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Saluting General Puller

Saluting General Puller

I was assigned to the Marine Barracks at Yorktown, Virginia form 1959 to 1963. While standing guard duty at the Marine gate I had the honor of saluting General Puller on many occasions and allowing him to pass on through to visit our CO. One of our standard “SOP’s” was to notify the CO whenever the General came on station. After his retirement from the Marine Corps General Puller lived in Saluda, VA. This was not far from Yorktown.

As time goes by, I try to read every article about Chesty that I can find. It was indeed a great honor and a privilege to say that I saluted General Chesty Puller, and he returned my salute.

L/Cpl Michael Townsley
USMC 1959/1963

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Comments

Scott Hall - November 14, 2021

My father, L/Cpl Bill Hall, wrote for the Globe from 58-62. The day General Puller arrived on base to sign copies of his book “Marine” by Burke Davis, a 2 page spread came out about General Puller. The guards at the gate give Gen. Puller a copy. Later that morning my dad was told to report to bldg. 1 in the uniform of the day. When my father arrived he and his photographer were escorted down a hallway lined with brass and Noncoms who had fought with Gen. Puller throughout the pacific and Korea. Gen. Puller said he wanted to meet my dad to let him know that he “got it right.” The meeting was a special event and one that left a lasting impression on my father (I have a photograph of the meeting and I use to have a copy of the paper).

John Sharpe - January 10, 2021

We have the honor of owning Chesty’s house in Saluda. We definitely love it when our brothers and sisters stop by. Feel free to follow us or message us on Facebook thepullerhouse. John (USMC Veteran) & Amy (Army Veteran)

GREGORY PAWLIK - May 1, 2020

L/Cpl Townsley – In October 1971 the Marines of NWS Yorktown were called upon to escort the General’s remains to the funeral home in Saluda Virginia, and stand watch over his casket at the church where the Pullers attended. I had the honor of being one of these Marines. Two of us stood stood at parade rest through the night (changing guard every two hours), until the funeral service in the morning. Casket bearers were brought down from 8th& I Barracks in D.C. Dress Blues were not part of the standard issue in those days, so those of us that had Blues were rounded up and inspected prior to selection.

andy Birmingham - May 1, 2020

As a private just out of Parris Island and ITR at camp Geiger i was assigned 65 days of mess duty at Quantico. Chesty Puller’s son was there in October 67 thru August 68.I remember well the field jacket that winter at the mess hall . it had stenciled on back L.B. PULLER Need less to say there were many comments and we all thought it was pretty cool serving with 2/LT L.B. PULLER.

Stephan Robertson – Steve - April 30, 2020

MgySgt: The first edition of Marine, signed by “Chesty” was worth approximately $3,500 four years ago. I have an orginal. “Chesty” signed and gave the first of the books to my Grandfather. He and “Chesty” served together for years, so did my father and his brother.

ArtyMgySgt - April 30, 2020

While stationed at Camp Lejeune in early 1962 our battery GYSGT announced that General Puller would be at the main exchange doing a book signing. Being familiar with his exploits from D.I. training during my recent boot camp training I felt that he was too current to want his book. Anyway over the years as I gained experience as a Marine I pondered how much money I could get if I resold books signed by General Puller, guessing that first editions of the book “Marine” may have cost less then $10.00 a copy in the spring of 1962.

Stephan Robertson – Steve - April 30, 2020

L/Cpl, You wouldn’t recognize Naval Weapons Station now. In 1973, they tore down the Marine Barricks (Gate 2) and opened a new one at Gate 3 in Skiffs Creek, Named “Puller Hall”. Our entire family was there for the dedication as well as Mrs. Puller. Now Regiment, from Norfolk, FMCS Regiment has moved to Naval Weapons Station and an all new Barricks, HQ’s for the Command and Companies have been built, Armory, etc. Over 1,000 Marines have moved in. Interesting, huh. The Marines for the 1st time, since 1918 outnumber the Sailors there, over 3 to 1. And the House on Mason Row still stands for all the Excutives, including the Colonel and SgtMajor. It is now classified as Historical.

Stephan Robertson – Steve - April 30, 2020

L/Cpl. Townsley, I lived at Naval Weapons Station from 1951 to 1965 (was Naval Mine Depot until 1957). Our family were very close friends of Gen. Puller (Chesty). Have a very close friend, GySgt. Tom Kelly, USMC Ret. He was stationed there in 1957 as a PFC. He was on Duty at the “old Barracks” and the ‘old Man (Colonel) called him in his office to bring Chesty a cup of coffee. Upon his return he handed the General a fresh cup. Tom told me the first thing out of the Generals mouth was, “How are you doing “ol Man”? Tom responded. Tom didn’t understand what the General meant, but “Chesty” many, many times spoke to Enlisted addressing them as “ol Man”. It was his sign of respect for his enlisted Marines. Tom told me that when he was transferred to Camp LeJuene, he went to the Movie Theater on Base. Lights went off for the start of the Movie….but then the Movie stopped, lights came on…..then stood the General. He recognized and remembered Tom and spoke to him in front of all the Marines. Sir, unfortunately so many that knew/served with the General have or are going to “Heavens Scene”. It won’t be too many years from now there won’t be anyone else that knew the General. Sgt. Grit helps greatly keeping the General alive on his website. God Bless Marine!!

Douglas Mark Chrisrensen - April 30, 2020

What an honor that must have been. I recently met an old Korean war vet it’s part of my extended family we got to talkin. He told me once drove a Jeep for chesty puller in Korea he said that he was everything that every Marine at ever heard about

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