While going through Boot Camp at S.D. in November 1950, everyone knew we were headed for Korea. What a relief to get to the Rifle Range at Camp Mathews at last, even if we had to live in tents due to the influx of recruits. Camp Mathews was on the East side of old highway U.S. 101 near Leucadia, CA. The first weekend there, the Junior D.I. had us all fall in on Sunday morning and selected 10 “boots” for a working party. Another NCO no one had ever seen before was standing by to take us to our work detail, whatever that was going to be. On his command, we were marched off to the “Easy Range”. At the range maintenance building, we were each issued a bucket of beautiful glossy Marine Green paint and a four inch brush, and told simply, “paint the head”, and the young Corporal left.
We painted the outside of the Head. He did not return. We painted the inside of the head. He did not return. We painted the urinals, the commodes, (including all the seats and porcelain, valves, and handles) the sinks and faucets, the deck, the screens and the windows. Everything was totally “Marine Corps Green”.
He did not return. We put the Paint cans beside the locker, jammed all the brushes in the solvent bucket and marched ourselves back to the platoon area.
About four hours later the DI had us fall in. The Range NCO was there who looked each one of us square in the eye and asked if we were on the working party to paint the Head, and we each individually answered “Sir, No Sir!”
I think the Range NCO came back two or three more times looking for green paint traces. Once to look at our boondockers, once to check fingernails. Neither he nor our Jr. DI ever found out who “painted the head green”.
P.S. A note to now Retired Sergeant Major M.A. Delgado, still living in Oceanside CA; The truth is out. Yessir, I was one of them!