, or at least that is my understanding of his statement.

No offense intended to Top Stelling, but I would beg to differ on that statement. The 4th Marine Regiment was stationed in China, until about two weeks before WWII broke out. At that time they were shipped to the Philippines, arriving there little more than a week before the Philippines was attacked on 8 Dec 1941. The regiment consisted of only two battalions at that time, which swelled to three battalions with the addition of the Marine guard detachments at Cavite Naval Station, Mariveles Navy Station, and one or two other detachments.

The 4th Marines were assigned to the defense of Corregidor Island, until they were surrendered by General Wainwright on or about 5 May 1942.

Wake Island was actually defended by the 1st Marine Defense Battalion.

Ron Mandell
Cpl USMC ’67-‘70
Son of GySgt Dave Mandell, who served with the 1st Marine Brigade in Iceland, and later with an Island Defense Battalion in the Pacific during WWII


Chester?

Sgt. Grit,

Just wanted to post about my recent visit to Marine Barracks 8th and I. For the second year in a row I was fortunate enough to be able to attend one of the Friday Evening Parades this past week. Even though I live in Baltimore, Maryland which is only an hour’s drive from DC, this was only my second visit to the barracks to see the parade. Whether a Marine or not, this production is really something to see for anyone who has not had the opportunity to experience it. My only complaint is the seating. Depending on where you sit, your line of sight is limited, especially when the Silent Drill Platoon performs on Center Walk.

This was my wife’s first time seeing the parade and while she is fairly well schooled on Marine lingo or vernacular having met me in 1984, a year before I left active duty, her Marine Corps knowledge is still limited. She knows Iwo Jima, and Beirut and hat from cover and trousers from pants and even some of the foul language slang that I sometimes spew, but she is not familiar with famous Marines. So while we were driving home that night I was not surprised when I asked her what her favorite part of the program was. She said she loved the Silent Drill Platoon, but because her line of sight was limited she missed a lot of what they did, but she thought “Chester” the 14th was really cute. I explained to her that his name was Chesty and that he was named after Chesty Puller. Her reply was, “well who is Chesty Puller?”

"Who is Chesty Puller”, I replied. “He is just one of the most highly decorated Marines who ever lived”, I replied. “Well his real name was Chester, right?” I replied that his real name was Louis B. Puller and I reminded her that the MC even explained that for the non-Marines in attendance, but I guess she missed that. So, then I had to explain that “Chesty” was a nickname given to him due to his chest full of medals, and her reply was, “see, that’s why I don’t ask you anything, because I always get the full history of the Marine Corps!”

Anyway, for those who have not had the chance to attend, do yourself a favor and make the visit – you won’t be disappointed!

Semper Fi Jarheads!

Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon
1981-1985


49th Marines

Marines from 49th Marines standing near their flags Hope this finds all of you patriots healthy, happy and safe. Warmest regards from the 49th Marines on this first long weekend in August. From all of us, up here in British Columbia.

Enjoy the summer,
Gerry


Responsible for rebuilding Pearl Harbor

Sgt Grit, Spending several years handling pay accounts of both enlisted men and officers brought several stories to memory. In the last few months of 1942 there were a lot of transfers taking place as veterans of Guadalcanal were returning stateside.

One day a very pregnant woman came into the office seeking the whereabouts of her "husband" who had been transferred. She did not know his name but he was that big guard who had been on the main gate to the Philadelphia Navy Yard. Sadly, we could not help her.

Then there was an item listing a summary court martial of one of my drill instructors who had been sent to State College, PA to train Marine recruits. He was fined $150 and transferred to Camp Lejeune. While on a 3-day pass I met some men from that unit who told me he had been convicted for playing poker with his subordinates. Somebody must have lost too heavily.

While on Guam a letter was received stating that the navy could only issue one monthly check for the family allowance. One Marine had a wife and child in the Boston area and had fathered a child while stationed in Oklahoma. It would be necessary for the mother receiving the one check to split it with the mother of the other child. The Marine was to decide which mother the navy should send the check to. I never saw his reply.

One day a commodore came to me requesting his pay records as he was going home for some R&R. He said that with his rank he was allowed to check himself into and out of the local hospital. He was the engineer who was responsible for rebuilding Pearl Harbor and the harbor at Guam and now they wanted him to rebuild Manila. He said he was very tired and it had been almost three years since he had seen his wife. He planned to take a little time off. I Googled his name and his record was verified.

There must be other items but these are the ones which most readily come to mind.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


1st Battalion 3rd Marines Unit Gear


Second Iwo Flag

My wife and I were on vacation recently in Williamsburg, VA. and I suggested we take a side trip to the. National Museum of the Marine Corps. We had been to the Museum shortly after it opened and wanted to see what had been added since then.

What a special day it was.

While visiting the Museum we were treated to two very special things. There was a Basic Class from Quantico Marine Corps Officer Training School in attendance. These young men and women would graduate in a few days and will join the ranks of our Officer Corps. To talk with these young patriots was truly a treat. Then as we approached the section of the Museum dedicated to the Battle of Iwo Jima we were met by 91 year old Frank Matthews, a veteran of Iwo Jima and a docent at our Museum. Frank told my wife "there were only 2 things in the museum that were at Iwo Jima. That flag (pointing to the flag that was raised in the Joe Rosenthal photo), and me." Frank, as an 18 year old from South Carolina at the time, was a veteran of the entire campaign, landing on the first day with his unit. He provided the insight of one who was in the thick of that battle those years ago. As a flame thrower man he was wounded 3 times but refused to leave his unit. He said "when it was all over and we were leaving Iwo Jima I was the only survivor out of my Platoon of 36 that landed the first day."

I encourage all of my brothers and sisters to visit the Museum and spend time with Frank. He is an excellent example of our Corps and has accurate information about that horrendous battle which does not appear in history books.

What an honor to meet him, talk with him, shake his hand, and share the title Marine with this man. It was a humbling experience and saddens me that we are losing so many of these warriors daily. Thanks Frank, I admire your courage, dedication to your fellow Marines, and your country.

Fratres Aeterni, Semper Fidelis,

R. A. Kiser
Cpl of Marines for life


Wanted To Be My Friend

I am going to second what Sgt Mike Leonard commented on in the 08/13 newsletter. I am a member of Det. 141 of the Marine Corps League and all I ever run into is door gunners, demolition experts & grunts with exploits that you couldn’t see in the biggest Hollywood production.

Me on the other hand when I meet up with a Marine and they ask me what my M.O.S was I tell them I was one of the most feared men on every base I was at. Everyone wanted to be my friend. No one dared piss me off. And they all say the same “What were you a M.P?”

And I love the confused look on their face as I tell them I was a line cook.

I was actually sent to baking school. Who knew the Marine Corps had such a thing! Anyone who was ever talked into joining with an open M.O.S. by their recruiter, that’s who.

Saw the world, Had a great time, made lots of friends. (And I was never hungry).

Semper Fi
Cpl. John Johnson
1977-1980


George Tweed

Gunny Rousseau wrote in the newsletter of 13 August. A very factual report of the aid given to the navy by George Tweed who had survived thirty-one months of enemy occupation. He did not mention the notoriety Tweed received nor the reaction of the people on Guam.

I Googled George Tweed as Gunny Rousseau suggested. I was looking for the report which circulated on the island following Tweed's notoriety connected with his reporting details to help the navy in the Guam invasion.

The story was that after Tweed returned to the island the navy had to get him immediately out of there because the citizens were so incensed because some of them had been punished since Tweed had not stayed hidden when and where they had told him to. The navy was afraid for his safety. We heard no more of Tweed once Guam was declared secure.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


MCRDSD Plt 178 July 1957

I arrived at receiving barracks at 0600, spent the next fifteen weeks getting an attitude adjustment. They don't tell you that the twelve weeks advertised are when you are in series. And btw, we were in series with an all Hawaiian plt. 177, who won all the inspections until we threw a clothes pin under one of their bunks just before a junk on the bunk. But what I want to say is that I don't see any tales from the Gulf War vets. I was lucky to have been of some service to the beloved USMC a few miles south of Kafji while operating an AT&T Call Home Center. Our security was provided by a TOW outfit from Hawaii. Great bunch of guys as usual with the Green Machine.

Former PFC J.L.Lynch 1695xxx "the stumps 1957/58"


Running Down His Leg

SSGT Bob Gaston's report of a perforated canteen brought to mind an incident somewhere in the Tam Ky area in the summer of 1966. Short version was that we had in the 1st Platoon both a member who stuttered, and a Corpsman who had a solid grasp of a Bill Cosby routine where he is a Navy Corpsman (he really was, just never in combat, so far as I know). We had been acting as a janitorial force, 'sweeping,' seems like we were always 'sweeping' an area, when a single shot, as they say, 'rang out'. Probably a .30 cal carbine, US made, as the VC seemed to have a fairly good supply of them.

Anyway, our stutterer is down in a dry paddy, clutching at his hip. We called him 'Peanut', probably because his love of peanut butter would let him trade peaches for peanut butter. The Corpsman who was close by me, thinking platoon sergeants had some sort of invisible force shield, called to Peanut, saying "Peanut??? you OK?" to which Peanut replied "NO!...I'm h...h...hi...hi...aw, sh-t, I'm shot!" To which our stand-up comic replied, a' la Cosby routine, "I don't make house calls," which prompted said Platoon Sgt to exclaim, rather forcefully, "Duffy!...get your azz out there." (That's what they get paid for, right?)

As it turned out, Peanut had been hit, in the canteen and with all that warm water running down his leg, he was reasonably certain that he was on the verge of exsanguination, a fancy term for bleeding to death, or for the more sensitive, 'bleeding out'. Peanut eventually shipped over, re-trained as an Engineer, and retired as a MSGT. Haven't been able to locate the Corpsman, but he's not 'on the wall'.

"Alcohol, because no good sea story ever began with a salad". Quotation credit to a good friend and Texas Aggie, and an otherwise normal sort of Marine Major, if such exist.

Dress Blues and tennis shoes, with a light coat of oil throughout.

I ain't got it, you don't rate it, and besides that, I got'em counted....get oudda here (Company Supply NCO)

"Two dead, one in the head, and I wouldn't be here if I coulda got special liberty." (response to "Platoon Sergeants report!")

ddick


I Was A Mailman

In response to Sgt.Mike Leonard,
Hi Sarge!

I was a mailman (0161) during the TET offensive in 1968. I was NOT in the rear with the gear! I was stationed North of Khe Sanh at L.Z. Stud.(It later became Combat base Vandergrift) In Northern I Corps, TAD to HQ Company 4th Marines We fought with the North Vietnamese regulars. I have a Combat Action Ribbon and a Purple Heart to prove it!

They started calling me "Postal Recon Dude"! I saw more crap than some of the Grunts!

Welcome Home Mike, glad you made it too!

Cpl. Charles (Chip) Morgan


FLC

Mike, I know where you're coming from when you say that everyone you meet was some kind of a bad azz in Nam. Talk to them for a minute or two, tho, and you can read right thru their b.s. Rest assured that there are a whole bunch of guys out here that were with the gear in the rear. I, myself, was in supply. Every year there is a reunion for the Marines that was at Red Beach with FLC, Chu Lai, Phu Bai, Dong Ha, ect. that was with FLSGA & FLSGB. This year it is at Myrtle Beach, S.C. from October 4 thru 8. I'm pretty sure that it is listed on the reunion page on Sgt. Grit's site. Also check out this website for more info.

SSgt. Ed Gruener
FLC,Red Beach 1967-68
FLSGB,Dong Ha 1968-69


Camp Wilson, 29 Palms

Sgt. Grit,

Mike and Max outside the old tin and wooden huts at Camp Wilson CAX 29 Palms, California in June 1982Attached is a picture of me and a buddy named Max Lesko outside the old tin and wooden huts at Camp Wilson CAX 29 Palms, California in June 1982 before leaving for a Med Cruise and eventually Beirut. One day just after arriving, but before going on the actual training exercise a few of us decided to hump on over to the base of the mountain range. Needless to say, we never got there. We kept turning around and looking back at Camp Wilson and it kept getting smaller, but the base of the mountain never got closer and we just turned around and headed back. That Monday we were trucked out to the area where the live-fire operations were taking place, but I never did pay attention to how far the base of the mountain range was from the camp. Can any Jarhead or Doc who was ever at Camp Wilson tell me how far it actually is from Camp Wilson to the base of the mountain in the photo?

Incidentally, it was during this time that I was involved in a minor Helicopter crash. One evening during a night Helo operation (Lima 3/8 was a Helo Assault Unit) several of us 0331 m60 machine gunners were cross-training with a 50 cal machine gun team and we were loaded onto a CH53. This next part I am unclear of as my memory is a bit cloudy, but we were fully combat loaded down both sides of the benches of the 53 and I think we had a jeep in there with us as part of the cargo that belonged to the 50cal gun crew. The 53 lifted and moved up and forward as they typically did on takeoff, but the bird started shuttering and then dove forward and crashed. It was pitch black outside in the desert so we had no idea how high we were, but I later was told that we were only about 20 feet off the ground when the 53 pitched forward and crashed. We were seat-belted into the bench seats, but the crew-chief was thrown forward and bounced forward to the cockpit because he was just supported by a lanyard I believe. We were not injured and the crew chief was only slightly hurt, but I never heard any more about the incident. Is there any Jarhead or Doc reading this that recalls that incident?

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8 Weapons Platoon
1981-1985


P.T.S.D.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

I remember well my first day in Viet Nam,
As I stepped down from the plane.
I stopped and stared as the flag draped boxes glared,
Thinking our loss would be Gods gain.

I spent the next few days, trying to learn the ways,
To keep my self alive.
I knew what it would take, without mistake,
Just to survive.

I had not been in country, but a few short days,,
When reality hit me in the face.
It was me and a Viet Cong, trying to occupy,
the same old dirty space.

It was I who won, as he lay there dead,
I am the lucky one,
Many years later, as I dream of him,
I wonder who really won.

I get up in the middle of the night,
and pace across the floor,
I look out the windows,
then check all the doors.

Now they say I have P.T.S.D.
I guess they could be right,
But no one knows, just how I felt,
When I pulled the trigger that night,

Robert J Haney
U.S.M.C.
Viet Nam 1969-1970


Air Force Had A Problem

In response to MSGT Farmers letter, “Wheels Watch”, I also flew with Top O’Neill.

I was stationed at MCAS El Toro. (1972-1974) I was then a SGT and crew on the station C-131 & C-117’s. One flight I remembered we flew with Top O’Neill as the pilot and a CWO-4 as co-pilot. Mission was to haul some passengers to an Air Force Base in Northern CA. we needed to refuel our C-131, but the Air Force had a problem with us having no commissioned officers as the air crew to sign for the fuel. We got the fuel, but I don’t remember how the deal was completed.

Top O’Neill was confident, and no nonsense, let’s get it done, kick the tires, light the fires kind of pilot. I’d fly with him anywhere, anytime.

MSGT Stan Deeke
1968-1991


"Magnificent Bastards"

July 22-26 I had the honor along with two Marine buddies, from Hotel 2/4 the "Magnificent Bastards" (We reunited a few years back), to attend the Battalion Re-Union in Quantico, Virginia. Our spouses wanted to attend. We were somewhat reluctant since this was our first re-union not knowing what to expect. After contacting a board member via e-mail with two follow up e-mails by board members we were welcomed and advised looking forward to meeting us. Wives, family members & guests were invited.

2/4 Memorial located in Semper Fidelis park Attached is a picture of the 2/4 Memorial located in "Semper Fidelis" Park. A trail with bricks engraved with names and units, and various memorials are displayed throughout the park located next to the Marine Corps Museum. Nearby is the Marine Corps Quantico Base & Basic School.

At the initial evening reception we were informed there were two hundred plus signed up including, spouses, family members & friends.

Our scheduled itinerary was to meet & greet the first evening. The second day was to depart for the chapel located at the top of the hill to the park trail located adjacent to the Marine Corps Museum & nearby the Quantico Marine Corps Base & Basic School.

At the chapel, various Speakers, Commandants and Generals spoke of the Marine Corps history With prayers, songs, and the Marine Corps Hymn.

Brick dedication located at the nase of the 2/4 Memorial honoring the three Gold Star families in attendance.

We then departed for the Basic School for lunch. Then a briefing of today's training for future Officers. Ending with a demo of the required "Martial Arts " training.

The following day was stuffed with highlights. At the Vietnam Memorial all Vietnam Veterans received a commemorative 50 Year Anniversary of the Vietnam War pin in a special ceremony. Following the ceremony I was able to direct my Marine Buddies, now numbered five members from our Company included our Platoon Sargent to panel 17E.

I scrolled thru the nine Men's names, our buddies from First Platoon who on March 30 '67 paid the ultimate sacrifice. Upon Departure we said a silent prayer than to the Iwo Jima Memorial. A short break then to dinner at the Reagan Building, With now renewed acquaintances and new found friends. We awaited the " highlight" of the evening. The "8th & I " Parade by the Marine Corps Barracks Band & Drill team. Needless to say this was "Awesome & Outstanding."

The fourth day of touring the Museum lunch in the "Tun Tavern" & the finale at The Marine Corps Museum, "The Banquet Dinner," speakers & recognition & new found friends, buddies. Reuniting & saying our farewells.

I encourage any former or Active members to join the 2/4 Association or units you served with .
I encourage you to visit the Marine Corps Museum in Triangle ( Quantico VA Or Attend the 8th& I Parade
I am personally proud to have served with the Marines as a Navy Combat Corpsman and attend in support my buddies, at our "Magnificent Bastard reunion."

Semper Fidelis
Hospital Corpsman
Petty Officer 3rd C
'Doc "Morelli


Makes Him My Brother

Sgt. Grit,

I did not attend boot camp at Parris Island or MCRD San Diego, rather I went to OCS & TBS at Quantico. I served in the Corps from 1967 - 1973, and my observation of the enlisted Marines I served with at Quantico, at Camp Pendleton, in Vietnam, on Okinawa, and at Camp Lejeune is as follows: A squared away Marine was squared away regardless of where he went to boot camp. He was forged on the anvil of discipline and he earned the eagle, globe and anchor and the title "United States Marine" - either on the east coast or the west coast, but he earned it the same way. I could not distinguish a P.I. trained Marine from a San Diego trained Marine as they performed the duties of their individual MOS's in the units in which I served. Having lived in the low country of South Carolina, I know first hand that the heat, humidity, mosquitos and sand fleas provide a different environment than California, but the training is the same at both locations, and one either passes or fails the training requirements. To my mind a Marine is a Marine-period! Doesn't matter where he went to boot camp, when he served, or what his MOS was when he served, All that matters is that he earned the eagle, globe and anchor and the title of United States Marine - and that makes him my brother for life.

Semper Fi,
Captain Jinx


Montford Point

I was at Montford Point in 1963 in the 2nd Recon Bn. and left in 1965 for Vietnam. Montford Point was my first duty station. When I returned to the states in 1966, 2nd Recon Bn. moved to Onslow Beach. They are now located at Courthouse Bay.

I see a lot of information on Montford Point and the black marines but nothing about what was there afterward.

It was mixed race when I was first there in 1963. I'm white.

William C.


Excitement never ends at Sgt Grit

Last week a man came into our showroom, well dressed and hoping to meet Sgt Grit himself to have a picture taken with him. Unfortunately Sgt Grit was out of town, or should we say fortunately. He made small talk with our employees while shopping our showroom. Finding himself a mug and a toy set he wanted to buy. Showing us his business cards for his investigation services, he talked of his time in Iraq as a Major and his sad story of being wounded. How since he could no longer chase bad guys in the Corps, he would now do it at home as an investigator. He even had the badge and the Crown Victoria to go along with his story. He claimed he had metal plates all over his body along with numerous surgeries. All false.

Being interested in all of our heroes, we looked him up on Google. SURPRISE! Not a Marine at all. Not an investigator, but yes a convicted sex offender who prays on children. His MO is to carry around candy and toys to lure them in. We called 911 and stalled the felon in our showroom long enough for officers to arrive. Four OCPD Officers arrived, two were Marines and one was Army. They cuffed him and took him outside for questioning. Sadly, he had skirted around the questioning by saying he was not posing as an officer but as a self-employed bounty hunter, so there was nothing they could take him in on.

Marine Imposter's Vehicle

They couldn’t not prove, nor disprove his story. The officers were not stupid though, they had taken time to look on Google and see everything we had seen and alerted others between here and Florida about him. They have now found out that he is out of his home state without knowledge of the authorities, which is a crime and they are currently issuing a warrant for his arrest. They have also found that he cannot be a bounty hunter, so that too is being handled. Let’s hope this imposter is caught soon.


Lost And Found

Looking for any, and all, Marines who served with, or fought with USMC SGT. Mathew Caruso in Korea. He died diving on a Navy Chaplain and taking the Red Chinese bullets meant for the chaplain as he administered to wounded and dying Marines. Mathew received a temporary Silver Star, which would have been strongly considered for an upgrade to the MOH. His brother, and other Marines here in CT are working to get the upgrade he so richly earned many years ago. Please send any personal knowledge of Mathew' ultimate sacrifice to John Caruso at jrc.uconn[at]gmail.com. John is also a Marine and escorted his brother's body back home years later. He is currently working on a book to recognize the impact of Mathew's death on so many who lived to remember him. Thanks, for any help you can give, and SEMPER FI!


Short Rounds

I knew of one enlisted pilot and watched him climb into an F4U and take off, This Marine's name was Master Sgt Bumgardner not sure of the spelling. He also was in 214. This was a long time ago and my mind is getting a little fuzzy. CWO-4 Cimbalo VMF-124


Marines say farewell to the CH-46 (Phrog) after its final flight

Marines say farewell to the Phrog after its final flight 30996613 CHANTILLY, Va. — It served Marines in Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. For more than half a century, the CH-46E Sea Knight helicopter was a...

Read the full article on the Marine Corps Times website.


Sgt Grit, I see in every newsletter some DI antics. I remember doing close order rifle drill with my foot locker (the whole platoon did it). The DI would call "Right shoulder footlocker, left shoulder footlocker, present footlocker!" it got pretty heavy at present footlocker but god help you if you let it fall.

Semper Fi, Cpl J Kanavy PI Plt 321 Jan to march 1966.


In response to LCpl Noll input about Ribbon Creek I was a recruit in Plt 27,4th Bn. We lived in Quonset huts. My Drill Instructors were TSgt C.W. Phillips and Cpl F. Maynard. In my old age I had to look at my Plt photo to make sure.

MSgt Bill Dugan Retired


Quotes

"What our generation has forgotten is that the system of private property is the most important guaranty of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that nobody has complete power over us, that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves. If all the means of production were vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of 'society' as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us."
-- Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]


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


"If I were King, I'd close Army entry training and send all future Infantry grunts to the Marines. The Corps still produces trained and disciplined soldiers who still know how to fight and make it on a killing field."
- Col David Hackworth, USA Army (Ret), one of Americas most highly decorated soldier


If you can’t carry it, eat it or shoot it, don’t bring it.

Private - What was the best screwing you ever got - be truthful numnuts!
Sir, When I joined the Marine Corps Sir!

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

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 13 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 13 AUG 2015

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• I Called Him A Liar
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• But I Promise

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Sgt Grit,

This is another letter from a “In the rear with the gear” guy. I have never really had conversations with any other In the Rear guys because it seems that every other vet that I meet or talk to was either a Navy Seal, Army Green Beret, Marine Recon or... well you get the picture. It was great reading the letter from W. Sikes in the July 29th Newsletter. I was starting to wonder where all the cooks, clerks and Typewriter Repairman were.

I can relate to what Warren was saying and especially his duty station in Nam. I was also stationed with 1st FSR, FLC at Red Beach from December 69 to October 70. I remember the SeaBee base and I think and Army compound close by. We used to sit on the basketball court after dark and watch movies. I’m almost ashamed to tell anyone this but the closest I came to getting hurt/killed was February 5th 1970 at a floor show out back of our Enlisted Men’s club. An agitated Marine tossed a hand grenade over the fence and one Marine was killed (Cpl Ron Pate) and 62 were wounded. I happened to be sitting far enough away that I only heard the explosion and felt the concussion then somebody yelled “Incoming”. That’s all it took for me to get the Hell out of there.

My MOS was 3241 “Office Machine Repairman” I’m the guy that fixed the typewriters that typed up everyone’s return to the world orders. So I feel pretty good about that. It’s just always burned me up that people are ashamed of what they did in any of the services. Everybody wants to be the bad azz. It took 10 of us for every 1 that had to go fight.

I always offer a Welcome Back to anyone I see with a Nam t-shirt or hat on. We did not get much of that. I am very proud of my service in the Marine Corps and my time in Nam. God bless all who served and all that serve now.

Sgt Mike Leonard
Semper Fi
USMC Feb 68 to Oct 72


Sneak peek of Sgt Grit's Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday Coin


Current Ride

Huntsinger's 1954 Ford F-100 This is my current ride. It's a 1954 Ford F-100.

The first picture was taken at a local car show. The second picture is of the engine bay with the stainless steel firewall. The third picture is of the custom made wheel and the cap that Grit had made for me in his custom shop. The caps were made to accept the custom made one sided challenge coins and have the 11th Marines Cannon and name: "The Cannon Cockers." Under that is the engraved names of Goog, Hunts, Grit, and Fuller.

Grit's custom department can make all sorts of items, give them a try sometime.

SSgt DJ Huntsinger

Note:

The 4 of us served with 11th Marines HQ Btty 69-70

Fuller passed earlier this year. Agent Orange related leukemia.

Sgt Grit


I Called Him A Liar

In the last couple of newsletters I have noticed hostility over which boot camp is better. It really doesn’t matter. We are all Marines. A different boot camp can be used in fun to poke sticks at a friend but should be left at that. However it can also be used to out a poser if phrased correctly.

I was in a local bar with my girlfriend’s nephew who had just returned from Iraq (Army, unfortunately but everyone isn’t perfect) when we were approached by a youngster trying for a free drink and claiming to be a Marine. When I asked if he was a P.I. or Hollywood Marine he didn’t know what I was talking about so I asked where he went to boot camp. He told me Pendleton. I called him a liar and after a very short discussion he left the bar. I had to stop my young Army friend from following him outside and giving him a more severe lesson. The Army doesn’t like posers either.

Ed Grantham

Cpl. USMC 1964-1967

Nam 1966-1967


Figured He Had Lost

Sgt Grit,

Recently you asked for WWII stories. You published the ones I sent but now I recall one which may be of interest to you. In July, 1942 a couple dozen of us were sent to radio operators school. The classroom was about a quarter mile from Manhattan's Times Square. I contracted pneumonia and never returned to the school.

Two years later while I was on Guam I learned that some of those classmates were also on Guam. I went to visit them and learned that Brower Knaster of Pottstown, PA had been awarded a silver star for one of their actions. They insisted that he tell me about it.

Knaster said that at one point his radio was still operable and he directed artillery fire on enemy targets. The guys insisted he tell the rest of the story. Knaster said he was a little overexposed and took an enemy bullet. He could feel his life's blood running through his trousers and down around his legs. He was terrified as he could feel no pain and figured he had lost the use of his lower body. When the order came to move up he jumped and ran with the rest of them. The warm blood running down his legs, he showed me the bullet holes in his canteen cover through which the warm water had leaked.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


EGA??

Front view of EGAI was wondering if anybody out there has any info on this E.G.A. It appears to be off a garrison cover or maybe an old smokey, as you can see it has no fouled line nor a screw backing to attach it to the cover, it never has had a screw backing and the pin and clasp are original. I believe it to be pre W.W. Two. I have never seen one like this and I would like some help getting some history on it. It is the center piece of my Marine Corps memorabilia collection. Thank you.

Mike


1st Battalion 1st Marines Unit Gear


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Hope it helps

Don,

Thanks for the good work you do.

As I explained on the phone, use this link http://www.coffeltdatabase.org/search.php to access a Nam casualty data base.

Look for "Name Searches" left side near top of page. Click on that.

Type in the last name and first name (all you really need is the first initial, that will give you more search parameters, in case you misspell the first name).

Hit "submit", that will take you to a page with all the names of those fitting your entry.

The page it takes you to lists all casualties by name, giving their HOR, Branch, When born, date of incident, date of death and gravesite.

Looking through that list you can narrow down who you are looking for, even though they may have a common name, by birth and casualty date.

Click on the "Go" button under the heading "Details" at the far right.

This will take you to his/her casualty sheet which has their MOS, rank, assigned unit, start of tour date, how long they had been in the service, casualty location etc.

By using this information, you can find who you are looking for, by process of elimination (he was only 20 but DOB shows someone 40, or shows he had 5 years in the service but he entered bootcamp in '67 with you and date of death means he was only in 2 years etc.

On that same page towards the bottom there is a section "Documents", in the box next to it, it will have 1-2 or more lines in blue entitled "View Document". By clicking on those it will give you a short synopsis of his death and the 2nd one will give you information about who his contact information listed for notification purposes.

For common names it may mean reading the reports on multiple servicemen, but you will eventually locate the "C Smith" you knew.

I'm sure you can explain the process I have described above in a better way, and feel free to do so.

Hope it helps all find those they are hunting for.

Semper Fi
Michael Madden
Lima 3/4 Arty FO '67-68


Guam WWII

Sgt. Grit,

I ended up on Guam shortly after the invasion with Shore Party unloading supplies because I was too young and dumb to be with the actual invasion force.

While not actually working we learned stories about the invasion and Guam before the war. We heard the story about a Navy Radioman who hid out on the island during the Japanese occupation of the island. His name was George Tweed, as I recall, and when the American Invasion Fleet was bombarding the island he got to a cove and signaled a ship using a piece of mirror he somehow had, the mirror was red and at first, as the story goes, they thought he was firing at them until someone said it was code, in the invasion movie made by the government, it shows a Navy boat coming ashore with a sailor holding a Thompson and getting Tweed who was then taken aboard ship where he was able to point out gun emplacements and help the invasion forces. The Marine Corps had movies of the landings and battles and the scene of him being rescued is in the movie. I’m sure if someone were to google George Tweed they could get more info on the incident.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


4th Marines

In reply to 1stSgt Stelling, the 4th Marines did not set foot on CONUS in 1965, though we were told we were going to Pendleton for a massive exercise. In reality, the ship went the other direction and they ended up in Okinawa. I missed going by one day as my enlistment ended 31 Jan 65. One more day, and I’m told I would have been extended. The 4th had been stationed at K-Bay, Oahu Hawaii, certainly American soil, especially after it became the 50th state in 1959. Prior to that it was still a US possession. I served with H&S 1/4 and HqCo 4th Mar from June 1962 until Jan 1965.

Felsen, D. Cpl 193xxxx
PEBD 28Dec60 (pay entry base date)
RELAD 29Jan65 (released from active duty-MARCORPERSMAN)


Marine Barracks Great Lakes

Marines:

Today we are proud of the hard work performed by my post as well as by myself in seeing this special project come true.

On November 10th 2015 ( date pending ) we are going to see the following Marine Barracks plaque become permanently affixed to the former MB bldg # 2.

Plaque approved by the USN

The many duties of these Marines while posted involved 1). Cross country chasers ( AWOL collections ) 2). Brig Security/Duty, 3). Honor Guard -Burial details ( at times two per day ) 4). Caring for our wounded ( casualty company ) getting our wounded Marines back on their feet.

Chesty's house in Virginia

Check presentation towards the Marine Barracks Great Lakes Special Plaque. Gene T. Spanos & Ms. Diane Schneider (Marketing Mgr For Cabela's - Hoffman Estates, IL)

Since being closed in 77' this former Marine Bks has been closed without any recognition for the three generations of United States Marines that served there in peace time and war.

We also wanted to thank Cabela's in stepping up to the plate with an in kind donation as well.

Semper Fi
Gene Spanos
Marines Sgt. ( 66-71 )
MB G-Lakes 1st Tour part of 67' - 2nd tour 3/69 - 9/70


Same Place, Different Ship

Sgt Grit

I could almost follow this story with just a few changes.

1st Marine Brigrade - 4th Marine Regt. Kaneohe MCAS Oahu Hawaii... B-1/4 March 65

Units started dissappearing almost over night I think we were the last to leave for Pearl Harbor. USS Iwo Jima-LPH, loading all sorts of stuff for trip to Camp Pendleton Calif. to play games with Grunts there. That lasted a few days till we off loaded to the USS Princeton-LPH, and we were loading all sorts of Ammo for deployment to ??? Of course no one tells PFCs what the hell is going on. And away we go to Okinawa, Camp Swab, where we played raid the villages against people dressed in black pjs and straw koolie hats. What the hell is a V.C.? We were there for a few weeks then off we go in the same direction as before. Not many of us knew what Vietnam was.

A few days later off shore [May 6th] of some piece of hilly land, below deck of the LPH Princeton we are told and "I swear to you the truth" almost Verbatim that tomorrow morning.

May 7th 1965, We are going in by chopper to a new place called "CHU LAI" in the R.V.N. that has been secured by the Vietnamese Army and we will be providing security for the SeaBees while they build a support Air Field for the one farther south, DaNang. "We should be here for about 3 weeks and then leave!" OY VAY, 1st big F****** Lie we hear before we even landed. Families back in Hawaii were already being told ...do not expect them back for about a year! Hmmmmmm!

They passed out ammo later that day. Those of us carrying the Auto M-14 got about 1100 rounds plus grenades, flares, water, and all sorts of stuff even a couple of 60mm motor rounds. I kept thinking if we get hit we is going to look like the 4th of July going in. Next morning off we go in our fat, ugly UH-34 Choppers with a big yellow pineapple painted on her belly that "Charlie" soon started to use for target practice.

Nice + Breezy off the carrier till we crossed the beach below and hit the 100 degree heat when all went quiet as we looked at each other with that "What the F***" look... and the rest is History + Commentary.

G-d Bless us all + Semper Fi Brother Grunts
L/Cpl J.V.
B-1/4 Chu Lai A-1/3 Danang
[May 7th 65 - March 7th 66]


No Can Do

Was on the USS WISCONSIN Mar Det and although I have fairly common but slightly longer feet I could not get dresss shoes. They tried to order and all I got was b/s. Went to rifle range at, I think Little Neck or Dam Neck Va, and while there was sent to Quantico base supply with proper paperwork to get shoes. Walked in and presented paperwork to Sgt in Charge at desk and was told "No can do...closed for inventory, chicken pox or some other poor excuse. Said thanks and left.

Was standing outside and a Top Sergeant with more service stripes than I had ever seen stopped and asked what my problem was. Said "nothing SIR. Just trying to get some shoes but was told no go." He said "OK, first don't call me sir." I said "you are to me" and he smiled and said "lets go back in and try something else."

He presented my paperwork to the same Sgt and was basically told the same thing I was told. He asked to speak to the OIC who turned out to be a First Louiie, he explained that I was not Base Troop and could not return at some other date so please get me some damn shoes. Lt smiled and said no can do, upon being told that he requested a phone to call the base commander. Also added I am Sergeant Major of this base and I'm sure he would love to come down and handle this small problem.

Lt then agreed that would be unnecessary gave the Sergeant the paperwork and said "Shoes," we will work out details later.

As we walked out (me with my shoes) I said "thank you SIR." He laughed and said sometimes you got to be an a/h to get things done but sometimes it's fun.

Sgt Don Wackerly 53-56
PS. Today marks the 62nd year since I took the oath in Kansas City.


Ribbon Creek

Regarding MSgt Bill Dugan's memo of 6 Aug. 2015. I believe he was with platoon 71 at P.I. in 1956. I was a recruit with platoon 72 and we all trained on the rifle range at the same time. Prior to the Ribbon Creek Incident, I remember our platoon was in formation fronting our barracks while barracks inspection was being conducted. We failed this inspection due to someone spilling our sand buckets onto the floor of the barracks and our DI was quite upset to say the least.

If I remember correctly, the scuttlebutt was that it was members of platoon 71 who were responsible due to having too much down time on their hands. Sgt. Matt McKeon of platoon 71 may have been advised of this which just added more pressure on him to make a tough disciplinary decision which resulted the deaths of 6 recruit Marines. I also remember we were informed latter that Sgt. McKeon became a D.I. and wanted to train recruits in a more humane manner and atmosphere.

Semper-fi to Retired MSgt. Bill Dugan, it appears you went all the way and paid your dues for our country with honor.

L/Cpl E. Noll
1956 thru 1959


Experiences A Bit Different

First I’d like to thank SSgt Huntsinger, Akabu and Sgt Krause for providing feedback to my letter re: MCRD PISC vs MCRD SD. Much appreciated Marines. Now a little explanation if I may. Throughout my education at PI I never once saw or heard of anyone other than a Drill Instructor lead a run or call cadence. Looks like your experiences were a bit different than mine. There was never any training (that I recall) that required a recruit to develop proficiency in marching a platoon.

If my statement was read correctly I said that IF that was the case at SD THEN MAYBE that could be a contributing factor that there was a perceived difference in training modalities between the two concerning reputation. Maybe, just maybe there was a bit of friendly sarcasm there. That was not meant as an insult but just to stoke the rivalry between the two. Suggesting that I slept through any part of the training was downright silly. And for anyone to launch a personal attack confirms the idea that those who do have exhausted their capacity for rational argument (or good natured “poking a stick in your cage”) have nothing else rational to say (bite me..Dumber than a box of pop flares). I would not and could not attack any Marine.

Apparently I insulted some Hollywood Marines and for that I apologize to those whose feelings were hurt. Awwwww... poor babies. But thanks again for the input. Semper Fi.

Gerry Zanzalari
2206592
1966 - 1970


The Warrior Song - Hard Corps

Watch this motivating music video made for the United States Marine Corps by The Warrior Song.

NAME


Chesty's Home For Sale

"A Hero's Homestead"
Built in 1920
2253 square feet
3.3 acres
$395,000

View the home's listing by IsaBell K. Horsley Real Estate


Wheels Watch

Regarding enlisted pilots, I had the pleasure of working for one in the early 60's. MGySgt Patrick J. O'neill was the NCOIC of the Operations/ATC detachment at MCALF Camp Pendelton. He had flown night fighters in Korea, and at this time he was rated in the R5D, R4D, SNB, and others. To stay proficient, or when he was bored, he would grab a "snuffy" such as me, crank up the Station SNB (C-45), put us in the right seat as "wheels watch". (The pilots seat did not have a clear view of the right strut, so that was our job.) I have great memories of flying with him, shooting "touch and go's" at San Clemente Island and MCAS El Toro. He would even let us take the yoke on straight and level. Still have the manifest of a flight with him from Camp Pen to Hastings Nebraska Ammo Depot and back. I was a passenger. MGysgt O'neill was Pilot in Command, and a Major was in second seat. He was a great leader, fine man and an excellent Marine. He now rests in Fort Rosecrans cemetary, Point Loma, San Diego calif., overlooking the Pacific.

Semper Fi "Top".
Patrick Farmer, MSgt USMC 1960-1986


My Seabag?

I have a question that is probably not only on my mind but may be in the dark recesses of hundreds of other Marines who passed through Okinawa to and from their way into RVN.

On 20 October 1968, I was enroute to RVN, and as the Commercial Air Transport stopped in Hawaii (Hickam AFB) I was pulled off the plane and advised that my wife of 8 months had died. I had my ditty bag, but my SeaBag with all my uniforms, had not made the trip.

I spent the next 3 days trying to arrange transport back to the mainland, and from Travis AFB to SFO, to SLC. I had skivvies for 4 days, shaving gear, and shower gear. But that was the extent of my USMC gear.

The Recruiters and the I & I Staff arranged for a complete set of Blues for the funeral, but, there was not a complete set of trops, khakis, or even utilities, to be found in the whole company. Uniform rules were considerably different in 1968.

The I & I Staff CO got permission for me to travel in civvies for SLC to SFO where I had a ride waiting for transport to Marine Corps Barracks Treasure Island. I had to pay for one complete Tropical Uniform, because I couldn't prove where my SeaBag was. It was to be deducted from my pay, if my pay records, my shot records, or anything else could be found. The Staff Sgt. In charge of transit barracks and assignments had a hard on for everyone on their way across T.I. To RVN. He was without a doubt the most hated person I ever met in my 6 years in the Corps. If a person had spent time in transit barracks on T.I. they had a story about him. Me, I stayed out his way after I got a travel uniform and travel orders.

My question is and it's taken me a long time to get to it. What happened to my original SeaBag, and contents? It had some family photos in it, most of my records, health, pay, etc. It had all my uniforms every stinking one. I ended up buying new ones, upon my return to my first stateside duty station which was supposed to be 17th ITT, but my orders were changed while I was on leave after RVN and I was reassigned to 29 Palms to work in the Post Office as a Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I'd only been stateside about 4 weeks. It was a bunch closer to home. I could drive it in about 8 hours.

So what happened to all those sea bags? I'd sure like to have mine back. At least some of the photos.

I did a bunch of looking while I was active, and was transferred to Pendleton for a promotion to E-5 to work the Base Locator. A lot of Marines were coming home, some to Box A, some KIA some WIA to the Base Hospital, and a lot of Marines filled up the transit barracks. HqCoHBnHReg. Ran hundreds of Marines through due to early outs, or guys like me who wanted to stay in, but had trouble finding an MOS that fit.

Sidney B. Lawrence
Sergeant 1968 - 1974
2475082/XXX XX 0280


But I Promise

Photo of Hammer In 1975, I was a Weapons Platoon Sergeant with Fox 2/7 at San Mateo, Camp Pendelton. All of the Battalion NCOs including myself were attending our monthly NCO meeting. Sgt.Maj. Yanachi was an Eskimo Indian, but to hear him tell it he was born at Tun Tavern. The Sgt.Maj. when answering a question would always start out with "Well I remember in the Old Corps when all you young kids were just a twinkle in your daddies eye" and we would all give a little laugh.

Being the Smart-A-s Comedian Sgt. that I was I raised my hand and Sgt.Maj. pointed at me and said "YES SGT. HAMMER" I stood up and asked him if he had any pictures of himself polishing his sword and shield in the Old Corps? Some NCOs were laughing and most were wide eyed going "OOOOOH!"

He turned around to the podium (I thought he was ignoring me) and picked up the Battalion NCO Duty Roster, turning back to face me he said "No, I'm sorry to say I don't Sgt. Hamer, but I promise I'll be here every weekend this month to take your picture at the Battalion Guard Duty Desk." He then ripped the schedule in half and threw it over his shoulder and looking around the room at all the other NCOs said "Is there any other questions?" "No? Alright, then I want everybody here to thank Sgt. Hammer for volunteering for duty NCO this month so that his fellow NCOs can enjoy their weekends this month, isn't that right, Sgt. Hammer?" I snapped to attention and yelled "Aye Aye SERGEANT MAJOR." Everybody snapped to attention and Sgt.Maj. yelled "DISMISSED" everybody was laughing so loud you wouldn't have heard a grenade go off.

Every NCO patting me on the back saying "Way to go Hammer, Thanks!". I loved them then and still do, I didn't mind at all. My wife and kids all lived on Base at 633-A Puller Place a five bedroom 2 1/2 bath NEW home. And I respected the Sgt.Maj. more than any man on the base.

I read Sgt.Maj. Yanachi's Presidential Citation that on a mountain top in South Vietnam went outside the wire one night with no weapon other than his "Razor Sharp" E-tool to dig a "Cat-Hole" (out of Respect for his fellow Company Marines). On the way back to his position The Marines came under Attack. The Sgt.Maj. surrounded by Combat Armed NVAs, who not wanting to fire their weapons at one "Lone Marine" and alert the Company of Marines inside the wire attempted to bayonet the (then) 1st.Sgt. Yanachi, He just started swinging that E-tool in all Directions. It was later determined (after the battle) that THIRTEEN (13) Enemy Soldiers had been killed by an E-tool. Sergeant Major Yanachi told me he had to dig a second Cat-Hole inside the wire to clean out his shorts. I TREASURE the memories of every day I served in the Corps from 1972 to 1978 even the bad ones.

SEMPER FI Leathernecks,
See you when we regroup.
Hammer


Enlisted Pilots Website

Recent submissions to this newsletters have shown a bit of interest in enlisted Naval Aviators. The website, Bluejacket - United States Sea Service History, Images and Insignia gives some history of the NAP (enlisted pilots who served in either the USN, USMC or USCG) from 1916 to 1981 and the name of every enlisted pilot who served at sometime between those years including the year he first achieved flight status.

Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines
1952 - 1955


Lost And Found

Looking for Arty F.O Scout Observer class members, Class 0846 -5, June of '67 , @ Pendleton. Anyone that responds please give them my contact info. Thanks.

Semper Fi
Michael Madden
Lima 3/4 Arty FO '67-68


Reunions

MSGs

For those of you that are Members of the Marine Embassy Guard Association, and for you Marines that are thinking of joining; in just eight more months, April 2016, we will be holding our Annual Reunion at the Holiday Inn on the River-Walk in San Antonio, Texas. Start making your plans.

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
USMC Sgt. “62-“68


Taps

Richard E. 'Dick' Campbell

Age 87, of Owosso, died Sunday morning, July 26, 2015, at Oliver Woods in Owosso.

Born in Owosso May 7, 1928, Campbell was the son of the late George W. and Louise (Pletke) Campbell.

He was a 1946 graduate of Owosso High School, and then joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950.While at the university, he was a member of Acacia Fraternity which he served as venerable dean (president) in 1949.Upon graduation from college, he was commissioned as a regular officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. While a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, he and Catharine L. Campbell were married in Grosse Ile Jan. 10, 1953.He served as a platoon commander during the Korean War; commanded a company of Marines on Okinawa, Japan, in the late 1950s and at Camp Pendleton, California, in the early 1960s; then led a battalion of Marines to Vietnam in 1966.His duties with the Marines, outside of command, included tours as senior press officer of the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (about half his Vietnam tour, 1966-67); public information officer of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton; recruiting publications production officer at Headquarters, U.S. Marines Corps; Marine officer instructor at the Naval ROTC Unit at the University of Idaho; and special assistant for public affairs to the commandant of the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.He was a life member of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association and was a member of the Marine Corps Association, the Marine Corps League and the U.S. Naval Institute.

Submitted by Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Doug Wildenhaus
Mar 2nd, 1946 - Aug 6th, 2015

The first impression I had of this man was when he so rudely jumped into a bus at 0 dark 30 and woke me up yelling "My name is SSgt Wildenhaus, I am your Senior Drill Instructor for the next 13 weeks here at Marine Corps boot camp, now you maggots get your asses off my bus move move." He had the utmost respect from every recruit in that platoon. I do not think there was a single recruit that wouldn't have followed that man to hell and back as he was liked by all.

SSgt Doug Wildenhaus, (he got out a Sgt Major) Platoon 334, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Mar-June 1972, Parris Island SC. Thanks for the friendship, the training, and the memories. Rest in Peace My Brother... Semper Fidelis.

Mike Redfern


Short Rounds

Just a few jewels I remember from way back when.

The Lord said, "Let there be Marines!" and the fish rose from the sea.

I may get so drunk I have to crawl home, but by God I'll crawl like a Marine!

On the seventh day, the Lord rested and the Marines filled sandbags.

Semper Fi!
Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines


Enlisted Pilot
A C-117 attached to SOES, El Toro made a flight from El Toro to Camp Pendleton to pick up a general and haul him to the Stumps. It was strange seeing an E-9 at the controls. He periodically made flights with our aircraft.

Wayne Stafford


Sgt. Grit,

With all due respect to GySgt. F L R Rousseau, he is correct that Guadalcanal Diary did come out in 1943, however it wasn't the first War Movie to come out. Wake Island came out as the first in 1942.

Thank you, R O Berg


The Marine Corps, and the Navy to some extent, have a reputation for being extremely stingy when it comes to personal awards. This can be both good and bad.

The recent article regarding GySgt Paul Moore, included a picture of him in uniform. He displayed several rows of ribbons, 4 per row, representing his Marine career to include the CAB, Combat Aircrew, and others. Amazingly, I did not see even one personal award, not so much as even a Navy Achievement Medal (NAM).

How can a man serve in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam and not be awarded at least one personal decoration? I admire the Marine Corps for not handing out awards like candy. But in his case, it appears justice has not been served.

Mark Smith, 223xxxx
Cpl LSU 2-5 Viet Nam 1967
CW5 US Army, Retired


Saw the photo of GySgt Paul Moore. Looking at his stripes it appears he is an E8 (Master Sgt or First Sgt). I see three up and three down. Did I miss something?

Sgt. A. A. Galvez

USMC 66-69


Quotes

"Freedom to order our own conduct in the sphere where material circumstances force a choice upon us, and responsibility for the arrangement of our own life according to our conscience, is the air in which alone moral sense grows and in which moral values are daily re-created in the free decision of the individual."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]


"For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase… Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen."
--General James "Maddog' Mattis


"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945.


"When the acts of a popular power attain a certain degree of arbitrariness and become oppressive, they are always presented as acts of self-defense and public safety."
--Augustin Cochi


"Big Green Fighting Machine"

"Missions change...Warriors don't"

The Navy was our mother
The Marine Corps was our father
They were never married
I am one proud bastard

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 13 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 13 AUG 2015

In this issue:
• I Called Him A Liar
• No Can Do
• But I Promise

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Sgt Grit,

This is another letter from a “In the rear with the gear” guy. I have never really had conversations with any other In the Rear guys because it seems that every other vet that I meet or talk to was either a Navy Seal, Army Green Beret, Marine Recon or... well you get the picture. It was great reading the letter from W. Sikes in the July 29th Newsletter. I was starting to wonder where all the cooks, clerks and Typewriter Repairman were.

I can relate to what Warren was saying and especially his duty station in Nam. I was also stationed with 1st FSR, FLC at Red Beach from December 69 to October 70. I remember the SeaBee base and I think and Army compound close by. We used to sit on the basketball court after dark and watch movies. I’m almost ashamed to tell anyone this but the closest I came to getting hurt/killed was February 5th 1970 at a floor show out back of our Enlisted Men’s club. An agitated Marine tossed a hand grenade over the fence and one Marine was killed (Cpl Ron Pate) and 62 were wounded. I happened to be sitting far enough away that I only heard the explosion and felt the concussion then somebody yelled “Incoming”. That’s all it took for me to get the Hell out of there.

My MOS was 3241 “Office Machine Repairman” I’m the guy that fixed the typewriters that typed up everyone’s return to the world orders. So I feel pretty good about that. It’s just always burned me up that people are ashamed of what they did in any of the services. Everybody wants to be the bad azz. It took 10 of us for every 1 that had to go fight.

I always offer a Welcome Back to anyone I see with a Nam t-shirt or hat on. We did not get much of that. I am very proud of my service in the Marine Corps and my time in Nam. God bless all who served and all that serve now.

Sgt Mike Leonard
Semper Fi
USMC Feb 68 to Oct 72


Current Ride

This is my current ride. It's a 1954 Ford F-100.

The first picture was taken at a local car show. The second picture is of the engine bay with the stainless steel firewall. The third picture is of the custom made wheel and the cap that Grit had made for me in his custom shop. The caps were made to accept the custom made one sided challenge coins and have the 11th Marines Cannon and name: "The Cannon Cockers." Under that is the engraved names of Goog, Hunts, Grit, and Fuller.

Grit's custom department can make all sorts of items, give them a try sometime.

SSgt DJ Huntsinger

Note:

The 4 of us served with 11th Marines HQ Btty 69-70

Fuller passed earlier this year. Agent Orange related leukemia.

Sgt Grit


I Called Him A Liar

In the last couple of newsletters I have noticed hostility over which boot camp is better. It really doesn’t matter. We are all Marines. A different boot camp can be used in fun to poke sticks at a friend but should be left at that. However it can also be used to out a poser if phrased correctly.

I was in a local bar with my girlfriend’s nephew who had just returned from Iraq (Army, unfortunately but everyone isn’t perfect) when we were approached by a youngster trying for a free drink and claiming to be a Marine. When I asked if he was a P.I. or Hollywood Marine he didn’t know what I was talking about so I asked where he went to boot camp. He told me Pendleton. I called him a liar and after a very short discussion he left the bar. I had to stop my young Army friend from following him outside and giving him a more severe lesson. The Army doesn’t like posers either.

Ed Grantham

Cpl. USMC 1964-1967

Nam 1966-1967


Figured He Had Lost

Sgt Grit,

Recently you asked for WWII stories. You published the ones I sent but now I recall one which may be of interest to you. In July, 1942 a couple dozen of us were sent to radio operators school. The classroom was about a quarter mile from Manhattan's Times Square. I contracted pneumonia and never returned to the school.

Two years later while I was on Guam I learned that some of those classmates were also on Guam. I went to visit them and learned that Brower Knaster of Pottstown, PA had been awarded a silver star for one of their actions. They insisted that he tell me about it.

Knaster said that at one point his radio was still operable and he directed artillery fire on enemy targets. The guys insisted he tell the rest of the story. Knaster said he was a little overexposed and took an enemy bullet. He could feel his life's blood running through his trousers and down around his legs. He was terrified as he could feel no pain and figured he had lost the use of his lower body. When the order came to move up he jumped and ran with the rest of them. The warm blood running down his legs, he showed me the bullet holes in his canteen cover through which the warm water had leaked.

StfSgt Bob Gaston
384xxx


EGA??

I was wondering if anybody out there has any info on this E.G.A. It appears to be off a garrison cover or maybe an old smokey, as you can see it has no fouled line nor a screw backing to attach it to the cover, it never has had a screw backing and the pin and clasp are original. I believe it to be pre W.W. Two. I have never seen one like this and I would like some help getting some history on it. It is the center piece of my Marine Corps memorabilia collection. Thank you.

Mike


From the Sgt Grit Facebook Page

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Hope it helps

Don,

Thanks for the good work you do.

As I explained on the phone, use this link http://www.coffeltdatabase.org/search.php to access a Nam casualty data base.

Look for "Name Searches" left side near top of page. Click on that.

Type in the last name and first name (all you really need is the first initial, that will give you more search parameters, in case you misspell the first name).

Hit "submit", that will take you to a page with all the names of those fitting your entry.

The page it takes you to lists all casualties by name, giving their HOR, Branch, When born, date of incident, date of death and gravesite.

Looking through that list you can narrow down who you are looking for, even though they may have a common name, by birth and casualty date.

Click on the "Go" button under the heading "Details" at the far right.

This will take you to his/her casualty sheet which has their MOS, rank, assigned unit, start of tour date, how long they had been in the service, casualty location etc.

By using this information, you can find who you are looking for, by process of elimination (he was only 20 but DOB shows someone 40, or shows he had 5 years in the service but he entered bootcamp in '67 with you and date of death means he was only in 2 years etc.

On that same page towards the bottom there is a section "Documents", in the box next to it, it will have 1-2 or more lines in blue entitled "View Document". By clicking on those it will give you a short synopsis of his death and the 2nd one will give you information about who his contact information listed for notification purposes.

For common names it may mean reading the reports on multiple servicemen, but you will eventually locate the "C Smith" you knew.

I'm sure you can explain the process I have described above in a better way, and feel free to do so.

Hope it helps all find those they are hunting for.

Semper Fi
Michael Madden
Lima 3/4 Arty FO '67-68


Guam WWII

Sgt. Grit,

I ended up on Guam shortly after the invasion with Shore Party unloading supplies because I was too young and dumb to be with the actual invasion force.

While not actually working we learned stories about the invasion and Guam before the war. We heard the story about a Navy Radioman who hid out on the island during the Japanese occupation of the island. His name was George Tweed, as I recall, and when the American Invasion Fleet was bombarding the island he got to a cove and signaled a ship using a piece of mirror he somehow had, the mirror was red and at first, as the story goes, they thought he was firing at them until someone said it was code, in the invasion movie made by the government, it shows a Navy boat coming ashore with a sailor holding a Thompson and getting Tweed who was then taken aboard ship where he was able to point out gun emplacements and help the invasion forces. The Marine Corps had movies of the landings and battles and the scene of him being rescued is in the movie. I’m sure if someone were to google George Tweed they could get more info on the incident.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired


4th Marines

In reply to 1stSgt Stelling, the 4th Marines did not set foot on CONUS in 1965, though we were told we were going to Pendleton for a massive exercise. In reality, the ship went the other direction and they ended up in Okinawa. I missed going by one day as my enlistment ended 31 Jan 65. One more day, and I’m told I would have been extended. The 4th had been stationed at K-Bay, Oahu Hawaii, certainly American soil, especially after it became the 50th state in 1959. Prior to that it was still a US possession. I served with H&S 1/4 and HqCo 4th Mar from June 1962 until Jan 1965.

Felsen, D. Cpl 193xxxx
PEBD 28Dec60 (pay entry base date)
RELAD 29Jan65 (released from active duty-MARCORPERSMAN)


Marine Barracks Great Lakes

Marines:

Today we are proud of the hard work performed by my post as well as by myself in seeing this special project come true.

On November 10th 2015 ( date pending ) we are going to see the following Marine Barracks plaque become permanently affixed to the former MB bldg # 2.

The many duties of these Marines while posted involved 1). Cross country chasers ( AWOL collections ) 2). Brig Security/Duty, 3). Honor Guard -Burial details ( at times two per day ) 4). Caring for our wounded ( casualty company ) getting our wounded Marines back on their feet.

Check presentation towards the Marine Barracks Great Lakes Special Plaque. Gene T. Spanos & Ms. Diane Schneider (Marketing Mgr For Cabela's - Hoffman Estates, IL)

Since being closed in 77' this former Marine Bks has been closed without any recognition for the three generations of United States Marines that served there in peace time and war.

We also wanted to thank Cabela's in stepping up to the plate with an in kind donation as well.

Semper Fi
Gene Spanos
Marines Sgt. ( 66-71 )
MB G-Lakes 1st Tour part of 67' - 2nd tour 3/69 - 9/70


Same Place, Different Ship

Sgt Grit

I could almost follow this story with just a few changes.

1st Marine Brigrade - 4th Marine Regt. Kaneohe MCAS Oahu Hawaii... B-1/4 March 65

Units started dissappearing almost over night I think we were the last to leave for Pearl Harbor. USS Iwo Jima-LPH, loading all sorts of stuff for trip to Camp Pendleton Calif. to play games with Grunts there. That lasted a few days till we off loaded to the USS Princeton-LPH, and we were loading all sorts of Ammo for deployment to ??? Of course no one tells PFCs what the hell is going on. And away we go to Okinawa, Camp Swab, where we played raid the villages against people dressed in black pjs and straw koolie hats. What the hell is a V.C.? We were there for a few weeks then off we go in the same direction as before. Not many of us knew what Vietnam was.

A few days later off shore [May 6th] of some piece of hilly land, below deck of the LPH Princeton we are told and "I swear to you the truth" almost Verbatim that tomorrow morning.

May 7th 1965, We are going in by chopper to a new place called "CHU LAI" in the R.V.N. that has been secured by the Vietnamese Army and we will be providing security for the SeaBees while they build a support Air Field for the one farther south, DaNang. "We should be here for about 3 weeks and then leave!" OY VAY, 1st big F****** Lie we hear before we even landed. Families back in Hawaii were already being told ...do not expect them back for about a year! Hmmmmmm!

They passed out ammo later that day. Those of us carrying the Auto M-14 got about 1100 rounds plus grenades, flares, water, and all sorts of stuff even a couple of 60mm motor rounds. I kept thinking if we get hit we is going to look like the 4th of July going in. Next morning off we go in our fat, ugly UH-34 Choppers with a big yellow pineapple painted on her belly that "Charlie" soon started to use for target practice.

Nice + Breezy off the carrier till we crossed the beach below and hit the 100 degree heat when all went quiet as we looked at each other with that "What the F***" look... and the rest is History + Commentary.

G-d Bless us all + Semper Fi Brother Grunts
L/Cpl J.V.
B-1/4 Chu Lai A-1/3 Danang
[May 7th 65 - March 7th 66]


No Can Do

Was on the USS WISCONSIN Mar Det and although I have fairly common but slightly longer feet I could not get dresss shoes. They tried to order and all I got was b/s. Went to rifle range at, I think Little Neck or Dam Neck Va, and while there was sent to Quantico base supply with proper paperwork to get shoes. Walked in and presented paperwork to Sgt in Charge at desk and was told "No can do...closed for inventory, chicken pox or some other poor excuse. Said thanks and left.

Was standing outside and a Top Sergeant with more service stripes than I had ever seen stopped and asked what my problem was. Said "nothing SIR. Just trying to get some shoes but was told no go." He said "OK, first don't call me sir." I said "you are to me" and he smiled and said "lets go back in and try something else."

He presented my paperwork to the same Sgt and was basically told the same thing I was told. He asked to speak to the OIC who turned out to be a First Louiie, he explained that I was not Base Troop and could not return at some other date so please get me some damn shoes. Lt smiled and said no can do, upon being told that he requested a phone to call the base commander. Also added I am Sergeant Major of this base and I'm sure he would love to come down and handle this small problem.

Lt then agreed that would be unnecessary gave the Sergeant the paperwork and said "Shoes," we will work out details later.

As we walked out (me with my shoes) I said "thank you SIR." He laughed and said sometimes you got to be an a/h to get things done but sometimes it's fun.

Sgt Don Wackerly 53-56
PS. Today marks the 62nd year since I took the oath in Kansas City.


Ribbon Creek

Regarding MSgt Bill Dugan's memo of 6 Aug. 2015. I believe he was with platoon 71 at P.I. in 1956. I was a recruit with platoon 72 and we all trained on the rifle range at the same time. Prior to the Ribbon Creek Incident, I remember our platoon was in formation fronting our barracks while barracks inspection was being conducted. We failed this inspection due to someone spilling our sand buckets onto the floor of the barracks and our DI was quite upset to say the least.

If I remember correctly, the scuttlebutt was that it was members of platoon 71 who were responsible due to having too much down time on their hands. Sgt. Matt McKeon of platoon 71 may have been advised of this which just added more pressure on him to make a tough disciplinary decision which resulted the deaths of 6 recruit Marines. I also remember we were informed latter that Sgt. McKeon became a D.I. and wanted to train recruits in a more humane manner and atmosphere.

Semper-fi to Retired MSgt. Bill Dugan, it appears you went all the way and paid your dues for our country with honor.

L/Cpl E. Noll
1956 thru 1959


Experiences A Bit Different

First I’d like to thank SSgt Huntsinger, Akabu and Sgt Krause for providing feedback to my letter re: MCRD PISC vs MCRD SD. Much appreciated Marines. Now a little explanation if I may. Throughout my education at PI I never once saw or heard of anyone other than a Drill Instructor lead a run or call cadence. Looks like your experiences were a bit different than mine. There was never any training (that I recall) that required a recruit to develop proficiency in marching a platoon.

If my statement was read correctly I said that IF that was the case at SD THEN MAYBE that could be a contributing factor that there was a perceived difference in training modalities between the two concerning reputation. Maybe, just maybe there was a bit of friendly sarcasm there. That was not meant as an insult but just to stoke the rivalry between the two. Suggesting that I slept through any part of the training was downright silly. And for anyone to launch a personal attack confirms the idea that those who do have exhausted their capacity for rational argument (or good natured “poking a stick in your cage”) have nothing else rational to say (bite me..Dumber than a box of pop flares). I would not and could not attack any Marine.

Apparently I insulted some Hollywood Marines and for that I apologize to those whose feelings were hurt. Awwwww... poor babies. But thanks again for the input. Semper Fi.

Gerry Zanzalari
2206592
1966 - 1970


The Warrior Song - Hard Corps

Watch this motivating music video made for the United States Marine Corps by The Warrior Song.


Chesty's Home For Sale

"A Hero's Homestead"
Built in 1920
2253 square feet
3.3 acres
$395,000

View the home's listing by IsaBell K. Horsley Real Estate


Wheels Watch

Regarding enlisted pilots, I had the pleasure of working for one in the early 60's. MGySgt Patrick J. O'neill was the NCOIC of the Operations/ATC detachment at MCALF Camp Pendelton. He had flown night fighters in Korea, and at this time he was rated in the R5D, R4D, SNB, and others. To stay proficient, or when he was bored, he would grab a "snuffy" such as me, crank up the Station SNB (C-45), put us in the right seat as "wheels watch". (The pilots seat did not have a clear view of the right strut, so that was our job.) I have great memories of flying with him, shooting "touch and go's" at San Clemente Island and MCAS El Toro. He would even let us take the yoke on straight and level. Still have the manifest of a flight with him from Camp Pen to Hastings Nebraska Ammo Depot and back. I was a passenger. MGysgt O'neill was Pilot in Command, and a Major was in second seat. He was a great leader, fine man and an excellent Marine. He now rests in Fort Rosecrans cemetary, Point Loma, San Diego calif., overlooking the Pacific.

Semper Fi "Top".
Patrick Farmer, MSgt USMC 1960-1986


My Seabag?

I have a question that is probably not only on my mind but may be in the dark recesses of hundreds of other Marines who passed through Okinawa to and from their way into RVN.

On 20 October 1968, I was enroute to RVN, and as the Commercial Air Transport stopped in Hawaii (Hickam AFB) I was pulled off the plane and advised that my wife of 8 months had died. I had my ditty bag, but my SeaBag with all my uniforms, had not made the trip.

I spent the next 3 days trying to arrange transport back to the mainland, and from Travis AFB to SFO, to SLC. I had skivvies for 4 days, shaving gear, and shower gear. But that was the extent of my USMC gear.

The Recruiters and the I & I Staff arranged for a complete set of Blues for the funeral, but, there was not a complete set of trops, khakis, or even utilities, to be found in the whole company. Uniform rules were considerably different in 1968.

The I & I Staff CO got permission for me to travel in civvies for SLC to SFO where I had a ride waiting for transport to Marine Corps Barracks Treasure Island. I had to pay for one complete Tropical Uniform, because I couldn't prove where my SeaBag was. It was to be deducted from my pay, if my pay records, my shot records, or anything else could be found. The Staff Sgt. In charge of transit barracks and assignments had a hard on for everyone on their way across T.I. To RVN. He was without a doubt the most hated person I ever met in my 6 years in the Corps. If a person had spent time in transit barracks on T.I. they had a story about him. Me, I stayed out his way after I got a travel uniform and travel orders.

My question is and it's taken me a long time to get to it. What happened to my original SeaBag, and contents? It had some family photos in it, most of my records, health, pay, etc. It had all my uniforms every stinking one. I ended up buying new ones, upon my return to my first stateside duty station which was supposed to be 17th ITT, but my orders were changed while I was on leave after RVN and I was reassigned to 29 Palms to work in the Post Office as a Marine Corps Postal Clerk. I'd only been stateside about 4 weeks. It was a bunch closer to home. I could drive it in about 8 hours.

So what happened to all those sea bags? I'd sure like to have mine back. At least some of the photos.

I did a bunch of looking while I was active, and was transferred to Pendleton for a promotion to E-5 to work the Base Locator. A lot of Marines were coming home, some to Box A, some KIA some WIA to the Base Hospital, and a lot of Marines filled up the transit barracks. HqCoHBnHReg. Ran hundreds of Marines through due to early outs, or guys like me who wanted to stay in, but had trouble finding an MOS that fit.

Sidney B. Lawrence
Sergeant 1968 - 1974
2475082/XXX XX 0280


But I Promise

In 1975, I was a Weapons Platoon Sergeant with Fox 2/7 at San Mateo, Camp Pendelton. All of the Battalion NCOs including myself were attending our monthly NCO meeting. Sgt.Maj. Yanachi was an Eskimo Indian, but to hear him tell it he was born at Tun Tavern. The Sgt.Maj. when answering a question would always start out with "Well I remember in the Old Corps when all you young kids were just a twinkle in your daddies eye" and we would all give a little laugh.

Being the Smart-A-s Comedian Sgt. that I was I raised my hand and Sgt.Maj. pointed at me and said "YES SGT. HAMMER" I stood up and asked him if he had any pictures of himself polishing his sword and shield in the Old Corps? Some NCOs were laughing and most were wide eyed going "OOOOOH!"

He turned around to the podium (I thought he was ignoring me) and picked up the Battalion NCO Duty Roster, turning back to face me he said "No, I'm sorry to say I don't Sgt. Hamer, but I promise I'll be here every weekend this month to take your picture at the Battalion Guard Duty Desk." He then ripped the schedule in half and threw it over his shoulder and looking around the room at all the other NCOs said "Is there any other questions?" "No? Alright, then I want everybody here to thank Sgt. Hammer for volunteering for duty NCO this month so that his fellow NCOs can enjoy their weekends this month, isn't that right, Sgt. Hammer?" I snapped to attention and yelled "Aye Aye SERGEANT MAJOR." Everybody snapped to attention and Sgt.Maj. yelled "DISMISSED" everybody was laughing so loud you wouldn't have heard a grenade go off.

Every NCO patting me on the back saying "Way to go Hammer, Thanks!". I loved them then and still do, I didn't mind at all. My wife and kids all lived on Base at 633-A Puller Place a five bedroom 2 1/2 bath NEW home. And I respected the Sgt.Maj. more than any man on the base.

I read Sgt.Maj. Yanachi's Presidential Citation that on a mountain top in South Vietnam went outside the wire one night with no weapon other than his "Razor Sharp" E-tool to dig a "Cat-Hole" (out of Respect for his fellow Company Marines). On the way back to his position The Marines came under Attack. The Sgt.Maj. surrounded by Combat Armed NVAs, who not wanting to fire their weapons at one "Lone Marine" and alert the Company of Marines inside the wire attempted to bayonet the (then) 1st.Sgt. Yanachi, He just started swinging that E-tool in all Directions. It was later determined (after the battle) that THIRTEEN (13) Enemy Soldiers had been killed by an E-tool. Sergeant Major Yanachi told me he had to dig a second Cat-Hole inside the wire to clean out his shorts. I TREASURE the memories of every day I served in the Corps from 1972 to 1978 even the bad ones.

SEMPER FI Leathernecks,
See you when we regroup.
Hammer


Enlisted Pilots Website

Recent submissions to this newsletters have shown a bit of interest in enlisted Naval Aviators. The website, Bluejacket - United States Sea Service History, Images and Insignia gives some history of the NAP (enlisted pilots who served in either the USN, USMC or USCG) from 1916 to 1981 and the name of every enlisted pilot who served at sometime between those years including the year he first achieved flight status.

Jim Quam
Sgt. of Marines
1952 - 1955


Lost And Found

Looking for Arty F.O Scout Observer class members, Class 0846 -5, June of '67 , @ Pendleton. Anyone that responds please give them my contact info. Thanks.

Semper Fi
Michael Madden
Lima 3/4 Arty FO '67-68


Reunions

MSGs

For those of you that are Members of the Marine Embassy Guard Association, and for you Marines that are thinking of joining; in just eight more months, April 2016, we will be holding our Annual Reunion at the Holiday Inn on the River-Walk in San Antonio, Texas. Start making your plans.

Semper Fi,
Denny Krause
USMC Sgt. “62-“68


Taps

Richard E. 'Dick' Campbell

Age 87, of Owosso, died Sunday morning, July 26, 2015, at Oliver Woods in Owosso.

Born in Owosso May 7, 1928, Campbell was the son of the late George W. and Louise (Pletke) Campbell.

He was a 1946 graduate of Owosso High School, and then joined the U.S. Naval Reserve and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1950.While at the university, he was a member of Acacia Fraternity which he served as venerable dean (president) in 1949.Upon graduation from college, he was commissioned as a regular officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. While a first lieutenant in the U.S. Marines, he and Catharine L. Campbell were married in Grosse Ile Jan. 10, 1953.He served as a platoon commander during the Korean War; commanded a company of Marines on Okinawa, Japan, in the late 1950s and at Camp Pendleton, California, in the early 1960s; then led a battalion of Marines to Vietnam in 1966.His duties with the Marines, outside of command, included tours as senior press officer of the Military Assistance Command-Vietnam (about half his Vietnam tour, 1966-67); public information officer of the 1st Marine Division at Camp Pendleton; recruiting publications production officer at Headquarters, U.S. Marines Corps; Marine officer instructor at the Naval ROTC Unit at the University of Idaho; and special assistant for public affairs to the commandant of the Marine Corps in Washington, D.C.He was a life member of the Marine Corps Combat Correspondents Association and was a member of the Marine Corps Association, the Marine Corps League and the U.S. Naval Institute.

Submitted by Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Doug Wildenhaus
Mar 2nd, 1946 - Aug 6th, 2015

The first impression I had of this man was when he so rudely jumped into a bus at 0 dark 30 and woke me up yelling "My name is SSgt Wildenhaus, I am your Senior Drill Instructor for the next 13 weeks here at Marine Corps boot camp, now you maggots get your asses off my bus move move." He had the utmost respect from every recruit in that platoon. I do not think there was a single recruit that wouldn't have followed that man to hell and back as he was liked by all.

SSgt Doug Wildenhaus, (he got out a Sgt Major) Platoon 334, 3rd Recruit Training Battalion, Mar-June 1972, Parris Island SC. Thanks for the friendship, the training, and the memories. Rest in Peace My Brother... Semper Fidelis.

Mike Redfern


Short Rounds

Just a few jewels I remember from way back when.

The Lord said, "Let there be Marines!" and the fish rose from the sea.

I may get so drunk I have to crawl home, but by God I'll crawl like a Marine!

On the seventh day, the Lord rested and the Marines filled sandbags.

Semper Fi!
Ron Perkins
Sgt. of Marines


Enlisted Pilot
A C-117 attached to SOES, El Toro made a flight from El Toro to Camp Pendleton to pick up a general and haul him to the Stumps. It was strange seeing an E-9 at the controls. He periodically made flights with our aircraft.

Wayne Stafford


Sgt. Grit,

With all due respect to GySgt. F L R Rousseau, he is correct that Guadalcanal Diary did come out in 1943, however it wasn't the first War Movie to come out. Wake Island came out as the first in 1942.

Thank you, R O Berg


The Marine Corps, and the Navy to some extent, have a reputation for being extremely stingy when it comes to personal awards. This can be both good and bad.

The recent article regarding GySgt Paul Moore, included a picture of him in uniform. He displayed several rows of ribbons, 4 per row, representing his Marine career to include the CAB, Combat Aircrew, and others. Amazingly, I did not see even one personal award, not so much as even a Navy Achievement Medal (NAM).

How can a man serve in WWII, Korea, and Viet Nam and not be awarded at least one personal decoration? I admire the Marine Corps for not handing out awards like candy. But in his case, it appears justice has not been served.

Mark Smith, 223xxxx
Cpl LSU 2-5 Viet Nam 1967
CW5 US Army, Retired


Saw the photo of GySgt Paul Moore. Looking at his stripes it appears he is an E8 (Master Sgt or First Sgt). I see three up and three down. Did I miss something?

Sgt. A. A. Galvez

USMC 66-69


Quotes

"Freedom to order our own conduct in the sphere where material circumstances force a choice upon us, and responsibility for the arrangement of our own life according to our conscience, is the air in which alone moral sense grows and in which moral values are daily re-created in the free decision of the individual."
--Friedrich A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom [1944]


"For to Marines, love of liberty is not an empty phrase … Rather it’s displayed by blood, sweat and tears for the fallen."
--General James "Maddog' Mattis


"The Marines I have seen around the world have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds, the highest morale, and the lowest morals of any group of animals I have ever seen. Thank God for the United States Marine Corps!"
--Eleanor Roosevelt, 1945.


"When the acts of a popular power attain a certain degree of arbitrariness and become oppressive, they are always presented as acts of self-defense and public safety."
--Augustin Cochi


"Big Green Fighting Machine"

"Missions change...Warriors don't"

The Navy was our mother
The Marine Corps was our father
They were never married
I am one proud bastard

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 6 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 6 AUG 2015

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I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and have met a truly Tough Old Marine. I am a retired CW4 (ARMY), please do not hold this against me. I have enjoyed helping this Veteran and Patriot (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.) I am forwarding a picture of him in his uniform. He writes for numerous Marine periodicals and is truly remarkable. He is 90 years young and the first time I met him he was doing crunches and leg lifts on a weight bench. Enjoy his picture. GySgt Paul Moore had a remarkable career.


My Dream

I have a little story that I have sent out over the last few years. The E-Mail starts with a picture of me as a recruit, then a picture of a veteran leaning against the wall which is called Wait For Me.

The story goes:

There is a dream I have from time to time. I am walking over a small hill and there are shadows all around me. I see The Wall where all my friends are. There are lots of tears on this day. I turn and walk away. Then another day I walk over the small hill, and I can see all my friends in The Wall: Randy, Spanky, Jim, John, Jeff, Willie, Gunny Acton, Ski, and Doc. They all say, "C'mon Turk, the plt. is waiting, Saddle up and move out!" As I move into The Wall to join them there are no tears on this Day.

Wears. M.S. Sgt. USMC
Mike 3/5 Oct 1967 to March 1968.
Call sign "Terrible Turk"


Ba Na 1968

Sgt Grit, ref Jim Mackin's letter on the old French resort at Ba Na west of Danang, here are a couple of pictures taken in 1968. 1st Recon Bn used Ba Na as a radio relay site for teams operating in the western mountains. It was a beautiful site that gave a commanding view of the mountains and the coastal plains. It was a fairly secure site (tho' it was hit periodically, mostly after my time) and was a sort of in-country R&R for the recon teams, after humping all those vertical hills where we usually operated. It was also a lot cooler and more pleasant than the lowlands or the elephant grass. In the years since 1975, Ba Na has been rebuilt and is now a major resort and tourist attraction - you can google it for pictures and info. It looks great now, but there was something about the 'old' Ba Na that had more character. I guess you had to be there.

Fred Vogel
1st Recon Bn.
6/68 - 2/69


Chesty's Home

Was working in the little town of Saluda, Va yesterday. General Puller's home is for sale for $395,000... are any groups looking to purchase his home for a museum?

E. Hudson


Buckle Up Boys

After reading so many stories of NCO's piloting aircraft I felt it was time for one of my stories. Returning from Japan to VN in March 1967 by civilian air we landed at DaNang by circling over the airport with the wings vertical to the ground and when the approval to land came a straight swoop down and quick landing, best roller coaster ride ever (was sweating the whole time, could look straight down at DaNang throught the opposite window!). But the real fun began when leaving for Chu Lai from DaNang. We, about 7 or 8 or us, boarded an airplane with two engines, can't tell which one it was looked like WWII to me, painted OD Green. First a Captain boards after we all were strapped into the webbed seats. He starts the engines, talks to the tower, then turns off the engines and leaves. Next a Major, these are all Marine pilots, gets on and goes through the same procedure and leaves. We are all looking at each other questioning what was going on, when a 5' 2" one star General gets on says "buckle up boys, we're leaving! The others were too Chicken S**t to leave because there are snipers at the end of the runway! We all were appropriately shook up at the news, but he turned on the engines, flipped the plane around and without talking to the tower, just took off. The flight itself was pretty uneventful after that.

Also reminds me of the cessna being flown by a spotter who would always play Snoopy and the Red Baron on his loud speaker before landing to keep us from shooting at his plane. Just some memories of that time.

Forever and a Day,
Patrick Lally, Cpl E-4
RVN 1966 & 67


4th Marine Regiment

I stand corrected on the 4th Marines, and thank you Sgt Doran Cooper for setting me straight. The 4th Marines were reactivated in November 1952, at Camp Pendleton and shipped to Camp Nara, Japan in August 1953. One of my greatest pleasures was serving with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in 1976, under the command of Lt Colonial F. F. Powel. One of the best Battalion Commanders I have worked with during my career in the Corps.

My thanks go out to GySgt Hattox for the immense embarkation job of loading out the division for transportation to Vietnam. If it were not for the support personnel of the division; embarkation, supply, admin, and others the grunts would be stranded afloat at sea with no place to go. Most credit should go to the Corpsman and Naval medical staff who saved so many lives that could have been lost, the preparation and shipment of the remains of those killed, and to the Marine Reservist who had the unpleasant task of notification, and casualty assistance to the families of the Marines wounded and killed in the Vietnam War.

Also to MGySgt Mackin and the rest of the 1st Marine Division who participated in Operation Silver Lance who endured the cold wet nights that engulfed the division during those ten days. Oh what memories we have of chasing each other over the boonies at Camp Pendleton, California.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


DIs Expected

Grit,

I would like to clear up some of the "doubt" in the mind of Gerry Zanzalari, about a recruit calling cadence during boot camp. I also got my initial Marine Corps training in San Diego. And part of that training was learning to march a platoon. Those of us who were selected as squad leaders and platoon guide, were expected to be proficient at marching the platoon. Our DIs expected every one of us to, at some point in our careers, become DIs. And they wanted us to make them proud when we did. Even though I never did join in that proud group, I was often, during my 10 years of active duty, called upon to march a platoon in a parade or IG inspection. And, I did my DIs proud in every one of those instances! If Gerry did not get that training at PI, then I think that he may be over rating the "reputation" of that esteemed institution. Or, maybe he just slept through that part of his training!

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82


Young Enough To Be Dazzled

Sgt. Grit,

In my 88th year I have lots to look back on. A movie came out while I was still young enough to be dazzled by the Glory of it; “GUADALCANAL DIARY”, starring William Bendix, Lloyd Nolan, Preston Foster. All old guys most of you don’t know about. William Bendix always played the cool, not so smart, good guy, Lloyd Nolan played hard tough guys, Preston Foster play cool upper class guy with all the smarts needed to get you though the worst. From the book by Richard Tregaskis, it was the first war movie to come out about the Pacific War, in 1943. I saw it when it came out and it determined where I wanted to go the next year when I turned 17 years of age. I was so worried (and you heard and read this a lot) the war would end before I got in, trained and over there. The war waited for me and my memory is still sharp about my service in Guam and Okinawa and my twenty years service that included Korea and Vietnam.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired.


Thoughts And Prayers

Sgt. Grit

Once again my heart is broken with the recent deaths of those four young Marines, and the Navy Petty Officer, at the hands of an Islamic terrorist! This time however it was on our own soil, and they were helpless to defend themselves. When are we going to say enough is enough? I was so proud to see many armed civilian volunteers showing up to help guard the recruiting offices!

During my many years as a Reserve Marine with both 1/25 and HQCO 25th Mar, I'm sure I worked with that Reserve Artillery Bn 3/14, and they were always professional, and on target!

My thoughts and prayers are with them, and their families!

Semper Fi
MSGT Paul Culliton
USMC(ret)


Enlisted Pilot

I was a jet mech at El Toro in 1967, VMA 214. While on the Check Crew, working on one of our A4C's, a bunch of the guys in the hangar went outside for some unknown reason at the time. I continued working in one of the 'hell holes' until I finished what I was working on. When I got out, somebody said that there was an enlisted pilot on the flight line. I had never heard of such a thing!

When I went out to look, he was leaving so I never got close to see him or hear anything he said. There were many of the Officers and Staff NCO's as well as some of us boots watching him leave. That is the closest I ever came to seeing one of the Enlisted Pilots, and shame on me for not going out earlier...but I had a job to do and that took me away from some history of the Marine Corps.

Still wish I knew more about him! Anyone out there remember this? I am certain it was early 1967 as 214 had just returned from WesPac and most of us were just out of school from Memphis.

I was with 214 for a couple of years doing a stint in the Squadron Office as well, finally as the Admin Chief as a Cpl when the Gunny retired. Then up to MAG 33 Hq as the Legal Chief until 1970 when I got off active duty. Good times and many memories.

Semper Fi
Erv Paulson
1966-70 active
1970-76 active reserve, SSgt finally


Maggot Would Never

I have to agree that a maggot would never be LEADING a run while calling cadence. (His DIs would be somewhere around the formation. BUT, a maggot calling cadence could, and did happen.)

In 1962 while returning from the rifle range, I could make up stuff as we ran, and I had a loud voice, so my DIs said: “Pvt. Krause, take “em home”. And I did, more than once.

BUT, this WAS NOT on the Grinder; just on the way back to the tents.

Denny Krause
Sgt. '62-'68
RVN '65


Regain His Weapon

This came from making up a running cadence on the fly at MCSSS in 1989:

No junk food, just earthly goods
I lost my rifle in the woods
The First Sergeant, he is burning me
Leavenworth Kansas is where I'll be

Take in on the left foot... you know the rest.

In MCT, an inspecting Colonel walked up to a Marine in my platoon who happened to be sleeping. The Colonel gingerly reached down and worked his M-16A2 out of his arms without waking him. It was like watching a horror movie, hoping he woke in time, but knowing he wouldn't. The Colonel presented the rifle to our platoon Sgt. and pointed out where he got it. What came next? Fog of war, what else? The private could regain his weapon and avoid charges, but he had to low crawl in front of the entire platoon aligned on interval. He made it and took possession of his rifle, but he paid for it in spades. After that? The rest of the platoon had no choice but to acknowledge that he was the toughest of us all. The Colonel, of course, ordered our platoon sergeant to write him up, but he gave him a chance in time honored tradition. I don't remember his name, but know that I would be happy to have him at my back to this very day.

Raines, Paul D., LCpl, one each
89-93


Respected Reputation

Dear Mr. Zanzalari, I did read your contribution to the Sgt Grit Newsletter which was dated 29 July 2015. I read, and paid special attention to, your comment: "Far more respected reputation as a recruit depot" referring to PI as opposed to MCRD San Diego.

I have come to the conclusion that you are dumber than a box of pop flares and are obviously talking out your a-s because your mouth knows better. Our Marines from MCRD San Diego did not do anything different than the Marines who graduated from PI. We are excellent shots, we are great with a Ka-bar, we are proud, and we are members of the Corps having earned the title. So bite me.

P.S. I was worried Sgt Grit would not print this but he went to MCRD San Diego too.

Best Regards

SSgt D J Huntsinger
Very proud graduate of MCRD San Diego


50 Years Ago Walks In Your Door

George Erl and I (on left in both photos) were inseparable in Marine Corps radio school at MCRD San Diego in 1965. We went to different units in Vietnam right after this picture taken in Danang in 1966. We didn't see each other again for 50 years until he walked into our restaurant last Thursday with an old photograph in his hand and asked the hostess, "Where's Hite?" I guarantee that we won't lose touch with each other again!

S/Sgt M. Hite
RVN 66-67, 69-70


Lost And Found

Charlie Company. 3rd Marines Quang Tri 1968

I'm not a Marine grunt, but an Army grunt finishing up 20 years, but bumped into Marine Infantrymen in Iraq off and on doing the same door to door operations in Baghdad as we were doing.

I've searched the internet and left messages at respective web sites trying to find out more information about my 4th cousin, whom I never knew. He was killed by fratricide in the Quang Tri Province, Vietnam December 8th, 1968. Jerry Lynn Owens. Born May 1st, 1948.

Most of the family never knew that he was killed by friendly fire until the internet came out and I was searching for info. "Misadventure" as they called it. Just another bull sh-t word. But one of his battle buddies left the attached photo on one of the sites. Most of the family that knew Jerry do not remember which one in the photo he is. The other family members are dead or do not reply. In 2002, I spoke with Jerry's brother's wife. Our family is so spread out, no one had photos to share. Just trying to track down some photo to put a name to a face, so no one in the family will forget. Some of whom have already forgotten. Thanks.

Civilian email: david.hickman53[at]gmail.com

VR,

SFC Hickman, David
G3 Training, Exercise Branch
1 Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, IL 61299-8100

Office: 309-782-9933
Cell: 309-297-1847


In 1960 Richard W. Henderson from Hammond, IN and I joined the Marine Corp together. After boot camp we went in different directions. I believe he went into communications or sea duty. I have tried everything I can think of and cannot locate him, I even checked the Vietnam Wall on the computer and could not find him listed there, thank goodness.

This year we are having our 55th High School Class Reunion the end of August, probably our last, and still no one can locate him.

Thank you,
L/CPL Marvin L. Gillim, Jr
1908xxx, 1960 thru 1963 active duty


Short Rounds

On one of our last runs on P.I., the heavy asked if anyone could call cadence and one or two recruits jumped out. Sgt. Bob Cavanaugh
Plt. 2057 summer of 1987


I remember the Ribbon Creek Incident. I was a recruit platoon 27 4th Bn when the incident happen. I graduated recruit training on 14 April 1956. If I can remember correctly our drill instructors had us in formation counting bodies. The Commandant at the time was General Randolph McCall Pate.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


Chatanooga Marine Funeral
Footage of Lance Cpl. Skip Wells' funeral procession.


I did not read the article from 1stSgt Herb Brewer but I do know that the 4th Marines did not set foot on US soil in 1965. A battalion of 4th Marines was surrendered at Wake Island during WWII by a naval officer and was not permitted to be on US soil for a long time. In 1965 the 4th Marines were among the first to land in Vietnam. Before that, their Regt was based on Okinawa. They acquitted themselves during the Vietnam War and eventually their Colors were allowed to come back to California.

The Magnificent Bastards.
Jim Stelling 1stSgt of Marines-Retired.


Army Officer Sums Up What Makes Marines Different


ENLISTED PILOTS: 1962, I think, 1st Amtracs, Kaneohe, Hawaii. First Sgt. Winters became our new First. He had been a pilot and became too old to fly. I’m not sure if he was a jet jockey but I am sure he drove F4U’s because he had a model of one on his desk. He was the best Top I ever had, a true gentleman. A couple of months later an article in Leatherneck Magazine told about him and the other enlisted pilots that time that now had to fly a desk. The end of a legend.

CPL. Selders


Quotes

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington (1796)


"A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country."
--Tex Guinan


"So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!"
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival."


"There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
--Winston Churchill


"Now this award can never be mine – And because we are members of the same tribe, every one of you knows what I will say next... For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


Standing by to stand by

Let no man's ghost say if they had only done their job

"Lean Green Fighting Machine"

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 6 AUG 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 6 AUG 2015

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Newsletter Archives

GySgt Moore in uniform I live on the Big Island of Hawaii and have met a truly Tough Old Marine. I am a retired CW4 (ARMY), please do not hold this against me. I have enjoyed helping this Veteran and Patriot (WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.) I am forwarding a picture of him in his uniform. He writes for numerous Marine periodicals and is truly remarkable. He is 90 years young and the first time I met him he was doing crunches and leg lifts on a weight bench. Enjoy his picture. GySgt Paul Moore had a remarkable career.


USMC Beer Stein with Slight Imperfection


My Dream

I have a little story that I have sent out over the last few years. The E-Mail starts with a picture of me as a recruit, then a picture of a veteran leaning against the wall which is called Wait For Me.

M.S.Sgt. as a recruit and Wait For Me painting of veteran leaning against the wall.

The story goes:

There is a dream I have from time to time. I am walking over a small hill and there are shadows all around me. I see The Wall where all my friends are. There are lots of tears on this day. I turn and walk away. Then another day I walk over the small hill, and I can see all my friends in The Wall: Randy, Spanky, Jim, John, Jeff, Willie, Gunny Acton, Ski, and Doc. They all say, "C'mon Turk, the plt. is waiting, Saddle up and move out!" As I move into The Wall to join them there are no tears on this Day.

Wears. M.S. Sgt. USMC
Mike 3/5 Oct 1967 to March 1968.
Call sign "Terrible Turk"


Ba Na 1968

Ba Na resort Sgt Grit, ref Jim Mackin's letter on the old French resort at Ba Na west of Danang, here are a couple of pictures taken in 1968. 1st Recon Bn used Ba Na as a radio relay site for teams operating in the western mountains. It was a beautiful site that gave a commanding view of the mountains and the coastal plains. It was a fairly secure site (tho' it was hit periodically, mostly after my time) and was a sort of in-country R&R for the recon teams, after humping all those vertical hills where we usually operated. It was also a lot cooler and more pleasant than the lowlands or the elephant grass. In the years since 1975, Ba Na has been rebuilt and is now a major resort and tourist attraction - you can google it for pictures and info. It looks great now, but there was something about the 'old' Ba Na that had more character. I guess you had to be there.

Fred Vogel
1st Recon Bn.
6/68 - 2/69


Chesty's Home

Chesty's house in Virginia Was working in the little town of Saluda, Va yesterday. General Puller's home is for sale for $395,000... are any groups looking to purchase his home for a museum?

E. Hudson


Buckle Up Boys

After reading so many stories of NCO's piloting aircraft I felt it was time for one of my stories. Returning from Japan to VN in March 1967 by civilian air we landed at DaNang by circling over the airport with the wings vertical to the ground and when the approval to land came a straight swoop down and quick landing, best roller coaster ride ever (was sweating the whole time, could look straight down at DaNang throught the opposite window!). But the real fun began when leaving for Chu Lai from DaNang. We, about 7 or 8 or us, boarded an airplane with two engines, can't tell which one it was looked like WWII to me, painted OD Green. First a Captain boards after we all were strapped into the webbed seats. He starts the engines, talks to the tower, then turns off the engines and leaves. Next a Major, these are all Marine pilots, gets on and goes through the same procedure and leaves. We are all looking at each other questioning what was going on, when a 5' 2" one star General gets on says "buckle up boys, we're leaving! The others were too Chicken S**t to leave because there are snipers at the end of the runway! We all were appropriately shook up at the news, but he turned on the engines, flipped the plane around and without talking to the tower, just took off. The flight itself was pretty uneventful after that.

Also reminds me of the cessna being flown by a spotter who would always play Snoopy and the Red Baron on his loud speaker before landing to keep us from shooting at his plane. Just some memories of that time.

Forever and a Day,
Patrick Lally, Cpl E-4
RVN 1966 & 67


SMLBANNER1


4th Marine Regiment

I stand corrected on the 4th Marines, and thank you Sgt Doran Cooper for setting me straight. The 4th Marines were reactivated in November 1952, at Camp Pendleton and shipped to Camp Nara, Japan in August 1953. One of my greatest pleasures was serving with the 1st Battalion, 4th Marines in 1976, under the command of Lt Colonial F. F. Powel. One of the best Battalion Commanders I have worked with during my career in the Corps.

My thanks go out to GySgt Hattox for the immense embarkation job of loading out the division for transportation to Vietnam. If it were not for the support personnel of the division; embarkation, supply, admin, and others the grunts would be stranded afloat at sea with no place to go. Most credit should go to the Corpsman and Naval medical staff who saved so many lives that could have been lost, the preparation and shipment of the remains of those killed, and to the Marine Reservist who had the unpleasant task of notification, and casualty assistance to the families of the Marines wounded and killed in the Vietnam War.

Also to MGySgt Mackin and the rest of the 1st Marine Division who participated in Operation Silver Lance who endured the cold wet nights that engulfed the division during those ten days. Oh what memories we have of chasing each other over the boonies at Camp Pendleton, California.

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt, (RET)


DIs Expected

Grit,

I would like to clear up some of the "doubt" in the mind of Gerry Zanzalari, about a recruit calling cadence during boot camp. I also got my initial Marine Corps training in San Diego. And part of that training was learning to march a platoon. Those of us who were selected as squad leaders and platoon guide, were expected to be proficient at marching the platoon. Our DIs expected every one of us to, at some point in our careers, become DIs. And they wanted us to make them proud when we did. Even though I never did join in that proud group, I was often, during my 10 years of active duty, called upon to march a platoon in a parade or IG inspection. And, I did my DIs proud in every one of those instances! If Gerry did not get that training at PI, then I think that he may be over rating the "reputation" of that esteemed institution. Or, maybe he just slept through that part of his training!

Phil "Akabu" Coffman
Sgt '72 - '82


Young Enough To Be Dazzled

Sgt. Grit,

In my 88th year I have lots to look back on. A movie came out while I was still young enough to be dazzled by the Glory of it; “GUADALCANAL DIARY”, starring William Bendix, Lloyd Nolan, Preston Foster. All old guys most of you don’t know about. William Bendix always played the cool, not so smart, good guy, Lloyd Nolan played hard tough guys, Preston Foster play cool upper class guy with all the smarts needed to get you though the worst. From the book by Richard Tregaskis, it was the first war movie to come out about the Pacific War, in 1943. I saw it when it came out and it determined where I wanted to go the next year when I turned 17 years of age. I was so worried (and you heard and read this a lot) the war would end before I got in, trained and over there. The war waited for me and my memory is still sharp about my service in Guam and Okinawa and my twenty years service that included Korea and Vietnam.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired.


Thoughts And Prayers

Sgt. Grit

Once again my heart is broken with the recent deaths of those four young Marines, and the Navy Petty Officer, at the hands of an Islamic terrorist! This time however it was on our own soil, and they were helpless to defend themselves. When are we going to say enough is enough? I was so proud to see many armed civilian volunteers showing up to help guard the recruiting offices!

During my many years as a Reserve Marine with both 1/25 and HQCO 25th Mar, I'm sure I worked with that Reserve Artillery Bn 3/14, and they were always professional, and on target!

My thoughts and prayers are with them, and their families!

Semper Fi
MSGT Paul Culliton
USMC(ret)


Enlisted Pilot

I was a jet mech at El Toro in 1967, VMA 214. While on the Check Crew, working on one of our A4C's, a bunch of the guys in the hangar went outside for some unknown reason at the time. I continued working in one of the 'hell holes' until I finished what I was working on. When I got out, somebody said that there was an enlisted pilot on the flight line. I had never heard of such a thing!

When I went out to look, he was leaving so I never got close to see him or hear anything he said. There were many of the Officers and Staff NCO's as well as some of us boots watching him leave. That is the closest I ever came to seeing one of the Enlisted Pilots, and shame on me for not going out earlier...but I had a job to do and that took me away from some history of the Marine Corps.

Still wish I knew more about him! Anyone out there remember this? I am certain it was early 1967 as 214 had just returned from WesPac and most of us were just out of school from Memphis.

I was with 214 for a couple of years doing a stint in the Squadron Office as well, finally as the Admin Chief as a Cpl when the Gunny retired. Then up to MAG 33 Hq as the Legal Chief until 1970 when I got off active duty. Good times and many memories.

Semper Fi
Erv Paulson
1966-70 active
1970-76 active reserve, SSgt finally


Maggot Would Never

I have to agree that a maggot would never be LEADING a run while calling cadence. (His DIs would be somewhere around the formation. BUT, a maggot calling cadence could, and did happen.)

In 1962 while returning from the rifle range, I could make up stuff as we ran, and I had a loud voice, so my DIs said: “Pvt. Krause, take “em home”. And I did, more than once.

BUT, this WAS NOT on the Grinder; just on the way back to the tents.

Denny Krause
Sgt. '62-'68
RVN '65


Regain His Weapon

This came from making up a running cadence on the fly at MCSSS in 1989:

No junk food, just earthly goods
I lost my rifle in the woods
The First Sergeant, he is burning me
Leavenworth Kansas is where I'll be

Take in on the left foot... you know the rest.

In MCT, an inspecting Colonel walked up to a Marine in my platoon who happened to be sleeping. The Colonel gingerly reached down and worked his M-16A2 out of his arms without waking him. It was like watching a horror movie, hoping he woke in time, but knowing he wouldn't. The Colonel presented the rifle to our platoon Sgt. and pointed out where he got it. What came next? Fog of war, what else? The private could regain his weapon and avoid charges, but he had to low crawl in front of the entire platoon aligned on interval. He made it and took possession of his rifle, but he paid for it in spades. After that? The rest of the platoon had no choice but to acknowledge that he was the toughest of us all. The Colonel, of course, ordered our platoon sergeant to write him up, but he gave him a chance in time honored tradition. I don't remember his name, but know that I would be happy to have him at my back to this very day.

Raines, Paul D., LCpl, one each
89-93


Respected Reputation

Dear Mr. Zanzalari, I did read your contribution to the Sgt Grit Newsletter which was dated 29 July 2015. I read, and paid special attention to, your comment: "Far more respected reputation as a recruit depot" referring to PI as opposed to MCRD San Diego.

I have come to the conclusion that you are dumber than a box of pop flares and are obviously talking out your a-s because your mouth knows better. Our Marines from MCRD San Diego did not do anything different than the Marines who graduated from PI. We are excellent shots, we are great with a Ka-bar, we are proud, and we are members of the Corps having earned the title. So bite me.

P.S. I was worried Sgt Grit would not print this but he went to MCRD San Diego too.

Best Regards

SSgt D J Huntsinger
Very proud graduate of MCRD San Diego


50 Years Ago Walks In Your Door

Story Image George Erl and I (on left in both photos) were inseparable in Marine Corps radio school at MCRD San Diego in 1965. We went to different units in Vietnam right after this picture taken in Danang in 1966. We didn't see each other again for 50 years until he walked into our restaurant last Thursday with an old photograph in his hand and asked the hostess, "Where's Hite?" I guarantee that we won't lose touch with each other again!

S/Sgt M. Hite
RVN 66-67, 69-70


Lost And Found

Photo of David's 4th cousin in Vietnam Charlie Company. 3rd Marines Quang Tri 1968

I'm not a Marine grunt, but an Army grunt finishing up 20 years, but bumped into Marine Infantrymen in Iraq off and on doing the same door to door operations in Baghdad as we were doing.

I've searched the internet and left messages at respective web sites trying to find out more information about my 4th cousin, whom I never knew. He was killed by fratricide in the Quang Tri Province, Vietnam December 8th, 1968. Jerry Lynn Owens. Born May 1st, 1948.

Most of the family never knew that he was killed by friendly fire until the internet came out and I was searching for info. "Misadventure" as they called it. Just another bull sh-t word. But one of his battle buddies left the attached photo on one of the sites. Most of the family that knew Jerry do not remember which one in the photo he is. The other family members are dead or do not reply. In 2002, I spoke with Jerry's brother's wife. Our family is so spread out, no one had photos to share. Just trying to track down some photo to put a name to a face, so no one in the family will forget. Some of whom have already forgotten. Thanks.

Civilian email: david.hickman53[at]gmail.com

VR,

SFC Hickman, David
G3 Training, Exercise Branch
1 Rock Island Arsenal
Rock Island, IL 61299-8100

Office: 309-782-9933
Cell: 309-297-1847


In 1960 Richard W. Henderson from Hammond, IN and I joined the Marine Corp together. After boot camp we went in different directions. I believe he went into communications or sea duty. I have tried everything I can think of and cannot locate him, I even checked the Vietnam Wall on the computer and could not find him listed there, thank goodness.

This year we are having our 55th High School Class Reunion the end of August, probably our last, and still no one can locate him.

Thank you,
L/CPL Marvin L. Gillim, Jr
1908xxx, 1960 thru 1963 active duty


Short Rounds

On one of our last runs on P.I., the heavy asked if anyone could call cadence and one or two recruits jumped out. Sgt. Bob Cavanaugh
Plt. 2057 summer of 1987


I remember the Ribbon Creek Incident. I was a recruit platoon 27 4th Bn when the incident happen. I graduated recruit training on 14 April 1956. If I can remember correctly our drill instructors had us in formation counting bodies. The Commandant at the time was General Randolph McCall Pate.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


Chatanooga Marine Funeral
Footage of Lance Cpl. Skip Wells' funeral procession.


I did not read the article from 1stSgt Herb Brewer but I do know that the 4th Marines did not set foot on US soil in 1965. A battalion of 4th Marines was surrendered at Wake Island during WWII by a naval officer and was not permitted to be on US soil for a long time. In 1965 the 4th Marines were among the first to land in Vietnam. Before that, their Regt was based on Okinawa. They acquitted themselves during the Vietnam War and eventually their Colors were allowed to come back to California.

The Magnificent Bastards.
Jim Stelling 1stSgt of Marines-Retired.


Army Officer Sums Up What Makes Marines Different


ENLISTED PILOTS: 1962, I think, 1st Amtracs, Kaneohe, Hawaii. First Sgt. Winters became our new First. He had been a pilot and became too old to fly. I’m not sure if he was a jet jockey but I am sure he drove F4U’s because he had a model of one on his desk. He was the best Top I ever had, a true gentleman. A couple of months later an article in Leatherneck Magazine told about him and the other enlisted pilots that time that now had to fly a desk. The end of a legend.

CPL. Selders


Quotes

"Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism."
--George Washington (1796)


"A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country."
--Tex Guinan


"So long as our Corps fields such Marines, America has nothing to fear from tyrants, be they Fascists, Communists or Tyrants with Medieval Ideology. For we serve in a Corps with no institutional confusion about our purpose: To fight! To fight well!"
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival."


"There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."
--Winston Churchill


"Now this award can never be mine – And because we are members of the same tribe, every one of you knows what I will say next... For I am grateful & humbled to be singled out with you tonight."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


Standing by to stand by

Let no man's ghost say if they had only done their job

"Lean Green Fighting Machine"

God Bless the American Dream!
Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 30 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• My Nightmare
• Nature Vs. Nuture
• Flying Peons

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Platoon 107 PI March 1969 - submitted by Tom Flynn

Grit,

Platoon 104 PI March 1969. Thanks to Gunny Davis, Ssgt Richardson, and Sgt. Englade. I took my Plt. Book and checked out the names from Boot Camp.
at VirtualWall.org. Glad to say we all made it through.

Semper Fi

Tom Flynn
Cpl. USMC 1969-1970
RVN 1970-1971.

Note: I did this about 10 years ago. We had 75 graduate. I found 8 names on The Wall. Another two possible, that is, names like Charles Smith are hard to verify.

Sgt Grit


Limited Time Under Armour Specials


Saddest Night

In 1968-69 we had a MgSgt. flying out of DaNang, his name was Robert Michael Lurie Sr. His son, Capt. R.M. Lurie Jr. was a Huey pilot with HML-167. Every once in a while, Bob Jr. would go over to DaNang, climb into the C-47 (spooky gunship) and fly co-pilot for his dad and once in a while the MgSgt would come over to Marble Mt., climb into the Huey and fly co-pilot for his son. Since he was a rated pilot with more hours and more combat time than anyone in the group, the MgSgt had a standing invitation to the O Club. The quietest evening I ever experienced in the club was when young Bob was killed and Sr. Came to collect his son and take him home. You could have heard a pin drop. The saddest night of my tour!

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.


My Nightmare

I had a bad dream. No. A nightmare. One of those times when you are so glad to wake up and realize where you are in the here and now. I was so glad it brought tears to my eyes. A first for me.

Haven’t we all wished we could start over? Haven’t we all wished we could suddenly find ourselves at our high school graduation, or some such youthful moment, and know everything we know now? Everybody has. My dream made that real. So sad. So tragic.

I dreamed I never joined our Marine Corps. I dreamed I went to school, got a job, somehow got out of the draft, and led a life of pretty women and fast cars. My wisdom allowed me to become successful, rich even. But I didn’t have the Corps.

Would it be the same to have all the wisdom and experience I achieved in those brief four years and not actually having done it? My dream made me realize not. My best friends, my brothers, wouldn’t know me at all. I wouldn’t be part of their lives, part of their struggles, part of their grieving. I wouldn’t be part of their memories of liberty in so many places, so many outrageous shared moments.But in my dream they weren’t shared anymore. In my dream I read about them in the newspapers, in magazines. I was an outsider. Shared experiences are what make up life. In my dream I was nobody. In my dream I had a house and a family (Where did MY family disappear to? I’ve lost them forever! They never were!) but they didn’t understand at all my insights on sacrifice, horror or fidelity.

I woke up very happy. My life is as good as it gets. You guys were with me when my life really started and have been with me ever since. Those four years were the beginning of my rich life.

I feel like buying you a beer.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe


Proud Marine

Dr. Kinders holding his customized USMC sign from Sgt Grit I wanted to share a photo with you. Dr. Kinders is the UCO Vice President for Public Relations, as well as the adviser for Central Veterans, and just received his Doctor of Education degree. He was very happy with the name plaque we got from your company. Thank you to your staff for customizing it for us!

Thank you,
Aviva
University of Central Oklahoma


In The Rear With The Gear

Sgt Grit,

Despite all the hoopla about the absence of support troops to be found in the "poseur" ranks there were so many of us there could have been an extra grunt regiment formed. I served from 6/1/65 to 1/22/69 starting with Platoon 244 MCRD SD (anyone out there remember DIs Sgts Smith and Brasher and Cpl Goddard?), and ending with 1st Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command at Red Beach, or Camp Books for the formally inclined, Da Nang.

My last duty tour started with a big shock. From 12/24/67 to March 20 something I was with the First MPs in the city of Da Nang. I was trained in supply at Camp Lejeune and did not know anything about MP duty. That's the Corps for you. There was no better or safer duty for a Marine in RVN, at least so we thought until TET. Da Nang City and its environs got a bit testy in that little uproar but not really too bad. All my combat arms buddies get a big salute for that particular time.

My MOS, however, is/was 3041, company or battalion level supply man and I eventually, in March '68, was sent out to FLC to help supply the field Marines. By then the TET offensive had slacked off and despite Walter Cronkite we all know who came out on top. Usually, Camp Books was the place for an easy tour. A few incoming 82 mm mortars and 122 mm rockets disturbed the peace occasionally but it was generally pretty tame. We patrolled and guarded our perimeter and that of Ammunition Supply Point Two and took a little small arms fire from the occasional hidden pot shooter. Just enough to keep a person interested in his surroundings. There were also a few incidents when we got incoming small arms fire from a nearby SeaBee compound but we always forgave them as they were quick to allow us in their chow line and sometimes would even share their whiskey with us. Hell, they were almost Marines as far as we were concerned.

So, all of that is just to say that everyone in Nam was not a field Marine but those who were not are also very proud of our time and I, for one, am upfront about my MOS as I firmly believe all real Marines are.

Semper Fi
Warren Sikes
208XXXX

Cpl of Marines


2nd Recon Battalion Unit Items


My Old Addled Mind

Grit,

The story in the 23JUL15 Newsletter from David Singleton got my attention. A maggot leading a run and calling cadence? Permitted by a Marine Drill Instructor? Because his voice was very loud and he could make up stuff as they ran? Really? Is this the kind of thing that happened at MCRD SD? If so, I can understand why PI has a far more respected reputation as a recruit depot. But somehow, my old addled mind refuses to allow me to accept that such an incident occurred. In my humble opinion, no proud, professional or self-respecting USMC Drill Instructor would or could allow something like this to occur. And all of them were proud, professional and self-respecting.

Gerry Zanzalari
220....
Cpl. Of Marines
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969

Note: Hmmmm........"far more respected reputation". I might throw that comment in with your questioning the cadence by a recruit.

Sgt Grit
MCRD SD
3rd Bn, Plt 3021
1968


Great Pilot

Regarding this Marine finding out that the pilot his aircraft was an enlisted man, I, too, knew another fine pilot. In 1955 I was stationed at MCAS El Toro and assigned to H&MS-33. At that time some of us could collect partial flight pay if we flew a minimum of hours within a quarter. We had some F9Fs, a TV-2, an RD-3, an RD-4, and a couple of Ad Skyrays. I had flown in the AD-4na several times but my favorite was the AD-5. On several occasions I had the chance to fly from El Toro to NAS Sand Point in Seattle. My uncle Roy was a retired USMC Colonel and lived in Belleview which was close to Sand Point. Our pilot was M/Sgt Woodring and my NCOIC, Gy/Sgt Tom Maiberger flew in the right seat while a S/Sgt from supply, who's name I can't remember, and I flew in the rear compartment.

We were all enlisted Marines and all wore flight suits which showed no rank. We flew from El Toro to McClellan AFB to refuel. The Air Force had no enlisted flight crews so they assumed that we all were officers. A staff car would pull up and ask if we cared to go to the officers club and wait. We sure as he-- didn't mention that we were all enlisted. From there we flew to Larson AFB in Washington and received the same treatment. Next stop was NAS Sand Point outside od Seattle. Sgt Woodring has a sister there and Sgt Maiberger liked the sister and I had my aunt and uncle there and the Sgt from supply just liked the liberty there.

We left El Toro on Friday and left Sand Point on Sunday. I was usually the last one to report to the plane for the return flight to El Toro. Every time I got there I found the other 3 sucking on their oxygen masks to get their heads clear for the return flight. We were quite a crew and M/sgt Woodring was one heck of a great pilot.

Sid Gerling
Sgt of Marines
1406---


Operation Silver Lance, Coffee And A Sweet Roll

Hello Sgt Grit;

I've been reading about Operation Silver lance in past and current issues of the newsletter. I was involved Silver Lance from the execution of planning until the after action reports.

In 1964 I was transferred into the First Marine Division Embarkation section. We were the planners for the movement, loading and supervision of the complete operation from the states. In all of the orders I saw the change of orders for the Fourth Marines from Hawaii was almost a last minute decision by FMF Pac and higher command.

We did detailed planning during December of 1964 and January 1965. Once orders were issued to load troops and cargo, I helped supervise the loading in San Diego and Del Mar. I don't remember the exact number of ships and troops involved but it included units from Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms, El Toro, Sea Bees and Force Recon.

During the operation I was stationed at the command ship directing all cargo and troops to the beach keeping track of every unit and load bound for the beach.

While the landing was going on, General Fairborne's tent and equipment didn't make it to the beach and I was dispatched in a Captian's Gig to locate the load. After many hours in the wet, dark night, moving from one circling landing crafts and LCUs to another, I finally located the general's cargo and directed it to the beach. After the operation was over, the general wanted to know who located his gear and I got a personal thank you from him with a cup of coffee and a sweet roll.

As to the embarkation of the Seventh Marines, I was also involved in the planning and loading of the Regiment for deployment to Okinawa and points West. It was a quick plan and move starting In April of 1965 and lasting about two weeks. It went very quickly and without a hitch. I'm not familiar with what happened to them after they left Camp Pendleton except that the majority of them landed in Okinawa.

During the rest of the summer after orders were issued to move the Division to Okinawa, Division Embark worked practically day and night to plan, move and load the Division for the displacement to Okinawa. The last of the Division left towards the end of August 1965 from San Diego. If I remember correctly the Seventh Marines were the first to leave in April, the Fifth Marines early summer and the First Marines and Division Headquarters and other supporting units at the end of August.

I was the last man on the pier that night and made the long walk from the Northmost pier all the way South to our operation office. It was about 2AM and the walk is a mile. I don't know how remember how many ships were involved but every pier was full. It was eerily quiet except for ship noises and smells and I remember thinking about what would start taking place when reveille at 5AM when the ships would awaken and prepare to get underway. These Marines aboard were embarking on the adventure of their life.

A few days later on Labor Day in September of 1965, I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and left with eleven other members of Division Embark under Major Roy Moss aboard a Marine Corps C130 for a 4 day trip to Okinawa to greet the Division and oversee the unloading, staging and redeployment to Viet Nam.

I was literally involved from day one until everything was concluded in Viet Nam with the whole operation. It took approximately 16 months from the beginning of silver Lance to move everything from stateside to Viet Nam. I left Viet Nam on October 30 1965 and made it home on Halloween, One day short of 14 months since I left the states, but that's another story.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC (Ret)
1954-1978


ANGLICO

Larry Wolf. Well I didn’t remember your name this morning when I read your response in Sgt Grits newsletter but after I thought about it for a few hours I remembered an article I’ve saved over the years. It’s amazing on how our memories work. After reading the Newsletter I was out for my morning walk and thought that one of the pictures in an article, 72 ANGLICO Marines Take “Big Step Into Nothing” Weekly has a picture of a LCpl Larry Wolf in it. Got home, pulled it out and there you are. The article was in the “Globe”, Friday, October 10, 1969. You are sitting with Cpl Dan Sumeracki, chutes on, waiting for the 46 to pick up a load. For some reason a puppy was there. Yes I remember the “Swoop Circle” very well. It was a honor to be a part of ANGLICO. Semper Fi

Ken VanHooser
USMC, 68-71


Nature vs Nurture

America's SgtMaj's sword wielding father during a parade at Marine Corps Barracks Vallejo, CA. Circa 1973-74.

As a wee lad my father would often bring me to his office when he was SgtMaj of the Marine Barracks in Vallejo, California. I mostly remember there was a soft serve ice cream machine somewhere in the building and a footlocker full of toy trains my dad’s predecessor had left behind in the office.

Morning colors was a daily event with an entire formation rendering honors. I always stood next to my dad on the steps of the headquarters building mimicking everything I saw the Marines doing. Here I was, a three or four year old kid responding to the commands: “Parade rest! Atten-hut! Hand salute! Order Arms!”

One morning I realized I wasn’t a Marine and must look silly doing all that parade deck stuff. So I just stood there while the Marines went through their morning ritual. Then I heard my dad’s voice softly rumble like very distant thunder: “What the %&#$ do you think you’re doing?” Instantly I was all snap and pop again.

It has been said when it comes to nature vs nurture, it is apparent that I was groomed for what I have become. Interestingly, all my dad’s Marines used to refer to me as the ‘next SgtMaj’ all the time. Like jungle cats grooming a cub, they’d growl asking when I was going to join up.

One day dad sat me down and very seriously said: “You know you don’t have to be a Marine right?” I responded that I understood and didn’t really want to be a Marine when I grew up. From then on I was adamant I wasn’t ever going to join, right up until about a week before I walked into the recruiting office.

Dang it, I guess it’s in the blood.

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Silver Lance

Tnx to 1stSgt Brewer for the info about Operation Silver Lance. That was probably the operation that the SgtMaj had confused with Operation Steel Pike. Not all of us have 'fading memories'. I can still remember most of what happened during the several tours that I spent in-country like it was only last month. I didn't arrive in RVN until later that year, and was assigned to 3rd Marines in the western TAOR -- near Hill 362, just a little west of the Da Son ville (Grit should remember that one). I found my info referencing 3/9 setting up security for Chu Lai on 6 May 1965 using a Wikipedia link. I tried to access the May 1965 command chronology for 3/9, but it comes up blank -- April and June are listed, but for some reason, May is blank. The Wikipedia source indicates that "units" from 3/9, and not the entire battalion moved into Chu Lai to secure the area, a day ahead of the 3rd MEB landing on 7 May 1965. The bulk of 3/9 still had the responsibility for the Da Nang airstrip at the time.

"On 6 May units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States) (3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Lai_Base_Area

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


Phonies

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Ron Mandell’s post “Sincerest Type of Flattery”, I can understand Ron’s thought that Posers and fakes and wanna-be’s can’t actually steal any veteran’s valor, and I do agree with that, however, for me it’s not so much the act of stealing one’s valor as it is the act of lying and pretending to be something that they are not and in the case of Marine posers, a title that we earned and love. Stealing and lying at any level is at the very least dishonest and shameful, but to lie about being a veteran and a highly decorated one at that is to me, one of the highest levels of despicability. I get pissed when I read of a phony airman, soldier, sailor and or coastguardsman wearing uniforms and ribbons and spewing bullsh!t stories and posturing all around town trying to impress people, but when I read of a poser turd claiming to be a Marine, it just lights me up with anger to higher level. Once or twice a week I will get on the internet and read the “Stolen Valor” stories and watch the videos and honestly, after I get over being pissed I even laugh a bit at some of these fvck-nuts because they are so mentally screwed up and it’s so obvious they are fakes. They are only making an a-s of themselves, I reason to myself, and all too often even non-veterans can tell they are fakes and posers, but it just strikes a nerve no matter how trivial their actions are perceived to be.

A few weeks ago I watched a video of a guy in a bar who was a dead ringer for a young, albeit fat Hitler, who was claiming to be a colonel and an Air National Guard pilot and he had all sorts of patches and badges on his fatigues. He puffed up when he asked the guy filming him if he knew what the patches represented. The veteran who confronted him and filmed him knew immediately that the dork was a fake and he was probably both laughing and shaking with anger as he listened to this goober’s bullsh!t stories. It’s obvious that the dork was fairly well educated on the military in general to be able to smoothly tell his bullsh!t history as well as he did, despite the fact that anyone with an ounce of common sense listening to him would be able to tell he was a wimpy bullsh!tter, but I know for sure that I could not have kept my composure for as long as the vet who filmed the whole thing. This guy was probably a lifetime loser who had been beaten up weekly as a kid and had his lunch money taken away and now he could hide behind some bullsh-t military stories and feel like the hero that he was unable to truly be. Why can’t these a-sholes just join the military if you want to be in uniform? As a kid I wanted to be railroad locomotive engineer and even today I still wish that I could have done that job, but I don’t walk around the mall in blue and white pinstripe Carhardt coveralls and coat with a red bandana tied around my neck. Be proud of who you are and what you are. But then too, I do realize that people who do this sh-t have serious mental issues.

Because I do not know the army and air guard regulations I could not have challenged this particular jerk on his patches, but if that jerk-wad had been claiming to be a Marine, all I would need to oust him would be to ask him five or six questions and I probably would have embarrassed him. I realize that these sick individuals are all over the place and there is little that can be done to them legally unless they break the Stolen Valor law and someone pushes the issue, but I applaud and highly encourage anyone who actively goes after these a-sholes. I have only personally been confronted by two individuals who lied about being Marines. One is a person I used to work with and getting tangled up in that could have caused unnecessary problems at work and the other a-swipe was a guy who walked up to me in a mall when he saw my Marine cover and claimed to be “Force Recon”. I asked him a few questions and when it became obvious that he was a fake my wife grabbed my arm and pulled me away. Even she could tell the guy was lying. I would not have allowed it to get physical, but I would have verbally embarrassed him more than what I did before my wife pulled me away. I honestly believe this problem is becoming far more widespread than many of us realize. No one is being physically hurt by these nefarious individuals, but why should they be allowed to tell these blatant lies when we are confronted by them and when they are the ones who put themselves out there with their bullsh-t? To anyone who actively goes after these people, I personally thank you!

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


Flying Peons

In response to Marine Robert Bliss question posted in the 16 July Grit Newsletter concerning enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps. Yes the Corps had enlisted pilots and in early 1958 I had the privilege of flying with an all enlisted flight crew from Hawaii to El Toro.

This was back before the Corps had solidified its Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept of ground, air and logistics under a single commander. In fact, in the Pacific at least, there was a separate Command Structure and Headquarters for Marine Aviation – Air, FMFPac headquartered at El Toro.

After an interesting assignment to some mystical far-eastern sites in Japan and Okinawa, a group of us were being transported back to CONUS. As luck (or good fortune) would have it we were booked on the personal aircraft of the Commanding General, Air FMFPac. As I remember the aircraft was a VIP configured R5D (AKA C54 or civilian DC-4) with several booth-like tables (good for some poker games) as well as some very comfortable commercial-like seating.

But the most interesting feature of the flight was the crew – pilot and co-pilot were Master Sergeants. On their flight jackets they had Master Sergeant Insignia with the words “Flying Peons” inscribed in the middle of the insignia. I seem to remember a Chief Warrant Officer as part of the crew perhaps as Flight Engineer or some other position. As a young Sergeant, this was truly a great experience that few got to enjoy - A very professional flight crew and an amazingly comfortable aircraft for those days; no fold-down web seating and sharing the space with a bunch of cargo.

The last enlisted pilots (Flying Peons) in the Marine Corps retired in February 1973. For more on enlisted Naval Aviation Pilots visit: http://bluejacket.com/nap_index.htm

Marine Palmer Brown
156..../091392


MP and CID Research

The story I am working on presently concerns the investigation of a murder in Swann County, NC (fictional) of a recently released convict. The investigator is an ex-Marine, either CID or MP, and is also called onto the Marine base when two helicopters collide in a training mission and a FIM92 Stinger missile launcher and several missiles go missing at the crash site. The two cases, the murder and missile theft, are related, and solving one solves the other.

In researching the MOS of Marine MPs and CID agents, I find there is little on the web of any detailed nature. I am reading "Warrior Police," by Colonel Cucullu and Chris Fontana, which deals with army MPs, and it's a start. And of course, I have read "One Bullet Away," several on the Battles of Fallujah, one and two, and have ordered "Generation Kill" and others. But the daily life and duties of a Marine MP/CID soldier are somehow nowhere to be found. So what I really want is to speak with any Marine(s) who served as an MPs or CID agent in Iraq or Afghanistan. I would, of course, if permitted, fully credit any such source in the book's acknowledgements.

And, of course, if you have any idea of what further reading I could do, I would be most grateful for the direction.

Best regards, and thanks again for your time,

Tim Garvin
tvgarvin[at]gmail.com
919-451-4637


United States Marine

The United States Marine Corps is a war machine born on the splintered wooden decks of 18th Century British Men 'O War amid shot and shell and mangled spare parts.

We formed our emblem with vengeance. We tamed the eagle, nature's consummate predator. For strength of resolve, we heaved the ship's iron anchor, its rope fouled and tangled amid burning, grimy gunwales. Then we overran our perimeter, captured our domain and temporarily borrowed the globe from god.

Our brand of white hot fire and brimstone has been seared into the psyche of friend and foe during 240 years of romping, stomping, death-before-dishonor gut-wrenching glory.

We are occasionally uncouth, always rough, rugged amphibians; monsters from the sea; warriors cast in steel, blood, guts and muscle, eager to smite our nation's enemy.

We are the finest of fighters. Our left fist offers repentance, the right bloody riotousness. We overcome fear as we advance toward the enemy with fire that scorches our eyes and death embedded in our souls.

While others have knocked on Valhalla's door, Marines have kicked it in, charged through it and conquered what lay beyond.

With an allegiance to our Corps of "Semper Fidelis," and our ethos to America, "Corps, Honor, Country," we set sail under bright stars on waves of foamy seas for the freedom of all.

We live worse than soldiers, talk like sailors, scorn airmen and slap the hell out of all three at will. We strut like peacocks, salty, self-centered and overbearing.

Warriors by day, lovers by night, drunkards by choice, assassins by trade.

We are Marines by god!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

1775 - 2015
M. N. Snitz
Copyright TX, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 2006. Revised 2015


Going Back

Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv Here's a little trivia for you, and for what it's worth -- on one of my earlier trips back to Vietnam a few years ago (just made #12 this past Feb), I hired a driver through the concierge desk at the Furama Resort on China Beach...The driver had grown up in the Da Nang area, and was a former NVA/PAVN soldier c. 1979-1982!

He told me that he had spent most of his time fighting in the war in Cambodia. I wanted to take a short afternoon tour of some of my old stomping grounds from my earlier days with 3rd Marines on my first tour, before the regiment pulled out of Da Nang, and moved up to Camp Carroll in the fall of '66. On the way out, we passed through the old Dog Patch cluster, and saw that the old beer can shacks have all been replaced with mostly cinder block buildings. Then, as we passed what used to be the Hill 327 PX, which is now a rock quarry, on what used to be one of the most traveled roads in the Da Nang area years ago, the road turned into not much more than a washed out trail.

There is almost nothing left that would indicate our presence during the days of the "American War", however as we approached what used to be the old division headquarters on Hill 510, which is also another rock quarry, I spotted the old red and gold "Camp Reasoner" CP sign, still standing somewhat, along the right side of the road where Recon Bn used to be located. I remember that the sign had been erected when the CP belonged to 3rd Recon, before we all moved up north to the DMZ in the fall of '66 -- during the tail end of Operation Hastings, and the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st Recon then took over the Da Nang Recon CP until 1st MarDiv pulled out in mid-1971. Then we drove out past the old 11th Marines CP,out to Da Son ville, and then turned left up through the pass near Hill 362, and out to the BaNa mountains, where they're building a new 36 hole golf course, just north of the old Happy Valley area...This area used to be part of 2/3's TAOR before they moved down to Dai Loc in the spring of '66.

BaNa used to be an old French resort during the old French-Indochina days, and was later used as a mountain-top radio relay site and rest stop for 1st and 3rd Recon patrols during the 60's. Not much left of the old French resort nowadays, but the Vietnamese have built a tram to the top of the mountain, and several resort hotels on the hillsides. At almost 5000 feet, it provides a terrific viewpoint...A friend of mine from Chula Vista, Tom Addis, works for IMG golf course design. Tom is the golf course site supervisor and course sculptor for the new mountain course project at BaNa...During his 14 years in SEA, Tom has done numerous world class golf courses in Vietnam, including the Montgomerie Links GC at China Beach (part of which is the old ROK Marine CP area), and the beautiful Vinpearl course in Nha Trang.

Here's a couple of current pix of Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv-- then 1st MarDiv headquarters area at Hill 510 for ya -- other two were taken during a 'pit stop' at the Red Beach Resort with my driver.

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


Rise of the Valiant

Bob Zimmerman holding his award for winning Feature Documentary

The 2015 Major Norman Hatch Award has been awarded to filmmaker Bob Zimmerman, of Tuscola IL, for his documentary Rise of the Valiant. Each year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilians from around the nation, recognizing their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history. Zimmerman’s film won for Feature Documentary. The 2015 awards were presented during a special ceremony National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 25, 2015

Photo of the Rise of the Valiant DVD cover The story is told by veterans of the 6th Marine Division who relive their experiences during World War Two, from they time of their enlistment in the Marine Corps to coming back home after the war. However, the primary focus of the film is their experience at the Battle of Okinawa, which claimed the lives of 250,000 people during the 82-day battle. Their combined interviews provide a fascinating and moving portrait of the battle. The interviews are supplemented with war footage and photographs from the National Archives, the Marine Corp History Division, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and personal collections.

Bill Sloan, the author of the book The Ultimate Battle, provides commentary regarding the historical context of the experiences of the Marines. Eric Sizemore, a voice actor from Champaign, Illinois, provides the narration.

Rise of the Valiant and Bob Zimmerman’s first film Out of Nowhere, a documentary about the Champaign music scene are available locally at Exile on Main and That’s Rentertainment in Champaign, IL. The films are also available on Amazon by clicking on the link at www.razfilms.com.


Short Rounds

In 1967 I served at MCAS Beaufort with MGySgt JJ Quinn, an enlisted pilot who flew C-47. He had retired and worked for the FAA for several years before he volunteered to go active and flew C-47's dropping flares out of Chu Lai in 1966. MGySgt Quinn was a fine gentleman. Many times I watched him telling stories to young Lieutenants and Captains and he had them all spellbound. These officers treated him like the hero he was and showed him a great deal of respect.

Ron Briggs
Sgt 1965-1969
1st MAW DaNang 1968-1968


Was mp in downtown Jacksonvile section shortly after that happened...picked up two boots hitching on road back to base and conversation got around to the 'Tragedy" they both said Mckeon was great di and good man. No one knew there was a problem till they got back to quarters and discovered people missing. All that illustration crap about screaming is exactly that, at least that's what two of the guys there said.

Sgt Don Wackerly
53-56 Jacksonville MP's 1956


I may have missed something or got something wrong. I think 1st SGT Herb Brewer said 1965 was the 1st time the 4th Marines had set foot on US soil since WWII. I think I finished T&R about June 1953. When I reported to Camp Pendleton, I could have sworn that I was assigned to 1st Batt 4th Marines, Weapons co. 81 mortars. Then transferred to Anglico, 1/4. When the 3rd Div headed for Korea I was in Anglico, FSCC Sig Co Hq Bn 3rd Mar Div and as most know the truce was signed while we were in route, so we ended up in Camp Gifu Japan. But someone correct me if I’m wrong about 4th Marines.

Doran Cooper Sgt.
53-56 1377...


There is a new book on the market called Remembering Douglas Eugene Dickey USMC. It is about a young Marine who is a Medal of Honor Marine for heroism in Vietnam, it tells of family background, the courageous act in battle, the company and platoon, and the battles they fought in. It is a book every Marine should read. I am proud to say I was a member of his platoon. I think this would be a great book for you to carry. It is available at Barnes and Noble and also Amazon. It was published June 20th 2015. Thank you for listening.

Jerry Idziak
USMC Retired
Semper Fi


Attention James V.Merl

D.I. S/Sgt. McKeon

The book: Court-Martial At Parris Island, The Ribbon Creek Incident
Written by John C Stevens 111
Available on Amazon plus/minus $ 15.00

I read somewhere that his son was a D.I. also.

Semper Fi
Bill McDermott
180....


Quotes

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
--George Washington, General Orders, 1776


"I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


The Eagle S**t Once A Month!

Don't get pissed, REENLIST! Ship for six!

Fair winds and following seas.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 30 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 JUL 2015

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• My Nightmare
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• Flying Peons

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Grit,

Platoon 104 PI March 1969. Thanks to Gunny Davis, Ssgt Richardson, and Sgt. Englade. I took my Plt. Book and checked out the names from Boot Camp.
at VirtualWall.org. Glad to say we all made it through.

Semper Fi

Tom Flynn
Cpl. USMC 1969-1970
RVN 1970-1971.

Note: I did this about 10 years ago. We had 75 graduate. I found 8 names on The Wall. Another two possible, that is, names like Charles Smith are hard to verify.

Sgt Grit


Saddest Night

In 1968-69 we had a MgSgt. flying out of DaNang, his name was Robert Michael Lurie Sr. His son, Capt. R.M. Lurie Jr. was a Huey pilot with HML-167. Every once in a while, Bob Jr. would go over to DaNang, climb into the C-47 (spooky gunship) and fly co-pilot for his dad and once in a while the MgSgt would come over to Marble Mt., climb into the Huey and fly co-pilot for his son. Since he was a rated pilot with more hours and more combat time than anyone in the group, the MgSgt had a standing invitation to the O Club. The quietest evening I ever experienced in the club was when young Bob was killed and Sr. Came to collect his son and take him home. You could have heard a pin drop. The saddest night of my tour!

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.


My Nightmare

I had a bad dream. No. A nightmare. One of those times when you are so glad to wake up and realize where you are in the here and now. I was so glad it brought tears to my eyes. A first for me.

Haven’t we all wished we could start over? Haven’t we all wished we could suddenly find ourselves at our high school graduation, or some such youthful moment, and know everything we know now? Everybody has. My dream made that real. So sad. So tragic.

I dreamed I never joined our Marine Corps. I dreamed I went to school, got a job, somehow got out of the draft, and led a life of pretty women and fast cars. My wisdom allowed me to become successful, rich even. But I didn’t have the Corps.

Would it be the same to have all the wisdom and experience I achieved in those brief four years and not actually having done it? My dream made me realize not. My best friends, my brothers, wouldn’t know me at all. I wouldn’t be part of their lives, part of their struggles, part of their grieving. I wouldn’t be part of their memories of liberty in so many places, so many outrageous shared moments.But in my dream they weren’t shared anymore. In my dream I read about them in the newspapers, in magazines. I was an outsider. Shared experiences are what make up life. In my dream I was nobody. In my dream I had a house and a family (Where did MY family disappear to? I’ve lost them forever! They never were!) but they didn’t understand at all my insights on sacrifice, horror or fidelity.

I woke up very happy. My life is as good as it gets. You guys were with me when my life really started and have been with me ever since. Those four years were the beginning of my rich life.

I feel like buying you a beer.

Semper Fidelis,
Joe


Proud Marine

I wanted to share a photo with you. Dr. Kinders is the UCO Vice President for Public Relations, as well as the adviser for Central Veterans, and just received his Doctor of Education degree. He was very happy with the name plaque we got from your company. Thank you to your staff for customizing it for us!

Thank you,
Aviva
University of Central Oklahoma


In The Rear With The Gear

Sgt Grit,

Despite all the hoopla about the absence of support troops to be found in the "poseur" ranks there were so many of us there could have been an extra grunt regiment formed. I served from 6/1/65 to 1/22/69 starting with Platoon 244 MCRD SD (anyone out there remember DIs Sgts Smith and Brasher and Cpl Goddard?), and ending with 1st Force Service Regiment, Force Logistics Command at Red Beach, or Camp Books for the formally inclined, Da Nang.

My last duty tour started with a big shock. From 12/24/67 to March 20 something I was with the First MPs in the city of Da Nang. I was trained in supply at Camp Lejeune and did not know anything about MP duty. That's the Corps for you. There was no better or safer duty for a Marine in RVN, at least so we thought until TET. Da Nang City and its environs got a bit testy in that little uproar but not really too bad. All my combat arms buddies get a big salute for that particular time.

My MOS, however, is/was 3041, company or battalion level supply man and I eventually, in March '68, was sent out to FLC to help supply the field Marines. By then the TET offensive had slacked off and despite Walter Cronkite we all know who came out on top. Usually, Camp Books was the place for an easy tour. A few incoming 82 mm mortars and 122 mm rockets disturbed the peace occasionally but it was generally pretty tame. We patrolled and guarded our perimeter and that of Ammunition Supply Point Two and took a little small arms fire from the occasional hidden pot shooter. Just enough to keep a person interested in his surroundings. There were also a few incidents when we got incoming small arms fire from a nearby SeaBee compound but we always forgave them as they were quick to allow us in their chow line and sometimes would even share their whiskey with us. Hell, they were almost Marines as far as we were concerned.

So, all of that is just to say that everyone in Nam was not a field Marine but those who were not are also very proud of our time and I, for one, am upfront about my MOS as I firmly believe all real Marines are.

Semper Fi
Warren Sikes
208XXXX

Cpl of Marines


My Old Addled Mind

Grit,

The story in the 23JUL15 Newsletter from David Singleton got my attention. A maggot leading a run and calling cadence? Permitted by a Marine Drill Instructor? Because his voice was very loud and he could make up stuff as they ran? Really? Is this the kind of thing that happened at MCRD SD? If so, I can understand why PI has a far more respected reputation as a recruit depot. But somehow, my old addled mind refuses to allow me to accept that such an incident occurred. In my humble opinion, no proud, professional or self-respecting USMC Drill Instructor would or could allow something like this to occur. And all of them were proud, professional and self-respecting.

Gerry Zanzalari
220....
Cpl. Of Marines
1966 - 1970
RVN 1968 - 1969

Note: Hmmmm........"far more respected reputation". I might throw that comment in with your questioning the cadence by a recruit.

Sgt Grit
MCRD SD
3rd Bn, Plt 3021
1968


Great Pilot

Regarding this Marine finding out that the pilot his aircraft was an enlisted man, I, too, knew another fine pilot. In 1955 I was stationed at MCAS El Toro and assigned to H&MS-33. At that time some of us could collect partial flight pay if we flew a minimum of hours within a quarter. We had some F9Fs, a TV-2, an RD-3, an RD-4, and a couple of Ad Skyrays. I had flown in the AD-4na several times but my favorite was the AD-5. On several occasions I had the chance to fly from El Toro to NAS Sand Point in Seattle. My uncle Roy was a retired USMC Colonel and lived in Belleview which was close to Sand Point. Our pilot was M/Sgt Woodring and my NCOIC, Gy/Sgt Tom Maiberger flew in the right seat while a S/Sgt from supply, who's name I can't remember, and I flew in the rear compartment.

We were all enlisted Marines and all wore flight suits which showed no rank. We flew from El Toro to McClellan AFB to refuel. The Air Force had no enlisted flight crews so they assumed that we all were officers. A staff car would pull up and ask if we cared to go to the officers club and wait. We sure as he-- didn't mention that we were all enlisted. From there we flew to Larson AFB in Washington and received the same treatment. Next stop was NAS Sand Point outside od Seattle. Sgt Woodring has a sister there and Sgt Maiberger liked the sister and I had my aunt and uncle there and the Sgt from supply just liked the liberty there.

We left El Toro on Friday and left Sand Point on Sunday. I was usually the last one to report to the plane for the return flight to El Toro. Every time I got there I found the other 3 sucking on their oxygen masks to get their heads clear for the return flight. We were quite a crew and M/sgt Woodring was one heck of a great pilot.

Sid Gerling
Sgt of Marines
1406---


Operation Silver Lance, Coffee And A Sweet Roll

Hello Sgt Grit;

I've been reading about Operation Silver lance in past and current issues of the newsletter. I was involved Silver Lance from the execution of planning until the after action reports.

In 1964 I was transferred into the First Marine Division Embarkation section. We were the planners for the movement, loading and supervision of the complete operation from the states. In all of the orders I saw the change of orders for the Fourth Marines from Hawaii was almost a last minute decision by FMF Pac and higher command.

We did detailed planning during December of 1964 and January 1965. Once orders were issued to load troops and cargo, I helped supervise the loading in San Diego and Del Mar. I don't remember the exact number of ships and troops involved but it included units from Camp Pendleton, 29 Palms, El Toro, Sea Bees and Force Recon.

During the operation I was stationed at the command ship directing all cargo and troops to the beach keeping track of every unit and load bound for the beach.

While the landing was going on, General Fairborne's tent and equipment didn't make it to the beach and I was dispatched in a Captian's Gig to locate the load. After many hours in the wet, dark night, moving from one circling landing crafts and LCUs to another, I finally located the general's cargo and directed it to the beach. After the operation was over, the general wanted to know who located his gear and I got a personal thank you from him with a cup of coffee and a sweet roll.

As to the embarkation of the Seventh Marines, I was also involved in the planning and loading of the Regiment for deployment to Okinawa and points West. It was a quick plan and move starting In April of 1965 and lasting about two weeks. It went very quickly and without a hitch. I'm not familiar with what happened to them after they left Camp Pendleton except that the majority of them landed in Okinawa.

During the rest of the summer after orders were issued to move the Division to Okinawa, Division Embark worked practically day and night to plan, move and load the Division for the displacement to Okinawa. The last of the Division left towards the end of August 1965 from San Diego. If I remember correctly the Seventh Marines were the first to leave in April, the Fifth Marines early summer and the First Marines and Division Headquarters and other supporting units at the end of August.

I was the last man on the pier that night and made the long walk from the Northmost pier all the way South to our operation office. It was about 2AM and the walk is a mile. I don't know how remember how many ships were involved but every pier was full. It was eerily quiet except for ship noises and smells and I remember thinking about what would start taking place when reveille at 5AM when the ships would awaken and prepare to get underway. These Marines aboard were embarking on the adventure of their life.

A few days later on Labor Day in September of 1965, I kissed my wife and kids goodbye and left with eleven other members of Division Embark under Major Roy Moss aboard a Marine Corps C130 for a 4 day trip to Okinawa to greet the Division and oversee the unloading, staging and redeployment to Viet Nam.

I was literally involved from day one until everything was concluded in Viet Nam with the whole operation. It took approximately 16 months from the beginning of silver Lance to move everything from stateside to Viet Nam. I left Viet Nam on October 30 1965 and made it home on Halloween, One day short of 14 months since I left the states, but that's another story.

Jerry R. Hattox
GySgt USMC (Ret)
1954-1978


ANGLICO

Larry Wolf. Well I didn’t remember your name this morning when I read your response in Sgt Grits newsletter but after I thought about it for a few hours I remembered an article I’ve saved over the years. It’s amazing on how our memories work. After reading the Newsletter I was out for my morning walk and thought that one of the pictures in an article, 72 ANGLICO Marines Take “Big Step Into Nothing” Weekly has a picture of a LCpl Larry Wolf in it. Got home, pulled it out and there you are. The article was in the “Globe”, Friday, October 10, 1969. You are sitting with Cpl Dan Sumeracki, chutes on, waiting for the 46 to pick up a load. For some reason a puppy was there. Yes I remember the “Swoop Circle” very well. It was a honor to be a part of ANGLICO. Semper Fi

Ken VanHooser
USMC, 68-71


Nature vs Nurture

As a wee lad my father would often bring me to his office when he was SgtMaj of the Marine Barracks in Vallejo, California. I mostly remember there was a soft serve ice cream machine somewhere in the building and a footlocker full of toy trains my dad’s predecessor had left behind in the office.

Morning colors was a daily event with an entire formation rendering honors. I always stood next to my dad on the steps of the headquarters building mimicking everything I saw the Marines doing. Here I was, a three or four year old kid responding to the commands: “Parade rest! Atten-hut! Hand salute! Order Arms!”

One morning I realized I wasn’t a Marine and must look silly doing all that parade deck stuff. So I just stood there while the Marines went through their morning ritual. Then I heard my dad’s voice softly rumble like very distant thunder: “What the %&#$ do you think you’re doing?” Instantly I was all snap and pop again.

It has been said when it comes to nature vs nurture, it is apparent that I was groomed for what I have become. Interestingly, all my dad’s Marines used to refer to me as the ‘next SgtMaj’ all the time. Like jungle cats grooming a cub, they’d growl asking when I was going to join up.

One day dad sat me down and very seriously said: “You know you don’t have to be a Marine right?” I responded that I understood and didn’t really want to be a Marine when I grew up. From then on I was adamant I wasn’t ever going to join, right up until about a week before I walked into the recruiting office.

Dang it, I guess it’s in the blood.

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Silver Lance

Tnx to 1stSgt Brewer for the info about Operation Silver Lance. That was probably the operation that the SgtMaj had confused with Operation Steel Pike. Not all of us have 'fading memories'. I can still remember most of what happened during the several tours that I spent in-country like it was only last month. I didn't arrive in RVN until later that year, and was assigned to 3rd Marines in the western TAOR -- near Hill 362, just a little west of the Da Son ville (Grit should remember that one). I found my info referencing 3/9 setting up security for Chu Lai on 6 May 1965 using a Wikipedia link. I tried to access the May 1965 command chronology for 3/9, but it comes up blank -- April and June are listed, but for some reason, May is blank. The Wikipedia source indicates that "units" from 3/9, and not the entire battalion moved into Chu Lai to secure the area, a day ahead of the 3rd MEB landing on 7 May 1965. The bulk of 3/9 still had the responsibility for the Da Nang airstrip at the time.

"On 6 May units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States) (3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chu_Lai_Base_Area

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


Phonies

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Ron Mandell’s post “Sincerest Type of Flattery”, I can understand Ron’s thought that Posers and fakes and wanna-be’s can’t actually steal any veteran’s valor, and I do agree with that, however, for me it’s not so much the act of stealing one’s valor as it is the act of lying and pretending to be something that they are not and in the case of Marine posers, a title that we earned and love. Stealing and lying at any level is at the very least dishonest and shameful, but to lie about being a veteran and a highly decorated one at that is to me, one of the highest levels of despicability. I get pissed when I read of a phony airman, soldier, sailor and or coastguardsman wearing uniforms and ribbons and spewing bullsh!t stories and posturing all around town trying to impress people, but when I read of a poser turd claiming to be a Marine, it just lights me up with anger to higher level. Once or twice a week I will get on the internet and read the “Stolen Valor” stories and watch the videos and honestly, after I get over being pissed I even laugh a bit at some of these fvck-nuts because they are so mentally screwed up and it’s so obvious they are fakes. They are only making an a-s of themselves, I reason to myself, and all too often even non-veterans can tell they are fakes and posers, but it just strikes a nerve no matter how trivial their actions are perceived to be.

A few weeks ago I watched a video of a guy in a bar who was a dead ringer for a young, albeit fat Hitler, who was claiming to be a colonel and an Air National Guard pilot and he had all sorts of patches and badges on his fatigues. He puffed up when he asked the guy filming him if he knew what the patches represented. The veteran who confronted him and filmed him knew immediately that the dork was a fake and he was probably both laughing and shaking with anger as he listened to this goober’s bullsh!t stories. It’s obvious that the dork was fairly well educated on the military in general to be able to smoothly tell his bullsh!t history as well as he did, despite the fact that anyone with an ounce of common sense listening to him would be able to tell he was a wimpy bullsh!tter, but I know for sure that I could not have kept my composure for as long as the vet who filmed the whole thing. This guy was probably a lifetime loser who had been beaten up weekly as a kid and had his lunch money taken away and now he could hide behind some bullsh-t military stories and feel like the hero that he was unable to truly be. Why can’t these a-sholes just join the military if you want to be in uniform? As a kid I wanted to be railroad locomotive engineer and even today I still wish that I could have done that job, but I don’t walk around the mall in blue and white pinstripe Carhardt coveralls and coat with a red bandana tied around my neck. Be proud of who you are and what you are. But then too, I do realize that people who do this sh-t have serious mental issues.

Because I do not know the army and air guard regulations I could not have challenged this particular jerk on his patches, but if that jerk-wad had been claiming to be a Marine, all I would need to oust him would be to ask him five or six questions and I probably would have embarrassed him. I realize that these sick individuals are all over the place and there is little that can be done to them legally unless they break the Stolen Valor law and someone pushes the issue, but I applaud and highly encourage anyone who actively goes after these a-sholes. I have only personally been confronted by two individuals who lied about being Marines. One is a person I used to work with and getting tangled up in that could have caused unnecessary problems at work and the other a-swipe was a guy who walked up to me in a mall when he saw my Marine cover and claimed to be “Force Recon”. I asked him a few questions and when it became obvious that he was a fake my wife grabbed my arm and pulled me away. Even she could tell the guy was lying. I would not have allowed it to get physical, but I would have verbally embarrassed him more than what I did before my wife pulled me away. I honestly believe this problem is becoming far more widespread than many of us realize. No one is being physically hurt by these nefarious individuals, but why should they be allowed to tell these blatant lies when we are confronted by them and when they are the ones who put themselves out there with their bullsh-t? To anyone who actively goes after these people, I personally thank you!

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


Flying Peons

In response to Marine Robert Bliss question posted in the 16 July Grit Newsletter concerning enlisted pilots in the Marine Corps. Yes the Corps had enlisted pilots and in early 1958 I had the privilege of flying with an all enlisted flight crew from Hawaii to El Toro.

This was back before the Corps had solidified its Marine Air-Ground Task Force concept of ground, air and logistics under a single commander. In fact, in the Pacific at least, there was a separate Command Structure and Headquarters for Marine Aviation – Air, FMFPac headquartered at El Toro.

After an interesting assignment to some mystical far-eastern sites in Japan and Okinawa, a group of us were being transported back to CONUS. As luck (or good fortune) would have it we were booked on the personal aircraft of the Commanding General, Air FMFPac. As I remember the aircraft was a VIP configured R5D (AKA C54 or civilian DC-4) with several booth-like tables (good for some poker games) as well as some very comfortable commercial-like seating.

But the most interesting feature of the flight was the crew – pilot and co-pilot were Master Sergeants. On their flight jackets they had Master Sergeant Insignia with the words “Flying Peons” inscribed in the middle of the insignia. I seem to remember a Chief Warrant Officer as part of the crew perhaps as Flight Engineer or some other position. As a young Sergeant, this was truly a great experience that few got to enjoy - A very professional flight crew and an amazingly comfortable aircraft for those days; no fold-down web seating and sharing the space with a bunch of cargo.

The last enlisted pilots (Flying Peons) in the Marine Corps retired in February 1973. For more on enlisted Naval Aviation Pilots visit: http://bluejacket.com/nap_index.htm

Marine Palmer Brown
156..../091392


MP and CID Research

The story I am working on presently concerns the investigation of a murder in Swann County, NC (fictional) of a recently released convict. The investigator is an ex-Marine, either CID or MP, and is also called onto the Marine base when two helicopters collide in a training mission and a FIM92 Stinger missile launcher and several missiles go missing at the crash site. The two cases, the murder and missile theft, are related, and solving one solves the other.

In researching the MOS of Marine MPs and CID agents, I find there is little on the web of any detailed nature. I am reading "Warrior Police," by Colonel Cucullu and Chris Fontana, which deals with army MPs, and it's a start. And of course, I have read "One Bullet Away," several on the Battles of Fallujah, one and two, and have ordered "Generation Kill" and others. But the daily life and duties of a Marine MP/CID soldier are somehow nowhere to be found. So what I really want is to speak with any Marine(s) who served as an MPs or CID agent in Iraq or Afghanistan. I would, of course, if permitted, fully credit any such source in the book's acknowledgements.

And, of course, if you have any idea of what further reading I could do, I would be most grateful for the direction.

Best regards, and thanks again for your time,

Tim Garvin
tvgarvin[at]gmail.com
919-451-4637


United States Marine

The United States Marine Corps is a war machine born on the splintered wooden decks of 18th Century British Men 'O War amid shot and shell and mangled spare parts.

We formed our emblem with vengeance. We tamed the eagle, nature's consummate predator. For strength of resolve, we heaved the ship's iron anchor, its rope fouled and tangled amid burning, grimy gunwales. Then we overran our perimeter, captured our domain and temporarily borrowed the globe from god.

Our brand of white hot fire and brimstone has been seared into the psyche of friend and foe during 240 years of romping, stomping, death-before-dishonor gut-wrenching glory.

We are occasionally uncouth, always rough, rugged amphibians; monsters from the sea; warriors cast in steel, blood, guts and muscle, eager to smite our nation's enemy.

We are the finest of fighters. Our left fist offers repentance, the right bloody riotousness. We overcome fear as we advance toward the enemy with fire that scorches our eyes and death embedded in our souls.

While others have knocked on Valhalla's door, Marines have kicked it in, charged through it and conquered what lay beyond.

With an allegiance to our Corps of "Semper Fidelis," and our ethos to America, "Corps, Honor, Country," we set sail under bright stars on waves of foamy seas for the freedom of all.

We live worse than soldiers, talk like sailors, scorn airmen and slap the hell out of all three at will. We strut like peacocks, salty, self-centered and overbearing.

Warriors by day, lovers by night, drunkards by choice, assassins by trade.

We are Marines by god!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AMERICA!

1775 - 2015
M. N. Snitz
Copyright TX, United States Copyright Office, Library of Congress
Washington, D.C. 2006. Revised 2015


Going Back

Here's a little trivia for you, and for what it's worth -- on one of my earlier trips back to Vietnam a few years ago (just made #12 this past Feb), I hired a driver through the concierge desk at the Furama Resort on China Beach...The driver had grown up in the Da Nang area, and was a former NVA/PAVN soldier c. 1979-1982!

He told me that he had spent most of his time fighting in the war in Cambodia. I wanted to take a short afternoon tour of some of my old stomping grounds from my earlier days with 3rd Marines on my first tour, before the regiment pulled out of Da Nang, and moved up to Camp Carroll in the fall of '66. On the way out, we passed through the old Dog Patch cluster, and saw that the old beer can shacks have all been replaced with mostly cinder block buildings. Then, as we passed what used to be the Hill 327 PX, which is now a rock quarry, on what used to be one of the most traveled roads in the Da Nang area years ago, the road turned into not much more than a washed out trail.

There is almost nothing left that would indicate our presence during the days of the "American War", however as we approached what used to be the old division headquarters on Hill 510, which is also another rock quarry, I spotted the old red and gold "Camp Reasoner" CP sign, still standing somewhat, along the right side of the road where Recon Bn used to be located. I remember that the sign had been erected when the CP belonged to 3rd Recon, before we all moved up north to the DMZ in the fall of '66 -- during the tail end of Operation Hastings, and the beginning of Operation Prairie I. 1st Recon then took over the Da Nang Recon CP until 1st MarDiv pulled out in mid-1971. Then we drove out past the old 11th Marines CP,out to Da Son ville, and then turned left up through the pass near Hill 362, and out to the BaNa mountains, where they're building a new 36 hole golf course, just north of the old Happy Valley area...This area used to be part of 2/3's TAOR before they moved down to Dai Loc in the spring of '66.

BaNa used to be an old French resort during the old French-Indochina days, and was later used as a mountain-top radio relay site and rest stop for 1st and 3rd Recon patrols during the 60's. Not much left of the old French resort nowadays, but the Vietnamese have built a tram to the top of the mountain, and several resort hotels on the hillsides. At almost 5000 feet, it provides a terrific viewpoint...A friend of mine from Chula Vista, Tom Addis, works for IMG golf course design. Tom is the golf course site supervisor and course sculptor for the new mountain course project at BaNa...During his 14 years in SEA, Tom has done numerous world class golf courses in Vietnam, including the Montgomerie Links GC at China Beach (part of which is the old ROK Marine CP area), and the beautiful Vinpearl course in Nha Trang.

Here's a couple of current pix of Freedom Hill (Hill 327) and the 3rd MarDiv-- then 1st MarDiv headquarters area at Hill 510 for ya -- other two were taken during a 'pit stop' at the Red Beach Resort with my driver.

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


Rise of the Valiant

The 2015 Major Norman Hatch Award has been awarded to filmmaker Bob Zimmerman, of Tuscola IL, for his documentary Rise of the Valiant. Each year, the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation presents a series of awards to both Marines and civilians from around the nation, recognizing their exemplary work in advancing and preserving Marine Corps history. Zimmerman’s film won for Feature Documentary. The 2015 awards were presented during a special ceremony National Museum of the Marine Corps on April 25, 2015

The story is told by veterans of the 6th Marine Division who relive their experiences during World War Two, from they time of their enlistment in the Marine Corps to coming back home after the war. However, the primary focus of the film is their experience at the Battle of Okinawa, which claimed the lives of 250,000 people during the 82-day battle. Their combined interviews provide a fascinating and moving portrait of the battle. The interviews are supplemented with war footage and photographs from the National Archives, the Marine Corp History Division, the National Museum of the Pacific War, and personal collections.

Bill Sloan, the author of the book The Ultimate Battle, provides commentary regarding the historical context of the experiences of the Marines. Eric Sizemore, a voice actor from Champaign, Illinois, provides the narration.

Rise of the Valiant and Bob Zimmerman’s first film Out of Nowhere, a documentary about the Champaign music scene are available locally at Exile on Main and That’s Rentertainment in Champaign, IL. The films are also available on Amazon by clicking on the link at www.razfilms.com.


Short Rounds

In 1967 I served at MCAS Beaufort with MGySgt JJ Quinn, an enlisted pilot who flew C-47. He had retired and worked for the FAA for several years before he volunteered to go active and flew C-47's dropping flares out of Chu Lai in 1966. MGySgt Quinn was a fine gentleman. Many times I watched him telling stories to young Lieutenants and Captains and he had them all spellbound. These officers treated him like the hero he was and showed him a great deal of respect.

Ron Briggs
Sgt 1965-1969
1st MAW DaNang 1968-1968


Was mp in downtown Jacksonvile section shortly after that happened...picked up two boots hitching on road back to base and conversation got around to the 'Tragedy" they both said Mckeon was great di and good man. No one knew there was a problem till they got back to quarters and discovered people missing. All that illustration crap about screaming is exactly that, at least that's what two of the guys there said.

Sgt Don Wackerly
53-56 Jacksonville MP's 1956


I may have missed something or got something wrong. I think 1st SGT Herb Brewer said 1965 was the 1st time the 4th Marines had set foot on US soil since WWII. I think I finished T&R about June 1953. When I reported to Camp Pendleton, I could have sworn that I was assigned to 1st Batt 4th Marines, Weapons co. 81 mortars. Then transferred to Anglico, 1/4. When the 3rd Div headed for Korea I was in Anglico, FSCC Sig Co Hq Bn 3rd Mar Div and as most know the truce was signed while we were in route, so we ended up in Camp Gifu Japan. But someone correct me if I’m wrong about 4th Marines.

Doran Cooper Sgt.
53-56 1377...


There is a new book on the market called Remembering Douglas Eugene Dickey USMC. It is about a young Marine who is a Medal of Honor Marine for heroism in Vietnam, it tells of family background, the courageous act in battle, the company and platoon, and the battles they fought in. It is a book every Marine should read. I am proud to say I was a member of his platoon. I think this would be a great book for you to carry. It is available at Barnes and Noble and also Amazon. It was published June 20th 2015. Thank you for listening.

Jerry Idziak
USMC Retired
Semper Fi


Attention James V.Merl

D.I. S/Sgt. McKeon

The book: Court-Martial At Parris Island, The Ribbon Creek Incident
Written by John C Stevens 111
Available on Amazon plus/minus $ 15.00

I read somewhere that his son was a D.I. also.

Semper Fi
Bill McDermott
180....


Quotes

"We have therefore to resolve to conquer or die: Our won Country's Honor, all call upon us for vigorous and manly exertion, and if we now shamefully fail, we shall become infamous to the whole world. Let us therefore rely upon the goodness of the Cause, and the aid of the supreme Being, in whose hands Victory is, to animate and encourage us to great and noble Actions."
--George Washington, General Orders, 1776


"I like the enemy knowing there are a few guys like me around."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


The Eagle S**t Once A Month!

Don't get pissed, REENLIST! Ship for six!

Fair winds and following seas.

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

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My office in the house "cave" is completely filled with memorabilia so my Wife has set up a 2nd office in the garage.

As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

Here is one of the popular Marine Corps quotes that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page this past week. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

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


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

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Newsletter Archives

Photo of PFC Berg's wall covered in USMC posters, signs, and more.

My office in the house "cave" is completely filled with memorabilia so my Wife has set up a 2nd office in the garage.

As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Tough Old Marine Mug


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Sgt Grit 1/2 Unit Gear


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

A Marine should be sworn to the patient endurance of hardships, live the ancient knights...

Here is one of the popular Marine Corps quotes that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page this past week. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

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


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 16 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 16 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• Smiling Drill Instructor
• Hard Lessons From My Old Man
• I Did My Job

Online Store TShirts Men's Headgear Patches Women's

Flags   Family Member   Ka-Bars   Auto   Headgear  Jackets  ALL CATEGORIES  

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Eagle, Globe, and Anchor with USMC Iron-on TransferEagle, Globe, and Anchor with USMC Iron-on Transfer


Pain Is Weakness Performance Training T-shirtPain Is Weakness Performance Training T-shirt


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Cpl Greg Coats and SSgt Codi Tanksley

Let me start this story by saying, I know each of these warriors well. I consider both to be great friends. Pictured is Cpl Greg Coats and SSgt Codi Tanksley. I could write a book on these two Marines, but I will keep my observation short this time. Both of these Marines were in the store at the same time this past week. These Marines both served during the Iraq War and served heroically at that. I made sure that these two met when they were in. I felt the need to bring these brothers together.

Greg was doing some pictures for our catalog and he had come over to find a lighter to get some of the IPs off the shirt. That was when I introduced them. What I witnessed then was just short of tears for me. Immediately proceeding the handshake and introduction, one Marine was helping the other Marine burn IPs off his clothing as if they had been best friends forever. I knew at that moment I should get a pic, but of course, the moment passed. They spent the next hour laughing and reminiscing of their service and I looked on with immense joy.

This is what Marines are all about. They are brothers. 'Nuff Said.

Semper Fidelis
Kristy Fomin
C.O.O. Sgt Grit Call Center
(Marine Wife)


Smiling Drill Instructor

Plt 1001 MCRD PI 1980

Reading some of the funny boot camp stories reminds me of the night our DI SSgt. DeSisto yelled, "Out of the head!". The reply, "Out of the head, aye-aye sir!".

We all come racing through that hatch like ants to a picnic. I was near the end with one hand holding a towel around my waist and the other holding my shaving kit. When my wet shower shoes hit the concrete on the quarter deck my ankles went to the sky and my back to the floor right in front of the DI. He went from his usual scowl to a full on, burst out laugh. He immediately turned and walked into the duty hut slamming the door behind him. You could hear him in there just busting a gut laughing. I can't help but smile thinking about it 35 years later.

Jeff Strayer


New USMC Canes


Hard Lessons From My Old Man

America's SgtMaj's dad in Vietnam

After I graduated high school I spent the summer in unrepentant sloth. Graduation parties, bonfires on the beach, and the consumption of alcohol led to many late nights and even later mornings. I hadn't gotten a job nor had I registered for college. Why would any 18 year old when he was having so much fun, right?

Early one morning in late July my father entered my room. He announced his presence by nearly splintering the door off its hinges, which was impressive because it was already open. This was followed by a sonic boom that in my memory sounded like: "What the h-ll are you doing?"

My father was a child of the Great Depression who had joined the Marine Corps in 1947. He'd served for 33 years fighting in both Korea and Vietnam on multiple tours. He had been a machine gunner, a sniper, and a Reconnaissance Marine. Among his hobbies as a young jarhead were boxing, jiu jitsu, and All Marine Judo competitions. On his time off he got into brawls in local bars because he thought it was fun. When he held his out hands, each finger went off in a different direction as he'd broken them all on someone's face at one time or another. His nose had been broken so many times a doctor once exclaimed: "How in the world do you breath through that thing?"

This was the figure who suddenly filled my door frame vibrating with rage. He had watched me stagnantly p-ss away my summer and was about to inform me this joyous era of my life was coming to an abrupt close. There was a cadence to his speech not unlike an artillery battery firing.

The walls vibrated as he loudly pointed out I had no job, was not registered for school, and had no prospects to speak of. With disgust he noted I had become physically soft. Prior to graduation I had run track at school as well as karate, and weight lifting on my own time. Since graduation I had not so much as stepped outside while the sun was up. He announced that I would have a job within 30 days or he would throw me out into the street.

"It'll break your mother's heart but I'll do it!" He stormed away leaving the doorframe scorched and smoking behind him.

Still being a teenager, I was naturally outraged at my father for threatening to throw me out of MY home and forcing me to be a productive citizen. What a d-ck.

The month of August ticked away. I hardly saw or spoke to my dad that month, seeking to avoid him as much as possible. On the night of August 30 my parents were in their bedroom and my father was agonizing about what he was about to do to his son.

"Honey, I don't want to but he's going to make me kick him out," he confided to my mother.

"Why?" she asked him.

"It's the end of the month and he hasn't gotten a job!"

"What do you mean? He's been working for weeks now." I'd started working at a print shop sometime in mid August, I simply hadn't told him. Take that dad.

"MIKE! YOU SON OF A B-TCH!" He stomped down the hallway to the kitchen where I was.

"YOU WERE GOING TO LET ME SWEAT IT OUT!" Grinning and scowling at the same time, he was simultaneously ticked off, relieved, and impressed. We talked about my new job and he explained that as long as I had a job or was going to school I would always have a place to stay in his house. There would be no deadbeats under my father's roof.

Thanks for the lesson dad, I think it stuck.

Semper Fidelis!

America's SgtMaj
worldsfinest[at]americassgtmaj.com


Sgt Grit 2/9 Unit Gear


No Vietnam Service Medal

2/9 Koh Tang Veterans, who did NOT receive the Viet Nam Service Medal and Viet Nam Campaign Medal, what a travesty! How can anyone say that these Marines and associated units (Navy, Army, Air Force) who served with them and backed them up are not eligible?

I was with the 11th Navy Seabees, Two tours Northern I-CORP with the 3rd Marines. For my action with the Marines, I received the Viet Nam Service Medal with FMF insignia and Silver Star attachment, The Viet Nam Campaign Medal and above all the Combat Action Ribbon! While not at An Hoa, I was at Khe Sahn, Cam Lo, My Chang Bridge, The Rock Pile, Dong Ha, Quang Tri and I am a TET '68 Survivor! Operation Dye Marker in the DMZ.

By the way just for your edification, one of my Brother Seabees in '65 was awarded Posthumously, the MOH for saving a Marine Fire Team pinned down by the NVA. Maybe some of you have heard of CN Marvin Shields U.S.N. Seabee Team 1106.

Along side my Brothers in the Brothers in the Corps, I wouldn't have wanted to be any where else! I am always proud to say to a Marine "SEMPER FI" "WELCOME HOME"!

Ron Pariseau, PO3C
11th U.S.Navy Seabees
1967-1969


Enlisted Pilot

I was talking to my neighbor about his grandfather who served 31 years in the Corps. He enlisted in or around 1930. He explained that he has a picture of his grandfather with E-5 stripes on his shirt standing next to his fighter plane. They called them "peons flyers". His grandfather didn't get a field commission until he was the only one to came back to his carrier out of the whole squadron. Up to that time, he was a wing-man for a Lt. and was at Peal Harbor on Dec. 07, 1941, fought over the "canal". My neighbor tells me that he has some pictures of his grandfather as an enlisted Marine standing next to his plane. If he allows me to make a copy of them, I'll try to put them in the next news letter.

Is there any of you "Hard Corps" Marines around that might remember when the enlisted men flew with the officers? Or is this person, who had to join the army because those who can't get in the Marines will have somewhere to go, just pulling my leg (as they would say)?

Semper Fi. my friends,
Robert Bliss
MOS: 0341 - and proud to be a grunt!


Isn't Life Amusing

Sgt Grit,

I spent 6 years serving in the United States Marine Corps and was honorably discharged in Jan of 1973. During the 42 years since my discharge, my occupation has involved a LOT of travel - repeated visits to 46 of our 50 states and visits to 37 foreign countries. Having driven and flown millions of miles during those 42 years, I have chanced to meet thousands and thousands of people along the way. Unfortunately some of those people were Marine "posers" and others were just plain Vietnam Veteran "posers". I have lost count of the number of posers I encountered, so I don't know exactly how many were pretending to be "Marine Snipers" or "Force Recon Marines". However none of them ever claimed to have been in Motor T, Supply or HQ office personnel. All of the pseudo - Vietnam "veterans" however claimed to be either Marines or SEALs or "Special Forces " or were "in Recon", or the Green Berets, "were Snipers" or were in "Black Ops - Special Ops - Wet Work" with TOP SECRET CLEARANCES. Give me a break! A few well chosen questions exposed every d-mn one of them as frauds. I find it very humorous that 40 years ago, we Vietnam veterans were considered 'Persona Non Gratta' because we stepped up and served our country during an unpopular war, yet 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then now want to claim they were part of us. Isn't life amusing sometimes? However to my authentic fellow Marines and my fellow Vietnam vets, thank YOU for YOUR service and Welcome Home! You were a Vietnam Vet before it became popular.

Semper Fi,
Captain Jinx


Col. William Barber

I was reading the Sunday paper on July 5, 2015 when a picture caught my attention. It was a picture of Col. William Barber, who was the Regimental C.O. when I served with Fox Co. 2/2 in the 2nd. Mar. Div. at Camp Lejeune from 1968 to 1969. The story was about his home town, West Liberty, Morgan Country, Kentucky; honoring him (and rightly so!) with a bronze statue. The statue shows him as a Captain during the Korean War in the battle of Toktong Pass with Fox Co. Col. Barber received the Medal of Honor and a bullet lodged in his pelvis for that action. Fox Co. kept the pass open which allowed those at "Chosin" to escape from a much larger force of Chinese. Col. Barber had a company of 240 Marine take position at the pass against a force of 1400 Chinese. After 14 days and nights, 80 Marines left their position after the last of the American forces made it through. The plaque on the statue credits Col. Barber with telling his men "We will hold and we're going to pay for it". That my friends is a Marine and courage!

Col Barber retired from active duty in 1970 and passed away in 2008. If there is anyone who wants to learn more about this battle then please read "The Last Detail of Fox Company". It is truly an excellent book to read. Anyone who would like to read the story and see the photos and video of the statue need to go to Kentucky.Com and pull up the article from July 5, 2015.


Old Alma Mater

My trip was short and sweet. I recently revisited "our" old alma mater - the University of MCRD, San Diego campus. I graduated there just over 59 years ago. Coincidentally, I was there on a Thursday, the day before graduation. I guess a lot of the guys got time off to visit with those who came to their graduation.

I visited the Marine Corps museum while I was there, where I ran into a lot of new Marines with their families - the museum happens to be next door to the receiving barracks where I arrived, 24 January 1956. It is housed in a similar building - architecturally - to the receiving barracks. As I walked the museum I got a sense of Deja vu. I could see myself in the haircut line, receiving a cover that was too big for me (never wore a cap before then), then downstairs receiving my "bucket issue" (do they still do that? I forgot to ask), the sweatshirt, and most of all using Brasso (never heard of the stuff) on all the window latches and door hardware, what seemed like all night (just till lights out, anyway).

Now for the real story of my trip. I met and spoke with several of these new Marines and their families. If you have been out of the Corps for a while you need to revisit the place if you still have a heart for the Corps. These young sharply dressed, evenly tanned, young men with their slender, fit and hardened bodies, will make you even more proud. Not only proud for yourself but proud for them. God, I was so proud of these guys - hey Marines don't cry... do they? Someone pass me a tissue. Sad to think they have to go out into harms way against the unconditional warfare that we see today. The politicians need to visit these young guys on a regular basis just keep in touch with reality, for when they have to make their decisions as to when and where to send this men, oh so young and eager to do right by their country.

Jerry's visit to MCRD San Diego

At the museum with my bride of 58 years.

As you can see I haven't strayed too far from the mess hall.

Through the years my mother lost track of the year book I received with all the dates and pics from boot camp, and I cannot recall my unit. Arrived 24 Jan. 1956 and graduated near the end of April. Drill instructor was GSgt Costello. Best I can recall my platoon 215, 219, 315, or 319 - can't seem to narrow it down any closer than that. I asked if they had any information about this in the museum archives and the answer was, not that far back! D-mn, am I that old?

If anyone recognizes any of my info, I would appreciate some direction. An do, visit the Museum. They are continuing to improve it.

Gotta love that San Diego weather!

Jerry Wilson
1956 - 1959 (3 year active duty enlistment, 3 year reserves)


I Simply Said

My Father-In-Law was a WW-II vet and his kids, including my wife, were always told never to ask their dad about his service during the war.

In 1998 he was dying from cancer and wanted someone to drive him to New Jersey to visit his elder sister. Of course I volunteered. On the way there we passed the exit to Fort Indian Town Gap and he told me that he was stationed there before he was sent overseas. I asked, "What did you do in the service?" He said that he was a Tech Sgt in the quartermaster corps and was sent to the Pacific and, was involved in the invasion of Okinawa. There is more but I'll move on. 22 Apr. 1999 he died.

The day after, my wife and her two brothers were sitting around the kitchen table trying to write his obit. and, they knew only that he was in the Army. I spoke up and told them what I knew.

My wife looked up at me and asked how I new all of that. I simply said, "I asked him."

Semper Fi| Snakefighter


Same Time, Same Place

This past 4th of July weekend, I was on vacation with my wife, and my oldest daughter, and my 7yr old granddaughter. We were enjoying a Beach Boys tribute concert, and during the bands break my granddaughter wanted some ice cream, so my daughter and I took her to get some. As we were returning, a man about my age, 66 yrs, was watching us, and as we approached, he stood and said "Semper Fi". I returned the greeting, and as he was wearing a Marine Corps cap, I asked when he was in, '67-'70, me too '66-'70. Was he in 'Nam? When, with who? '68-'70, 3/26. When I heard that, I said "no sh-t"! I was there too, '68-'69 with Hq 26th marines. We began talking, and the years fell away. We were remembering things that happened 45-46 yrs ago, as though it were last week. Sometimes I can't remember things that happened last week! My daughter and granddaughter returned to their seats with my wife, and when she asked what happened to me, my daughter said I was talking to a fellow Marine. My wife said I would be gone awhile, because I had found another Marine, and our stories always took some time.

We talked for about 20 min, and about that time, the concert was starting again, so we said our goodbyes, wished each other well, "Semper Fi" and returned to our seats. Once again we were in the same place, same time.

"Semper Fi"
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


July 8th, 1957

How many have the same story. Graduate HS on a Sunday, enlisted Monday morning at the Marine recruiting office. Three weeks later left Whitehall street NYC by train for MCRD PI. Seventeen years old still wet behind the ears. Platoon 198. You grow up real fast. Spent three years, met great people, and completed my military active service as a United States Marine before my twenty first birthday. To this day when people hear that you're a Marine, they know your someone special. My active time 1957-60, the world was a quiet place. I only wish it was like that now. To all you on active duty now, keep up the good work and we know you'll do us proud.

Semper Fi
Charlie May
164xxxx
Marine Detachment USS Randolph CVA15


Steel Pike

I'm not sure what operation the SgtMaj was on at the time he departed Hawaii with the 1st Marine Brigade for Okinawa, and then on to Chu Lai, Vietnam; but it wasn't Steel Pike... I happened to be at Camp Gieger (CLNC) awaiting air transportation to San Diego and Camp Pendleton with a west coast draft during that period, and I remember those times well... Operation Steel Pike took place in the late fall - October and November of 1964, on the coast of Spain, and was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in history, conducted by the US Navy and Marine Corps... The operation involved 84 naval ships and 28,000 Marines of the 2nd MarDiv out of Camp Lejeune, and was commanded by Vice Admiral John S. McCain, Jr.

As to the landing at Chu Lai, according the 4th Marine Regt command chronology report, "RLT-4 Headquarters and BLT's 1/4, 2/4 embarked aboard assigned shipping during period 27-29 April, and sailed for Chu Lai, Vietnam. Commencing on D-Day, 7 May, RLT-4 off-loaded at Chu Lai, Viet Nam"... However, 3/9 arrived at Chu Lai from Da Nang to secure the area on 6 May 1965 - the day before RLT-4 landed.

"On 6 May 1965 units from the ARVN 2nd Division and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines secured the Chu Lai area. On 7 May, the 3rd Marine Expeditionary Brigade (United States)(3rd MEB), composed of the 4th Marine Regiment, 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion, elements of Marine Aircraft Group 12 (MAG-12) and Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 10 landed at Chu Lai to establish a jet-capable airfield and base area."

"Chu Lai Air Base became operational on 1 June 1965 and remained in use by Marine aviation units until September 1970."

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


Mush

Grit,

It'll be quite some time before I run out of stories. Between me and Dickerson we should write a book. He and I served together in 3/5 back in 1966.

Mush was a combat engineer. Ray Mush. His real name was Ray Maslanka, but I only discovered that a week or so after I met him. Mail call I think. He was one member of a team of engineers attached to India Company. Three or four guys.

Mush was a likable kinda guy. There were times though when he got so full of himself and had so much energy it could get under your skin, but once you got to know him, he was a star. Mush stood out from the others.

Everybody knows that combat engineers are nuts. Not just crazy, but downright scary at times. Blowin' stuff up is one of the more entertaining parts of being a Marine, but when an engineer gets the notion to blow something up it's so calculated it borders on the sinister. I wonder what selection process they went through? Their psychological profiles must be something to see.

I normally confined my own demolition activity to tossing grenades in holes or buildings. Any real cool stuff went to the engineers.

I was very impressed on Hastings when they were finally given the green light to clear a helizone in the jungle. We'd been flailing away with Ka-Bars and Filipino machetes for hours trying to clear any space at all, and when we were finally equipped with chain saws the task got only moderately quicker. Finally somebody turned the engineers loose. The explosions didn't do our nerves any good, but they did manage to blow the jungle all to h-ll. This event alone was all I needed to prove my attitude about engineers. You only had to see the looks on their faces to understand. They were in a frenzy. They didn't just blow trees down, they felt the need to launch each tree to an ever increasing height. They were considerate enough to yell "Fire in the hole!" before each blast, but more than a few times they yelled only a second or two before ignition. We actually had some minor casualties from flying wood and gravel.

Poor McGuire only wanted to hobble into the jungle a few feet to take a pee. He'd already been hit a couple of times on a couple of different occasions the day before. He had pressure bandages on two or three parts of his body. One was wrapped around his head, which is probably why he never heard the engineers yell. One of the most heartbreaking memories I have of that day was the vision of McGuire stumbling out of the bushes trying to button up his trousers with his only good hand, near tears, with a new small stream of blood on his shirt. "I can't even take a pee without getting hit!"

A month or two after we were in country I was transferred to 1/5. To mortars. Mortars was a pretty good billet. We stayed with the CP group. We didn't have to do patrols. I got a lot of sleep I wouldn't have gotten if I'd been in a rifle platoon.

In the Spring, Charlie Company was mounting up for a big operation. It took us a full day to prepare. Different units were being attached to us. FO's. Engineers. Various other communication guys. Naval gunfire and Air support. Even a liaison guy for the Koreans. Just before dawn we were all squared away and we were told to muster in a particular tent till the helos arrived. As I lifted the tent flap to enter somebody shined a flashlight right in my face. Before I could complain someone shouted from the dark.

"Jesus Christ, we've had the big green weeny this time! I know this guy, and wherever he goes, there's trouble!"

It was Mush. I recognized the voice, and his attitude and volume were unmistakable. I was happy to see him, but strangely enough I felt the same sentiments toward him. My most vivid memories of him were connected to India Company. We immediately started comparing war stories, more for the benefit of the other guys than ourselves. We were old salts and we were trying to convince anyone that would listen.

Within an hour they had us loaded on H-34s and were airborne. Twenty minutes later we landed, then spent the next week or two slogging around the countryside playing tag with the g--ks.

In the late afternoons or evenings the Company would set up a perimeter for the night. Mush would normally set in somewhere in my vicinity or I would do the same near him. We felt comfortable around each other. It's not that we were friends, but we'd had common experiences so we felt familiar. He was proud when I'd tell crazy stories about him. It didn't take long before most guys knew about Mush and his zany ways, but there was one incident that absolutely convinced everybody that he was truly scary.

On this particular day we set in early enough so we had a couple of hours of daylight left. Time enough to start fires and cook stuff. Time to dry our socks. Time to be social. Because I was in mortars I wasn't actually required to be on the perimeter so I could flop almost anywhere I wanted to. I decided to drop my pack next to some sort of hedge. A raggedy, sparse sort of hedge. About twenty feet long and no more than four feet high.

It was made up of a type of bush I'd only seen in Vietnam. Most guys remember them. This type of bush had tiny leaves lining both sides of the fronds. They were very fragile looking, but their most intriguing characteristic was that if you touched one of the fronds, they'd wilt. All the leaves on that particular branch would just sort of collapse. The first bush of this sort I'd seen really got me wondering. What sort of magic Mother Nature type of sh-t was this? A bush that withers when you touch it? This is too cool! After I'd seen my first one it was like most other things... when you've seen one, you've seen'em all. It got boring real quick. We all knew what they were and what they did. Except Mush.

I was sitting down with a can of Chicken and Noodles heating up on my C-rat stove in front of me. Mush came walking over just to shoot the breeze I'm sure, but as he approached I casually reached out and touched a branch on the hedge. It wilted. It shrunk to about half its original size. Mush stopped in his tracks. He first stared at me, then the wilted leaves, then me again. In a very low tone of voice he asked:

"How da f-ck you do that?"
"What?"
"Just now. What you did with that bush?"
"What? This?", as I touched another frond. It instantly wilted.
He stared at me like I was the devil himself. I couldn't believe he'd never seen this type of bush before. He was obviously confused.
"Sh-t Mush. You musta seen these things before. They're all over the place."

Ray reached over very slowly and touched one of the branches. Again, it drooped. He looked like he was going to jump out of his skin. He touched another, then another all with the same result.

"Howzat do that?"
"I dunno. It just does."

Everybody in the vicinity looked on as Mush turned around, walked over to his pack, took his entrenching tool out of it's case, then opened it up to the straight position. He was holding it like a baseball bat when he walked back towards me. He had the craziest look in his eye. For just a second I thought he was going to go after me with it, but as he got to the hedge he started chopping at the hedge. Violently. Faster and faster. Cutting it. Chopping it. Clubbing it. Once or twice he dropped the E tool and stooped to yank the remainder of a bush out of the ground. I picked up my noodles and got out of the way. Dirt and leaves were flying everywhere. Five or ten minutes went by. He'd gone completely looney. Eyes wide as saucers. Grunting away at the hedge. From one end to the other. He left nothing. By the time he'd completely demolished the hedge he was breathing hard and wringing with sweat.

He'd acquired an audience for the last few minutes of his frenzy, but he was oblivious to anything or anybody but the hedge. You could tell by the looks on everybody's faces he had us worried. Me most of all.

He stood still for a moment, staring at the chewed up strip of earth. Then he walked back over to his pack and just plopped down in a heap. He sat there, panting, staring at where the hedge had been.

I was into my fruit cocktail by now so I just sidled up to Mush and said, "You OK Mush? What the f-ck was that all about?" He was still staring away, but a few seconds later he looked up at me with a real dull look in his eyes and said, "I hate anything I don't understand."

Like I said before, Mush wasn't just nuts, he was scary.

Joe Holt


Not Recommended

Reading Vernon R.'s "Sad Performance" post, I can sympathize. At PI in 1966, (Platoon 3020) I weighed about 155 soaking wet and stood about 5 foot nine. In pugil sticks, I drew this waaaaay tall guy with long arms... I had to look up to see his face! He was standing there with his legs apart beating me over the head like he was chopping with an axe and I couldn't reach him. So I crawled between his legs, giving him a rap in the balls on the way. (We wore only helmets and jock straps back then). Since he was bent over holding his jewels when I reached the other side, it lowered him to my level and I beat cr-p out of HIM over the head from behind. The DI (Sgt Jones, AKA "The Good Fairy", and even smaller than me) called time and didn't say anything, but he was having trouble controlling his laughter. Obviously this is not a recommended bayonet technique, but "Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome".

S/Sgt Richard Holland
USMCR 1966-1974


Fire Mission

1/12 Bravo & Charlie Battery's Recent Viet Nam Era Reunion

After so long, the data still circles in my mind. It becomes clearer with the meeting and re-acquaintance of Marine friends past. I salute you all, every one!

In my mind I can see it, seemingly such a short while ago.

FIRE MISSION!

Coordinates...
Target...
Will Adjust, Over...

Range...
Deflection...
Site...
Quadrant...

Fire!

On the way, Over;
Roger, on the way.

Drop 100, Right 100,
FIRE FOR EFFECT!

INCOMING!

Marines manning their 105's while under fire to return fire. Our Infantry preparing for a ground assault. Humping ammo to the guns. Such Dedication, Devotion to Duty, with Marine Corps discipline and training to carry it out.

The Outright Audacity of us all, We spit fire and destruction in the enemy's face. The cost however in friends lost was high.

Once again I swell with pride. Thank You.

Richard Harvey
1/12 Battalion Fire Direction Center
April 1966 - May 1967
Da Nang, Camp Carroll, Gio Linh


This Group Gets It

My wife and I drove to D.C. over the 4th to see the parade, fireworks and visit some old friends. The parade was O.K. but, I have seen better.

One entry in the parade was a group of Vietnamese Americans. As they approached, the first thing I noticed were the men dressed in RVN uniforms of the branches of service carrying the U.S., P.O.W. & RVN flags. Next was a group carrying a huge banner that stated in bold letters "FREEDOM IS NOT FREE". My emotional bucket has been pretty much emptied out over the years but, I have to say, I teared up a little when I saw it.

This group gets it. They really get it! This did more for me than any "Welcome Home or Thank You" ever did.

This gives me more cause to say "What We Did Was NOT IN VAIN!"

SEMPER FI!
1st Mar. Div. '68
Snakefighter


I Just Did My Job

Pfc Hensley and Cpl Gonzales

Dear Sgt Grit,

Just like most Marines, I honor all Marines, especially those who served during WW2 and Korea. Recently I had the honor of meeting a Marine from the Battle of Iwo Jima, Pfc. Robert Hensley, 3rd Marine Division. As a Garland Deputy Marshal, I get the chance to meet many citizens during the week. On one occasion 3 months ago I observed a senior citizen entering the lobby of the building I am assigned to. As he got closer, walking slowly with the aid of his cane, I noticed that he was wearing a cover with the Marine Corps Emblem. So I gave him a strong "Semper Fi Marine" greeting! He stopped, straighten up and looked over at me and with a slight smile on his face he returned the greeting! And as almost all Marines do, I asked when he served and what unit he served with. He responded proudly that he is a WW2 Marine and served with the 3rd Marine Division at Iwo Jima. So he stopped next to my desk and we discussed our experiences in the Corps. As you can guess, my part of the conversion was brief and his was a bit longer and more interesting!

He is Pfc. Robert Hensley, USMC, and as he began to talk about his Marine Corps experiences and mentioned that he was at Iwo Jima. I asked him about his part in the battle for Iwo and he talked about him being in the 3rd Marine Division. Pfc Hensley said that they arrived at Iwo on the 5th day of the battle. He was a truck driver and "his Ford Truck" was loaded with ammo, so as soon as they could, they hit the beach. When they landed he said that the terrible carnage on the beach was undescrible! Upon getting on the beach he and another truck were sent to resupply a unit that was heavily engaged with the enemy. As Pfc. Hensley and a second truck arrived at the unit's supply point, he remembers how ecstatic the Marines were! They told him that he had just saved their lives because they were about to run out of ammunition and the Japanese would have overrun them! After they finished unloading the trucks, he asked one of the officers what they could do to help. The officer pointed at a pile of stretchers and told him that he and the 2nd driver should "take one of those and go out on the runway and remove the dead off of the landing strip!" They told him that the landing strip was needed to allow planes to make emergency landings!

His voice began to soften and his eyes appeared as if they were looking off into the distance as he continued "So we went out onto the strip and began picking up bodies and pieces of bodies, placing them on the stretcher. Then we would take them to the collection point next to the airfield." I could only guess at what was going on in his mind, going back to those awful scenes of war. Of body parts that had once been young warriors running toward the sounds of battle, just a short time before. His trip back to those terrible days was short one as my handshake brought back! I told him that it was an honor to be in the presence of a United States Marine, a Hero to those of us who came after him and his brothers! Pfc. Hensley was a humble Marine and replied, "I am no Hero, I just did my job!"

As we were ending our discussion, he looked over and saw a coaster with a Marine Corps Emblem on top of my counter. He said that it was a great gift and I told him that my wonderful daughter, Ashley, made it and had given it to me last Christmas! He mentioned how great it was that my daughter would make such a special gift for me and I agreed! As my new Marine brother slowly walked out of the building I thanked our God, who had given this country so many great men and women such as Pfc. Hensley! A few days later I was talking to Ashley and mentioned my meeting with the WW2 Marine. I asked if she would make another Marine Corps Coaster, so that I could give him one next time that he came to the building! She readily agreed and a few days later Ashley handed me another coaster, just like mine!

With Ashley's coaster in hand, I waited to see my new Marine Brother again. And as several weeks went by I grew concerned that Pfc. Hensley may had received Transfer Orders to guard the "Streets of Gold". Then on Monday, July 6, 2015, I saw my Marine Brother walking into the building and I started smiling. As we met and exchanged greetings, I asked him to stop by my desk when he had completed his business. A short time later he came walking up and I presented him with the Marine Corps Emblem Coaster that my beautiful daughter had made for him. Pfc. Hensley then took it, looked at it and with a wide smile he thanked me. He asked me to tell Ashley that he was very grateful and that it was truly a special gift! He said that it was such a special gift, he is going to have it mounted next to a picture of him at Iwo Jima. The picture had been taken when he was on an "Honor Flight" to Iwo Jima two years ago! He will treasure it along with his "Iwo Jima Honor Flight" picture which will be passed on to his grandson! As Pfc. Hensley walked out of the building, I was reminded of Our Brotherhood, Young Marine or Old Marine - Semper Fi!

I am enclosing a picture taken when I presented Pfc. Hensley the USMC Coaster!

Fred "Speedy" Gonzales
Corporal of Marines
2nd LAAM Bn. 1962 - 65


Chesty

Puller Chronicles Vol 1 book cover

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Thought you and your Marines would be interested in knowing, that Ms. Meriwether Ball, a distant cousin of Lt. General Lewis "Chesty" Puller, wrote a new book on her investigation into his strong past, the personal side. The title is; "Puller Chronicles; Volume 1, Second Edition".

The book can be purchased at:
Puller Chronicles Volume 1: Secrets and Mysteries of the Greatest Marine's Heroic Ancestral Faith

Ms. Ball came to my home and spent the better part of the day with me, discussing my knowledge and experiences with Gen. Puller and also that of my family. The ties between "Chesty" and my family were very close, as well as myself.

Her book is very interesting and factual and supported by Col. Jon Hoffman, USMC (Ret), Author of "Chesty, The History of Lieutenant General Lewis B. Puller, USMC; and by Col. Robert J. Abbitt, USMC, (Ret).

There is a book review on the Amazon Website, of which I found to be most favorable. Ms. Ball gave me a copy. Yes, I read it and found it rather interesting, plus her discussions with me... well... I will just say was very good and I know she did her homework and was factual. She is writing a second book and I do look forward to seeing/reading that one.

The numbers are shrinking quickly of the Marines/Folks who served with or personally knew "Chesty". I am the last in my family.

As always Sgt. Grit... thank you.

Steve Robertson


Remember This One

Sgt. Grit,

It's now 1710 CT, on the 4th of July, in the Hendersonville, Tennessee area. I have been decaling HO gauge flat cars for most of the afternoon and listening to the Sirius XM channel "40s on 4". They have been playing patriotic songs most of yesterday and especially today.

The announcer, with "tongue in cheek" has been making remarks about the songs being played, and has mentioned about the safety factor of the fireworks and the injuries resulting from misuse of same; he has stated that the 2d Battalion of the 1st Marines will perform some fireworks, for the safety of the listeners (actually sounds like a legitimate fire fight that was recorded "somewhere". Of all the services, I found it very interesting that he would mention a Marine Battalion.

Just played a song a little while ago, "There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere", by Elton Britt, recorded in 1942. I wonder how many of your readers will remember this one! First time I heard it was on a wind-up RCA Victrola Record Player, in 1943; I was 12 that year; I also "joined up" 6 years later!

With all our faults and problems, this is still the greatest country on God's green earth!

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


Reunions

3d Battalion 11th Association

We are having our annual 3/11 reunion this year in Charleston, South Carolina September 23-27, 2015. Anyone who would like more information please follow the information below.

Our reunion is for:
All members from WWII to present that served with 3rd Battalion 11th Marines.

We also have a website page on Facebook under 3rd Bn 11th Marines Artillery. Type it in the search box and it will take you to it. Additionally, we are included in the website for all Marine Corps Artillery. We need pictures to make that site go. Sign in on your battery page and look who else has signed up.

Thank You,
Joseph Boyd
CPL of Marines


Marine Corps Mustang Association
30th Anniversary Reunion Muster

Location: Crowne Plaza Hotel-Jacksonville FL Airport

Dates: September 15th to September 18th, 2015

Contact: Joe Featherston (Jrhd[at]aol.com)

The association will unveil and dedicate a large bronze plaque at the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle (Quantico) Virginia, July 22, 2015 at 1045. The public is welcome, space may be limited.


Taps

Larry Ward obituary

Another great Marine, Larry Ward, has been permanently transferred for new duty at the Gates of Heaven. I got to know Larry through my Civil War reenactment group. During events, we used to swap sea stories. Of course, being a career Marine, and former Drill Instructor, he had many more interesting stories than I did. From a past newsletter, I know some of the readers had the honor of becoming Marines under Larry as their SDI. It was an honor for me to have him as a friend.

The obituary is from the 07/08/15 edition of the Washington Post.

Ron Goodrich


Marines of E Co, 2/9, and A Co, 1/5 in 2015

4th July 1965, Remembrance

In remembrance of our fellow Marines who have proceeded us by higher orders, the Marines of Echo Company, Second Battalion, Ninth Marines, and Alpha Company, First Battalion, Fifth Marines calibrated our 50th anniversary of our landing at Da Nang, Vietnam, on 7 July 1965.

1stSgt Herb Brewer


Short Rounds

Ken Martin, I was at Courthouse Bay at the same time you were. Yes that is LtCol Robert Schueler presenting you with your NAM w/V. I arrived at 2nd ANGLICO April '69, Med Cruise in May, Jump School in October and then to GITMO until May '70. Left 2nd ANGLICO for NAM in July '70, returned to the World in July '71 and discharged. Served with Gunnery Sergeant Sam Dunn in Nam. Lost him in April 2010. Still miss him.

Ken VanHooser
Cpl
1968 - 1971


In 1969 my DD 214 said when my GC would commence... a couple years ago, I wrote to HDQ USMC and had my DD 214 changed to reflect that I could wear the Good Conduct Medal.

So whoever wrote that can get his.

So now I have 3, USMC '66-'69... VA Nat Guard '76-'79... US Army '80-'82.

Mark Gallant
Chu Lai '68


What a beautiful feel good story about a Marine Veteran.

Homeless Piano Player Gets A Fresh Start With A Makeover And Paying Job


After two - three months aboard the USS Princeton LPH-5, USS Alamo & the USS Pickaway as a BLT, 1stBn 5thMar went ashore at Chu Lai about 60 miles south of Danang off Hwy 1, in June of 1966 after Operations Jackstay in IV Corps & Operation Osage in I Corps. The Battalion then established Hill 54 Combat Base 10 Kilometers NW of Chu Lai Airfield where 1stMarDiv Hq were at this time. The Marines in this BLT only did a nine month tour as 1/5 spent 8 months at MCAS Kaneohe in the 1stMar Brigade barracks. At the time Hawaii was considered overseas duty, so 17 mos served.

Bill Allen Cpl
H/S Co. 1/5


Quotes

"Freedom is never given; it is won."
--A. Philip Randolph


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


"What a glorious morning for America!"
--Samuel Adams, Upon hearing the gunfire at Lexington [April 19, 1775]


"Left, right, left, right...
Double time...
Left, right, left, right, left, right, left..."

"I love working for Uncle Sam, Let's me know just who I am!"

"1,2,3,4 United States Marine Corps...
1,2,3,4, I love the Marine Corps...
My Corps...
Your Corps...
Our Corps...
Marine Corps...
Hmmm Good...
Hmmm Good"

"I don't want no teenage queen, I just want my M-14!"

"If I die in a combat zone...
Box me up and ship me home...
Pin my medals upon my chest...
Tell my mom I've done my best"

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 23 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Night I Believed I Was...
• Operation Silver Lance
• A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

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My office in the house "cave" is completely filled with memorabilia so my Wife has set up a 2nd office in the garage.

As you can see I have many items I purchased from Sgt. Grit.

Semper Fi,
Pfc. R O Berg--1472xxx


The Night I Believed I Was Going To Die

Boot Camp MCRD San Diego – May 1966

While we were double timing on one of the base streets one afternoon. I was allowed to run beside the platoon and call out the songs because my voice was very loud and I could make up stuff as we ran.

At one point a rival platoon from the company street next to ours was seen in the distance running towards us. They had one of the largest Drill Instructors I had ever seen running beside them calling cadence. The night before was one of those rare times when it had rained slightly and there were some puddles in the middle of the street. I could not resist this opportunity. I waited until the exact moment the rival platoon and their DI was opposite ours and I did a “give me your left foot.”

Due to the perfect execution of this command a beautiful wall of water covered a significant number of the rival Marines including their DI. The DI stopped his platoon and my platoon and began to express his displeasure to me in a way that only a DI can do properly. I, of course, believed my insignificant life was about to end. I was ordered to double time around my own platoon when we started again. Our DI turned us onto a side street and stopped our platoon. At this point our DI and our platoon members congratulated me and I was immediately restored to my position of calling out the songs. It was a great moment. I still laugh about it but when I tell the story I still remember that I thought my life would truly end on a street at MCRD in May 1966

David B. Singleton


D-mn Fine Pilot

Regarding the submission by Robert Bliss on the enlisted pilot. In 1966 I was flying from Iwakuni MCAS to Danang on an old Korean war vintage plane, I think a C-54 but not sure. I was with MAG-15 at the time and was not real fond of flying back then and that old plane had me a little nervous. It was pouring rain also and that didn't help matters much. We took off and as we climbed the plane appeared to fill with smoke. Needless to say I was ready to open the hatch and jump without a parachute. There was a Lt. Col. with pilot's wings sitting near me and must have seen the look on my face and he said take it easy it is just condensation from the moist air forming from the pressure change as we gained altitude. About an hour later I noticed the pilot getting out of his seat in the cockpit and as he walked to the rear of the plane I noticed he was wearing Master Sergeant's chevrons. I asked the Lt. Col. about this and he said that this was the last enlisted pilot in the Corps and that during WWII and Korea that it was not unusual for enlisted to become pilots.

The Col. also said he was a d-mn fine pilot and had turned down a chance to become an officer to remain enlisted. Later I was allowed to go up to the cockpit and sit in the co-pilot's seat and and talk to the Master Sgt. He was a nice guy and and we spent about an hour talking about flying. He was very gracious about answering all my questions and put me at ease. It was kind of ironic that the plane was full of officer pilots being transferred to Vietnam and beingflown there by an enlisted pilot.

Cpl. Howard Nethery
'65-'68


Operation Silver Lance

We’re all getting older, memories fading, somewhat forgetful, and trying to share the best knowledge we can before the bugle sounds. I have always encouraged everyone to record their memoirs, if nothing else for their families. But on Operation Silver Lance and Steel Pike, Both Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, and the Sergeant Major were technically correct.

Reinforcing our commitment to our allies of NATO, Operation Steel Pike was the largest peacetime amphibious landing exercise in the European theater since World War II, consisting of 84 ships and 28,000 Marines in November, 1964.

Operation Silver Lance was conceived by Lieutenant General Victor H. Krulak during the period of 19 February 1965 through 12 March 1965. The objective was to prepare the Marine Corps for its war in Vietnam. Silver Lance consisted of 70,000 Sailors and Marines, and 80 ships.

It was to be the largest operation ever held on the west coast with a contingency of 31,000 Marines. It was to include 6,000 Marines from the 1st Marine Brigade out of Hawaii, and would have been the first time the 4th Marine ever set foot on U. S. soil since the end of World War II. They never made it to the shores of Camp Pendleton: reducing the III Marine Expeditionary Corps to 28,000 Marines from Pendleton. A difference of four ships between the two operations.

In route to the Operation Silver Lance, the 4th Marines with its complementary forces, were ordered to Okinawa, and then to Vietnam to continue the buildup of American Forces in Vietnam. On 14 April 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines made an amphibious landing at Da Nang on Red Beach 2.

Fifty-five miles to the south, the 1st and 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines; supported by 3rd Recon Battalion; and 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines (Artillery) landed on 7 May 1965, to provide security for the construction of Chu Lai Airfield. On 12 May 1965, the 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines landed to reinforce the security of the airfield. As predicted by General Krulak, twenty five days later Chu Lai Airfield became operational during the first week of July 1965.

Currently my information shows that the 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines TAOR was in and around the Da Nang area, and never participated in the Chu Lai Enclave region.

By the end of 8 July 1965, there were over thirty thousand Marines deployed to Vietnam. Including supporting arms, air wing groups, service support groups, and heavy equipment support. The war continued for ten years after the first landing in Vietnam.

References used were:
1. Victor H. Krulak, First to Fight, An Inside View of the U. S. Marine Corps.
2. The Marines In Vietnam 1954 – 1975, An Anthology and Annotated Bibliography.
3. GySgt V. Mroz, Editor: The 1st Word, 1st Marine Division (REIN) FMF; Vol. 1. No 1; 1st Marine Division in the field; 5 Feb 1965.

Semper Fi

Herb Brewer
1st Sgt USMC (RET)


April 9, 1962

Sgt Grit,

I was looking at the following chronology:

April 9, 1962 - The leading elements of Marine Task Unit 79.3.5, a helicopter task unit codenamed Shufly commanded by Col John F. Carey arrived at Soc Trang, Republic of Vietnam.

Significance: This was the first Marine squadron-sized unit together with a small security force to deploy to Vietnam as a result of the establishment of the U.S. Military Assistance Command on February 8, 1962. They were to provide helicopter support to the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in its campaign against Communist Vietnamese forces called Viet Cong (VC).

Next entry: March 8, 1965 - The 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade (MEB) commanded by BGen Frederick J. Karch landed at Da Nang, Vietnam, consisting of two Marine battalions, one arriving by air and over the beach. The following day, the MEB assumed control of the Marine Task Unit 79.3.5 at Da Nang which became Marine Aircraft Group (MAG) 16.

Soc Trang is in the Mekong delta.

Jim


Phony Operation

Grit,

Keep up the good work. As near as I can figure "Operation Silver Lance" was a phony operation to move the 1st Marine Brigade from Hawaii and the 7th Regiment from Camp Pendleton to Viet Nam. Short version, I was in 3/11 (we supported the 7th Marines). We were going aboard ship for an Operation with the Brigade. Loaded ship at Del Mar, at night. Big top secret move. Stopped in HI for a week liberty, next stop Okinawa. 1/7 with G/3/11 landed at Chu lai around 1 Aug (give or take a week).

Of course the cat got out of the bag when we got 3 days liberty in San Diego after we got aboard ship. Big investigation who let the "cat" out of the bag. We were told not to bring civilian clothes.

To All Thank You All for your Service it wasn't a job it was an adventure.

Semper Fi
Jim Leonard
SSgt USMC (Ret)


Invasion Of The Fiji Islands

It was interesting to hear stories of the service of those veterans who have either passed on or on death bed. I read a death notice several years ago of a man who the notice said was in on the "invasion of the Fiji Islands, and that he was one of 200,000 men." That's about 12 divisions. First of all, I doubt that we ever invaded the Fiji Islands or if any troops were stationed there in any great numbers, if at all. I calledthe person who wrote the column, and she said she just wrote what the family told her. I had always thought my step-father was a gunner on a tank in the Army's 6th Armored Division during WWII. When I saw his DD214, it said his MOS was clerk-typist. Now he may have been crossed trained, but now I'll never know for sure.

I think looking at a person's DD214 would give the family, funeral director, or newspaper a good idea of the veteran's service. We all embellish stories, and sometimes when they're repeated enough they become gospel. I have no qualms about telling people I am a Marine, but I was an office pogue, or as the grunts would say: office pinkie! I was proud to serve in the 3rd Marine Division, FMF, (in the field) on Okinawa.

The only action that we had was when the Dali Lama was exiled from Tibet. For a few short hours, they had us thinking we were going to board ship. That "crisis" ended briefly.

I'm glad the readers here are calling these pretenders on their exploits.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Close It Up

I don't want a BAR, all I wants a candy bar.

Close it up ladies, close it up, make him smile

With a clip and two rounds, lock and load.

Are there any more at home like you?

Did your mother have any children that lived?

After standing at attention for three or four minutes, That's it ladies, mill around, scratch your a-s..

What are you smiling at, do you think I'm funny, I should be on TV? followed by thump, thump....

Standing guard inside a Dempsty Dumpster..

Day #2 Whoa, whoa, stop, stop, you're not even a mob, a mob has a leader, you're a herd.

A lot of memories, ninety percent of them good.

Christmas will be 29 December this year

Bill Mc Dermott
Platoon 347
Oct 3-Dec 28 1958
Parris Island


Attitude Is Everything Day 58

Here is one of the popular Marine Corps quotes that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page this past week. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:

Tony Russo Sr. - My sailor uncle, who was only two years older than me, use to say that the Marines were part of the Navy. My answer to him always was, "Yes, the fighting part!"

Joseph Gulli - Except for Doc. That is.

Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook Page.


It Never Lets Me Down

I love this newsletter ! It never lets me down. I always read something that I can relate to and comment on. This week goes to Capt. Jinx. I here you loud and clear. Where are all of the cooks, clerk typist, supply guys etc. I remember a gunny sgt. I don't think I ever knew his name. When I was assigned to the Liberty Bridge ferry crossing on the Song Tu Bon he would cross the river a few times each day taking hot chow to the men at Phu Loc 6. He was in the process of setting up a mess at Phu Loc 6 in Mar 69' when he was killed when the hill was attacked.

I will never understand why some alpha hotels have to pretend to be something other than what they were.

I was 1371 Combat Engr. and doggone proud of it!

SEMPER FI!

Snakefighter


Enlisted 1919

To Sgt. Robert Bliss,

I, too, am a Marine veteran, having served during the 1950’s. My Uncle Millard T. Shepard was an enlisted pilot, having enlisted during 1919 and retired after 35 years of service in 1954. He served in Marine Aviation, and was one of the first pilots to receive his commission from the President of the United States. He also was awarded the Silver Star for his service during the Nicaraguan Campaign, and the Haitian Medal during the Haiti Campaign. He flew the Ford Tri-motor airplane, hauling the gearfor the pilots who made up the then-current Flying Team, and visited every chance he got. He went on to serve in the Korean war and was awarded the Legion of Merit. I am delighted to confirm that there were, indeed, Enlisted Pilots in the Marines. His picture can be seen in the camouflage album in USMC, the Complete Picture, put out by the Marine Corps Association, on page 256, second from the left. So don’t let anyone tell you that there weren’t enlisted pilots, FOR THERE WERE! My Uncle Millard died in 1982 and was buried in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery.

Semper Fi,
Autumn Day W706460


In Other Words

I retired in 1988 as a MSGT with 22 yrs of service, both active and reserve. I was the Regt Comm Chief of the 25th Marines, in Worcester, Ma.

Around June of 2008, I was on one of the Marine Corps web sites, when I noticed a request for retirees to come back on active duty to help out when the Corps was spread a little thin. I decided what the h-ll, and started to fill out the information. I completed the boxes about MOS, and Date of Rank, but the box asking for my Date of Birth didn't go back far enough, only to 1950! I clicked on that date and sent it off, keeping my fingers crossed.

About a week later, I received a package in the mail from HQ Marine Corps. Hot D-m I thought, I going back in! I opened it, and read "Dear MSGT Culliton, according to our records, you are 6 months away from your 60th birthday. At that time you will be eligible for your Reserve Retirement. Please sign where indicated, and return this form. Thank you for your service." In other words "don't call us, we'll call you!" A rude awakening!

I still have a seabag packed, and if they ever called, I'd go in a minute!

Semper Fi
Paul Culliton
MSGT USMC (ret)


Error Of Their Ways

In answer to Robert Bliss, Yes I remember several enlisted pilots in VMF 214 in Korea in 1950 and 1951. They were called “Flying Sergeants” Flying F4U Corsairs. One I remember very well was TSgt Monk Taylor, who I later ran into at Flight school in Pensacola, FL. The Marine Corps finally saw the error of their ways and commissioned him a Captain and gave him a job as a flight instructor.

The navy also had enlisted pilots during WWII and the Korean “police action”. A navy chief landed a R5D (four engines) at the half built field at Hagaru to evacuate wounded.

Semper Fi!
W. F. Mitchell


Sincerest Type Of Flattery

Dear SGT Grit!

I just read Captain Jinx’s “Isn’t Life Amusing” letter wherein he states in part, in reference to “Posers”, that he finds it humorous that 40 years ago we ‘Nam vets were considered 'persona non gratta' because we served in ‘Nam, however now, 40 years later, many of the same people who condemned us then, now want to claim that they were a part of us.

I totally agree! Life is definitely amusing!

At the risk of receiving a firestorm of vindictive, I would carry this a step further by admitting that when I read, or watch video tales of “posers”, it upsets me not at all.

Nope. Unlike so many, I don’t get violent. I don't get angry. I don't shout, foam at the mouth, or threaten, nor do I even get hot under the collar. Instead I feel complimented.

I say, “Emulate me as much as you want, I will just feel prouder and prouder."

Yup! You see, in point of fact, emulation IS the sincerest type of flattery.

Nope, and I’m not offended by anyone attempting to “steal” my valor. You see, I don’t believe that its possible for someone to steal my valor or anyone else’s for that matter.

Semper Fi,

Ron Mandell
Cpl of Marines 67-70
‘Nam 67-69
Retired Army Major


A Marine’s Marine and a crack DI

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to Joe Holt’s post regarding forbidden smiles, I recalled one time that I laughed in boot-camp in front of a DI and I paid the price. I went through Parris Island in the summer of 1981 with platoon 2063. It was one of the very first days of First Phase and Sgt. Mazenko was instructing us pukes on the proper way to make a rack. We were assembled school-circle in the rear of the squad-bay as he went through each piece of bedding. When he got to the cotton sack that covered the mattress and called it a fart-sack I broke into a face-wide grin, but I did reach up to cover my mouth. Apparently the ever so small snicker that slipped and the movement to cover my mouth was enough to alert Mazenko.

I was somewhere in the middle of the circle, but he was on me like stink on sh-t and went into one of his patented, profanity laced verbal assaults. I can’t recall it verbatim, but it was something to the effect of “Kunkel, you filthy-as-ed maggot, do I f-cking amuse you? Get on your f-cking face scumbag.” Of course I did push-ups and “bends and motherf-ckers” for what seemed like eternity, but the funny thing about Mazenko was that he actually had a hell of a sense of humor and showed it at times. Oh, he tried his best not to, but it slipped. He was in his early twenties and as such, not much older than many of us, but we did some things throughout our training that were so ridiculously stupid they were comical and he had to turn his head on many occasions so that we would not see him laugh and so that he could maintain his military bearing. He was a Marine’s Marine and a crack DI, but his weakness was that he was human and had a sense of humor and because we were so stupid at times I know he had to work hard to keep from cracking up at our stupidity. Although I never did crack a smile after that altercation, I did laugh internally and a lot of things that happened.

We had one recruit from our platoon who was from the West Indies. He worked hard to assimilate and did graduate on time with us, but there were times that he struggled. He was about 6’5” and as such stuck out from the rest of us, particularly since the DI’s had him march at the rear of the formation while most of us where organized in the squads from tallest to shortest. One day after PT, we got back from a run and they walked us under this water sprinkler contraption to help cool us down. It was on that rear lot with the dirt track over behind the Second Battalion chow-hall. Anyway, we all formed up in platoon formation afterwards, but our tall platoon mate was seen over in one of the squads of another platoon.

One of our recruits requested permission to speak to Mazenko. “Speak freak”, said Mazenko. Sir, Recruit “Jones” is over in Platoon 20XX, sir.” Mazenko looked over and started to get pissed and then turned around and said, “aaaww leave his a-s over there, let them deal with him for a while.” But once again we saw Mazenko sneak a smile as he turned around. Mazenko started to march us back to the barracks and we moved right passed the other platoon when “Jones” stole a glance our way and saw us. He was too scared to do anything so he just remained in ranks.

We “got him back” that night on free time but when he was returned to our deck Mazenko PT’d the sh-t out of him. Every time I think of this stuff today, and it’s been thirty-four years since, I still crack up laughing. I know there were more than a few things like that situation that made us laugh back then, but we were just too d-mn scared to even crack a smile especially after seeing what happened to dumb-as-es like me who did laugh, however, no matter what boot camp story I think about these days, it always brings a smile to my face. God Bless all my brother and sister Jarheads and all Marine families! Corpsman too!

PS. To all my sister Jarheads; is the term BAM still used? No offense, just asking!

Semper Fi
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8


Annual Retiree Appreciation Day!

Camp Lejeune
Retiree Information Seminar and Health Fair
September 26 2015
0900-1400
Marston Pavilion

Guest Speakers:

* MCIEast-MCB Command Representation

* Mrs. Rawls; Director of the Winston-Salem Compensation Division

* The Honorable Congressman Walter B. Jones

* CAPT. Freedman, CO Naval Hospital Camp Lejeune

Presentation of the “Whitey” Welbourne Award

Lunch will be served


Taps

We lost another Marine on July 12, 2015. James Warren Thomas was 90 years old at his time of death. He served as a private first class in the Marines during World War II, receiving a Purple Heart for injuries while serving in Iwo Jima.

Although Jim and I were 25 years apart we share our Marine combat experience together. He is now guarding the gates of heaven with his fellow Marines. Rest in Peace Marine.

Jon DeWitt
SGT 1966-1969


KNIGHT, Robert Leland – Of Grand Blanc, Michigan , age 85, died on Sunday, June 28, 2015 at his residence.

Bob served eleven years in the Marine Corps both regular and reserve, serving a one year tour of combat in Korea from 1950 - 1951.

Mr. Knight was a member of the Flint Detachment Marine Corps League since 1992. He served as the Detachment Commandant for two years and was active in the Honor Guard/Color Guard. He was still a member of a veteran group of Marines and FMF Corpsmen who served with Dog Company in Korea from 1950 - 1955. He was very active in the Genesee and Shiawassee County Young Marines. He was a member of BPOE.

He leaves behind his wife Barbara and son Bradley Paul Knight.

Bob was featured in James Brady’s book “Why Marines Fight” , Chapter 38 titled “A Machine Gunner They All Called Hollywood” . Bob was a terrific Marine and better person. He was also very involved with the Young Marines of Genesse and Shiawassee counties. Semper Fi Bob.

Bill Domby
USMC 67-71


Short Rounds

In answer to the post of Robert Bliss. Served our Marine Corps from Feb 62 through April 1970 and during that time I kept hearing of a MSgt that was supposed to be the last enlisted pilot in the Corps. I can't recall his name but he was still flying fixed wing prop planes during that time.

Semper fi
SSgt of Marines
Roger Everline
1963 DaNang - 1965 Marble Mountain, Dong Ha, Khe Sahn - 1969 Chu Lai


In ref to Robert Bliss story of 7/15 about enlisted pilots, in 1957 we had a warrant officer that flew the R4D assigned to H&MS 14 at Edenton NC. He had been an enlisted pilot during Korea. Just about all of them were gone by then'.

Bob Sullivan '56-59


Did any of you readers have SSgt. Matthew McKeon as a Drill Instructor? He was the Parris Island Drill Instructor who led the infamous night death march that killed six recruits. That incident supposedly changed some of the ways recruits were handled after mid 1956. Be interesting to know what kind of a DI he was.

James V. Merl
1955...
1957-1960


Ken Martin and Ken Van Hooser, I was at 2nd ANGLICO same time as you guys. Was Airborne and a Radio Tech. Saw your letter and brought back memories. Must admit I do not recognize either name but I drove a dark blue Chevelle chrome reverse wheels and jacked up, Remember a lot of muscle cars there and of course Swoopers Circle. Semper Fi.

Lawrence J. Wolf


In Book III of The Corps by W.E.B. Griffin, he writes a lot about flying sergeants and how they came to be. I have read all the books in this series, and the man knows about the Marine Corps.

Dale R. Rueber
Sgt. of Marines


I was a crew chief on a C-47 out of MCAS Beaufort during the 1960's. If my memory is correct I flew with a enlisted pilot. I can't remember his name and I think his rank was Master Gunnery Sergeant. Maybe some one can remember his name.

MSgt Bill Dugan USMC Retired
Semper Fi
God Bless America


In the 16th July newsletter, there was a question about enlisted pilots. I was station at Cherry Point from 1959-1962 and was in VMT-1, a retraining squadron. My Sgt.Major Ryner was one of our trainers who flew our jets and retrained the officers. He could fly circles around most of the officers.

Cpl E-4 G. King USMC


Quotes

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


"Entirely satisfied if we gave 100% And entirely dissatisfied if we gave 99% And those [noncommissioned officers] taught us the great pleasure of doing what others thought impossible."
--General James 'Maddog' Mattis


"In a society under the forms of which the stronger faction can readily unite and oppress the weaker, anarchy may as truly be said to reign as in a state of nature."
--James Madison, Federalist No. 51, 1788


"If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace."
--Thomas Paine, 1776


If ya got one draw one, if ya got two turn one in.

There I was, twenty feet in the air hanging by my jock strap and the Gunny passed the word "turn in all athletic gear".

Green side out, brown side out, run in circles scream and shout. (That won't mean much to the new guys!)

Semper Fi, Mac!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 JUL 2015

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In this issue:
• The Most Boot PFC
• MARS Call To My Mommy
• 2/9 Koh Tang Veteans

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Cpl Ken Martin receiving NAM with combat V

From the "wayback" files 1969. 2nd Anglico, Courthouse Bay. The memory is fading... I think that is Lt Col. Schuler (sp) presenting me with the Navy Achievment Medal with Combat V. After the photographer left and the door was closed the Lt. Col. advised me that on my way to the barber shop, I might want to stop and see the Corpsman about getting some regulation eyewear.

Why did I feel like I was the only one in the Company without jump wings? I did make 10 static line jumps at my Brothers jump school at Seneca Falls Airport in New York. But as the most boot PFC informed me "That Don't Count."

Honored to have served with that bunch.

Ken Martin
Corporal of Marines
1967 - 1970
RVN '68-'69


Choose Your USMC Era Veteran 11oz Mug


Sun Rising In Wrong Direction

Just to echo a bit on DDick's "Dead=Red", I was with the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii in March of '65, we pulled out of Pearl Harbor headed for an operation called Steel Pike off Camp Pendleton. Problem was, when we went out on deck the next morning, the sun was rising in the wrong direction. 17 days later we landed at White Beach, Okinawa. On arrival, the 1st Marine Brigade became part of our parent unit, the 3rd Marine Division and after about a six week work-up on Okinawa, we headed further south. I landed on the beach at Chu Lai with 2nd Battalion, Fourth Marines on 7 May 1965 and I am positive we were the first American Marines or Americans period on that beach. That afternoon, the Engineers and SeaBees started working on the SATS mat airfield and A-4's were operational off that strip within a month. Only light contact with the VC until Operation Starlight in August but any live captured Vietnamese was considered a VC suspect, if dead, they were confirmed VC.

SgtMaj, USMC (Ret)


MARS Call To My Mommy

Hey Grit,

I agree. 1st MARDIVHQ was on the hill, down the road from freedom hill in the Fall of 1969. I had been hurt at AN HOA earlier, medivaced to 1st Med in Danang and after some time at NAC (northern artillery contonement) was sent back to AN HOA with a no-duty chit to complete my recovery. While back at An Hoa, I sent some pics back home which included some deceased enemy. These pics could not be developed in-country so I sent them to my Uncle in the states. Or so I thought. I accidentally sent them to my mom. She immediately had them developed, and to her horror saw these pics along with pics of me after my injury. She surrounded our local congressman and raised plenty of h-ll that her little boy was hurt and still in a forward unit. Said congressman called HQ MC and as they say chit rolls down hill. Word finally got to my Lt. and he ordered me to catch the next chopper to Danang/1st MARDIV HQ with a chit in hand to make a MARS call to my mommy assuring her I was OK and to quit harrassing the Congressman.

Semper FI,
Deck, A.C. NCOAD (Not currently on active duty)
3rd 8inch Howitzer Battery (SP)
RVN 1969-1970
USMC 1968-1974


2/9 Koh Tang Veterans

I appreciated Herb Brewer's posting about the 2/9 Koh Tang Veterans. I've had the honor of meeting several members of the Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization through my good friend, Al Bailey, and, in the future, I'm looking forward to meeting additional members. A great group of men-Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Much to my regret, I missed a chance to see some of them again at an informal get-together at Al's place this past month, due to tasks assigned by the boss (my wife), but hope to see Al in another week or so.

If any readers of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter are Koh Tang vets, but not members of the Organization, I would encourage you to join, and get back together with your brothers. I am not a combat veteran myself, but I have met enough people who are, and have seen how many suffer from PTSD (a lot of these guys do), and how important it is to support each other. There are several books out about Koh Tang, one of the most recent is titled "The 14 Hour War", and includes interviews with a number of those who were in the battle. Well worth purchasing and reading, although some of the interviews have been edited for several reasons. Al graciously emailed me a complete copy of his interview, which I printed and keep in my copy of the book.

Even though Koh Tang is considered the last action of the Viet Nam War, and the names of those who were lost are on The Wall, those who were involved were not awarded the Vietnam Service Medal or Vietnam Campaign Medal. I would be interested in comments from those who served in Vietnam on this. I know veterans from other branches who served in Thailand, never setting foot in Vietnam, but were awarded these medals. Under that criteria, the Koh Tang Vets would seem to qualify, in my view. I did not serve in Vietnam (by the time I got my WestPac orders, and arrived in Okinawa in April, '71, as the 1st MarDiv was being pulled out. I spent my first 6 months at Camp Schwab, where the 9th Marines were based, and developed a respect for that Regiment (I was with 7th Comm Bn), as well from meeting the Koh Tang Vets of E & G/2/9. Of course, I also highly respect all of the other Regiments and units too!

Ron Goodrich
1968-72


Marines Unisex Straw Cowboy Hat


Never Heard Of Korea

It was the morning of 25 June 1950 when I went across the street to Pettengill's store on Old Wharf Rd. in Dennisport, MA to get the Daily Record, the headline of which read, "North Korea Invades South Korea". Didn't mean too much, never heard of Korea, but the map inside was very interesting. We were staying at Eddy's Silver Camps on Cape Cod, Barbara Eddy was my classmate, and we had been promoted to seniors. I would finish my senior year in North Attleboro High School before enlisting in the Marines.

Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx
1951-1954


Sad Performance

I was in Platoon 124 when JFK came to MCRD San Diego in 1963. We were at the Pugil Stick Pits where he came to observe. I drew the largest recruit in our platoon to fight. Pvt. Garner knocked me around the pit just a few feet from JFK. It was a sad performance on my part. That is me in 1968 in Leatherneck Square.

Vernon R.

Vernon in 1968 at Leatherneck Square


Chesty

Sgt. Grit,

I do see most strongly, and through the years of your website/newsletters, that you have a tremendous respect/love for "Chesty". Sir, I can honestly say... he loved his Sergeants above all and most strongly felt that the Sergeants were the "Backbone of the Marine Corps". He openly stated many times, it is the Sergeants that make everything happen and perform to the mission. He was most critical of the Officer Staff if they didn't listen or follow the recommendations of their Sergeants. Sir, I could make you laugh on a few examples of a Sergeant telling "Chesty" of how his Officers weren't listening and oh h-ll, "Chesty" had all of them in and barking "orders".

Semper Fi,
Steve Robertson


Mines and More Mines

1970 - At morning quarters it was announced that due to the upcoming 4th of July, extra precautions should be taken. All personnel are to be vigilant, watching for anything not right. The USMC sweep team and security detail loaded aboard a weapons carrier, having decided to drive out over LTL-1D instead of walking to our work area on LTL-4. Immediately after leaving Freedom Bridge their vehicle hit a mine... blowing the 10 Marines aboard into the air. NMCB-62 Detail Buford and USMC personnel assisted in the MEDEVAC of seven of the U.S. Marines involved in the mining incident. Three were transferred by ambulance back to DaNang. The weapons carrier was a total loss.

When we started out to our work site the water tanker detonated a mine, which caused the MEDEVAC of two Seabees EOs Pike and Gillion. EO3 Gillion had severe burns over 50% of his body. Operations were halted and all NMCB-62 equipment and personnel were left lined up on LTL-1D. We were informed that a 3-Star General was flying in to assess the situation. Just as his chopper was to set down at the same approximate location as the NMCB-62 incident, a USMC jeep detonated a mine resulting in one Seabee, EO2 Nelson M. Hyler, and two Marines becoming KIAs.

ALL operations were ordered to be ceased, and personnel and equipment were directed back to the Hill.


Now That's Called Improvising

Regarding Joe Holt's smoking story... At ITR Camp Pendleton in the Summer of 1957, our platoon was sitting in bleachers getting a lecture on the use of explosives when the instructor stopped mid-sentence, stared at one Marine and asked him, "What are you smoking?" Turns out the Marine ran out of money and stripped a bunch of butts he had scrounged and rolled the tobacco in a laundry slip. Now that's called improvising!

1657xxx


Attitude Is Everything Day 52

Attitude Is Everything Quote of the Day 52

Here is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Jason Chrzan - Mattis 2016!


Michael Jay Fulton Sr. - I love that man.


Bill Simons - Dear ISIS, read the above.


Doug Brassard - No better friend, no worse enemy.


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Forbidden To Smile

You aren't supposed to laugh in boot camp.

It only takes a minute or two in boot camp to realize there's not much to laugh about, but even if there was, you are forbidden to smile, much less laugh. If a drill instructor saw any of us having too good of a time I can guarantee we'd all be on our faces doing push-ups till sundown.

Once I laughed. I couldn't help myself. The drill instructor, in this case our PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) said something that I'm sure he thought was humorous. I wasn't the only guy who thought it was funny, but for some reason it really made me laugh out loud. A lot. Loudly. D-mn near hysterical. I'm pretty sure there was some psychological excuse for my lack of control, but that didn't mean sh-t to our drill instructor.

Imagine. Third week of boot camp. We're all at the rifle range sitting in some bleachers listening to some of the first instructions on how to become a proficient rifleman. Eighty of us or so. The PMI made it perfectly clear that the rifle range was the one place in boot camp where questions were welcomed. Marksmanship was our vocation and he wasn't gonna bust our chops over some chickensh-t things as if we were back at the recruit depot.

We were being given instructions on how to adjust our rifle slings for proper use at the range. Step by step he showed our "volunteer" how to do each step. One requirement was to have a sling looped tightly around our bicep. When the PMI said it needed to be tight one of our group held his hand up to ask a question. Simple as that. Simple question, yet a colorful answer.

"Sir, How tight should the sling be?" The PMI scanned our group for a second then replied, "How tight is a gnat's azs stretched across a rain barrel?" Instantly I drew an image in my brain of a very distressed gnat with a very distressed look on his face. Everyone smiled. I laughed. And laughed some more. Gigglin', hopping around on my bench seat and shaking the entire bleacher. I could not stop. Couldn't. Honest.

After a moment of my attending drill instructor givin' me the stink-eye he finally ordered me down from the bleachers, me still grinning, interrupting the class. On my face. Push-ups. Forever. I could pump out thirty or forty with little problem, but this was a matter of discipline as far as the drill instructor was concerned. I lost the smile after about twenty push-ups. I have no idea how many I did... or tried to do, but it wasn't long before I couldn't even keep my face out of the dirt, layin' there like a sweatin' slug.

Life went on. That was forty something years ago, but I have to tell you whenever I imagine how tight a gnat's azs is stretched across a rain barrel I still smile. Can't help myself.

Joe Holt


Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963

Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963 page 1

Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963 page 2

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I have a hard copy book of MCRD San Diego, 1st Battalion, Platoon 145 and 146 (June-August 1955). I have copied this entire book as JPEG's and will gladly share them with any former members of either platoon.

Art Kidd
Capt USMC Ret


My name is John Colburn, retired Gunnery Sgt, MOS-6042 (airframes), Retired October 1979 at ElToro MCAS. Moved to Seattle, WA and went to work for the Boeing Company.

On father's day my 2 son's and I were going thru the local BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY'S antique section and I found a cruise book from HMM-165, (WHITE KNIGHTS) the cruise was in 1976 aboard the USS TRIPOLI LPH-10, in 1976. Anyone interested in this book let me know at (jhcusmcret[at]juno.com), MCRD SAN DIEGO, PLT-178.

Also am looking for the former Commanding Officer of MCAS EL TORO who was COL HENRY R. VITALI and the SGT/MAJ HERMAN L. SMITH. He was the Sgt/Maj for MCAS YUMA in 1979. Thanks for all your help.

John Colburn
'59-'79
Semper Fi


Around 40 yrs ago I interred MCRD SD, It was Xmas eve of 1975. With a foggy mind, I'm pretty sure my Plt. no. was 1143 Sr DI was Staff Sgt. Paxton and his side kick DI Halib not sure how to spell that, But he was the mean one, I don't remember the 3rd one because he was always changing...

My name is Griffith I was prior service Army... When we Graduated I had PFC stripes and a Hash mark...

So if any of my Plt Brothers can verify the Plt. no. 1143 I would appreciate it...

And I sure would like to locate a Plt. Book.

Semper Fi and God Bless.


Short Rounds

My EAS date fell on a Sunday so I was released from active duty on a Friday "At the convenience of the Government", which happened to conclude my active service at two years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. Unblemished service record but missed the GC by one day, my blues look pretty empty with just the NDSM and Expert Rifleman Badge.


JFK's visit to MCRD/Kitty Hawk was 6 June 1963... not November. Google Kitty Hawk or the San Diego Union-Times (newspaper) archives.


Regarding your phonetic alphabet, sir, not in the Old Corps. Your newer NATO version wasn't in place when I served: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Nan, Oboe, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yoke, and Zebra.

One, Two, Tree, Fower, Fiver, Six, Seven, Eight, Niner, Ten.

Sgt. Max Sarazin
1194xxx, 1951


Concerning photos of 1963 JFK visit to MCRD - This was taken June 6th 1963. The Marines standing tall are PVT Donald Beckwith right behind is my self PVT Robert Cooper. 1st day of boot camp. What an awakening we got.


Quotes

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
--Abraham Lincoln


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."

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


"If it moves salute it - if it does not move - paint it!"

"KEEP YOUR INTERVAL!"

"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

God Bless the American Dream.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

©2015 Sgt Grit Inc
All rights reserved
7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
888-NOV-1775
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Sgt Grit Newsletter 09 JUL 2015
If you are having trouble viewing this issue, see it on our website:
http://www.grunt.com/corps/newsletter/10691/

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 09 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• The Most Boot PFC
• MARS Call To My Mommy
• 2/9 Koh Tang Veteans

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

From the "wayback" files 1969. 2nd Anglico, Courthouse Bay. The memory is fading... I think that is Lt Col. Schuler (sp) presenting me with the Navy Achievment Medal with Combat V. After the photographer left and the door was closed the Lt. Col. advised me that on my way to the barber shop, I might want to stop and see the Corpsman about getting some regulation eyewear.

Why did I feel like I was the only one in the Company without jump wings? I did make 10 static line jumps at my Brothers jump school at Seneca Falls Airport in New York. But as the most boot PFC informed me "That Don't Count."

Honored to have served with that bunch.

Ken Martin
Corporal of Marines
1967 - 1970
RVN '68-'69


Sun Rising In Wrong Direction

Just to echo a bit on DDick's "Dead=Red", I was with the 1st Marine Brigade in Hawaii in March of '65, we pulled out of Pearl Harbor headed for an operation called Steel Pike off Camp Pendleton. Problem was, when we went out on deck the next morning, the sun was rising in the wrong direction. 17 days later we landed at White Beach, Okinawa. On arrival, the 1st Marine Brigade became part of our parent unit, the 3rd Marine Division and after about a six week work-up on Okinawa, we headed further south. I landed on the beach at Chu Lai with 2nd Battalion, Fourth Marines on 7 May 1965 and I am positive we were the first American Marines or Americans period on that beach. That afternoon, the Engineers and SeaBees started working on the SATS mat airfield and A-4's were operational off that strip within a month. Only light contact with the VC until Operation Starlight in August but any live captured Vietnamese was considered a VC suspect, if dead, they were confirmed VC.

SgtMaj, USMC (Ret)


MARS Call To My Mommy

Hey Grit,

I agree. 1st MARDIVHQ was on the hill, down the road from freedom hill in the Fall of 1969. I had been hurt at AN HOA earlier, medivaced to 1st Med in Danang and after some time at NAC (northern artillery contonement) was sent back to AN HOA with a no-duty chit to complete my recovery. While back at An Hoa, I sent some pics back home which included some deceased enemy. These pics could not be developed in-country so I sent them to my Uncle in the states. Or so I thought. I accidentally sent them to my mom. She immediately had them developed, and to her horror saw these pics along with pics of me after my injury. She surrounded our local congressman and raised plenty of h-ll that her little boy was hurt and still in a forward unit. Said congressman called HQ MC and as they say chit rolls down hill. Word finally got to my Lt. and he ordered me to catch the next chopper to Danang/1st MARDIV HQ with a chit in hand to make a MARS call to my mommy assuring her I was OK and to quit harrassing the Congressman.

Semper FI,
Deck, A.C. NCOAD (Not currently on active duty)
3rd 8inch Howitzer Battery (SP)
RVN 1969-1970
USMC 1968-1974


2/9 Koh Tang Veterans

I appreciated Herb Brewer's posting about the 2/9 Koh Tang Veterans. I've had the honor of meeting several members of the Koh Tang/Mayaguez Veterans Organization through my good friend, Al Bailey, and, in the future, I'm looking forward to meeting additional members. A great group of men-Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. Much to my regret, I missed a chance to see some of them again at an informal get-together at Al's place this past month, due to tasks assigned by the boss (my wife), but hope to see Al in another week or so.

If any readers of the Sgt. Grit Newsletter are Koh Tang vets, but not members of the Organization, I would encourage you to join, and get back together with your brothers. I am not a combat veteran myself, but I have met enough people who are, and have seen how many suffer from PTSD (a lot of these guys do), and how important it is to support each other. There are several books out about Koh Tang, one of the most recent is titled "The 14 Hour War", and includes interviews with a number of those who were in the battle. Well worth purchasing and reading, although some of the interviews have been edited for several reasons. Al graciously emailed me a complete copy of his interview, which I printed and keep in my copy of the book.

Even though Koh Tang is considered the last action of the Viet Nam War, and the names of those who were lost are on The Wall, those who were involved were not awarded the Vietnam Service Medal or Vietnam Campaign Medal. I would be interested in comments from those who served in Vietnam on this. I know veterans from other branches who served in Thailand, never setting foot in Vietnam, but were awarded these medals. Under that criteria, the Koh Tang Vets would seem to qualify, in my view. I did not serve in Vietnam (by the time I got my WestPac orders, and arrived in Okinawa in April, '71, as the 1st MarDiv was being pulled out. I spent my first 6 months at Camp Schwab, where the 9th Marines were based, and developed a respect for that Regiment (I was with 7th Comm Bn), as well from meeting the Koh Tang Vets of E & G/2/9. Of course, I also highly respect all of the other Regiments and units too!

Ron Goodrich
1968-72


Never Heard Of Korea

It was the morning of 25 June 1950 when I went across the street to Pettengill's store on Old Wharf Rd. in Dennisport, MA to get the Daily Record, the headline of which read, "North Korea Invades South Korea". Didn't mean too much, never heard of Korea, but the map inside was very interesting. We were staying at Eddy's Silver Camps on Cape Cod, Barbara Eddy was my classmate, and we had been promoted to seniors. I would finish my senior year in North Attleboro High School before enlisting in the Marines.

Sgt. Max Sarazin, 1194xxx
1951-1954


Sad Performance

I was in Platoon 124 when JFK came to MCRD San Diego in 1963. We were at the Pugil Stick Pits where he came to observe. I drew the largest recruit in our platoon to fight. Pvt. Garner knocked me around the pit just a few feet from JFK. It was a sad performance on my part. That is me in 1968 in Leatherneck Square.

Vernon R.


Chesty

Sgt. Grit,

I do see most strongly, and through the years of your website/newsletters, that you have a tremendous respect/love for "Chesty". Sir, I can honestly say... he loved his Sergeants above all and most strongly felt that the Sergeants were the "Backbone of the Marine Corps". He openly stated many times, it is the Sergeants that make everything happen and perform to the mission. He was most critical of the Officer Staff if they didn't listen or follow the recommendations of their Sergeants. Sir, I could make you laugh on a few examples of a Sergeant telling "Chesty" of how his Officers weren't listening and oh h-ll, "Chesty" had all of them in and barking "orders".

Semper Fi,
Steve Robertson


Mines and More Mines

1970 - At morning quarters it was announced that due to the upcoming 4th of July, extra precautions should be taken. All personnel are to be vigilant, watching for anything not right. The USMC sweep team and security detail loaded aboard a weapons carrier, having decided to drive out over LTL-1D instead of walking to our work area on LTL-4. Immediately after leaving Freedom Bridge their vehicle hit a mine... blowing the 10 Marines aboard into the air. NMCB-62 Detail Buford and USMC personnel assisted in the MEDEVAC of seven of the U.S. Marines involved in the mining incident. Three were transferred by ambulance back to DaNang. The weapons carrier was a total loss.

When we started out to our work site the water tanker detonated a mine, which caused the MEDEVAC of two Seabees EOs Pike and Gillion. EO3 Gillion had severe burns over 50% of his body. Operations were halted and all NMCB-62 equipment and personnel were left lined up on LTL-1D. We were informed that a 3-Star General was flying in to assess the situation. Just as his chopper was to set down at the same approximate location as the NMCB-62 incident, a USMC jeep detonated a mine resulting in one Seabee, EO2 Nelson M. Hyler, and two Marines becoming KIAs.

ALL operations were ordered to be ceased, and personnel and equipment were directed back to the Hill.


Now That's Called Improvising

Regarding Joe Holt's smoking story... At ITR Camp Pendleton in the Summer of 1957, our platoon was sitting in bleachers getting a lecture on the use of explosives when the instructor stopped mid-sentence, stared at one Marine and asked him, "What are you smoking?" Turns out the Marine ran out of money and stripped a bunch of butts he had scrounged and rolled the tobacco in a laundry slip. Now that's called improvising!

1657xxx


Attitude Is Everything Day 52

Here is this week's most popular Marine Corps quote that was posted on Sgt Grit's Facebook Page. The replies are nothing short of what you would expect from our fellow Marine brothers and sister, or Marine family members.

Here are a few of their comments:


Jason Chrzan - Mattis 2016!


Michael Jay Fulton Sr. - I love that man.


Bill Simons - Dear ISIS, read the above.


Doug Brassard - No better friend, no worse enemy.


Check daily to see what the next quote or saying of the day will be on the Sgt Grit Facebook page.


Forbidden To Smile

You aren't supposed to laugh in boot camp.

It only takes a minute or two in boot camp to realize there's not much to laugh about, but even if there was, you are forbidden to smile, much less laugh. If a drill instructor saw any of us having too good of a time I can guarantee we'd all be on our faces doing push-ups till sundown.

Once I laughed. I couldn't help myself. The drill instructor, in this case our PMI (Primary Marksmanship Instructor) said something that I'm sure he thought was humorous. I wasn't the only guy who thought it was funny, but for some reason it really made me laugh out loud. A lot. Loudly. D-mn near hysterical. I'm pretty sure there was some psychological excuse for my lack of control, but that didn't mean sh-t to our drill instructor.

Imagine. Third week of boot camp. We're all at the rifle range sitting in some bleachers listening to some of the first instructions on how to become a proficient rifleman. Eighty of us or so. The PMI made it perfectly clear that the rifle range was the one place in boot camp where questions were welcomed. Marksmanship was our vocation and he wasn't gonna bust our chops over some chickensh-t things as if we were back at the recruit depot.

We were being given instructions on how to adjust our rifle slings for proper use at the range. Step by step he showed our "volunteer" how to do each step. One requirement was to have a sling looped tightly around our bicep. When the PMI said it needed to be tight one of our group held his hand up to ask a question. Simple as that. Simple question, yet a colorful answer.

"Sir, How tight should the sling be?" The PMI scanned our group for a second then replied, "How tight is a gnat's azs stretched across a rain barrel?" Instantly I drew an image in my brain of a very distressed gnat with a very distressed look on his face. Everyone smiled. I laughed. And laughed some more. Gigglin', hopping around on my bench seat and shaking the entire bleacher. I could not stop. Couldn't. Honest.

After a moment of my attending drill instructor givin' me the stink-eye he finally ordered me down from the bleachers, me still grinning, interrupting the class. On my face. Push-ups. Forever. I could pump out thirty or forty with little problem, but this was a matter of discipline as far as the drill instructor was concerned. I lost the smile after about twenty push-ups. I have no idea how many I did... or tried to do, but it wasn't long before I couldn't even keep my face out of the dirt, layin' there like a sweatin' slug.

Life went on. That was forty something years ago, but I have to tell you whenever I imagine how tight a gnat's azs is stretched across a rain barrel I still smile. Can't help myself.

Joe Holt


Windward Marine 4 Oct 1963

A little history from the "Windward Marine" the base newspaper for Kaneohe MCAS. I was stationed there in VMA 212 from 1961 to 1963.

Norm Spilleth
1960 - 1964


Lost And Found

Sgt Grit,

I have a hard copy book of MCRD San Diego, 1st Battalion, Platoon 145 and 146 (June-August 1955). I have copied this entire book as JPEG's and will gladly share them with any former members of either platoon.

Art Kidd
Capt USMC Ret


My name is John Colburn, retired Gunnery Sgt, MOS-6042 (airframes), Retired October 1979 at ElToro MCAS. Moved to Seattle, WA and went to work for the Boeing Company.

On father's day my 2 son's and I were going thru the local BURLINGTON COAT FACTORY'S antique section and I found a cruise book from HMM-165, (WHITE KNIGHTS) the cruise was in 1976 aboard the USS TRIPOLI LPH-10, in 1976. Anyone interested in this book let me know at (jhcusmcret[at]juno.com), MCRD SAN DIEGO, PLT-178.

Also am looking for the former Commanding Officer of MCAS EL TORO who was COL HENRY R. VITALI and the SGT/MAJ HERMAN L. SMITH. He was the Sgt/Maj for MCAS YUMA in 1979. Thanks for all your help.

John Colburn
'59-'79
Semper Fi


Around 40 yrs ago I interred MCRD SD, It was Xmas eve of 1975. With a foggy mind, I'm pretty sure my Plt. no. was 1143 Sr DI was Staff Sgt. Paxton and his side kick DI Halib not sure how to spell that, But he was the mean one, I don't remember the 3rd one because he was always changing...

My name is Griffith I was prior service Army... When we Graduated I had PFC stripes and a Hash mark...

So if any of my Plt Brothers can verify the Plt. no. 1143 I would appreciate it...

And I sure would like to locate a Plt. Book.

Semper Fi and God Bless.


Short Rounds

My EAS date fell on a Sunday so I was released from active duty on a Friday "At the convenience of the Government", which happened to conclude my active service at two years, eleven months and twenty-nine days. Unblemished service record but missed the GC by one day, my blues look pretty empty with just the NDSM and Expert Rifleman Badge.


JFK's visit to MCRD/Kitty Hawk was 6 June 1963... not November. Google Kitty Hawk or the San Diego Union-Times (newspaper) archives.


Regarding your phonetic alphabet, sir, not in the Old Corps. Your newer NATO version wasn't in place when I served: Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, George, How, Item, Jig, King, Love, Mike, Nan, Oboe, Peter, Queen, Roger, Sugar, Tare, Uncle, Victor, William, Xray, Yoke, and Zebra.

One, Two, Tree, Fower, Fiver, Six, Seven, Eight, Niner, Ten.

Sgt. Max Sarazin
1194xxx, 1951


Concerning photos of 1963 JFK visit to MCRD - This was taken June 6th 1963. The Marines standing tall are PVT Donald Beckwith right behind is my self PVT Robert Cooper. 1st day of boot camp. What an awakening we got.


Quotes

"Liberty must at all hazards be supported. We have a right to it, derived from our Maker. But if we had not, our fathers have earned and bought it for us, at the expense of their ease, their estates, their pleasure, and their blood."
--John Adams


"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
--Abraham Lincoln


"I have never been bewildered for long in any fight with our enemies – I was Armed with Insight."

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


"If it moves salute it - if it does not move - paint it!"

"KEEP YOUR INTERVAL!"

"Alright people, move it up. Make the man in front of you smile."

God Bless the American Dream.
Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Sgt Grit Newsletter 02 JUL 2015

Sgt Grit Newsletter - 02 JUL 2015

In this issue:
• 60th Reunion On Board PI
• Trained Killers Don't Smile
• Salute Anybody That Moved

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Sgt Grit and Staff would like to wish everyone a very Happy Independence Day! July 4th will mark the 239th anniversary of the United States' adoption of the Declaration of Independence declaring independence from Great Britain in 1776.

As we enjoy the festivities and fireworks this weekend let us also celebrate the bravery and grit of our men and women that have served in our Armed Forces over the past 239 years to keep our nation independent!

Semper Fi,
Sgt Grit & Staff


Chesty Puller

LtGen Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller

Date of Birth: 26 June 1898 in West Point, Virginia.

Happy Birthday CHESTY, Wherever You Are!

Steve Robertson

Happy Birthday Chesty


60th Reunion On Board PI

Al sharing a moment with MCRD PI mascot

1955 Marines taking a photo with MCRD PI CG and SgtMaj

Here are some pics of my reunion on board PI... you will notice that I am having a conversation with the mascot... he liked my beard also. The second is with the Depot CG and SgtMaj and the third is in front the Brig & Brew. At one time it was the Brig, the cells are still there but used for storage. It is the "Slop Shoot" now. We celebrated our 60th year as Marines with our respective Ladies!

Semper Fidelis,
Al Pasquale


1948 Began My Transformation

On June 25, 1948, I raised my right hand before a 2nd Lt and was sworn into the Marine Corps. Two seconds later I received my first A-- chewing while at attention. Seems the Lt disliked my chewing gum. As ordered, I got rid of the gum while at attention, wasn't bad, went down easy. Upon arriving at Yemmassee, SC, I learned how to swab a deck, the entire WW2 barracks. When I was transported to Parris Island, a very large Sgt MacMurtry met me, and with a p----- off attitude, gave me my second A-- reaming, go I guess. My Summer at PI was a real eye opener, heat, sand fleas, close order drilling especially when the red flag was hoisted. The proudest day of this 17 year old wisea-- was being handed a handful of Marine emblems by the DI, on Sept 16, 1948, I began my transformation of a 17 year old high school misfit to a Marine. Honor, God and Country became my goals in life, they served me well from Inchon in Sept 1950 thru the Chosin Res ordeal. At the age of 84, I am still a Marine and D-mn proud of it. I fly the Marine Corps flag underneath the Stars and Stripes, still proud to live by my tenets of Honor, God and Country.

Semper Fi,
Ernie Padgette 66 ----
Sgt., 1st Marine Div.


Tough Old Marine Cover/Hat


This Helmet And A Picture

Helmet worn by Hanoi Jane

Today, the wife and I went for our weekly local road trip in beautiful sunny (that sounds better than ungodly hot) Arizona. We went to the Commemorative Air Force Museum. We looked at an F-4 Phantom and other planes of past conflicts. Over in a corner was a little LOCH on display. It did look like the one our AO's flew. On the floor on the right side was this helmet and a picture.

You guys can figure out your own thoughts of the subject.

SSgt D.J. Huntsinger
DaNang '69-'70


Sgt Grit Exclusive USMC 240th Birthday T-shirt Special


Trained Killers Don't Smile

First time grabbed by the stacking swivel.

At sick bay heel-to-toe getting shots with by the injection method. I was bleeding like I was getting tattooed. Me and another turd looked at each other and my "wounds". Then I heard "Stone, see me back at the barn". WOW! Sgt Thomas wants to talk to ME!

So after about three more hours of the h-ll of running all over Parris Island, back at the barn we were.

I cowered behind my bunk pretending I was invisible or dead, hoping the Drill Instructor had forgotten me. HA! I knew better so I ran to The DI Quarters and announced myself. "Stone, what you doing smiling in formation! Trained killers don't smile! Then he pressed his thumb against my stacking swivel and started thumping my trigger housing group. After a few thumps my front sights began to roll back in my head. And a nanosecond before I passed out he let me go. Miraculously I returned to maggot land. F--king Geniuses!

I've got three more Sgt stories I'll tell you ladies later.

LCpl Stone
Plt 305, PISC 1965


Father's Day Gift

LCpl Hildalgo in his new USMC polo

Loving my Father's Day Gift from my wife & kids!

Semper Fi, that is all!

LCpl Hidalgo, David P.

Get this moto performance polo at:

USMC Under Armour Coldblack Performance Embossed Polo

USMC Under Armour Coldblack
Performance Embossed Polo


Salute Anybody That Moved

I was at MCRD San Diego when Pres. Kennedy came to visit his Marines. It was a lot of fun for all of us going to Electronics School. It was the only time we were issued an order to salute anybody that moved about a week before the President's visit. Being the typical smart a--- we were, we saluted dog fire hydrants and anything else we could think of. The reason to salute all personnel was that the front people for the President may deserve the respect. They did empty all barracks and placed snipers on top of every building. The most fun was when the mediclal staff marched (or at least that was what it was supposed to be) not one doc was in step with anyother doc. Their covers were sort of on their heads, that was with Pres. Kennedy on the podium watching.

R.L. Duke
1962/66


1963 JFK Visit to MCRD

JFK's arrival to MCRD San Diego in 1963

Re: Lee VanTreese's June 18 post and photos of JFK's visit to MCRD... The date of those photos was Wednesday, November 6, 1963. My attached photo of the President was taken that same day.

During that time I was a squad leader in Charlie 1/5, 2nd Platoon. On the morning of the 6th the entire battalion was trucked from Camp Margarita to San Diego. We then formed an honor guard for the Presidents motorcade on both sides of the road all the way from Lindbergh Field to the main gate of MCRD.

A week later, on November 14, the battalion boarded the USS General J.C. Breckinridge AP-176 in San Diego heading for Okinawa with scheduled stops at Pearl Harbor and Yokohama, Japan.

Early on the morning of November 23 (the 22nd in Dallas) the ship began its entrance into the very busy port of Yokohama. Many ships arriving and departing. As we stood on the rail and watched the activity I noticed something unusual. As we passed foreign flagged ships, each would lower their colors as our ship passed. I'd never seen that before and made mention of it to my buddies. "Something's up. This is not normal protocol", I remember saying. Once our ship was secured to the Naval facility pier the ships Captain announced the assassination of JFK five hours ago in Dallas. Needless to say, we, like the rest of the world, were shocked.

But many of us were also thinking not only of JFK's assassination, but also of the over throw and murder of South Vietnam's president, Ngo Dinh Diem, only three weeks earlier in Saigon on November 2. And here we are heading to the Far East for a 13 month tour of duty.

It would be a little over six months before the "Gulf of Tonkin" Resolution was passed by Congress which authorizes President Johnson to use military force in Vietnam. Eight months later (March, 1965) the 9th MEB, consisting of 3/9 and 1/3 begin arriving in Vietnam. The MEB is the first U.S. ground combat unit in country.

Bill Honan
Cpl E-4
0311
Charlie 1/5, Golf 2/3
'62-'65


I've Got Smokes

When a fella needs a cigarette he'll smoke d-mn near anything.

Smoking was a big deal when I was in the Corps. Well over half the guys smoked. In boot camp, when misery was the goal, even then there were smoke breaks. "Smoke'em if you've got'em." "The smoking lamp is lit." To smokers the gratification was intensified, but to non-smokers like me it was at least a break from whatever we'd been doing.

Even our C-rations had cigarettes included, little five packs. Obviously cigarettes were considered a necessity to whoever decided the contents of field rations. Smoking was part of the military culture.

In Vietnam our resupply of rations was sometimes erratic. If somehow our resupply had failed to appear there were always a few cans of eats in the bottom of my pack to appease any real hunger. Date pudding. Geez that stuff was weird. Fruit cake. Same deal. I'd never eat that stuff regularly but I always knew I had a can or two of it saved in the bottom of my pack for emergencies.

In July of '66, after the biggest gun fight we'd ever experienced, after we'd evacuated our wounded and consolidated our position, such an emergency came about. It had been three days since resupply, what with all the shootin' and stuff, and I'd eaten my last date pudding the day before so even pudgy Joe was hungry. So there we were, sitting around our perimeter waiting for the blessed sound of a resupply helo, muttering to one another how hungry we were. One guy popped off with, "Forget the chow, I'd give anything for a smoke right now." A bunch of guys agreed with this. Obviously all the cigarettes in the outfit were gone along with all the remnant cans of C-rats. I thought about it for a moment or two then added, "I'm pretty sure I've got some smokes in my pack."

Instantly all eyes were on me so I reckoned I'd better check and see. I sat down, put my pack in front of me and started unloading its limited contents, almost all bandoleers of ammo. Sure enough, rattlin' around in the bottom, were six or eight small packs of cigarettes. As I pulled a handful out for all to see I became the most popular guy on the hill. I tossed them to whoever got to me first. Felt like Santa Claus.

Now you have to remember these smokes were packed into the C-rats in the 1950s sometime. Certainly not less than a decade old, and they'd been in my pack under all sorts of conditions for weeks at least. The cellophane wrapping didn't do all that much good to keep'em fresh, but nobody seemed to care at that moment.

Imagine the minor frenzy of a guy tearing open that tiny pack of cigarettes, popping one between his lips in a practiced motion as he snapped open his Zippo to light it. Imagine him lighting it and inhaling with glee the glorious taste finally. We've all seen such moments in commercials. This wasn't one of those.

The instant he lit the smoke it caught on fire. The entire tip lit like a candle, which only fazed him for an instant. "Sorta dry", at which time he flicked the fire off the tip of the cigarette with his finger till the nub began to glow rather than burn. When he inhaled the length of the cigarette burned like fuse, to within a half inch of his lips all within seconds. His only reaction was, "Ahhhhhh.", like it was the best tobacco he'd ever tasted. Then he fumbled with the pack for another.

For forty something years I've had that image in my memory bank, him flicking the fire off the end of his smoke, so whenever I hear anyone say they'd like a cigarette I can't help but harken back to that miserable day on the hill.

In a pinch, guys will smoke anything. Little lesson learned.

Joe Holt
India 3/5, 1966


My Ginny And Being In The Corps

I didn't want you to feel alone brother. I have my Ginny next to me always and when the time comes I will join her and the kids then will scatter the ashes of the both of us across the mountain she selected – can't say which one because people take a dim view of such things. I know how you feel and I feel the same way; I say good morning to her and know that I am good to go one more day. This was not the main reason we married but she was born on November 10 – 163 years after our Corps was born - it sure made life easy for me to remember her birthday present. Two things I miss in this world – my Ginny, and being in the Corps, any base, any job, any time. Semper Fi Brothers.

Bill McManigal


Quite A Few Azzholes

Seeing the picture of Colonel Day with JFK this week brought this to mind:... As the Recruit Training Regiment CO, Col Day would hold what he called "Stockholder's Meetings" about every quarter. These would be on a port/starboard basis, so all Drill Instructors could attend, along with recruit company commanders, series officers, etc., and he would hold forth on what he saw as the general status of the Regiment... not really a pep talk, though it had much the same effect.

He had a rather dry sense of humor, and when he got to the part about DI's language, he said: "In walking around the Depot of late, I note that we seem to have quite a few azzholes... of course, my son is in OCS at Quantico now, and he assures me that they have them there, too"...

Just checked HqBn1stMarDiv command chronology... relocated from Okinawa to Chu Lai (sic) VN March of '66, left from Tengan Pier on an APA... the Clymer... etc, etc.

If I recall correctly, at one time you had VN map sheets in the catalog... if grid squares from the command chronologies match up, I'm thinking that with a simple tutorial on finding command chronologies on the net, you might peddle a whole pot-full of maps... yer average snuffy would have had no idea that such a document existed, much less that it would give a unit's location more or less day by day... and the info is there as a matter of public record... h-ll, in some cases, the chronology might even resemble the truth (see, e.g. 'probable' body counts)... with us, it was "if it's dead, it's Red..."

DDick


Don't Ask

Sgt Grit,

My last reply to you yesterday got me thinking about when I was a kid and was always interested in war stories. I was always interested in anything military or train-related for as long as I can remember. My mother's best friend's oldest son Billy was an army Viet Nam vet and had gotten wounded over there. I remember one Christmas Eve (must have been '68 or '69) we visited her at her house for a party she and her husband were having and Billy and his wife were there. He had only been home a few months at the time. Before we got out of the car, my dad turned around to me and said, "look Mike, when we get in there, don't ask Billy about the war, Mrs. Vicky says he is having some problems so don't ask him any questions, OK?" Then there was my mom's older brother Leonard who was a WWII vet and was the A-driver in a Sherman. He was one of only two out of the five man crew who survived a hit to the turret from a German tank. I don't know what he did and how badly he was wounded but I do know he had a bronze star and purple heart. Every year Uncle Leonard had a huge 4th of July crab feast and pool party in his yard, and just like our visits to Mrs. Vicky's house, my dad would remind me, "now Mike when we get in here, don't ask Uncle Leonard about the war or about Sherman tanks, ok?" My uncle was a very friendly man and even had a small model of a M4 Sherman in his living room, and would have probably gladly talked to me about the tank and the war, but my dad, an army veteran himself, I guess was probably just trying to guard Uncle Leonard from having to relive bad memories for the sake of some nosy, young kid. My wife says her brother never wanted to talk about Viet Nam so I never asked him anything. He suffered a severe head-wound among other less serious wounds and I guess he just wanted to keep things to himself. Even my father-in-law who was an army vet, said his son never wanted to talk to him about the war. Everyone always seemed to be ultra-quiet about that subject, whereas today's veterans seem to be more talkative and open about their experience.

Mike


Requested Permission To Speak

After nearly a year in the USMCR I arrived at Parris Island and began training Platoon on 24 June 1960 as a member of Platoon 364. Our DI's were; SSgt McElvany a Korean Veteran was our Senior and our Juniors were Sgt E5 D. Blue and Sgt E4 B.R. Lusk, Jr. My rack was catercorner from the DI's House where I could see nearly everything going in when their hatch was open. The House Mouse was a great guy from NJ I believe. The first day the DI's had discovered several photo's of his "girl friend" which they seized and posted on their private bulletin board. I recall one of the photo's was of her in a nice two piece bathing suit. After a few weeks I learned that the recruit was married, against regulations at the time and that he had lied on his enlistment papers about it. We all joined together to keep his secret. When visitors were permitted towards the end of training she showed up in a convertible and the DI's would walk out with him to the car and tease her about taking her out on a date as they were sure he would