Lance Corporal Nathan Butler and his son Remington have their eyes glued on the awesome gear found in the Sgt Grit catalog.
In response to an article in Aug. 7th, 2013 newsletter from Gy/Sgt. F.L. Rousseau... USMC... My name is Howard W. Kennedy and I served as a Cannoncocker on the 155 howitzer with Kilo Btry, 4th Batt., 12th Marines 3rd Mar. Div. in 1957/58 at Camp Hauge. I am attaching a photo of the front gate and the correct spelling of the name Hauge. To my understanding the name came from Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Louis James Hauge who was KIA in May 1945 during the battle for Okinawa. After I left Camp Hauge it was used as a staging area for Marines going to Vietnam. Once it was closed, I have no idea what became of the base or if it's under a different name now. I would welcome any information someone might have about the old base and what's there now, and if anyone remembers Gy/Sgt Richard R. "Big Red" Ebert from Headquarters Battalion, 12th Marines...
Howard W. Kennedy
West Camp Hauge
Noticed in this week's newsletter that there was a Lt Walker mentioned. I was in the 9th Marines in about 1957-1958. H/3/9 commanded by a Capt Holmes had an E. Hockaday Walker as a platoon leader and I'm sure he's the legend that was mentioned in the newsletter. His parents were the Walker Distillery heirs and he indeed spent lots of money on his troops. At the time, Ninth Marines was living in tents at what was called West Camp Hauge and of course it was a mudhole. We had just moved to Okinawa from Camp Fuji, Japan, and there were no barracks for us. Lt Walker volunteered his platoon for camp gate security and paid for complete Blues uniforms for all. He had elaborate gatehouses built and painted just like stateside. I remember seeing him leading his platoon on conditioning runs carrying two BARS and calling a running cadence. I heard he got into some sort of trouble with higher brass and had to leave the Corps.
We called it "The Rock" and counted the days when we would rotate back to the land of the big PX. Hawaii wasn't exactly the paradise we expected. The Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe is on a peninsula that forms Kaneohe Bay, with the Pali mountains as a backdrop. The Air Wing enlisted barracks was a group of two story, flat-roofed, stucco buildings with open squad bays that were connected by breezeways. The 212 barracks had the MPs on one side and the helo boys from HMM-161 on the other. Next to the 161 barracks was the mess hall. I arrived with a group of replacements for the guys whose two year tour was over. The barracks had an upper and lower open squadbay arranged in cubicles marked off by green metal wall lockers, and a central corridor. Each cubicle had six single bunks (or racks), as I recall. Each rack had a mosquito net which was a necessity on that side of the island, called the "Windward Side". The mosquito nets were needed because of the mosquitos that were bred in the swamps between the base and the mainland. Those bugs were huge. One night, I forgot to put my net down. About 0300 I felt a thump on my chest. Looking down, I saw a Kaneohe mosquito turning over my dog tag to check my blood type. Not only were they huge, they were picky eaters.
I Was Honored
I recently joined the Patriot Guard Riders. Had a mission in Tulsa, OK. Flag Line and Escort to Memorial Park, from a church. A deceased Marine of the Korean War Era. I understand it was unusual, that the family asked the Guard to transport the ashes to cemetery. For the service, a Prior Service Marine and two other riders carried the urn into the chapel and we escorted. After service, same guys carried it out and we escorted. Being a Prior Service Marine myself, I was honored, to be asked to escort the urn in a PGR's truck, with a daughter and great-grandson, who held folded flag.
At the cemetery, a Marine Honor Guard unfolded the flag, played taps, folded flag and presented to family. That's the moment you get choked up and it's hard to speak. RIP Marine. Semper Fi.
The Hurt Was Gone
There has been several stories about the Dental Dept, most of which are negative stuff. I would like to add mine which is pretty good.
I did not have any dental problems when I arrived at MCRD SD in 1966 so my story is about later. I was at El Toro for most of my time and had my wisdom teeth taken out one at a time. Of the 4 wisdom teeth, only one gave me a problem with a 'dry socket' which hurt like h-ll. I finally got some good meds which they told me to take once I got 'home'. Forty-five minutes or so later, it still hurt like h-ll with the Darvon and codine... I took another pill and waited an hour... still hurt... drank a 16 oz. beer and the hurt was gone!
When I went back to sick bay dental a day later, I was much better... they asked how I did with the Darvon and told them my story... they didn't like it much but I sure felt better.
I always got good treatment at dental and after I got out, went to see my wife's uncle who was a dentist. He refilled some old fillings noted that I had some good dental work in the past too. I still have some of these same fillings from 1966 in my mouth!
I recall a few guys in my boot camp plt who did have bad teeth, so they did have some problems but not because of anything the Dental guys did wrong... mostly they had NEVER been to a dentist in their life.
Take care of your teeth now... they are the only ones you will get that are original and the result of bad teeth is costly and painful.
Corporal Louis J. Hauge
Hey Sgt. Grit,
While writing that letter about Camp Hauge (Hague) I looked to check my spelling and it was Hague in Google on the bases in Okinawa... BUT... looking at Corporal Louis J. Hauge's Medal of Honor, they spell the name as I remember it HAUGE. So I thought someone ought to know the facts.
GySgt. F.L. Rousseau
Corporal Louis J. Hauge, Jr.
United States Marine Corps Reserve
For service as set forth in the following CITATION:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Leader of a Machine-Gun Squad serving with Company C, First Battalion, First Marines, First Marine Division, in action against enemy Japanese forces on Okinawa Shima in the Ryukyu Chain on 14 May 1945. Alert and aggressive during a determined assault against a strongly fortified Japanese Hill position, Corporal Hauge boldly took the initiative when his company's left flank was pinned down under a heavy machine-gun and mortar barrage with resultant severe casualties and, quickly locating the two machine guns which were delivering the uninterrupted stream of enfilade fire, ordered his squad to maintain a covering barrage as he rushed across an exposed area toward the furiously blazing enemy weapons. Although painfully wounded as he charged the first machine-gun, he launched a vigorous single-handed grenade attack, destroyed the entire hostile gun position and moved relentlessly forward toward the other emplacement despite his wounds and the increasingly heavy Japanese fire. Undaunted by the savage opposition, he again hurled his deadly grenades with unerring aim and succeeded in demolishing the second enemy gun before he fell under the slashing fury of Japanese sniper fire. By his ready grasp of the critical situation and his heroic one-man assault tactics, Corporal Hauge had eliminated two strategically placed enemy weapons, thereby releasing the besieged troops from an overwhelming volume of hostile fire and enabling his company to advance. His indomitable fighting spirit and decisive valor in the face of almost certain death reflect the highest credit upon Corporal Hauge and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
/S/HARRY S. TRUMAN
Title Of Marine
I've been reading the letters and in some mostly the older Marines mention some of the places and things they have been too and done, some have been in the Air Wing which was a great duty and the Motor Transport units never did get to be a grunt except in the Nam where I went on patrols and a sweep, and went on convoys with those Korean Marines on the guard truck that was an experience. Any way, I, like others enjoy reading those letters. The one about the Colonel, man he's one h-ll of a Marine. I'm glad I share the title of Marine with him and all the other Marines.
I Salute You Sir
I sent an email a long time ago arguing this point with so many letters coming in with Former Marine, Old Marine, New Marine, Old Corps, New Corps...
It should just be and always be just MARINE no matter when you served in the Corps!
Thank you General Amos, I salute you SIR!
I hope and pray all Marines see, read, and understand this.
"You Will Always Be A Marine."
"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine." --General James F. Amos, 35th Commandant of the Marine Corps
"For GOD and Country!"
Too Early And Without Permission
I don't know if you are aware of this, but approximately 33,000 Canadian young men went south to join the United States Military during the Vietnam Era. I was one of them. Dean Storey was the man who formed the 49th Marines. They are the Marines that live above the 49th Parallel here in Canada. M/Sgt Dean Storey was one heck of a Marine. He was also a Drill instructor, Vietnam Vet, and one h-ll of a man. He loved his Marines and he has been the driving force behind the Marine Corps Birthday Celebration here in Canada for quite some time.
Master Sergeant Storey had a massive heart attack while working and just managed to pull his truck (Semper Fi Trucking) over to the side of the road so no one was hurt. He was in the vehicle for a time period no one can nail down. Paramedics found a heartbeat and kept him alive and transported him to the hospital. The next morning at the hospital with Family gathered and many Marines present, the family decided to take him off life support at 0700. At 0710, Master Sergeant Storey passed away peacefully, albeit too early and without any permission from a Senior Marine. That will be noted in his record book.
Grit, we have lost a mountain of a man and there will be many, many Marines on hand to pay their respects to a "Marines' Marine". We all loved Dean and he loved his Marines.
On behalf of the 49th Marines, we thank you for all you do for us.
Semper Fi, and a Hand Salute to Master Sergeant Dean Storey and warmest thoughts and our fond memories of him to the Family, the Corps and his love of the United States of America, as we all do.
USMC 0311 / 8654
One Might Wonder
I was with Golf 2/5 in Viet Nam in 1970 and assigned to the 60MM Mortars squad (my actual MOS of 0341). Allow me to digress in order to explain that I had not touched a mortar tube in two years. Back to my narrative, the company was ordered on a night operation to set up as a blocking force on the old rail road tracks outside of An Hoa. We were told that a combine force of South Vietnamese's Units and US Units would attempt to sweep any VC/NVA forces into our position. Anyone who ever participated in something like this will support me when I say that a large night maneuver is "hairy" procedure to be involved in."
We found our site on the R/R and was able to get set up without giving ourselves away (I think). Per procedure, the C.O. had a LP (listen post) of three Marines from my platoon sent out in front of our position. With all due respect to those who were not 0300s, the LP job is to forewarn the company when there is movement to our area so that everyone can get ready to receive our guests with a "surprise of their life". I happen to be next to a Platoon Lt. when the radio operator called in that there was movement to their front, but they were not certain as to what it was. The CO wanted to know if these were "friendlies" or "g--ks". A firefight between friendlies is very unpleasant (I know). A call came back that they were uncertain. The CO ordered the three Marines to move forward in order to ascertain what was out there in front of them. Admittedly, this was an unusual order to give and the three Marines must have been concerned for their well-being. The radio operator came back with "be advised that there are only three of them." The CO acknowledge their concern but "Intel" was needed. However, after a few minutes of quiet, the voice of the radio operator came back over the net and informed the CO that the LP took a vote and opted not to go out any further than they already had. Hmm, democracy in action! I can't say that I never saw that in the Marines before. The LP was ordered back in by the CO (again very usual situation) and they quickly obeyed.
After a brief discussion with the CO and the Platoon LT, the rest of us questioned the two other Marines who had been out there. They had no idea why they were called back in. They couldn't understand why they were put into such a dangerous situation by being ordered to return to the lines. I informed them of what had been said over the radio. They explained that the radio operator was the one on watch while they rested. They seriously had no idea what the radio operator was doing!
The Platoon Lt decided that I would be best used to hump the radio because I seem to have a need to know what was going on around me. He was very intuitive that way. The former radio operator was reassigned to carry the decipher unit (PRK-85) for the CP. Of course, he was also excluded from doing ambushes (stinger) or patrols (rovers) and had someone else carry his personal gear for him because the decipher unit was so heavy. So one might wonder, who was the one that came up short on this?
Semper Fi (until we die)
Robert H. Bliss
My Biggest Pet Peeve
First, I want to thank you for your service to our Corps and all you do for our Brothers. I have just read the story from 1st Sgt Herb Brewer and was amazed how much we think alike. I agree that the Marine Corps Emblem should never be called an EGA. I also believe that by doing so is disrespectful for all Marines who have gone before us.
My biggest pet peeve at the end of my tour was the wearing of a backpack while in uniform. I always wondered, what would possess a Marine to do such a thing. I'm talking Officers and Enlisted alike. If it wasn't issued to you, don't wear it. As the Inspector Chief for III MEF at the end of my tour. One day, the III MEF Inspector and I were driving around Camp Hanson and found a Marine wearing a black backpack. I yelled over to him, however, he could not hear me. I pulled into a parking lot and called him over. As he walk up to me, sitting in my car, I could feel he was going to pull rank once he saw I was a Master Sergeant. As he got closer, he bent down to notice the Colonel sitting beside me. His attitude changed and took the backpack off. We need to do the right thing, no matter what we wear on our collar. We all need to clear up the misconceptions in our Corps. "I see everyone else doing it, why can't I" mentality. We are in fact, The Marines. Thank you, for your time, Sir.
Semper Fi, Marines!
MSgt, USMC (Ret)
The Mojo Worked
Cpl. Sutton's story about a young Marine at Long Beach airport giving him his EGA to remember him by, is my story in reverse. I always had at least two sets of dog tags and a back-up shot card. When my niece's fiance, Sean, was on his way to the first Gulf War I gave him one of my tags to keep with him and the deal was he had to hand them back to me when he returned, he did. The next one was my friend's son Joe, a Coast Guardsman going over to the Persian gulf for the second War to do "hot boardings" with the same instructions. He handed it back to me at a party his parents threw for him on his return. The next time was a couple of months later when another friend of my son's was on his way to Iraq and once again the tag was handed back to me. At a party one night in Bullhead City, Arizona I was talking to a Marine who was being deployed to Afghanistan in a couple of weeks and I asked him if he would take my tag with him and he agreed to the terms. Matt's Mom came up to me later with tears in her eyes and gave me a huge hug. Matt made it home safe and sound and the tag went to his best friend who was in the Army and being deployed soon. Once again the Mojo worked so when my Grandson, Carlos, was recently deployed on a Mid-East cruise as a Corpsman attached to 3/5 the tag went with him. When he came home he told me that his Marines thought it was pretty cool for him to have a tag from an "OLD" Marine. He came home safe and sound. These young men taking my tag into these places kind of keeps me connected in a personal way.
EGA Ceremony, Cap, Hat, Cover
Respectfully, I would like to address this letter to 1st Sgt Herb Brewer who seemed a bit miffed with the terms used by Marines who may not be from his era.
First, young Marines referring to the Marine Corps Emblem as the EGA stems from recruit training. Today, there is a ceremony after the recruits complete the Crucible Course that's called the EGA ceremony. Drill Instructors present every new Marine with a Marine Corps Emblem. It's listed on the training schedule as the EGA ceremony. Afterwards the new Marines are afforded the opportunity to eat a Warrior Breakfast fit for royalty. They are then considered Marines and are no longer required to say, "Yes Sir and No Sir to other enlisted Marines". Young Marines today mean no disrespect by using the term EGA. It's what they are taught. They are just as proud of their EGA as we are of our Marine Corps Emblem.
Secondly, I suspect, 1stSgt, that you have had on occasion the opportunity to read the Marine Corps Uniform Regulations. If it's been a while, let me refresh your memory. All "covers" listed in the Uniform Regulations have been for some time referred to as "caps" (utility cap, barracks cap, garrison cap). Yes, Marines are "covered" when they are outdoors. Yes, It's proper to ask an uncovered Marine where his "cover" is. However, Marines wear "caps" according to the Uniform Regulations.
I'll relate to you what I was told when I was a Senior Drill Instructor at Parris Island. The Commanding General, Major General Robert E. Habel (circa 1981) heard me ask a recruit where his utility "cover" was. The General informed me that Marines don't wear "covers"; they wear "caps". He said trash cans have "covers"; Marines wear "caps". "Remember SSgt, "COVER" is a close order drill term used after aligning a platoon during open ranks for inspection, he said. He also asked the Depot Sergeant Major to provide me with access to a copy of the Uniform Regulations. After that, I taught recruits that they wore "caps", and should be "covered" when outdoors.
Thirdly, The Uniform Regulations specifically refer to the "hat" that Drill Instructors wear as a "Campaign (service) HAT". So, I wore both "caps" and "hats" when I was an active duty Marine, and today's Marines do too.
1stSgt, I never had the opportunity to wear a diamond on my sleeve. I was selected for 1stSgt and made the decision to retire and attend college rather than stay two more years and possibly loose the money I could get under the G.I. Education Bill for college. As a result, I admire and respect those who have worn a diamond or a star. I know that modern day Marines are different and use different terms than we used. But we are all Marines. I have just as much respect for New Corps Marines as I do for Old Corps Marines. They are doing a fine job of "setting the pace", just as we did. I respectfully suggest that you are overreacting.
Finally, I use the same tactic as you with "posers". There has never been one who willingly stands toe to toe with me to talk about his "service". Usually, they beat a hasty retreat.
Thanks for allowing me to "sound off".
A Former "Hat"
GySgt, USMC, (Ret)
Is There A Problem Sergeant
With all due respect to Master Gunnery Sergeant Jim Mackin, I beg to differ. I only made it to Sergeant in my four year tour (1969-1973) but I did serve under both Sergeant Majors and Mater Gunnery Sergeants, (and some First Sergeants acting as Sergeant Major). My final contact with a Sergeant Major was Spring of 1973 on Okinawa when I was Duty NCO one night. It was early morning, a few minutes before I was to play reveille, I had just put on coffee for the Colonel and Sergeant Major as they arrived VERY early every day. (I had the duty two times previously) In walked a Second Lieutenant who had just arrived on a C-130. I offered him a pleasant "Good morning Sir." He replied, "Never mind that cr-p! I need a ride to BOQ now!" I pointed to the clock and informed him in seven minutes I would play reveille and THEN drive him. He then proceeded to scream and yell about what a lousy flight he had (C-130s ARE noisy), to myself I'm thinking, "I've got more time in the mess hall than he has in the Marines." Out loud I replied, "Sir, I apologize, but I have my orders as Duty NCO, there are now only five minutes left until reveille." He started on another rant telling how I would NOT be a Sergeant very much longer if I continued to be insubordinate to an officer. As I watched the Sergeant Major enter I thought to myself (He's right about that, in less than 20 days I was due to fly home for "Release From Active Duty-Honorably Discharged"). The Sergeant Major interrupted the Second Lieutenant's rant and told me "As you were Sergeant." The Colonel entered shortly after the Sergeant Major had escorted the Second Lieutenant into his office and closed the door. I could hear an occasional word from the Sergeant Major, words and phrases such as, "The next time you scream at one of MY NCO's for obeying orders, will be your last! If you knew half as much about Marine Corps policy and protocol as that Sergeant out there does you would know he was right!" The colonel was drawing his first cup of coffee as I turned on the record to play reveille, he looked at me and smiling asked, "Is there a problem Sergeant?" I replied, "Not any longer Sir." When the Second Lieutenant came quietly out of the Sergeant Major's office, I offered him a ride to BOQ. He turned to me and meekly replied, "No thanks, it looks like a good day for a walk, can you point me in the right direction?" I did and he walked. I drove the duty van to pick up my replacement and then returned to sleep the sleep of the avenged.
Ed Giddings 2585231
Sergeant of the Marines
1969-1973 Semper Fi!
Outback Of Pendleton
Gen. Shoup may have cancelled drumming out in '62, but the concept hung on for some time after.
I was at Las Pulgas in 1964 forming what would be 7th Marines. Toward the end of the year we had a Regimental formation (not so much, still had 6 months to fill-in the ranks). But everyone was on the parade deck in greens. The Battalion formations were facing each other, perhaps 20 yards apart. A Mighty-mite with an MP and a prisoner in it began driving through the opening. We were all given "About Face". No drums, but I think he got the idea. I guess you can get away with things in the outback of Pendleton. Interestingly enough, there were very few discipline problems for a long time after that.
MSgt USMC Ret.
Proud Of His Cousin
Just read GySgt Rousseau's comment about Camp Hauge, Okinawa and his call for some stories on the Camp. Camp Hauge should be spelled HAUGE and not HAGUE to follow the correct family name of LOUIS J. HAUGE, who the camp was named for. Louis Hauge was from Ada, MN and was awarded the MOH for falling on a grenade and saving his fellow Marines in the battle for Okinawa. I was stationed at Camp Hauge in 1961-62 and my home town in ND is just 50 miles from Hauge's hometown of Ada, MN.
A few years ago while passing through Ada I stopped at the local bar and had the pleasure of running into an elderly gentleman who was Louis Hauge's cousin, and had some great stories of things they had done while growing up. He was a charming old gentleman, very proud of his WWII service and very proud of his cousin Louis. The VFW (or Legion) in Ada is named for Louis Hauge, and the name is pronounced "HOWGEE".
While stationed at Camp Hauge, I witnessed a drumming out ceremony in late May 1961 - a very grim event - enough to make you square away and fall in line very quickly! I also played football for the "Royals" a team mostly made up of 12th Marines in 1961 - anyone else still out there who may have played for a team during that season?
Cpl Martin Johnson
"Trust Everyone - But Brand Your Cattle"
Marines Won't Change
By Jerry Carroll
(Interview of 24th Commandant between 1968 - 1971)
"There will be no attempt whatsoever to make the Marine Corps a more congenial and comfortable organization to work for," its Commandant said yesterday.
"Negative," General Leonard F. Chapman Jr. replied with brisk, professional economy when asked about the prospects.
General Chapman spoke at a press conference at the Marines' Memorial Club during a one-day stopover in the Bay Area to inspect Marine facilities.
He was asked about proposals revealed last week by the Army which would ease life for the enlisted man by eliminating such trials as predawn reveille and midnight inspections.
Chapman, crisp, dry and unwrinkled, made his one-word reply when someone inquired as to whether the Marines might do likewise. "Why not, General?" another reporter asked.
"The object of recruit training is to instill discipline and other virtues of loyalty and patriotism and to put recruits under physical and mental strains to see if they can stand up to it," the four-star general said.
"If he can't take it at the recruit depot, he can't take it on the battlefield," Chapman added.
In fact, he commented after a pause, if anything the Marines are going to "tighten up and toughen up".
The Commandant had occasion during the press conference to reject another suggestion from an Army source calling for the formation of longhair and shorthair platoons to spur rivalry.
That suggestion - with the inevitable allusions to General George Custer of the long, flowing locks - was made in this month's Military Review, a publication of the Army's general staff college.
"The Marine Corps is not going to do that because it's hazardous in combat," Chapman said, unsmilingly, noting that long hair tends to get tangled in rifle and machine gun parts.
Beyond that, he said, "wounds in hairy areas are much more susceptible to infection."
Chapman afterward awarded the Navy Cross - the nation's second highest decoration for heroism - to Staff Sergeant Harold A. Riensche, 29, now a mechanic for the city of Oakland.
No Phone Call
I was a Radio Tech with 3rd Amtracs at Camp Delmar, Camp Pendleton when the balloon went up. I was called to go to the Comm Office and meet the Comm XO, a WO. He asked me to volunteer for a special mission. It seems there was concern about a possible action in Cuba and 3rd Amtracs was tasked with putting together an advance team. There was to be one officer, one Sgt, one radio tech, one radio operator, and one mechanic along with 30 crewman and 10 Amtracs.
We were instructed to update our shots and wills, pack our sea bags and be prepared to move out at a moment's notice. That was if a Navy ship ever showed up to pick up the Tracs. Four to five days went by and soon a couple of ships anchored off the base. Two days went by and nothing happened. Finally my Company CO called me into his office and said the volunteers would mount up later that night. He asked if I still had my car and hooch in O'Side and did it have a phone. I told him yes on all counts.
I had a part time sales job that paid me more than most senior ranking Marines made. My "hooch" was a one bedroom bungalow, one house off the beach and I was the only enlisted living here. My neighbors were all officers or civilians and at that time I was a L/Cpl.
Anyway my CO told me to go home and get some sleep and if the order to move out came, the Duty NCO would call me to come in.
The next morning I awoke with no phone call. I went in at the appointed time and found the whole Battalion was gone. Everything was gone. I was very concerned about missing a movement so I went to the Provost office and told them I never was called and needed to get out to the ship. Several hours went by and they finally called me into the PM's office. He told me that POTUS decided that the whole Division was going, and in fact it was gone. Everybody that could fly had been bused to El Toro and were enroute on commercial airlines. Amtracs were on the ship. Division decided a few had to stay back to hold down things until the dust settled, so rather than decide who stayed, they simply swapped lists.
I was told to go to 3rd Amtracs messhall to meet up with the LT and the rest of the volunteers who also did not go. The LT told me he didn't know what my MOS did and didn't need me underfoot so I should go back to my hooch in O'Side and call in everyday at noon. I did and spent the entire time surfing, playing with my lady friend and working my part time job.
About a month later 3rd Amtracs came back and peacetime Marine life went back to normal.
Corporal of Marines
If You Rate
Two things, Donald Sofia did you just start reading this newsletter? It's been full of Cuban Missile Crisis stories for months, along with Lebanon, and the now famous Ontos. Second, the Vietnam medals. It's good to see even the old guys still fall hook, line, and sinker for everything that comes off the Lance Corporal hotline. If you rate it you can get it, but everybody knows not everybody rates it.
Back in 1996 I went to Shanghai, China with BLT 2/5, 31st MEU(SOC). The rumor began that we would receive the PUC and China Service Medal for our dog and pony show, it was amazing how many people believed that one, myself included.
Dropped Their Trou
I have just received an e-mail from a Prior Service Marine I knew, bringing back the memory of THE TATOO. Back in 1982, I was XO of K-4/14, a Joliet, IL 155SP howitzer battery. We would do 5X drill (long weekend) FIREXs at Camp McCoy, WI. SGT Ken Havelka had recently joined the battery; he was a prior service Vietnam Vet, in a recon unit there. The word went out quickly about SGT Havelka's tattoo. We had base liberty that Saturday night, after firing our ammunition quota. There was only one "club" aboard Camp McCoy. Some of the other battery officers and I went to the club to check out his tattoo.
When we saw SGT Havelka at the bar, we asked him about his tattoo. He suddenly dropped his trou, and at first we thought he was mooning us. But he had this large tattoo of a spider on his b-tt!
His sea story: He and some buddies were always getting into trouble while in Nam. One day, they decided to get tattoos. At the next formation, the platoon commander calls them out front and center. "You got a bug up your azz?" They dropped their trou and yelled in unison, "Yes SIR."
I don't remember how much time SGT Havelka said they got for "defacing government property." Havelka retired from the USMCR as a GySgt. Anyone else know about or witness the spider? Maybe SGT Havelka was mooning us!
Around My Waist
Yes, the camp was named after Cpl. Louis Hauge. He earned the Medal of Honor as a Machine Gunner on Okinawa.
I was stationed there in 1961-1962. I was Commander of the Guard during one of our usual typhoons. The base was evacuated to Sukeran except for the guard detail. We stayed in one of the Quonset-type huts near the gate. One 8" Self-propelled howitzer was positioned at the gate. The crew stayed in it, that thing wasn't going anywhere. We had to man only one post, Special Weapons. I went out in a jeep and relieved the soaked sentry every half hour or so. That was a fun drive in a topless Jeep. The men in the hut couldn't get any rest. All the windows were blown, letting in the rain. We could see the door bulging out from the pressure. The OD thought we should try to move to a more secure area. The most secure was the Shower/Head building about 50yds out. He suggested that as senior enlisted (GySgt, E6), I should tie a line around my waist, make my way out, secure the line and then the men could use the line to get over to the building. I demurred, I'm 5'6", and then I weighed not more than 140. The wind, then at its peak, would have shot me into the East China Sea and there were all kinds of heavy debris flying around. Somebody could have been killed. After another couple hours, it was over. We went out and surveyed the wreckage.
I have Platoon books that I have found and have bought. I collect them and give them back to who ever has lost theirs by flood, ex-wife, or fire. So far I have return 6 Platoon books to Marine and still have 138 Books left.
My email for them is marinecorps1955[at]yahoo.com. I have information on our site about how to find there books. I would like to find them a home.
William E. Pilgrim Jr.
U.S.M.C. '72 TO '81
The Parris Island, S.C. Books I have on hand are:
Platoons 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027, Jan. 26, 1985 to April 9, 1985.
Platoons 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 Dec. 15, 1989 to March 2, 1990.
Platoons 2152, 2153, 2154, Aug. 27, 1996 to Nov. 8, 1996.
Platoons 2016, 2017, 2018, Nov. 25, 1998 to Feb. 13, 1998.
Platoons 4004 & 4005 Nov. 17, 1998 to Feb. 5, 1999 (Women Platoons).
The San Diego, C.A. books I have on hand are:
Platoons 2033, 2034, 2035, June 25, 1993 to Sept. 10, 1993.
Platoons 3105, 3106, 3107, March 28, 1995 to June 9, 1995.
Platoons 1105, 1106, 1107, 1108, August 4, 1998 to Oct. 23, 1998.
Platoons 1017, 1018, 1019, Dec. 14, 1999 to March 3, 2000.
Platoons 3061, 3062, 3063, April 3, 2001 to June 22, 2001.
Mr. Pilgrim has many more Platoon Books. We will list them in groups of (5) in each future newsletter until all have been listed.
My cousin and I were both Marines of the post-Korean, pre-Vietnam era andobviously we are both getting up there in years. My cousin now has MS and I am becoming pretty riddled with arthritis.
As a child, I listened often to my Dad speak occasionally of his service in the Marine Corps when he served with the 3rd Marine Division in World War II. He was in on the mop-up on Guadalcanal and the initial landings on Bouganville and Guam. He never did talk about it all very much but when he spoke of the Corps, even as a child I could see the unspoken pride of the Corps in his eyes and his weather-beaten face. He was generally pretty patient with me in my younger years and all my immature and bothersome questions;
"Did you guys hate the J-ps, Dad?"
"No, we had to respect them as they were ferocious fighters."
"Were they pretty stupid?"
"H-ll no! They were good soldiers and experts at camouflage."
I could always tell when my questions began to get on his nerves as he would begin to show signs of exasperation. At one point I recall he gave me an envelope of perhaps 50 photographs some combat photographer took on Guam during the invasion and sold copies to several Marines. I nearly wore the photos out. Sadly, as a child, I never took very good care of them and over the ensuing years, many of them were lost.
Dad also gave me a small photograph album filled with mementoes he had sent home to his grandparents while he served in the South Pacific. Hand-written in the album, with white ink on the black photo album pages were two short poems, author unknown. With your kind indulgence, Sgt. Grit, I would like to include them here. Perhaps some Old Marine readers out there might have seen them before. H-ll, maybe one of the readers penned these lines:
"Hollywood - Bouganville Style"
Now you who make light of the Army's task,
In the far Pacific sea,
Harken a bit to this tale of woe,
Yes, lend an ear to me.
Just fancy the plight of the Army Photog,
Dispatched to Bouganville,
To film the scene as the Army chased,
Poor Tojo over the hill.
He sneaked ashore with all his gear,
At Empress Augusta Bay,
He rigged up his tripod, checked on the light,
Got ready in every way.
And now came the boats, right into the surf,
Their passengers salty and damp.
Dog-faces, tough, with bayonets fixed,
Crowding at every ramp.
The camera recorded the glorious scene,
When he swore in terrific dismay,
Some naked Marines who'd landed last week,
We're swimming out there, in the way.
Wearily shifting his gadgets,
He moved to the bomber strip.
Where he could cut out a picture,
Well worth the while of his trip.
"Our Engineers Working in Battle",
His mind envisioned the name,
The added ambition that lurked in his mind,
Was possible camera fame.
And so to the task he bent every care,
The setting must be of the best,
The sun must be just at the zenith,
Each man to be properly dressed.
After Dog-face, in helmet and pistol,
Was seated behind the controls,
Of every dozer and dump truck, then,
The camera started to roll.
But then to his horror, again he was plagued,
This time by a group of Seabees,
Hairy, bewhiskered, with decrepit hats,
And trousers cut off at the knee.
The poor Army Photog was madder than h-ll,
His brains they actually reeled,
The Seabees were laughing, for they didn't care,
'Twas they who had built the d-mned field.
The second poem is called "Give 'Em Credit"
The Marines and the Seabees had quite a thrill,
As the Army staged "The Invasion of Bouganville".
The cameras were clicking as they swarmed ashore,
With fixed bayonets, into the jungle they tore.
They dug up dead Nips, and took pictures galore,
According to the Army, they killed a lot more.
Opposition was little, for they did not know,
That the Marines had already put an end to the show.
And still they maintain, to this very day,
That the Army was in first on Empress Augusta Bay.
So we, the Marines and the Seabees will keep our own mouths still,
For we know who landed first on Bouganville.
The Army has taken command, so here we stay longer,
Stringing more wire, making their pill-boxes stronger,
Fifty-two boxes of ammo, for each of their guns,
The Army will not relieve us, 'til all this is done.
So take all the glory, the honor and more,
But how many buddies did you lose when you hit the shore?
J. Wise, Pfc.
My Way Of Thinking
I received my discharge from active duty in November of 1970, and during the 43 years that followed, did not set foot on a Marine Corps Base - until this spring. During a weekend getaway in March to Beaufort, SC, I took my wife to Parris Island to tour the recruiting depot and visit the museum. Then in late May, we traveled to Washington DC to attend a reunion celebrating the 45th anniversary of my graduation from OCS and The Basic School at Quantico. Some 70 of us gathered in a hotel in DC to eat, drink, swap sea stories and reminisce, and thanks to the fellow graduates who organized the reunion, toured OCS and TBS where we received briefings from the XO of OCS, the CO of TBS and a TBS Captain who gave us both a lecture and a tour. We also toured the Marine Corps Museum, then had drinks in Tun Tavern with Major General Robertson.
The following day, we attended the Sunset Parade at 8th & I to listen to the band and to watch the Silent Drill Platoon. I certainly saw a lot and heard a lot of "Marine Corps" during both visits. I took the opportunity to talk with many active duty Marines - both officers and enlisted men - at PI, Quantico and 8th & I. After being around those active duty Marines and seeing how advanced physically and technologically both officer and enlisted training has become, I realized that my Marine Corps had gotten better and better and BETTER over the years, and that the pride, physical fitness, discipline, enthusiasm, bearing and dedication to duty of today's Marines had not diminished one bit in 43 years. To my way of thinking, that's why the Marines Corps is SO d-mn special - Marines are always the BEST - yesterday, today and tomorrow.
SR Van Tyle
Once a Captain, Always a Marine
The FLIGHT LINE
Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #6, #2, (FEB., 2016)
This is another one of those stories that I found tucked away in the corners of the ole brain bucket. I know that there are more in there, but I just don't know where they are right now. Some of the things that I want to tell you are at certain times of the year, or when they are or take place, that way you can be up and current. Now, the one that I want to do for the month of Feb. is actually in the same category. So, I'm a little ahead of schedule. Plus, I originally set out to just cover stories that I had for the Air Wing, but remember that I was in both during my career. So, ya get get what ya got!
I have to go back to my days (May, 1957 to Feb. 1958) at the MARINE Barracks, Naval Powder Factory in Indian Head, Maryland. I was the senior Sgt. In the barracks and my duties varied during the course of the day. One of my assignments was to oversee the Enlisted Club, as a sort of manager. Now, this wasn't a big job because we only had about 60 enlisted men at the time. And, normally a third of them were on watch, so the attendance in the Club was not normally high. This allowed me and my good buddy and room mate, Sgt, (later Major) John J. Mullins Jr. the luxury of going out the gate just about as often as we wished, which was quite often in those days. He was the Admin. Chief, so neither of us had Guard assignments or responsibilities. Although one of my duties was as the Drill Master for the non-rated Navy personnel on the Facility. My mission in this capacity was to make them "Parade Ready". Not an easy task.
I remember that there were two (2) bars just steps outside the gate in Indian Head and they were unique in a number of ways. One was, they would grant you a card for 5.00 dollars credit and then punch it when you ordered a pitcher of beer. Now, you could also get a second, or third or more if you liked. Hell, who wouldn't like that, and then you paid them on payday. Now, this was back in 1957 when there was still trust in one's fellow man. What a great concept. The entertainment of the night was sitting on the curb and drinking beer and watching the cars drive on base/grounds. The two bars were on the one side of the road/street and the base/grounds were on the other. Maryland Hwy #210 ended at the gate, and it still does. The main gate as I said before was just steps away from the two clubs. A very strange layout, but I didn't have a hand in it. After a night of sitting on the curb outside the Clubs and watching the streets being rolled up, we would go up the road about a mile to the local diner and get our favorite burgers. We always asked them to wrap them in the latest product on the market called Aluminum Foil (remember this was 1957). We'd then return to the Base/barracks and put them on the radiator for breakfast, WOW! First class living!
I almost forgot, but there was a S/Sgt. (name since forgotten) that would sometimes bring his trumpet to town and he would play jazz while we were soaking up the suds and moonlight. He was very good. You just don't find that going on anywhere anymore.
Topless, Backless, Slit Up to
Early to mid-70's... Ordnance Maintenance Platoon (-), USMCR, from Moline, IL. drew Camp Lejeune and 2nd FSR as the site for their annual two weeks Active Duty Training. As the Inspector-Instructor, I got to go along, to assist/mentor the Reserve CO, one Captain Don Workman... an 0302 with a few years in, and in civilian life, a farmer... with a job in town. (wry local comment at the time was you could tell what kind of farmer you were talking to, depending on what kind of town job he had... Don, I think, managed a big warehouse). We got to Camp Swampy, got the troops settled in in some brick barracks, and we wound up quartered in the BOQ at Paradise Point... close to the O club. We shared a room... head facilities were down the hall, and, I might mention, this was a co-ed BOQ although we didn't know that at the outset. At the end of the day, we decided that it was time for a shower, an adult beverage (or five) and some grub. Don wandered down the hall to the shower, came back and pronounced the hot water was indeed hot, and that he was going to go on over to the bar, and I could catch up with him after evening ablutions. So far, so good... and I grabbed the old Dopp kit, wrapped a towel around my manly midriff and padded off to the shower. Upon returning down the hall, freshly scrubbed and reeking of Right Guard (never did know if it was socially acceptable to use it on the port pit or not) and Old Spice, and wrapped in my brought from home towel, I discovered that: a. there were women living in the building, and b. Don had gone over to the club... with the only key to the now-locked door to our room in his pocket. I finally found a phone in a lounge area, called the club, and somehow managed to get the barkeep to get Don to the phone... with instructions to get his AZZ back over to OUR room toot de sweet with the key before the MP's hauled me in on a morals charge. (I didn't have to remind him I had more time in grade than he had in the Corps...). He showed up, let me in the room, and once casually dressed, off we went in search of sustenance... the club was it, or else, as we had no wheels, nor any hope of getting any.
The O Club apparently had not been doing particularly well. It seems the advisory board had determined that the way to fiscal solvency was to up-grade the place from a commissioned slop-chute to one of the tonier joints on the Carolina swamp lands. They had, for openers, employed a blonde lady as a hostess for the restaurant, who was attired (more or less) in a topless, backless, slit up to their evening strap. (I think her tenure was brief... something to do with a cabal of Lt.Col's wives). They also had a wandering violinist, and a sommelier (plump Navy Chief Corpsman from the hospital... wandering around with a wine-tasting spoon hung around his neck). By this point, Don and I are both wondering if we are going to be able to afford to eat in this place on our per diem for the next two weeks? The 'Specials' board as we had entered the restaurant (once we bothered to look at it, instead of the clothes the hostess was not wearing) indicated that the Chef's main effort for the evening was "Duck a' la Orange"... that may be dead fowl cooked with citrus, but that's not the way it's usually priced... And then we were presented the menu folders... faux leather... and when I saw the evening's offerings inside... printed crookedly on thermo fax paper... I knew we were home... with the Corps we knew and loved... I think the rest of the two weeks we ate burgers from the bar menu in the stag bar... and we got another key to the room...
Also the first ride ever in a Gama Goat... interesting machine... as we approached the New River, the driver, stomping on the clutch, managed to cause the cable to the slave receptacle (on the left front cowl) to come loose, arc against the aluminum hull by his foot, burn a 2" hole in the firewall... we came close to sinking before we got that thing back to shore...
Cpl Annette Howards, USMC-WR 1944-1946 has joined PFC Bernie Howards, USMC 1944-1946 at the big F4U Maintenance Hanger in the sky with the other Veterans of Air Base Group-2. Semper Fi Mom and Dad.
Sgt of Marines
Lost And Found
A big thanks for putting my letter in your mag. I was the guy who wrote about being 100 percent disabled and divorced twice, two failed engagements bla, bla, and bla. But, I did hear from a few Marines out there and I just wanted to say not since my return home from Nam in 1971 have I felt so proud to be a Marine or just a human being in that matter, but a Marine first.
Again Sgt. Grit and to your staff and all the Marines out there home or abroad, I salute you and from my heart a SEMPER FI and may God Bless you all and our M.I.A.s.
Anyone out there from the 3rd Batt., 1st Marines or other that would like to email back and forth once in a while. I have some great and funny stories I could share. Please don't get me wrong, I love women, I think they are all good and sweet people, it's just to me ladies, I think It's that Gemeni thing :).
LCpl Machine Gunner Sam
The 1968 All-Arizona Marine platoon 1034 from MCRD San Diego, CA is looking for any members who are not in contact with our Brotherhood. Our D.I.'s were SSgt Nelson, SSgt Lewis and SSgt Nicolas. Please contact Oscar at oscarbaz[at]cox.net
I would like to get in contact with members of Honors PLT 231, MCRD San Diego, 12AUG-1NOV 1955. Senior drill instructor was SSgt J.F. Cody, Junior instructor CPL. Kowalsky.
Contact me at: geehlaj[at]q.com
If you had to pick, what is the one thing the Marine Corps taught you?
I have found a new home for a Platoon Book for a Marine who went through Boot camp in 1961. What made it so cool was he and I booth graduated from Platoon 114, Parris Island S.C., 12 years apart.
Thank you Sgt. Grit.
William E. Pilgrim Jr.
U.S.M.C. '72 - '81
The Richard Hamm Vietnam Story
Interesting story of a 9-year-old penpal while recuperating aboard the USS Sanctuary off Vietnam.
Richard Hamm Vietnam
I was stationed at HQFMFLant during the missile crisis and watched as Force Recon came through on the way to do a physical recon of the sites in Cuba. I had security duty at the war room when the OIC checked in after their return. Was an interesting few days For an 03 Marine.
After the war, Maj Ortiz lived in Los Angeles and hooked up with John Ford, appearing in a number of movies. Most famously as the cavalry officer with the eye patch in Rio Grande, opposite John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.
In response to Don Sofia's letter about "no wars during his watch" in the time period 1959-1962 and the Cuban Missile Crisis. I was on active duty from 1958 to 1962 and three of those years was with 1st Composite Radio Company at Kaneohe MCAS Hawaii. We sent 40 or so of our company to Pleiku and Phu Bai, Vietnam in January of 1962. While not technically at war, 1st Radio Co. members were first Marine "Boots on the Ground" in Vietnam as far as I know. Unfortunately, I was not part of the group and rotated back to the States in May 1962 for discharge.
CPL E-4 MOS 2533/2571
"Navy shower"... a can of Right Guard and clean skivvies...
"Awright, men... good news... After a week in the bush, we're going to get a change of skivvies! Those of you in the first rank will change with those in the second rank, those in the third rank with those in the fourth rank, and so on"...
Four day drawers... forward, backwards, then inside out forward, then backwards...
It was good to read comments from Cpl Sofia, our 155mm gun battery tanker driver. When I look back on the Cuban missile crisis, I am all more proud to be a Prior Service Marine. I was amazed at how fast our Field Artillery Group got all that heavy equipment together, loaded it on rail cars, got the entire unit to Morehead City (Radio Island), loaded it onto the LST Grant County, and proceeded to Cuba. It was a letdown when we learned that Krushev had backed off and we probably were not going into Cuba.
New 2nd Lt at the time.
The Colonel took up a little acting after WW2. He may be seen with John Wayne in "Rio Grande" as the very gentlemanly Capt. St. Jacques wearing a patch over one eye.
I can't believe that there is no more swoop circle! That was the place to be for a 3 or a 4 day weekends, weather you were looking for a ride or looking for fellow Marines to split the cost of travel.
"The first day I was at Camp, I was afraid I was going to Die! The next two weeks, my sole fear was that I wasn't going to Die! After that I knew I'd never die because I became so hard that nothing could Kill Me!"
--(World War I Recruits Bootcamp Comment)
"Truth... never comes into the world but like a bast-rd, to the ignominy of him that brought her forth."
--John Milton, The Doctrine and Discipline of Divorce 
"The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws."
"Some people spend an entire lifetime wondering if they made a difference. The Marines don't have that problem."
--President Reagan, 1985.
Get the Sgt Grit t-shirt that bares this quote:
President Ronald Reagan Marines Quote T-Shirt
"To All My Fellow Belleau Woodsmen: Stay Green, Re-enlist!"