MARINE OF THE WEEK // NO GREATER LOVE

Cpl. Jason Dunham
3rd Battalion, 7th Marines
Iraq, April 14, 2004
Award: Medal of Honor
Cpl. Dunham’s squad was conducting a reconnaissance mission in Karabilah, Iraq, when they heard rocket-propelled grenade and small arms fire erupt a distance away. Dunham led his Combined Anti-Armor Team towards the engagement to provide fire support to their Battalion Commander’s convoy, which had been ambushed as it was traveling to Camp Husaybah. As Dunham and his Marines advanced, they received enemy fire. Dunham ordered his squad to dismount their vehicles and led a fire team on foot several blocks south of the ambushed convoy. Discovering seven Iraqi vehicles attempting to depart, Dunham and his team stopped the vehicles to search them for weapons. As they approached the vehicles, an insurgent leaped out and attacked Dunham. Dunham wrestled the insurgent to the ground and in the ensuing struggle saw the insurgent release a grenade. He immediately alerted his fellow Marines to the threat and, aware of the imminent danger and without hesitation, Dunham covered the grenade with his helmet and body, bearing the brunt of the explosion and shielding his Marines from the blast. In an ultimate and selfless act of bravery in which he was mortally wounded, he saved the lives of at least two fellow Marines. (DoD & U.S. Marine Corps photos)

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1918 Statue of Liberty

THE PICTURE ON HERE IS PHENOMENAL. Facts about the photo: Base to  Shoulder: 150 feet Right Arm: 340  feet Widest part of arm holding torch: 12 1/2  feet Right thumb: 35 feet Thickest  part of body: 29 feet Left hand length: 30  feet Face: 60 feet Nose: 21  feet Longest spike of head piece: 70  feet Torch and flame combined: 980  feet Number of men in flame of torch:  12,000 Number of men in torch:  2,800 Number of men in right arm:  1,200? Number of  men in body, head and balance of figure only:  2,000 total men: 18,000 THANKS FOR YOUR TIME CPL. CHARLES G. MORGAN Submit your own Story>>

D.U.K.W.

Dear Sgt. Grit

I was a between the wars Marine and served from 10/55 to 10/58 with 5 years inactive reserve. My first and best duty station,  following P.I. (Platoon 164) and I.T.R. at Pendleton, was at  Camp McGill Japan. Camp McGill was a former Japanese naval base and my draft wound up in the 1st Amphibian Truck Co., 2nd AMTRAC Batt. 3rd Marines. The company was soon downsized to platoon strength and became the 3rd D.U.K.W. Platoon with Capt. Dave Dichter commanding.

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Cherry point

I was an E-4, in Operations MOS 7041 IN Cherry Point N C HMS-24 when this Captain Sullivan comes in and says hey Rav want to take a ride? I said yes sir, I suit up , helmet etc. don’t remember if input the G-suit hose I or not, don’t remember if the crew chief did it either, anyway were in this F9f-8T heading down the runway and into the air and he says want to fly it, yes sir, he says watch your attitude not in the sense of disrespect justvtge planes attitude and I hold the stick and get way up and he says want to take it in an attack role I say yes sir , he raises his hands to show me , now I ve still got the stick , but I m 19 don’t have a clue what I m doing and bring the stick way over to my right, of course we’re going over and over and I say you better get this Captain or I m going to up Chuck, he laughed and that’s all I remember until we landed and I was exhausted and didn’t go to work the next day. They had a laugh I ll bet! Two weeks later I went up again didn’t touch the stick, while we’re up there he says hey there’s a red F11-F I think , let’s have some fun, he did his thing I think I passed out and that’s the last back seat jet ride I had.

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Plane Captain Of The Month

Found this picture of an F9F-8T Cougar from H&MS 13 that was probably the same one I flew in the back seat in ’63 when I made Plane Captain of the month. Although this pic was taken at Chu Lai, it’s still the same H&MS 13 that my squadron, VMA 212, was a part of at Kaneohe Bay in 1963. They only had one Cougar trainer. That year, my squadron established an award to be designated “Plane Captain of the month” and I happened to be lucky enough to be the first one. Before I could actually fly, however, I had to take pressure chamber and ejection seat training at NAS Barber’s Point. After that initial training I was ready for the flight. The pilot was a Captain from H&MS-13 and the hop was about an hour long. We did all the maneuvers including a loft bombing where he put it in a power dive from around 30,000 ft. and pulled back on the stick at about 6,000 ft. climbing back to altitude and flipping over, simulating special weapons delivery. I was watching the G meter climb to about 7 G’s. I could hear the wings creaking like rusty hinges as my G suit filled up with bleed air. After that maneuver he let me take the stick. “Put your left wing down”, he said, and I eased the stick left. Same thing with the right wing. So now I get a little confident and asked if I could try an aileron roll. “Go ahead if you think you can” says he. Now I’m feeling very confident, even though I wasn’t a pilot (did that years later as a civilian), and I just whipped that stick over in my right lap. I didn’t know that you have to give it a little nose up before entering an aileron roll. Nobody mentioned that part. Anyway, we were up around thirty thousand when I started the maneuver. I was looking straight up at the ocean getting closer and the airplane was not coming out of the roll. It was falling towards the water upside down. I still had the stick all the way over in a death grip, looking up at the ocean, watching the waves turn into whitecaps. The Captain said “Let Go Of The Stick”. “Are You Sure You Got It Sir”, says I. “Let Go Of The Godd-mn Stick” says he with more emphasis. So I let go, and he rolled out to level flight before we got wet. He didn’t say a word to me after that all the way back to Kaneohe and after landing he got away from that plane post haste and left me in the fuel pits. At any rate, there was only one PC of the month after me. They discontinued it after that guy because he puked in his Oxygen mask. Made a h-ll of a mess so I hear. They discontinued the award after that.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // Single-handedly repelled an ISIS ambush

Staff Sgt. Patrick Maloney
2d Marine Raider Battalion, Marine Corps Raiders
August 27, 2016
Operation Inherent Resolve, Kirkuk, Iraq
Award: Bronze Star W/ Combat “V”

Staff Sergeant Maloney’s team was conducting partnered reconnaissance operations on a prominent ridge along the Kurdish Defensive Line from an observation post exposed to a 280-degree fan of enemy-held territory. As the team established security, three team members were ambushed and pinned down under heavy and accurate enemy fire from positions 500 meters to the west. Enemy machine gun rounds impacted the vehicle his teammates were using for cover. Taking decisive action, he immediately crossed open ground, retrieved ammunition, and took charge of a Peshmerga heavy machine gun in an exposed and open truck bed. Remaining deliberately exposed to withering fire, he laid deadly suppressive fire on the enemy fighting positions. The Peshmerga heavy machine gun malfunctioned twice, requiring him to perform immediate and remedial action while exposed to rounds impacting within feet of his position. His fearless actions and fierce suppression gained fire superiority and enabled his teammates to return safely to covered positions. His bold actions further contributed to the immediate withdrawal of the enemy forces. By his extraordinary courage, zealous initiative, and total dedication to duty, Staff Sergeant Maloney reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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Rock Apes

I know what he means about ” Rock Apes” They were massive and had a human face. We were always happy to see a mongoose. They kept Cobras and 2 Step Vipers in check. I detested going through a swamp. Leeches. What a nightmare. Insects as large as 6 inches long. You were never dry. I completed 2 tours. 1968 and 1969. We saw things I never knew existed. It’s Great to be home. I was wounded by a punji trap. Corpsman Stone pulled it off. He cleaned it up, gave me morphine and a lot of antibiotics. Was sent back to base camp. I had to soak my foot in this pink powder with water. This was for 3 weeks. My entire foot scabbed over and I took it off like a boot. Captain Richenbach wrote me up for a Purple Heart. It’s on my hutch. I can see it from here. God Bless Corpsman Stone. He saved my life. I’m 74 now. Still in pretty good shape.
Semper Fi. Marines. Sgt. E-5 Paul A. Fleming 0311. Ser.No. 2410636

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Smart Azs In Trouble

I arrived in the United States in January of 1968 from Scotland and enlisted in the Marine Corps in May of 1968. I arrived at MCRD San Diego on 9 June 1968, and after being up all of the night before embarking and all of the day, too, arrived at the base at about 2100 hours. As we came off of the bus, we were met by Marines in Campaign Hats who all seemed to be yelling at us at the top of their lungs. We finally got the idea and proceeded to get on the yellow footprints. I was on the line closest to the yelling Marines as the line surged back and forth, all of us trying to get our own set of footprints. The lad in front of me stepped on my foot and caused me to stumble into

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MCRD SD Plt 3156

I arrived at Lindbergh Field San Diego on Sunday 27 December 1972. No one was there to meet or greet me so I found a SD policeman and asked him how to get to MCRD. He told me to wait out front of the terminal and he made a call to MCRD. I waited for about an hour and had several of the long haired types drive by and try to get me to “get the h_ll out of there” before it was too late. After waiting and wondering for the hour or so, a green Dodge van pulled up and the driver was the finest looking female (WM Sgt) I had ever seen and would ever see in my career. She told me in a very nice manner to get in the van and I did. While driving over to the base we talked about all types of things I would soon experience. She let me “burn a couple” (Marlboro) , but as we approached the gate to MCRD she told me how to field strip the butts and get rid of them. She dropped me off at Receiving Barracks and I saw my first YELLOW foot prints. I was directed to by the Sgt. to go inside and wait and someone would be with me in a little while. I proceeded to lean against a wall, and soon had a short and very angry SSGT jump up in my chest and proceeded to tell me to get the (deleted) off his bulkhead!!! Well I wasn’t too dumb and I figured real fast what a bulkhead was and stood at what I thought was attention. And I learned I wasn’t doing that correctly either. To cut to the chase now, I and a whole bunch of young men that had arrived on Saturday (I was the ONLY arrival on Sunday) were moved to a barracks and assigned a bed that I soon learned was a rack. We didn’t pick up or get picked up by our Drill Instructors until 2 January 1973 so we did a lot of swabbing and cleaning of the barracks. We were issued our sea bags and clothing, told to box up our personal clothes, got a haircut, etc., during that time. If memory serves me correctly, Our DI’s, Sgt. Schweigler, Sgt. Van Bibber, and Sgt. Jamieson picked us up very early on the 2nd and all h_ll broke loose. I don’t have any horror stories to tell about our 12 weeks in their care, but I was jacked up a few times for failing to do EXACTLY as told. All my DI’s were VN vets and they taught us well. They said they didn’t know if we would go to VN but they were going to teach us to survive if we did. I didn’t go to VN as I was a reservist (about half of our platoon was I think) but they made me a better person anyway. I do know that Sgt. Jamieson was a “short” American Indian and I had never seen any one his height jump straight up in my face and give me “love-tap” like he could. When we went up the road to Edson Range we were issued M-14’s and I learned to love that weapon. In fact I have the M1A now cause I loved it so much. I shot expert every pre-qual string but on qual day I blew it and got a toilet seat. I still insist that it does snow in Southern California cause I froze my young butt off that day. Shivvering doesn’t help in qualification with a rifle!! Anyway, I could go on for a while and I suppose I will close this out by asking anyone out there that was in Platoon 3156 to holler back. Oh yeah, Plt. 3156 took final drill comp and we were herded over to the mess hall and told by our senior DI to “drink the soda machines dry!!!”, and we did………then paid for it by doing bends and thrusts until the DI’s got tired.

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MARINE OF THE WEEK // He refused to leave a fallen Marine behind…

Sgt. Eubaldo Lovato
1st Battalion, 8th marines
November 11, 2004
Operation Phantom Fury, Fallujah, Iraq
Award: Silver Star (upgraded from Bronze Star)

During the second battle for Fallujah, then-Corporal Lovato and his squad was ordered to clear a house. What the Marines did not know is that insurgents had barricaded themselves behind sandbags in one room.
When a fire team entered the room, Cpl. Travis Desiato was killed ­immediately by a barrage of AK-47 fire and fell to the floor. The insurgents put up such a volume of fire that the other Marines could not retrieve their comrade. The Marines fired ­blindly, unable to see the enemy fighters behind their barricade.
Lovato and the others in his squad could see Desiato on the ground. They tried calling out to him but he didn’t answer. A group of five Marines including Lovato made several attempts to reach Desiato ’s body. They threw C4 plastic explosives into the room, but it ­generated so much smoke that the Marines could not see anything. Then one Marine attached part of a shattered mirror to a stick, which allowed him to see where the insurgents were.
Pinned by enemy fire, Lovato manuvered to retrieve more grenades, with bullets passing through his pants pockets and sling.
Eventually Lovato was able to crawl to reach his Marines and asked a tank to blast the back of the building. The Marines stormed the building and killed the enemy inside. Lovato retrieved Desiato’s body.

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