In This Issue

FNG stories, we all have one, what is yours. Here’s mine.

I got to Nam March 3, 1969 along with Goog, Hunts and Kelly. (now Ret. SgtMaj Kelly) The four of us remained the FNG’s past June ’69. Towards the end of June we got a “new guy”. I go running down to the hootch area yelling something about FNG’s, I slash open the hootch door with much bravado and what do I see? I see grizzled 13 months in country with 5th Comm. Cpl “Dirty Dick” Leyden. I don’t say a word to him. I just turn and leave the hootch leaving some explicatives behind knowing the four of us are still the FNG’s of the Comm Plt. Towards the end of June the 3rd MarDiv was pulling out and going back to Okinawa. Some of them extended and got reassigned to 1st MarDiv units. Dick is the reason I am a Sgt and a good friend to this day.

Sgt Grit wants to hear from you! Leave your comments below or submit your own story!

4 comments


  • Sgt. Mike Betts

    Holy Ned! Did I actually just see a mention of the 5th Communications Battalion? I worked in the 5th Comm S-3 shop at Hoa Long from September of ’66 to June of ’67 when I was RELACDU. For the most part nobody ever heard of us, as important as reliable communications are in the Corps. Some years ago I encountered retired Colonel Wesley Fox MOH, at a gun show in Chantilly VA, where he was selling his book “Marine Rifleman”. As he autographed my copy, he asked me what outfit I served with in Vietnam. I said, “Colonel, you probably never heard of us – the 5th Communications Battalion.” He admitted he hadn’t and I said, “Sir, were you ever in deep sh*t and you were screaming on your radio for dust-off, the cannon-cockers, the zoomies, and anything and everything else that could get you out of that mess – and your f***ing radio didn’t work?” He replied, “Oh, yeah!” and I said as I jerked a thumb toward me chest, “Well, that was us!” We both got a good laugh out of that.


  • Rick Olesen

    Where was the picture taken because the artillary battery was M109 and I was assigned to Lima battery in 67-68-69 they are a 155mm artillary piece


  • Rusty Hubbarth

    If “Kelly” in the first story was Lawrence “MOE” Kelly, he was the radio chief of 1/3 from 74-76. He was a great Sgt. and radio chief, one of the best NCO’s I ever knew.


  • Tony Mastriani

    In reply to Sgt. Mike Betts.
    I was in 5th Comm from April 68~December 69. I was on TRC-97 shots at Danang, Dong Ha, LZ Stud, and LZ Ross. I returned to Vietnam in 2009. Practically the entire coast from MMAF to China Beach is covered with resorts.


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