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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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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

cpl brian manis - March 30, 2022

I was mail orderly 1975-76 ssgt brady,gunny Newman 1st sgt sandifer Maj Gregory former drill inst, gunny mallete? gunner switick? 1975 200 marine corps ball cpl hordick from air wing . fleming key ,gate bar ,boat bar, brig arcoss from barracks. 1st Lt. miller had a240 z 1st sgt MG car I l lived at 330 duval upstairs .I miss all . Bill bailey,A,K. Kent I remeber the faces. thanks gunny Newman’s kid 10 27 75

Mark Brooks - January 27, 2022

My dad, Major G. Walter Brooks III, was CO of the Marine Barracks in Key West from 1969-71. Our family had a great time there and I just returned from a trip to Key West last week. The house we lived in, Qtrs M-2 at 330 Caroline Street on the Truman annex is now up for sale for $5 million dollars! Great memories and probably my dad’s favorite tour. I was 10 years old at the time and remember getting into trouble with a buddy by letting the air out of the MP truck tires! None of the Marines on duty wanted to be the one to call my father! Man he was pissed!

Kenan Gregory - September 22, 2021

My dad, then major David Gregory CO marine barracks key west hosted the assistant commandant at quarters m-2 in 1974 for the marine corps ball. Was a lovely party. I was 8

Mike Williams - August 16, 2021

Mike Williams here.Hey I was a Marine at marine barracks from August of 1975 to January of 1976 When I was discharged Major Gregory was my CO and Capt. Hover was the XO and at that time Lt. Miller was there and Gunny Mallet was there also a First Sgt. Sandifer was there.Lt. Miller like to run that 3 miles all the time .It was a great tour of duty and a lot of fun. l also spent a lot of time on gate duty and Fleming Key and Boca Chica Naval Air Station

Kenan Gregory - July 31, 2021

Hello. My dad major David Gregory was CO while you were there. And I too have issues finding out info as well. Good luck!

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