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The Flight Line

I was in MAG-24 at Cherry Point as a newbie- on my first day the Staff NCO ( who was I later found out a great leader ) also, liked to have fun with the New Guy- I was told to go to all of our squadrons and give them each an emergency requisition in a sealed envelope addressed to various Staff NCO’s in each squadron. I took the envelopes and distributed them as ordered. I was handing them envelopes with the letter ( I found out later ) for a request for 50 yards of flight line? We all had a good laugh on me, and in a week or 2 we had some fun with another Marine- all in fun- and all part of OUR BROTHERHOOD- Most went along with getting their leg pulled- and some were sore- but we were a team and for most part pulled together. Some of the guys ran out at quitting time without asking if the work was done- and some of us asked if anything had to still be done for that day. The Staff NCO’s knew who were good Marines and who were s**tbirds- at times a muster was called for added assignments or problems to be addressed- roll was called- and the usual suspects were MIA- we had a Gunny who was terse- but a squared away Marine- he was looking for one screw-up who always did everything wrong – and called me over and told me to go to the head- and pull his sorry butt out of one of the stalls where he always hid from doing work? nothing got by them – and like Santa – they knew who was bad or good- I can honestly say I disliked one Gunny- who was not squared away- and was about to be asked to retire as I found out even with Vietnam- they did not want him in any capacity. Met hundreds of NCO and Staff NCO’s and Hey I was an NCO as I got out. Miss the ethic or working together- or going to the NCO Club for a drink- or dinner- sometimes one Marine would mope around the Squad Bay- and you would ask him if he wanted to go to the club- after work- or if he would go with you to chow- and they would perk up and be thankful- as all Marines were different- and some were loners. Now in 2017 our world is still crazy- and we face problems as well. One day maybe we will live in peace – but we learn from the past- and plan for the future- and a I hope that our Marines will be kept out of harms way overseas!! Amen!
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H.L. Young L/Cpl - April 13, 2020

L/cpl H.L. Young, Viet Nam 65/66/69. You Airdales are cool, but try being on your first Med Cruise(H 2/8) and told to go topside during a storm in the Atlantic for Mail bouy watch… Or on LPH 47 (Operation SteelPike) and told to to get 6 feet of flight line…. Nothing like being a boot… Semper Fi..

Cpl. Chacon - April 13, 2020

Looking for a few Marines stationed at Atsugi, Japan…….Marine Corps Barracks 1969 to 1971. Also Nam 1968 to 1969 Da nang 1st Communication Battallion 1st Marines.

David S. Martinez - April 13, 2020

Got to MCAS El Toro in Spring of ’69 for 6 months of ojt before going to staging at Camp Pendleton. I was a radar tech in VMFAT-101, an F4 Phantom training squadron. As a newbie, I was a “go for” under some Vietnam Nam vets training us and flight crews to ship out to ‘Nam. On one of my first days there and after walking waaay down the long flight line to work on one of the Phantoms, the E5 with me asks me for the ignition key to the jet. He said I was supposed to have gotten it from the maintenance gunny. “Well, run back to the hanger and tell the gunny you ‘f..ked up’ and forgot the key!” “RUN!” I got him back later when he was Sgt. of the Guard and I was walking guard duty one night! All I did was cock my .45 1911 after he had passed by my hiding spot late one night!

Cpl. Biggs 92′-97′ - April 13, 2020

Almost forgot the BA1100N with an ST ring!

Cpl. Biggs 92′-97′ - April 13, 2020

At MALS-16 in the early 90’s breaking in our newbies also included getting from supply a gallon of pneumatic fluid, or a box of level bubbles. If the Gunny was in a good mood you would send the new guy to him for a PRC-E7.

Sgt. John Johnson VMAQ-2 1984-1988 USMC (82-95) - April 13, 2020

In reply to Sgt. J.J. Hernandez (81-85).
Sgt Hernandez, that is an EA-6A, not an EA-6B. I too was in VMAQ-2 and made several West-Pacs with the various detachments. I was in Seat Shop but did a bunch of time in Corrosion Control because we got to spend a lot of time in th P.I. painting aircraft, because at the time it was the only Fleet paint facility in the Western Pacific. I LOVED the P.I.

James Petit - April 13, 2020

In reply to Sgt. J.J. Hernandez (81-85).
Cpl. of Marines James Petit Weapons plt. Rockets E co. 2/9 3rd Marines, Khe Sahn. Self employed as a contractor while going to Bible school in Tulsa I did some sheet rock work for a fellow who had a picture on his wall of a F4 phantom with the bunny on the tail. I don’t know how to get it in this message but if you would like to see it text me @4173310220. Semper Fi !!

Gunny Hall - April 13, 2020

’77 Returned to CONUS following 3 years at MCAS Futema, Japan. I was a SSgt E-6. ATC headquarters was at MCAS New River, stationed at MCALF Bogue Field, billeted at MCAS Cherry Point. Assigned to new enlisted barracks, not SNCO barracks. Barracks Sgt. was a Pvt waiting disposition of his court martial. Handrails, light fixtures, fire extinguishers all ripped from walls. I opened the door to my assigned room, found filthy bunks and gear for 3 individuals. But, I wound up all to myself. Conducted a thorough field day. told barracks NCO to locate owners of gear still in my quarters, three days limit. On the third day, I collected gear in bedding, tied it up, then tossed it overboard from 3rd deck to the Pvt bellow, with instructions to lock it up somewhere. A few days later I was ordered to report to the office of the SgtMaj in charge of that facility. After I reported to him, he told me I was up on charges for misappropriation of the gear I had removed from my quarters. My response was to request mast to the Commandant, where I would ask him why this facility was run the way it was. SgtMaj looked @ me, then told me to vacate his office. Never heard another word, but there were civilian workers repairing damaged fixtures, I was discharged in Dec., and headed for home and family in Seattle.

Paul Chacho Jr. SGT. E5 66to69. - April 13, 2020

At El Toro in 1967 we were all brand new from NAS Memphis and they would send guys around MAG33 looking to borrow the one Skyhook we had. I think the SeaBees would send guys looking for plank stretchers too.

Shawn Kane - April 13, 2020

In reply to Randy Bjerke.
Randy, yes remember sending many “boot” for an idiot form to admin! Guess you can’t do that now, you would have to have them look up the ID-10T online now right? I was in comm and when I was in 2/5 the line companies would send their boots down to comm to get boxes of grid squares and some frequency grease for their radios before going to the field. We would usually give them ammo cans with maps that we had cut up into grid squares and tell them we were all out of frequency grease. They had to go to supply to get more freq grease. Eventually, the line companies would have them bring us back our ammo cans to start the fun all over again with the next set of boots.

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