Picky Eaters

We called it “The Rock” and counted the days when we would rotate back to the land of the big PX. Hawaii wasn’t exactly the paradise we expected. The Marine Corps Base at Kaneohe is on a peninsula that forms Kaneohe Bay, with the Pali mountains as a backdrop. The Air Wing enlisted barracks was a group of two story, flat-roofed, stucco buildings with open squad bays that were connected by breezeways. The 212 barracks had the MPs on one side and the helo boys from HMM-161 on the other. Next to the 161 barracks was the mess hall. I arrived with a group of replacements for the guys whose two year tour was over. The barracks had an upper and lower open squadbay arranged in cubicles marked off by green metal wall lockers, and a central corridor. Each cubicle had six single bunks (or racks), as I recall. Each rack had a mosquito net which was a necessity on that side of the island, called the “Windward Side”. The mosquito nets were needed because of the mosquitos that were bred in the swamps between the base and the mainland. Those bugs were huge. One night, I forgot to put my net down. About 0300 I felt a thump on my chest. Looking down, I saw a Kaneohe mosquito turning over my dog tag to check my blood type. Not only were they huge, they were picky eaters.

Norm Spilleth
Cpl. 1960-1964

Submit your own Story>>

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

21 comments


  • Cpl C.Eggleston

    What about those centipedes they were big and painful .


  • JIM OTIS SGT 1833

    WHAT 4th AMTRACT BN I WAS IN THE 1st 2nd AND 3rd AMTRACT BN’S.


  • Bud Davis L/Cpl 1969/1963 VMA-212

    I was there with you Norm and didn’t have too much trouble with those bugs, they must not have had a taste for AB blood.


  • Jim Hart

    I was there from 1981-1984. I was with HMS-24, VMF 232, and VMF 235, I did west pack with 235. My tour their was outstanding . It was a shocker upon arrival, due to my prior tour being on the drill field at Parris island. After about 6 months I got use to the Air Wing again.


  • PB McDonald Sgt. 4th Amtrac Bn 64 / 70…..

    I lived in. Tampa, Fla. at that time…I aways had to tie one of my feet to the bed…the skeeders would pick you up and fly away with you…the lighter you got the heavier they got…once I ended up in the Bay…surrounded by a bunch of bloated skeeders acting as. fish food…blood in the water…not a good thing…our mosquitos never did learn to read…they didn’t care what your blood type wars … that it was red, salty, and in you was enough…😎


Leave a comment