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Home for Christmas

21 Dec 1965, I had just finished my specialist training at Schools Bn, Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and was given 25 days leave before reporting to 2nd AmTracBn, Camp Lejeune, N.C. I caught a ride with a classmate up to the Los Angeles area where we stayed the night with his Grandmother, then we’re given a ride to LAX to get a flight home for Christmas.

Most military flew stand-by, so I signed up on as many flights that were going to Kansas City. Of course flying out of anywhere during Christmas was a challenge.

After being in the Airport for 2 days, I was able to get a paid ticket to Kansas City on the 24th, but leaving late that night. I couldn’t wait, I had a girlfriend waiting and was in a hurry to get home. A stand-by opening came up and I took it, only it was going to Denver, Co., I didn’t care it would get me closer to home than L.A.

During the flight, an attendant came around to take my ticket and saw that it was a paid ticket to K.C. and asked the stupid question why not wait for the direct flight, and how was I to get to K.C. from Denver? I told him I don’t know but would find a way. He said I would have a refund coming and would take care of it. (I did get the refund while home on leave).

Landed in Denver around noon, the 23rd, carrying my sea bag full of my earthly belongings, thanks to the Marine Corps. While wandering around the airport looking for flights to K.C., I heard my name being paged and hurried to the gate I was to go to and found a stewardess there waiting and told me to hurry that a plane was waiting for me to take me to K.C. The engines were running and the door was closed as soon as I was seated, down the runway and off I went. Sat in 1st class around a table telling people how great the Marine Corps has been.

I was from Topeka, Kansas, which was an hour drive from there to K.C., but my parents and girlfriend made it in an hour and half after I called them, telling them that I was in K.C. waiting for them. I flew United airlines and was very thankful for the airlines helping this new Marine PFC to get home for Christmas.

B Co., 2nd AmTracBn, Camp Lejeune, N.C. 01/66-09/66
A Co., 1/9 Vietnam 10/66-02/67
CAC-P, Cam Lo, VN 02/67-10/67
I&I, MARMTD, Pasadena, Calif., 11/67-08/69
MACS-23, MARTD, Buckley Air Base, Aurora, Co., 04/71-10/79

Semper Fi, Marines and Merry Christmas,
GySgt Larry Schafer

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Comments

Don Harkness - April 26, 2020

Ah, 2nd Amtracs… arrived Jan 62, in Courthouse Bay. left May 64 to Iwakuni Japan, 1st MAW, 9th MEB. Then mustered out in Jul 65 at MCRD SD. But 2nd Amtracs was my favorite and have a warm spot for 2nd Amtracs. Don’t run across many tractor rats Was in H&S company, a pogue in HQ, S2/S3 Intel/Ops. CO was James Treadwell, XO Bob Shuford (sp?) Thanks for being in the Corps

Don Harkness - April 26, 2020

Ah, 2nd Amtracs… arrived Jan 62, in Courthouse Bay. left May 64 to Iwakuni Japan, 1st MAW, 9th MEB. Then mustered out in Jul 65 at MCRD SD. But 2nd Amtracs was my favorite and have a warm spot for 2nd Amtracs. Don’t run across many tractor rats Was in H&S company, a pogue in HQ, S2/S3 Intel/Ops. CO was James Treadwell, XO Bob Shuford (sp?) Thanks for being in the Corps

Don Harkness - April 26, 2020

Ah, 2nd Amtracs… arrived Jan 62, in Courthouse Bay. left May 64 to Iwakuni Japan, 1st MAW, 9th MEB. Then mustered out in Jul 65 at MCRD SD. But 2nd Amtracs was my favorite and have a warm spot for 2nd Amtracs. Don’t run across many tractor rats Was in H&S company, a pogue in HQ, S2/S3 Intel/Ops. CO was James Treadwell, XO Bob Shuford (sp?) Thanks for being in the Corps

Flaherty Roy “Bud” - April 26, 2020

I was also from Topeka. In Dec 65 I was in Vietnam. I remember flying in and out of the airport and then the ride to Topeka.

Flaherty Roy “Bud” - April 26, 2020

I was also in 2/9 F same place same time and same RR in Okinawa… I was in weapons 3.5’s. But I had been part of the transfers to 2/9 in order start the replacement process rather than taking a whole unit out.

Don Cossey Sgt: 6413 MOS 63-67 - April 26, 2020

I can relate to this story..December 20, 1963 I just finished ITR at Pendelton Good Ole Q company..They turned all the base loose on that day and when we were unloaded at the L.A. Airport it looked like a Marine/Nave base..they were so many let go at the same time. I was a Winger going to The Mad House..Ha( MAD Memphis) for school..Well when I went to the first Air Line I was number 75 on the stand by list. Well I went to another Air Line (Delta) and I was number 48 on the list..Well I cashed in my Ticket and paid 40.00 Dollars for a seat to Dallas..My Home was just outside Little Rock, Ar. And I might add that there was only 4 seats left on that Flight. Well to make a long story short When I arrived In Dallas There was the airport shut down because of freezing rain..The Only this out of town was a Train..It had 1 passenger car on the back of a mail train..Took 12 hours to go from Dallas to Little Rock. Well I finished my School in Memphis and reported to Mag 26 and later to H&HS at new river..A 6413 Aircraft Meck: and after I got out of the Marines I went to work For Delta Air Lines for 28 years..Wouldnt trade the memories for anything…

Gerald Hill - April 26, 2020

I was a member of Fox 2/3 of 9th MEB, we made a beach landing at Red Beach 2 on 10/Apr/1965 after 7 months in-country, we got 3 days R&R, you only had a choice of Okinawa or Thailand at the time. Hong Kong was closed, and we had just made a 3 day joint operation with the Thai-Marines before reboarding LSTs and being committed to VN so I chose Camp Schwab (AGAIN) we had overnight liberty for 2 days, which was great compaired to cinderella-liberty. On our last night the 4 Marines I was with from my platoon thought we would get a beer in every bar, we ran out of bars and then decided we would get a mix drink in every bar. The next morning I woke up and the squad bay and racks were empty, they had carried me back and I wouldn’t get upon the AM for the return flight. I reported to the Gunnery Sgt who already had me down as a missed flight and UA, he said my buddies would inform my platoon of what happened when they got back to our company so enjoy the next three days R&R until the next incoming flight back. All I could think of, I was a terrible 18 year old drunk and soon to be ex- PFC When I arrived back I reported to my Platoon Commander 1st Lt. Morning who laughed about it and ripped up the report.

Paul Chacho Jr. SGT. E5 66to69. - April 26, 2020

I flew several times commercial during my time in the Corps. The airlines of the sixties treated service men with respect and kindness. I flew cross country (LA to NYC) twice on standby going to and from Vietnam. American Airlines seated the servicemen last and both times seated me in first class. On one occasion I sat next to an American Airlines executive in the first row. After the stewardess handed us a bottle of champagne, I found out he was the executive in charge of service nationwide. In other words, he was the stewardesses boss. Talk about a great flight. Semper Fi all and Merry Christmas. Paul.

SSgt LJ Head - April 26, 2020

I was from KC too. Many flights into the old KC airport. We even slide off the runway once when landing it was so icy. The Stewards always took care of us Marines which I was grateful for. Semper fi, Merry Christmas.

Buddy Burdett - April 26, 2020

Timing is everything. Arrived in Nam Dec 67 Came home in Jan 68 Went back for a second time and got medevaced and spent Christmas 69 in Hospital. Christmas away from home 1967, 68, and 69. Bad timing

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