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Marine Barracks at Key West

Marine Barracks at Key West

I pulled a 13 month tour of duty with the Marine Barracks at Key West 1974-75. Now I can’t find a single thing about it on Google. I don’t even know if it is still active (probably not) or if there are any old Jarheads I served with there on the internet or not.

We were responsible for the security of the entire Florida Keys, technically, although there was nothing worth worrying about north of the Boca Chica Naval Air Station (now NAS Key West). We had to practice defending the military bases and other things (such as the electronic monitoring stations), and also the local radio and television station in case terrorists or should try to seize either one for propaganda reasons. Back then we were armed with the M14 and of course the M1911A1 .45 ACP. We also had military 12 ga shotguns. We Marines were often sent out with the Coast Guard cutter. I believe its name was the Diligence. We manned the .30 and .50 machine guns when the cutter was expecting trouble, which we occasionally got from Cuban gunboats and drug runners.

Can you find out if there are any guys from the time I served there on the internet? I’ve tried and got nowhere fast. I’ve read on the internet that they shut down the naval station where the Barracks was located in 1974 (Truman Annex I think it was called) but that is NOT true, as I did not leave until late September of 1975 and they were still going strong then. Most of the duty we pulled was as gate guards for the various military annexes and as roving guards on the NAS and also at the ammo dump off the Trumbo annex. My elder daughter was born at the Naval hospital in Key West, by the way.

Any help would be appreciated. OBTW, at the Marine Corps Ball in 1974, the Assistant Commandant (General Earl E. Anderson) was our guest.

Don Herman
Corporal, USMC (at the time)

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Steven Legere - December 26, 2023

Gunny Maillet(former DI)was the most squared away marine I ever served with during my 1 year there,I got spoiled there The Fleet Marine Force was no joke

Steven Legere - December 26, 2023

Was there oct76 till closing in oct77 was there for fire transferred to 1/8 2Marine division became a civilian for 30 months joine army reserve Nov 82 till may 2007 retired as SFC E-7now collecting that pension that tour in Key West was interesting and fun totally different than the FMF

David G Robin - August 29, 2023

I was at Marine Barracks, Key West, from Jun 1960 to Oct 1961. Graduated from Underwater Swimmers School in Aug 1961. Anyone have pictures from that time?

Snappy - May 4, 2023
greetings my fellow marines, I was stationed Key West Florida in 1974 during the summer, a typical day was break out in formation with fresh UDS, fresh brass, and wax on your hat and shoes. After the roster call we were given our weapons of the day according to the situation, and a typical day was five on, five off, four on, for off, three on, and three off, I remember Key West as very exotic, with its coconut trees and fig trees and all the palm trees and the most beautiful water I’ve ever seen!!
Fred Volpp - February 8, 2023

I was stationed at marine barracks key west fla 1960-61

charles smith - November 17, 2022


Maximo - November 16, 2022

Corporal. M. Suarez served at the Marine Barracks Truman Annex 1976. Came back from the rock to Key West. I am from Miami Fl. so it was my backyard. The perfect place to recoup from overseas. Dancing girls, Drinking beer and playing table soccer at the Gate BAR lol then puke in the morning run (Remember the Naval Quarters Marine rebely on morning runs… I heard that there may be a small reminder of the 1976 base at the lighthouse by the airport. The lighthouse holds some memories of key west . I am not sure is what I have heard and was years back. Love and Peace from me to all. USMC Semper Fi

Ivin Wilder - July 30, 2022

I was at key west in. 1964 and 1965 I was a guard on main gate

Bill Hennessey - June 23, 2022

Semper Fidelis, I served in the Key West Marine Barracks from May 1977 until it closed. I was transferred to 3d FSSG that October. I was the Unit Diary Clerk and Mail Orderly under SGT RUBEN and SSG BRADY. I made LCPL there in July. I played on the football team. I still have a picture of the football team.
One morning in August as normal business, I was leaving the barracks to pick up the unit’s mail. I was the first to see the sparks coming from the electrical wires going into the wall of the Sergeant of the Guard Office. As I ran to the hatch of the SOG, I was met with a stampede of Marines exiting the room. We all quickly spread the word and made sure that all of our Marines exited the building quickly and safely. As some Marines battled the fire, the rest emptied the admin office of files and the arms room of weapons. Everyone and everything that could be saved was. The fire spread quickly and the barracks was a total loss, but we quickly set up shop in Navy Barracks across the base.
I met Joe Murphy (boxing team) at the USMA, West Point in 97. I immediately remembered him. We stayed in touch until he passed away about 5 years ago. Well that is all I have for now except CPL Ernie Thompson, I haven’t forgotten you or Kevin Vandermark, Monsour, Hollenback, and a few others. Be well Marines and Semper Fi.

Michael Huebner - April 7, 2022

Corporal Michael Huebner here! I served at the Marine Barracks Truman Annex 1974 to 1976. Major Gregory was the CO, along side of PJ View, Tom Kawacki, Sgt Keenan and Phelps and Durand and Smear and TEX. Been back to see the base in 2015 and am planning a return trip in 2022. Our oldest son was born same day as Major Gregorys daughter at Naval Hospital. Is anyone living in Key West still? Best damn duty station ever! Semper Fi

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