Sgt. Grit Community
Submit Your Story

Old salts needed to identify

Semper Fi and hello to fellow Marines! I am in need of some of the older salts to help me identify a badge I got along with the rest of my uncles belongings when he passed. He went into th Corps in 1960 and got out in 1970, so this must be from his early years. What it looks like to me is a pistol marksman badge, I’m thinking that sometime between 1960 and 1970~ the Marine Corps changed the pistol marksman badge to its current appearance. I can’t prove this yet but this is my speculation. If one of you ol’e salts out there who might have earned this badge or knew someone who did can tell me what it is I would appreciate it. Thanks for all your help.

read more

The Crows Nest

Most Marines who served in Vietnam have seen or,heard of “The Marble Mountain” located near China Beach and the Marine Air Facility at Da-Nang.Some might not know that there was more than one Marble Mountain.There was the double peaked “Chinstrap”,”Big No Name”, “Little No Name” and “The Crows Nest”. After spending most of my TOD as an 0331 with “Echo” 2/1 and after recovering from an infected “Centipede” bite, I was transferred to the “H&S Co” 2/1 located near the mountains.I had about 5 weeks or so left in country and after an unpleasant encounter with the Company Gunny was sent to the OP at “The Crows Nest”. At least I was ,kinda, out of the fight.After about a 400 foot climb to the top, with the assist of a rope, I was greeted by the NCOIC. I can not remember his name but he was a Staff Sgt. I was assigned to assist the FO for the 81 Mortars based at the base of the Mountain.I still remember the view from top. To the south was the “Dodge City”, Dien-Ban area,My ole stomping grounds, farther south and,on a clear day LZ Baldy could be seen.To the west toward “Four Corners” was “Charley Ridge” To the north was the Marine Air Facility, the Da-Nang Airbase and farther up the coast was the “Hai-Van Mountain”. To the east were the “Barrier Islands” and the “South China Sea” Were not just Marines there.We had 2 Army guys that operated the big search light and 1 Corpsman. As far as the duty goes it was great but it was really hot during the day and cold and windy at night. Oh, forgot about the dogs! don’t know how long they were there or how they got there but there were at least 5 that I remember. Our main duty was to watch for rocket launches at night and try to pinpoint the location and relay the info to arty or mortar units. We also had a Starlight Scope and a huge pair of Navy Ship Binoculars to help watch for infiltrators. During the day if you did not have watch we could go down to HQ and clean up and go to the PX.The only rule was to be back by 1700.About a week before my rotation date I went back to H&S and began checking out then “Homeward Bound” on the big “Freedom Bird” . P.S. Forgot to mention the 106mm we also had. Also had a 40×40 LZ VN July 68–Aug 69

read more

Second to None

Arthur R. Cuellar of Rancho Cucamonga honorably served
his country in the Vietnam War in 1967 as a Point Man for the 2nd
Battalion, 4th Marines. He was honorably discharged as a
decorated hero with three Purple Hearts. The time Arthur Cuellar
spent in Vietnam changed his life forever. Arthur, a resident of
California came from a long line of military men. At a young age
Arthur knew he would one day also join the Marines. Before that
day would come he was a promising baseball pitcher, able to
throw a fastball 100 miles an hour. At one point he even played
against the famous ‘Rollie’ Fingers (Roland Glen Fingers). Even
though as a child Arthur was diagnosed and treated for Polio he
did not let this stop him from pursuing his dreams and enlisting in
the Marines at the young age of 18 years.While Arthur was engaged in basic training, he celebrated his 19* birthday and was teased by
fellow marines because of the number of cards he received from his family. As a joke, a female friend
sent him a letter with a kiss imprinted on it. His drill sergeants made him do pushups to kiss the letter.
This was his first initiation into the Marines. Once Arthur finished basic training in April of 1967 he was
flown to Hawaii and there transferred to a 17 hour flight to Okinawa. From Okinawa he went to Danang,
Vietnam. He was assigned his outfit and given a 50 Caliber machine gun as his first weapon, in addition
he was given his required mess kit and C-Rations. This, was his welcome to Vietnam.

read more

2/4 Battle of Dai Do

Hello, I am reaching out to this forum to hopefully find someone who can tell me a little bit more about my uncle. I, am a Marine who served in Desert Storm and have the honor of having five other members of my fathers family who served in the Corps too. But that is for a later day, my interest now is to find anyone who might have been at the battle of Dai Do from April 29th to May 4th of 68. My Uncle, my second father was Dennis Romans. He was a squad leader of snipers attached to 2/4. He personally was with 2nd platoon, Hotel Co. He was wounded on I believe May 1st. From his letters to my parents (who my father was also a Marine in the 50’s) described how bad it really was. What I am looking for is for anyone who might have known him that I can talk to about that time. I have some many pictures of his from there with people I would just like to link together with. My Uncle, Uncle Dennis had a huge Heart! But he died back in 2010. One thing he did tell me during our drinking bouts after I got back from Desert Storm was about the 13 cent killers. He told me about he and his men had these coats made up with 13 cent killers on the back, because that was what the cost of one of their .307 (as he told me, yes! not .308. cost to produce!) I will include the pic. I have many pics of the area he landed in and would like to share them with those he was with. I know he would be happy for that. By the way, his little brother was with 1/1 during the battle of Hue City and he always looked out for his men! If you know the Marine in the picture (he is not my Uncle) please notify me and maybe I can get this pic to his him or his family! Semper Fi

read more

TET 69 Secrets

It have been 50 years since the 69 Tet offensive and now i ca finaly tell the truth about my service in the Marines.It is now declassified. On Feb 1 1969 i just finished my scout sniper training at Stone Bay Camp Lajune and was home enjoying 20 day leave when I got a call to return to HQ 2nd Recon. Once I arrived I was sent right away to a secret location near Onslo Beach.The only thing we were told was that we were shipping out to an undiclosed location. We were all issued a M-21 sniper rifle and loaded onto cattlecars.The next stop was Cherry point airbase. We were loaded onto C-130 cargo planes and imediatly took off About 10hours later under the cover of darkness we landded at Danag airbase in South Veitnam and were loaded onto covered trucks but still did not know where we were going. Finaly we were at our destiation Hue city. We were told to lock and load and to set up firing positions aroundd the city andd to shoot anyboby tring to leave the city.We were ther for about a week and lost Marines and We were then sent back to Danag again under the cover of darkness and told to never speak about waht we did.All any body need to know was we were on a training mission and the guys we lost were just lost None of us got any medals or nothing. I think I need a drink.

read more

President, USMC Vietnam Tankers Association

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association

The USMC Vietnam Tankers Association will be holding our 11th biennial reunion on Thursday October 31 – November 4, 2019 at the Hilton Double Tree Suites Hotel Seattle Airport – Southcenter. Anyone who served with any of the Marine tank battalions or Ontos units in Vietnam . . . in any capacity is welcome!!!

read more

Squid?

In July 1968 I arrived at Hill 861s and was soon met by a couple of Marines who took a look at the new Corpsman who delighted in calling me a “squid”. I thought for a moment as I had never been addressed in that term. I then asked them if they knew what a “squid” was. They replied,no and I informed them that a squid was something floating in the ocean sh–ng on Marine life. They then called me Doc for the rest of my time there over looking Khe Sanh. My second item to address is very close to my heart. It concerned a Marine serving with me in 1/26 Company C. We were patrolling the Ah Shau valley one day when my radio operator, a black Marine from somewhere back East turned to me and began trying to take off my Caduses. I asked him what he was doing? He stated he was taking off my insignia , so the VC would shoot him instead of me as there was a $250 bounty on me by the VC. At the time I laughed and told him thanks for the thought but reminded him that the same bounty was on him as a radioman. Al I remember was his name we used as SCOTTY and I do not remember where he was from. The thought of what had transpired Did not hit me until much later. This Marine was willing to sacrifice his life for me. I cannot think of a greater gift. Loved my Marines….RIP DOC John GOTT, Kia 1/26 Marines 18 DEC 1968 Hai Van Pass VN.

read more

The Oldest Youngest Marine?

THE OLDEST YOUNGEST MARINE?
It was the height of the Cold War when I enlisted in the USMC in 1956 and went to USMCRD San Diego and then to Camp Pendleton. This was a break from my studies at UC Berkeley. Boot Camp (Platoon 3006) was a sudden cultural shock as I exchanged kindly professors for ferocious drill instructors. I have spent the rest of my life as a professor. I cherish my time in the Corps. After retiring, I started attending Marine Corps birthday celebrations.
Recently, my wife of 61 years and I went on a Holland-America repositioning cruise from Rome, Italy to Ft. Lauderdale. Since we would be at sea on November 10th I investigated and learned that the ship had made no provision for a 243rd USMC birthday party. So, I began to put one together. I ordered a cake with the EGA logo. The ship reserved a special section for us near the bar on the rear deck for November 10th.
I began to troll for Marines, wearing a Marines t-shirt and a USMC cover. Gradually, I began to meet and greet Marines. I met an ex-USN Chaplain (Rev. Dale Williams) who had served twice with us. We had a group of about 20 for the birthday celebration.
One Marine played the annual message from the Commandant. Chaplain Williams gave the invocation and then led us in singing the Marine Corps hymn. Now it came time to serve the cake. The big problem was finding out who were the oldest and youngest Marines present. The goal was to honor service in the USMC. There are few young people on a late fall cruise. I’m 81 and I did not feel that old among the passengers. There were no young Marines and a lot of us elders. We chose an imposing MSgt with the most years of service (29) as the oldest Marine. (He the second from the right.) He was 66. But, choosing the youngest Marine was a problem. So, I asked “Is anyone under 50?” No. Then, under 60? No. Finally, since the eldest was 66, I asked if anyone was under 66. There was one who was 65 plus change. (He is the one on the far right.) So, he became the recipient of the second slice of birthday cake.
The 243rd birthday party was fun. The delicious cake, the adjacent bar, and good fellowship made this celebration special.
Later, I realized that we may have set a USMC record for the oldest youngest Marine at a USMC birthday celebration. I have attached photos of the cake and a small group consisting of myself, the two honorees and friends. I regret losing the names of the two honorees and hope that a reader might identify them for the record. I’m the old guy with the USMC cover in the back row.
Do any of you know an older youngest Marine at a USMC birthday celebration?
James Freud provided the photos and made excellent suggestions for improving this letter.

read more

Fix Bayonets !

On 1- Feb- 2019 Major Edward Wright USMC ( Retired) received The Silver Star for action on 21-Aug-1967. At the time of the action he was Lt. Wright, a platoon leader with Lima Co. 3/3 and was tasked with leading a 30 man reaction force sent to rescue an Army convoy and, other Marines from his company that were ambushed by an NVA unit.As they advanced and engaged the enemy the fight turned into close combat and ultimately hand to hand. Lt. Wright ordered his men to “Fix Bayonets” and continued the fight. It,s times like these that make the Vietnam War not seem so long ago. You want to know what combat vets are? There you have it! Those Marines are combat vets! Harry

read more