Banana Fleet

There is not many older Marines to remember serving aboard the Banana Fleet. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in May 1934 at the Milk St. Recruiting Office in Boston Ma. After being processed along with seven other from Maine, we were bussed to the docks and put aboard the ” Fall River Line “, a coastal Motor Ship. Picked up twenty more in New York and continued down coast to Savannah, Ga. where we were met by two DIs with a Parris Island bus. They were not too happy with us at that point and made it very evident. Soon we were on the cause-way to P I. Our senior D I was Sgt. Tarr and Cpl. Finke was # 2. Both were well tanned from serving in Haiti and Cuba. After 13 grueling weeks we had shaped up enough to pass in revue and graduate to receive the coveted EGA. Some wanted seagoing and we were sent Sea School in Norfolk. then to Gitmo assigned aboard a light Cruiser and 3 Destroyers. Our Mission to protect the interest of DOLE and UNITED FRUIT COs. This covered So. America, Cuba and Haiti. In 1939 I transferred to Combat Div. 3, Battleships, USS IDAHO, USS MISSISSIPPI and NEW MEXICO, I was Flag Orderly to Adm. TAUSSIG aboard the IDAHO, steaming to the Panama Canal when Pearl Harbor was attacked., otherwise we would have been tied up in Pearl on Dec 7th. at Ford Island. I shipped back to Norfolk aboard the USS NITRO. and sent to Washington, 8th & I sts. Marine Barracks awaiting discharge with duty at Arlington Art York, Gysgt USMC/USMCR
Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!


  • Jack Wing CWO-3 USMC (Retired)

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but prior to 1959 there were no GYSGT’S. They were TECH SERGEANTS!

  • Cliff Lawson, Sgt, 62-66

    If he went in when he was 16, he would be 100. Not impossible—I’m planning on it! Keep up the good work, Gunny. Semper Fi!

  • Harry

    I know what you mean but,I do like to give some benefit of doubt. I respond without thinking sometimes Thnx Murray

  • Murray Hermanson

    Harry, come back to realty, this guy would have to be at least 102 years old, if he is using a computer and able to understand what he has written here, I want to know what there feeding him so I can get some. Fellow 1371.

  • Harry

    A big salute to you! “OLD CORPS” brother.SEMPER FI!! Harry

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