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.
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  • John Hetrick

    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!

  • Wiliam Goad

    If you went with a platoon you were just another radio operator. As I was told with BLT 1/26, you could fix a radio you could operate one. My mos wa s 2841 in 1966. And that was in Vietnam.

  • Roger

    I also was a ground radio repairman and served from mid 1951 through 1981 (retired captain LDO). I spent six years in the NSG (Radio Bn.) and was in Vietnam in 66-68 as a SSgt. Radio repair was done for intelligence gathering listening posts mostly in bunkers, and consisted primarily of running sensitivity checks to see if a receiver was losing reception. If so, the radio was swapped out, taken to the shop for troubleshooting and repaired. Typical locations were DaNang, Chulai, DongHa. Ocaissional trips were made to deliver or retrieve equipment or to instruct in the operation of a new or hybrid item of equipment. Most scary was a KeSahn run.

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