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Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Favorite Marine SNCO Story

Another inspection at Marine Barracks, Naha… the inspecting officer is Lt.Gen Alan Shapely, at the time the CG, FMF PAC. On December 7th, 1941, he was aboard the USS Arizona, as a Major, and had just been relieved the previous day as the CO of Arizona's Marine Detachment. He had stayed aboard, as his Marines were scheduled to play in a championship baseball game that Sunday. He was aloft, with a cup of coffee, when the Japanese struck. He was blown, naked, into the water… and helped others swim ashore on Ford Island. Note, if you can see the detail, that those are brass claws, just above my left hand… meaning that we had leather slings… field marching pack, one canteen…

The officer behind him appears to be Major Nick Capelleto (sp?)… who would have been freshly promoted… he was the Barracks XO as a Captain when he arrived… saw him years later with FSR at Chu Lai… CO of Ordnance Maintenance Co. as I recall…

When drafting the text to go with the picture of LtGen Alan Shapely… (taken at Marine Barracks, Naha)… I neglected to mention that as CO of the 4th Marines, he was decorated for… taking the Japanese airfield… at Naha… Wikipedia has a decent bio on the gentleman…

A favorite Marine SNCO story of mine… usually set at 29 Palms (my three tours there having absolutely no influence… nor my few months as a SNCO)… anyway, if you can provide your own slightly southern accent for the characters, it goes like this: Pitcher night at the SNCO club, quite coincidentally timed to fall on a payday… two Gunnies hit the club at 1600, quickly go through a first pitcher… then a second… then a third… after which the younger of the two allowed it was time for a head call. The elder of the two opined that his acolyte should just go ahead by himself, as he (the elder) had no need. This scenario repeated itself throughout the evening, and up to the National Anthem playing on the backbar TV… at which point the club manager insisted that these seasoned warriors depart his premises. As they wended their wobbly way out the front sidewalk, the elder Gunny said "Wait jush a minute… I gotta p-ss." His friend, still having at least a few functioning brain cells, and some recognition of their possible location at the moment, exclaimed: "Gunny! You can't p-ss here!"… to which his now BFF pointed off in the distance, and explained: "I'm not gonna pish here… I'm gonna p-ss WAAAAAY… over there!"

(well… maybe you had to be there?)


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