Skip to content

Radio Repair in Combat

My time was 1959-1963. I was a 2771 (Ground Radio repair) and always worked “In the rear with the gear”. I’m really curious if any other 2771 people ever got into a combat situation. If so, were you expected to fix radios or just fit in with the grunts? Did you spend time out in the bush? If you were expected to fix radios, what kind of repair gear did you have with you? One of the reasons I ask is during the Cuban crisis we were shown a photo of the beach where would land and I remember I was assigned the 4th wave in. At the time I think I was temporarily assigned to 2/8. Ever since I have always wondered what my duties would have been once we hit the beach.
Previous article USMC superior training

Comments

Robert H Bliss - May 4, 2020

I do know about the drinking water at Camp Lejeune. I was station there on three different times during the time frame for the bad drinking water. I have had health problems of various kinds and only the right side of my body has been affected—-the VA just made me 100% after 17 years of health troubles and damn near dieing two times. I’ve lost several friends who were there. So the thing is you have to out live the VA’s denial. I just wanted them to let us know sooner so we could get the care needed.—-do the right thing for us.

Robert jeske - May 4, 2020

In reply to Robert H Bliss.
U do know about the drinking water at camp lejeune??

Bill Jochym - May 4, 2020

In reply to Wiliam Goad.
Were you S/Sgt. Goad at Electronics Maintenance Co. (ELMACO), Maint. Bn., 1st Force Service Regiment (FSR) at Camp Pendleton in 1971??? If so, I recall you were in a program where the Marine Corps sent you to college to get a degree and become an Officer. I was in single side band section, and Captain Collins was CO. I can’t remember the 1st Sgt’s name, but he was a big, and funny Italian from NY. Bill Jochym. (ljochym@comcast.net)

Vince Fischelli - May 4, 2020

I was in from 1956 to 1963. At the time of the Cuban missile crisis I was a 2771 and Comm chief of A Company, 2nd Amtrac Battalion. My Comm Marines were assigned to various Amtrac platoons to act as radio operators including another 2771. I was attached to first platoon to act as a radio operator for the landing. Amtrac platoons would take the first wave into the beach. I made up the third crew member but manned the radios and kept the other tractors on the air and monitored the radio net. The Lieut. told me I would man the 30 Cal in the turret for the landing. When we got back to Camp Lejeune I resumed duties as Comm chief. Everyone was disappointed we didn’t get a chance to take care of Castro.

Bill Jochym - May 4, 2020

In 1970, I became a Ground Radio Repairman, but the MOS was 2841, as William Goad previously indicated in his comments. Also, I wonder if William Goad was S/Sgt. Goad, who was with Electronics Maintenance Co. (ELMACO), Maint. Bn., 1st Force Service Regiment (FSR) at Camp Pendleton in 1971? As I recall, he went into a program where the Marine Corps sent him to college (while still in the Marine Corps) to get a degree and subsequently become an Officer.

Tom Mosher - May 4, 2020

I was a Grunt in Nam. Only radio guy I can recall with a real radio MOS might have been at Co. level. At platoon and squad level it was another Grunt. Tools? Never saw tools to fix our rifles let alone a radio. My second tour was with a CAC unit, almost last in supply chain. We had two old PRC 10’s and one 25 which we usually had hooked up to the 292 antenna. Our VN Popular Forces had the 10 as well. Darn 10’s must have seen a lot, they would work well at times other times you couldn’t pick up another radio across the street. I was amazed one day when we got back from a day patrol. The PF in charge of their radio had it field stripped and I mean field stripped just to PMA it! I did like the batteries, kept my tape player going a long time.

aardq - May 4, 2020

2841 Ground Radio repair 69-70 all at Pendelton. Had an instructor in ground school that ended up being a tank commander in country. Another 2841 with an air unit had duty, day on, day off. He flew as a Huey door gunner on his “off” days. As for me, with the 27th in the field, we hung out with the comm tent. Later I had a military driver’s license, so when the 28th went in to the field, I drove a radio jeep.

Richard Schlau - May 4, 2020

We were flown by jet (MATS) into GTMO for the Missile Crises. We were a 105 Battery Bravo from Pendleton supporting 2/1. We picked up an electronics tech for the flap out. I was a 2531 field radio operator. I didn’t see our tech fixing any radios, but that doesn’t mean he didn’t? If you want to know about the Missile Crises read the book “One Miniute to Midnight” by Michael Dobbs. We landed October 22, 1962, and on October 27th “Black Friday” the Russians had a 14kt (Hiroshima size) nuclear cruise missile a FKR -1 aimed at us from fifteen miles away that they would launch at GTMO if we attacked Cuba as America had planned on doing. It would of been seconds before it was over our head 200 feet were they planned on detonating it killing 9,500 Marines, and Sailors. SEMPERS OBLIVION kiss your you know what goodbye! No radio repairs for us. Ha

Robert H Bliss - May 4, 2020

My MOS is 0341 and part of my training involved calling in fire missions and basic skills with a PRC-25. I spent two years at Camp Lejeune with Fox 2/2 as an 0311 and ,due to a coin flip, humped a radio during training and a “float”. I went to Viet Nam in 1970 and was assign to Golf 2/5 out of An Hoa . There is a long story behind this—but I once again was given a PRC-25 to hump. One night, I was sent out with a squad for an ambush (all the “radio rats” did everything grunts did but with a radio on our backs) and the radio went out on me. YES! I was expected to fix it in the dark with no tools. Based on my training as a 0341, I did all I knew to do but there was something seriously wrong with it. We had too go back to the company position (still dark). Once inside, the sniper told me that he was about to take the shot on me when we pop the green flair. The Platoon Lt. blame me for the radio not working and not being able to fix it. He sent me back out with another squad that same night. By the way, I took the radio in to the repair shop in An Hoa and was told that it had a bad cell (?)—no way was I going too fix it in bush. Good times !! The VA wonders why I still have nightmares…Semper Fi my friend

John Hetrick - May 4, 2020

I was a 2841 radio repair assigned to 2/11 in February 1965. When BLT 1/5 deployed from Pendleton in June 1965 I was detached to Delta 2/11 as part off the BLT. After several months training in Hawaii the BLT deployed to Vietnam in February 1966. What I can tell you is, even as a radio tech, I was treated the same as any other basic Marine. The old axiom “every Marine, first and foremost, is a rifleman” wasn’t simply a saying to those in our Battery. I sat radio watch, filled sandbags, manned outpost duty and listening posts and most every other task. (Yes, including burning 4 holers!) Hell, was even a loader on the guns during more than one fire mission. Yes, we had up close and personal firefights with the VC, losing a number of our fellow Marines. We didn’t hump the bush but did just about everything else. As far as fixing our comm gear, yes I was expected to keep it up and running no matter what, and most of the equipment we had were low serial number holdovers from Korea. We finally got PRC25s just as I was leaving in September 1966. What did I have to get all this done? My tool box and a basic multimeter. Semper Fi!

Leave a comment

* Required fields