The Rock and Racks by Norm Spilleth

Left to right, PFC Phil Liguori, PFC Norm Spilleth, PFC Bill Jones, in the second deck squad bay of the VMA-212 barracks wearing our 782 gear after returning from our physical readiness test, sometime in 1963. photo from Norm Spilleth

Left to right, PFC Phil Liguori, PFC Norm Spilleth, PFC Bill Jones, in the second deck squad bay of the VMA-212 barracks wearing our 782 gear after returning from our physical readiness test, sometime in 1963. photo from Norm Spilleth

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 were a group of two story flat roofed, stucco buildings with open squad bays that were connected by breezeways. The VMA-212 barracks had the MPs on one side and the helo boys from HMM161 on the other. Next to the HMM-161 barracks was the mess hall. The front of the buildings faced a grassy drill field ringed with banyan trees. On the other side was the MAG-13 headquarters and to the right was Kansas Tower on top of a hill. The barracks had an upper and lower open squad bays divided into six bunks (or racks) that formed cubicles by standard green wall lockers and a central corridor.

Mosquitoes were picky eaters

Each rack in the barracks had a mosquito net which was a necessity on the “Windward Side” side of the Island. The mosquito nets were needed because of the mosquitoes 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.

VMA-212 barracks in the background and three of our guys out tanning, photo from Norm Spilleth

VMA-212 barracks in the background and three of our guys out tanning, photo from Norm Spilleth

Pebble beach

Our barracks were two stories tall with open squad bays and roll open windows all around. There was also a wide ledge outside between the first and second stories. On the first floor (deck) there was the duty NCO office and a recreation room with TV and stereo. The roof was accessible by ladder from inside and the surface was covered with crushed rock which we called pebble beach and used for sunbathing. The problem was that it was off limits. Nobody was allowed up there. We would get warned by the duty NCO from time to time that we were observed on the roof by guards in Kansas tower who scanned the base with binoculars looking for trouble. Then we would move to the walkway above the breezeway that connected the barracks. Getting a deep Hawaiian suntan was a major preoccupation. We came up with our own mixture of baby oil and coconut oil that gave a really dark tan. After two years, we were all bronze Gods waiting to wow the ladies when we got back to the land of the big PX.

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45 thoughts on “The Rock and Racks by Norm Spilleth”

  1. I remember those days on the rock. I too couldn’t wait to get beck to the mainland! I was with MABS-24 from ’83 to ’85. We would mainly spend our days partying as we were in the airwing after all, with not much else to do. I was with a great support unit at Lejeune, just back from Beirut and getting ready to go back there, when I got orders to go to this quasi-Marine Corps base. I was not happy to not be in the FMF anymore as we pretty much didn’t feel like real Marines! The best part of being over on the rock was going to NCO school at camp Smith.

    1. The Marine Corps has many seabags filled with sadistical tricks; but to put an 18 year old Pfc. with a paycheck, in Hawaii in the early 70’s, was definitely one of their better ones! Discipline was very lax, major issues involving drug use and racism, extremely salty attitudes, all contributed to a lot of young Marines straying from the SOP. There were also the eternal temptations of Hotel St. and Waikiki. That being said, 1/3 was the best trained, best performing outfit in the FMF during the time, 74-76, that I was there. Back to back “Super Squad” wins, access to live fire ranges at PTA and Kahoolawe, and a very rapid mount-out for Frequent Wind all indicated our proficiency as a crack infantry/assault battalion. Things tightened up considerably in 1975 when Gen. Wilson became Commandant. All in all. , K-Bay was a great duty station, especially compared to Geiger. But that’s another story.

      1. I agree with Rusty. I was at K-bay from 78-82. At that time we were home of the wast pac. I was with 2/3 and did 3 deployment, we were a tight hung ho unti, battalion wide. As in anything leadership is the key. My battalion commander was a then Lt. Col. Walter Boomer, he later led all marines in the first gulf war, retired as asst.comadant with four stars. The XO and my co. Commander for a short time when we created weapons co out of H & S, was the toughest marines I ever knew, Bill Steed. We trained long and hard, and were gung ho and ready to go. By the grace of God the bell never rang, but we were proud to be Hawaii Marines. And I am proud to say I will see all these guys including General Boomer and Col. Steed next week at our 4th reunion. J.T. Marvel Weapons Co. 2/3 78-82

  2. I was assigned to Kaneohe MCAS from May 1959 to May 1962 (arrived right before Hawaii Statehood). My barracks, of 1st Composite Radio Co., were as described. We were located in between the barracks of Charlie Med and a grunt outfit on the other side. Our barracks was down the walkway and not far from the base PX. Our operations officer, a Captain at the time, was former commandant Gen. Al Gray. Years later, when I was working with the federal government back in Virginia, I had written Gen. Gray a short note, addressed to Hqs Marine Corps, and mentioned I served with him at Kaneohe MCAS. He wrote write back and invited me to have lunch with him at Hqs Marine Corps. While assigned to 1st Composite Radio Co. we had many TDY’s to the Phillipines, Japan, Okinawa, Formosa and once back to Conus. It broke up the three years nicely. In January of 1962, a detachment of our group consisting of about 45 MOS 2533/2571 types (as I was), mounted up and was sent to Viet Nam. I did not get to go as I was less than five months from discharge but we like to say 1st Radio was first Marine boots on the ground in Viet Nam.

    1. I was with First Radio from 1973-1975. We did a lot of staging (1973 Yom Kippur war in Israel, 1975 Fall of Viet Nam). Nothing came of this as the Israelis got their shit together and the powers that be in Nam screwed up big time. I was trying to get into Nam from being TAD in Korea, but ended up on Okinawa, waiting with Third Marines for marching orders that never came. Watched a Sumo wrestling tournament for a week before I got back to Hawaii. No sooner unpacked than I was repacking to assist with the Mayaguez rescue operation. The operation was over before I could get there. I was sent to Camp Lejeune in August and wished they would have let me stay in Hawaii. Now I’m one of the Camp Lejeune water people. Couldn’t get sent where the war was, but got exposed to potentially toxic water stateside. For years I was mad at Gerald Ford for doing nothing for an ally. Would we have made a difference, not unless we went back in force. That wasn’t going to happen so Nam fell, followed by Cambodia. The death of 2 million Cambodians are on this nations soul.

  3. I loved my 11 years at K-Bay. Three tours there with VMFA-235, VMFA-232, H&MS-24, and 1st MEB staff from 1971 to 1991. I liked it because it was the only standing MAGTF in the USMC with a BSSG, a composite MAG with helos and fighters, and the Third Marine Regiment. Units went on plenty deployments to WESPAC and CONUS and of course to Desert Shield / Storm on my last tour. When the whistle blew for Desert Shield, all units of the 1st MEB deployed to Saudi and married up with MPF ships with all the gear. Pretty impressive operation. I was in the Corps from 1969 to 1992. While at K-Bay, we were “Pineapple” Marines. Folks either loved it on the “Rock” or hated it. I think it depended on how much you loved the beach and Waikiki..

    1. I was with 1/12 when Desert Storm went down. We had been training on the Big Island. Three days later we were on Hawaii Air National Guard C-130s doing an emergency redeployment back to K-Bay. About a week after that we were on our way to the Gulf. The MPF concept worked pretty. We were supposed to be in country and ready to fight in 10 days. I think we were ready to go in about nine. We weren’t “real ready”, but we were in the field with ammo on the deck ready to put steel on target if we needed to.

  4. Yup! did my time at Kaneohe MCAS between late 1956 and early 1959 before being transferred to Treasure Island SF for discharge. When first arrived, I was assigned aircraft mechanic and got the deserved stupid treatment by being ordered to take a bucket to other hangers looking for prop wash or flight line but I did as I was ordered as any good Marine. Assigned to maintenance on a HUP 2 Helicopter where I also participated in rescue practice and operations with a great Marine flight Lt. Later transferred to Crash Crew which was a lucky break as I got a great start as a new civilian working for Lockheed Air Terminal at a test facility in Palmdale, Ca.. Also must mention, I met my wife of now 57 years there in Hawaii who married me in beautiful downtown Burbank as they used to say on Laugh-In TV. Semper Fi Brothers LCP E. Noll

  5. I spent my 2 years on “The Rock” with Norm Spilleth as we arrived and left together. I also could not wait to get out of there and back to the real world, but looking back, wouldn’t trade it for anything!

  6. I was with Hq.. and Hq. Sq. on Kaneohe from May 57 to May 59. I went there from 8th Marines in Lejune and like one of the others in this thread found the duty to be really different. We carried our own Liberty Cards and as long as you had permission from your Top, were free to come and go as you pleased. A bit different than the 8th. Then it was the home of the 1st Marine Brigade and having visited the area last year find it has changed to being the home of the 3rd Marines. Just had a meeting with my Buddy from those years and we had a good time talking about the experiences we had. 50 cents got you a ride over the Pali in a packed cab and for 40 cents you got a double order of rice and gravy at a diner where you would find another 50 cents would get you back to base. With what we were being paid, it was about all we could afford.

  7. Was stationed with 1st Radio Battalion, 3rd Marine Brigade, FMF from 72 – 75 and only TDY I got was to Frequent Wind / Eagle Pull. I love every minute of it. Partied way to hard first year and then reuped to get the bonus and bring my wife over. Year later, she left and I had some free time on my hands so the Corps sent me TDY to ships off the coast of Vietnam for Frequent Wind. When not on watch, we were pretty free to come and go as we pleased, but with a two-two-two and 80, it made for an interesting schedule. Rode a lot of liberty buses over the Palli

    1. Forgot to mention in my original post re Kaneohe MCAS, that I was among the group of newly graduated MOS 2533 (Radio Telegraph Operator) class that was sent from Radio school at MCRD San Diego, to Camp Smith, Hawaii in May 1959 to begin forming up 1st Radio Co., later known as 1st Composite Radio Co. during my time. We were at Camp Smith for about a month before we got our permanent quarters at Kaneohe. Our motor pool with radio jeeps and vans was down near, at the time, the main gate and very close to the perimeter of the base. I used to find spent .50 cal slugs undamaged except for some corrosion, down near our little beach area. They were probably fired up at the Japs during the Dec 7, attacks. As the crow flies, it was a couple of miles from the motor pool area to the airbase part of Kaneohe. I didn’t think much of it at the time and would fling the slugs out into the water. Wish i had kept some of them. Some of the concrete hangers at the base still had bullet pock marks in them from the attack. As you probably know, the first Medal of Honor of WWII was won at Kaneohe by a Navy swabbie who stood out in the open firing back at the attacking jap planes.

        1. Petty officer John William Finn was the swabbie who won the MOH at Kaneohe during the attack by the Japs on Hawaii.

    2. Val, those were the good old days at 1st Radio. I was in the DF Platoon in those days. We worked in the Log Area and waited daily for the “Roach Coach” to show up and feed us. Those of us who were Cpl and below had to ride in the trucks to and from or walk. Most of those building fell down during Hurricane Eva and the battalion has moved the work areas and the SCIF to the area next the the track down from the Boondocker. Termites got the Boondocker a few years ago and it is now gone. Used to go to movies there almost every night even after they raised the price to 35 cents.

    1. Me too! Was on Okinawa 61-62 and it is a big coral ROCK! Been to Hawaii many times (my dime, not my rich Uncle Sam) and have never viewed Hawaii as a ‘rock’. Go to Kauai, the Garden Isle, for a true appreciation of Hawaii. Boot Camp at San Diego, then 3rd MarDiv (HQ) on Okinawa and ended active duty at FMFLANT at Camp Lejeune (8th Engineers), Grew up in the Corps and proud to serve! I was followed by 1 brother (USNA ’67 and Capt. USMC), two brothers-in-law (one a Capt. and the other a Sgt) and one nephew (also a Sgt). All are/were proud Marines. Semper Fi, Do or Die! Tom Morgan, Sgt E-5.

      1. I was stationed at Camp Foster August 74 to September 75, we called Okinawa the “Rock” too. I’m sure the Okinawa “Rock” was more humid than the Hawaiian “Rock”.

  8. I was stationed at K Bay March 60 to March 62 F/2/4 1st Platoon. Went TAD to Hq Bn/PMO Military Police for a short time then back to F/2/4 3rd Platoon. Shared an apartment with two buddies right behind the International Market Place and spent most of my free time on the beach. What a great duty station.

  9. At K-Bay June 63 thru 65 with vmf 232. Made many trips thru the Pali tunnel. Had good friends at 212 James fields and Jim Hurley. Also made the famous round trip to the west coast on a LST I think it was February of 65. Pulled into SAN Diego afternoon left 1 am to go back to Pearl. By the time we were back we all were all old salts we could take any weather that came our way. All and all had a good time in Hawaii. Ralph E-4

  10. I was at K-Bay for 2 years 1961 to 1963. It was the best duty station that I served at. I was in HHS and was assigned to the pistol range as an instructor. We didn’t have enough time to do things we wonted to. Hawaii is a true paradise. I have been back 3 times in the last 5 years and plan to go back again. Things are mutch better now as for as recreation on and off base. Although there will always be barracks rats who will say their is nothing to do.

  11. at Headquarters Marine Corps met 2 Marines who were stationed at Hawaii -One was a guy named La Gere and a woman Marine nicknamed Scotty- she had red hair and could drink most male Marines under the table at the NCO Club- while La Gere told witty humorous remarks and we all drank and laughed- so I wasn’t in Hawaii- but these 2 bring back pleasant memories as one night one Marine wanted to punch out another Marine- and La Gere got between these two and had them laughing and buying each other drinks – defusing a tense moment. Because the Sgt. who ran the club was from Cleveland- and as big as Jimmy Brown the football player and had the same name as well. Haven’t though of this incident since 1965 – wow- I am glad to share and thanks for the memory jogger.

  12. K-Bay 74-77 with Station Operations and Maintenance Squadron working GCA radar maintenance center of the runway. Married enroute right out of school so missed the Hotel Street night life.

  13. Arrived @ K-bay about June 65 w/1stbn5thmar. Came over on APA Montrose from San Fran. Took over former Barracks of 1stMarBrig who deployed to Vietnam. I was in Comm Plt & went TAD to Base Communications for 6 mos. That was undoubtably the best duty I had. Great beach @ Bellows AFB. BLT 1/5 Left Pearl Harbor on the USS Princeton LPH-5, USS Pickaway & USS Alamo & hooked up with HMM-133. Three mos aboard as an aerial assault battalion from as far south as Rung Sat Province IV Corps (Operation Jackstay) to Phu Loc I Corps (Operation Osage) between Danang & Hue. Last 1&1/2 years @ Area 16 Camp Pendleton with HqCo Cadre 4thMarDiv, definetly no K-Bay.

  14. Arrived K-Bay summer ’61 , assigned to D 1-4. I remember those ledges well, used to crawl out there and play my guitar. Transferred to Waikele NAD the following summer until rotating back to the mainland in summer ’63. Good memories.

    1. I arrived in Hawaii in early September 1961 and was assigned to D-1-4. Has I remember the company commander was Captain Murphy. In the early part of 1962 the August draft was transferred to C-1-4. Company commander was Captain Steel. I was in the third platoon under Lt. Brown. We usually won most of the organized grap-ass meets. We had many competitions within the 1st battalion and Delta company was always our greatest competitors. I left Hawaii in August 1963. I got out of the Corps on February 26, 1965. I missed Vietnam by about a month.

  15. Was stationed in Hawaii from 85-88 in 3/3 and 3rd Marines. Some of the famous Marines commanding there during that time were Lt. Col (later commandant and son of Brute) Krulack, CO of 3/3 and Col (later retired Lt Gen and Navy Cross winner) Col Ron Christmas, CO of 3rd Marines. Raul Miranda mentioned us being called Pineapple Marines, I never heard that while I was stationed there, but I like it. I did read that in From Here to Eternity as they were called the Pineapple Army. Others have also mentioned Okinawa being called “The Rock” and that’s what I remember also. We never called Hawaii the Rock. We were simply Hawaii Marines and thereafter during my Marine Corps career that was always my label no matter where I went. I wore it as a badge of honor.

  16. I served at Kaneohe from August of 1971 until December of 1972. I had been at Lejeune with 2nd Tracks and jumped at the chance to go to Hawaii. My MOS was 2841 Ground Radio Repair and they asked every other person with that MOS if they wanted to go before they asked me. All the other guys were either too short, close to home, or next for a Med Cruise and did not want to go. I got there n August and was assigned to Comm Support Company. The defacto CO was Captain Godsil. Our 3 story barracks was the second barracks north of the mess hall on the grunt side. I am not sure how many men were assigned to a floor but we had four racks in a cube and each cube was made with wall lockers. Rather noisy on weekends with all types of music being played and numerous card games going on. On the other side of the stairwell there was a smaller room for the Sgts who still lived on base. I got promoted in September of 72 and moved across the hall. At that time Sgts rated an actual mattress not the thin pad everyone including myself had to sleep on. We had our own shower and best of all we had a refrigerator. Those things may not seem like much to all you young boots living in the new dorm style barracks with what, two to a room, but it was a big deal then. At most there were 3 of us living on that side. It was one of the few luxuries we ever had. On the bottom floor of those barrack was each companies Armory and duty hut. Across the hall was the company rec room. It had a television, a ping pong table, and if memory serves me correctly at pool table. Prior to all this luxury lived in a Quonset hut, and ancient wooden barracks, a tent, and a very old brick barracks. Kaneohe was the best place the Corps ever put me. I have been back several times. A few years back they tore down the last of those old barracks and they are all just memories. I picked up a chunk of the tan concrete while there and use it as a paperweight.

    1. Hey Jim – I remember you from my time with Comm Support Co in 1972. I joint CSC in February as a SSgt 2549 Comm Ctr Chief, but was assigned as the Logistics Chief and later acquired a secondary 3041 Supply Chief MOS. When I arrived we had 6 Comm Ctr Chiefs and no operational Comm Ctr. Two had been FAP’d to Station Comm and the others were scrambling to find something to do. SSgt Fred Griffith ended up as the Comm Ctr Ch and was a good friend. So when I interviewed with the CO, Maj Ray, I told him that I prided myself on versatility and could handle any job he had in mind for me. Well, that wasn’t very smart because I ended up with the project of disposing of that four acre field of retrograde equipment that came back from the combined 5th/7th Comm Bn in Vietnam. It took me two years to get it done. I remember Capt Godsil very well and have a couple of meritorious masts which he signed. Hope all is well with you. I retired as a MSgt in ’84 and returned home to Tulsa OK. Drop me a line if you can: edd_prothro(at)windstream(dot)net.

      1. I was there from January ’72 to January ’73. Orders were to Okinawa then we figured on to Vietnam but while waiting at Treasure Island in San Francisco our orders were changed to K-bay. I was with Comm Support Co. I remember Capt. Godsil. I was a 2511 wireman. I ran the switchboard quite a bit in the big pole building. I helped sort out a lot of the stuff that came back from Vietnam. I remember the scorpions and those green and orange centipedes scurrying out of the tarps and tents and all of us running around trying to step on them. Lots of memories from there but one year at K-bay was enough.

      2. I was with 5th/7th Comm in Nam drove the wrecker for most of the time. We left Nam together as a unit summer of 71. A lot of the motor transport rolling stock was in bad shape. My wreckers front wheel drive and front wench did not work but a Marine adapts and overcomes right. Cpl Morstad

  17. I may be stepping on my crank, but the real “Rock” would be Okinawa. Ask any Marine stationed at Hansen or Schwab. Kadena was the place to go to get a good meal, unless you had deals going with the Seebees at Shields. Best damn food on the island. Red beach was nice but not a big vacation spot for the American elite! Just a thought from a big rigger at 9th motors.

  18. Arrived at K-Bay, shortly after the 4th Marines returned from Japan in 1956 and was assigned to D-2-4 before leaving in 1958 the outfit was re-designated D-1-4. Honolulu with the HASPs (Hawaiian Armed Service Police) was the most chicken place any young Marine could venture into. At the time, going over the Pali Pass was always an adventure, as the tunnel was still under construction. Does anyone remember the midget submarine up on the beach somewhere in the direction of the rifle range? Bellows Field was always the best for company parties when not marching there on company exercises. Stopped into K-Bay and Bellows Field last year and nothing really has changed in either place, except the Marine Corps has a permanent presence at Bellows and also there are MWR (Morale, Welfare & Recreation) bungalows on the beach for active and retired military personnel. Semper Fi!

  19. was there in 74 deployed with VMA-223 from Yuma,Az.. only there 6 or 8 weeks . our pay came to us from yuma and was always a week late. did not like any thing about being there and now I will never go back.

  20. Wow. Bunch of you Old Corps guys here from First Rag Bag. I was at Kaneohe from November ’93 – September ’95. Landed just after Thanksgiving in ’93 after leaving some very cold weather in New England, landing in sunny, 78 degree weather listening to Christmas music – most bizarre I must say to sit on Christmas day in that weather after growing up in NE all my life. I remember staying in those squad bay barracks which by that time were converted to 3-man rooms. I swear that my mind says that they were three decks but we were way over near the PX. And KT. Man I hated running that b!tch. But the view from the top was quite nice. I remember a little pile of cement and rocks down at the base stating that it was the impact site of a Japanese Zero that was shot down (have a picture of it somewhere.) Never went anywhere from there. Hickam was the place to go for some good chow – I remember being dumbfounded when the Air Force guys looked at us funny for picking up our trays. Apparently the fly boys would break a nail or something if they actually had to return their own trays to the wash room. F/A-18s left K-Bay shortly after I arrived, but have since returned as I understand. BRAC shut down Barber’s Point and the Navy was relocating to Kaneohe as well. Heard tons of stories about when Gen. Gray returned to Kaneohe and visited the old SCIF and certain commissioned folks could not go in, but lowly LCPL and SGTs could go in. I also swear that you could walk across the base and get caught in these mid-day rain showers and there was nary a cloud in the sky. MOVOS for HumVees at Bellows, training at the Kahukus. Thanks for the memories gents. I also agree – we never called K-Bay “the Rock” but always referred to (and to this day I still do) Okinawa as such. Third Marines always rotated in or out of Okinawa on a 6 month basis as part of the 31st MEU as I recall. Best Chinese food in Kailua at this little old diner. Friend of mine introduced me to some of the best Italian food I have had a little place on a side street in Kaneohe that you would have walked past if you did not know it was there. Would love to revisit sometime.

    1. I was on recruiting duty in Hartford CT ’78-’81 and then went to the Rapid Deployment Joint Task Force at McDill AFB in Tampa FL. I visited friends down in Naples FL for the holidays and set by the pool calling all my friends up in New England. I told them all that,”I had to shovel 12 inches of sunshine off the drive this morning!” That didn’t go over very well and I got some nasty remarks in return. Semper Fi!

  21. Boy, all you Airedales came out the closet… The REAL ROCK was Okinawa… Spent time there in 65 (camp Shwab) going to Nam and 66 coming out… Camp Hansen 69 after hospital in Japan… The four corners had great food also… H.young 65/66/69 Rvn…. Semper Fi

    1. Spent 3 days on Okinawa on the way to Viet Nam in August of ’65 and 5 days there on the way back to CONUS in August of ’66. Just about enough time to get drunk, get laid and buy a Bulova Accutron watch. Tried to get there from 29 Palms in ’63 but the 1st Sgt. said I couldn’t have the billet. He would however let me extend my enlistment a year for BES at MCRD San Diego. Best decision of my life.

  22. I was stationed at Camp H.M. Smith with 1st ANGLICO from Sept 63′ until Nov.65′ with a break for two deployment to California to conduct training with the U.S.Army and a deployment to Vietnam for six months (TAD to War). When I returned spent two weeks at KBay . Never called it the rock but did not appreciate the place until long after I left. Only stopped there on a flight to Vietnam.

  23. One last note on the barracks. They have all been torn down and replaced with various structures. For awhile, the one of the three I lived in lined up near the base PX, you could see the footprints of the foundations on Google Earth. That was several years ago. Google earth has updated the images and now there are new buildings where the old barracks where located. When I was there 1959-1962, across the street from the barracks was a large empty field. It is no longer empty. Also, the former main gate is now an auxillary entrance to the base and looks closed on Google Earth.. There is a new new main gate and entrance to the base.

  24. I was with Charlie Co. 1st Battalion 1st Marines from Sept. 1964 – Jan 1965 stationed at Camp Pendleton CA. The 1st Battalion was at Camp San Mateo . In 1965 we started training as a Raider Battalion in anticipation of the Vietnam build up. We did rubber boat training at Camp Delmar with 1st Recon and also trained at Kanehoe Bay Hawaii and Pearl Harbor ( where we had the distinct pleasure of going aboard the Submarine SS Cusk to do simulated night raids) to be launched from its deck onto some still nameless beaches somewhere along the coast of Hawaii. My platoon commander was 2nd Luitenant Russell Sutton. Give me a shout if you are a Charlie 1/1 guy.

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