MARINE OF THE WEEK: Sgt. William W. Rollins

2d Battalion, 7th Marines – HAVOC, Marine Corps Forces, Central Command
Balkh Province, Afghanistan
June 19, 2008
Award: Silver Star

Enemy fighters ambushed Sergeant Rollins’ squad with a high volume of machine gun and rocket propelled grenade fire from multiple prepared positions. With the majority of his squad pinned down by the accurate enemy fires, Sergeant Rollins rushed to within 30 meters of the enemy positions, in the face of almost certain death, and provided suppressive fire which allowed his men to escape the immediate ambush area. Once his Marines withdrew, Sergeant Rollins courageously maneuvered through enemy fire to rejoin his squad where he continued to attack the enemy while the wounded Marines were extracted. Then, with enemy fire still impacting around him, Sergeant Rollins dragged a Marine casualty to safety. Sergeant Rollins aggressive actions in the face of the enemy drew fire onto his own position and provided his squad the reprieve they needed to maneuver to safety. Sergeant Rollins bold leadership, wise judgment, and complete dedication to duty, reflected great credit upon him and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

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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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The 12th General Order

By Ken Zebal

In the early 1960s, 2nd Tank Bn had a well-established fire watch program at the tank park. Generally speaking, two lower-ranking Marines from the flames platoon and each gun company were posted at the tank park inside their respective tool sheds from about 1800 to 0600. I was a PFC at the time and was assigned fire watch for Charlie Company along with Pat Rogers. Pat and I went to boot camp at Parris Island together (Aug-Nov ’63) and then to ITR at Camp Geiger (Nov-Dec ’63) before reporting into Co “C”, 2TkBn (Dec ’63) and then going on boot leave. This was my first fire watch and may also have been Pat’s. We were nominated by our Platoon Sergeant, S/Sgt “Gunny” Jandrozits, and then hand-selected by the Company Gunny, GySgt Sam Fullerton whose sea bag read like a WWII war novel. After everyone else went on liberty call Pat and I were briefed by the Company Gunny, went to Mess Hall 207 across the street and were issued mid-rats. In those days it was a brown paper sack filled with a sandwich, hard-boiled egg, apple, container of milk and a napkin all lovingly prepared by one of the cooks.

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Monkey Buddy

This photo was taken in 1958 while serving with Kilo Btry. 4th Bn. 12th Marines during  Operation Strongback in the Philippines….This little Rhesus Monkey showed up at my tent one evening and stayed with me until I left for Okinawa…I called him Monkey Buddy….He got to swiping anything he could carry from the other guys, he would steal Cigarettes, Zippos, Mess gear and bring it to me to my tent….The guys finally learned when something came up missing Monkey Buddy had paid them a visit…I never figured out if he was stealing for himself or for me….He liked to sleep curled up beside me at night and would wake up screaming mad if someone got to close to me….He loved to pick through my hair like he was searching for bugs, and at that time he probably found some, but he kept my hair clean….He came to be a good little Buddy and I hated to leave him behind when it came time to leave for Okinawa…I wanted to take him with me but it wasn’t possible….I enjoyed his company what time he was with me and think about him often….He was a good little Marine …Semper Fi   Little Buddy

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Operation Strongback

Greetings Sgt. Grit

While serving with the 12th marines in 1958 during ” Operation Strongback ”  there were Pygmy’s living in the jungles of the Philippines…They were a tiny people called Nigaritos who lived a very simple and secretive life style….I remember the first time I saw one of them several of us guys were bathing in this small fast flowing river, all of a sudden we look up and here comes this tiny dark skinned little man straddling a log and riding it down the rapids with only a loin cloth covering him….He didn’t acknowledge us or even glance our way as he passed by….In our C Rations we had small bars of soap and anytime we’d find a river or stream we’d strip off and jump in for a good bath, it was much better than bathing out of our helmets….When we finished we’d just leave the small pieces of soap lying on the bank….We soon realized the Pygmy’s were slipping down out of the jungle at night and gathering up all the small pieces we left….We always felt like they were watching us, but they were very seldom seen…..I just found out recently some of them were working underground with the Military forces helping to defend their country…..Being an 18 year old kid from Indiana it was quite a culture shock to see these things……It was a great education.

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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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Good bye Grandpa

This picture is a true Marine’s grandson. He is having a few words with his Marine picture. Everyone loved Grandpa, Daniel Patterson. Lucas Patterson shaved his head to be like Grandpa the day before the service. Lucas chose the most amazing man to model himself after. Daniel Patterson had 3 purple hearts and later became a fireman after coming home from Vietnam. He received several awards for saving lives with the Omaha Fire Department. He is without a doubt, a fabulous leader in heaven, all thanks to USMC training.

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As #WomensHistoryMonth ends, we honor retired Sgt. Maj. Yolanda Mayo. Mayo enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1986 and served in engineer, administration and public affairs roles. During her career, which spanned both active duty and the Marine Corps Reserve, she twice deployed on combat tours to Iraq. “One of the things that was constant in every job I’d ever done was taking care of Marines,” said Mayo, reflecting on her service in 2019. “I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve loved serving with the Marines I’ve served with.” Today, Mayo continues her dedication to the Corps through a leadership role with MCCS. Additionally, Mayo volunteers her time with charitable organizations such as Combat Female Veterans & Families United, and organizations that provide assistance to homeless veterans. In 2019, Mayo was recognized as North Carolina Female Combat Vet of the Year, a further demonstration of how she serves as an inspiration for future generations of Marines, and across her community. Submit your own Story>>