Regarding Marines wearing pith helmets, I can't say for sure that I remember our PMIs or the guys that ran the range towers at Parris Island wearing them, but below is a picture of my buddy Cpl. Tim Wheeler wearing one as he was running "A" tower at the LeJeune range. This would have been around 1984. Tim was too short to go back on the second MED with us so he got assigned to the rifle range to finish out his enlistment. Not sure if he was a PMI but he did work the towers and he is clearly wearing a pith helmet in this photo. I told him I thought the pith helmets looked stupid, but he said they were required.
I appreciated GySgt Rousseau's discussion about the merits of several rifles used by Marines, and that all weapons are just an extension of the proud Marine using them. I have fired most of the small arms used by Marines in the early 70's, including the M16. I have also used the M1 and M14. My opinion as to their relative merits: it depends on the situation. All three are fine rifles. For long work, greater than 300 yards, the M1 or M14 would be my preference. I really did not see much difference in accuracy between the two. One thousand yard shots could be made with confidence. For shorter distances and humping through the boonies, the M16 would be my preference. The lighter weight of the rifle, magazines, and ammo; and shear fire power are obvious advantages.
When I first went into the Marine Corps my DI was a Platoon Sergeant, he was something akin to a God, Officers were beyond that because we only saw them once or twice. Then when we went to the Rifle Range at Camp Matthews and were snapping in with our M1 rifles. I'm afraid I still had some of that softness remaining from civilian life (from just a few weeks before) and fell asleep while snapping-in in the Prone position. I was awakened by being picked up by collar and seat to a great height and dropped. I landed atop my M1, my chin hurt, my chest hurt and I believe my knees hurt somewhat also. I looked up into the flaming eyes of a Gunnery Sergeant who had to be something between a God and the Devil, if I read those eyes right and the flow of language, I felt I was near Death. He then picked me up off the ground and set me to doing Off Hand with him watching my every move. When the rifle muzzle dipped I got a whack and I got madder, another whack and I got so d-mn mad I was going to lower my rifle and slug him.
Just read the article about Captain Holmes: The Legend in the November 20, 2013 newsletter written by Sgt. Philip Drugge 1957-1968. It was a very fasinating story about a great Marine. However in the article Sgt. Drugge wrote that he was a reservist serving his six month active duty. I am writing to point out that I also was a reservist who served six months of active duty and seven and one half years of active reserve duty (1956-1964). I have recently have been made aware that I CANNOT be considered a VETERAN. The Marine Corps League has accepted me into their ranks without any problem. In fact, I recently have been elected as Jr. Vice Commandant of my detachment with less than one year of membership. At the same time of my joining the Marine Corps League I attempted to make arrangements to be buried in my local Veterans Cemetary, but was informed that I COULD NOT be buried there because I am not considered a Veteran. My intent was to have my ashes put into urn which holds my wife's ashes and we buried together. At this time there is no hope for me, but I do have my local congressman looking into getting a waiver. I am writting in hopes that other Reserve Marines, who were never activated , reading this might check out their situation. I have been informed that six months of active duty I had is considered "training" and to be called a Veteran one would have to assigned to another regular unit for an at least an additional 180 days. Check this out for yourselves Marines.
A Few bayonet/carbines made it to Iwo.
I was surprised when I read this article. My dad was in WWII and brought home a bayonet. I have pictures of it. This was the same bayonet I was issued in 1957 with my M1 rifle. What is right is a Marine does not attach the bayonet unless he is out is ammo and is in hand to hand combat. The bayonet is carried on his ammo belt and tied to his leg.
I would like to point out a flaw in our beloved Iwo Jima Monument, the Marine with the shouldered M1 Carbine clearly shows the Carbine with a bayonet attachment, The WWII issued carbine did not have a provision to attach a bayonet to the barrel; no bayonet for the carbine existed during WWII. The bayonet attachment device at the barrel was an improvement as well as an adjustable rear sight for windage and elevation, there was also a modification to the stock and a new magazine release button to hold the heavier 30 round magazine from falling out of the trigger housing and a bayonet was designed for the Carbine.
I found a book sold in the PX at Camp LeJeune in 1943. I scanned a couple pages in case you would like to show them so Boots could see what we had in those Good Old Days. By the way I listed it on ebay in case any one might want it.
GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC