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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 13 JAN 2011

In this issue:
• Laotian Border photos
• Boot Camp Democracy
• Bayonet in the neck

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Sergeant Grit,
I wanted to say Thank You for providing a place where Marines can gather as a community and order things only Chesty would want!

Riding forward reconnaissance for 1st Marine Division during the Initial Invasion of Iraq (OIF I - 2003 - Military Police Company)

Thank You.
Sergeant Stephens

In This Issue:

As usual some great pictures from the Laotian border to Bikini Sea Bass and a bayonet in the neck. An example of boot camp democracy, now there is an oxymoron if I ever heard one. And of course one does not ever harm "government property". More on the filming of Gomer Pyle and a few more tattoo submissions.

In boot camp I was 6'2" about 175lbs. Another maggot about 6'5" and lighter than me always got matched up for hand to hand training. Sounds like a fair match up, right?! Well, he had sweaty balls, similar to the boot camp story below. It gave him a bit of an advantage when it came to certain moves.

Fair winds and following seas.
Sgt Grit

Marines, listen up! The Commandant has spoken! No more "former" Marines!

CMC's Planning Guidance:

It begins with the Commandant's Priorities, then his Planning Guidance follow, and is in turn followed by some very important information, important to all of us. A quote from the Commandant, General James F. Amos:

"A Marine is a Marine. I set that policy two weeks ago - there's no such thing as a former Marine. You're a Marine, just in a different uniform and you're in a different phase of your life. But you'll always be a Marine because you went to Parris Island, San Diego or the hills of Quantico. There's no such thing as a former Marine."

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, General James F. Amos (United States Marine Corps photo by LCpl James Purschwitz)

A Lot Of Memories

I found this picture that was taken on Dec.24 1968. We were along the border with Laos. I'm the one in the center with glasses. I used to be called Groucho because I smoked cigars. The other guys in the picture are Mike on the left Bill next to me and Tom in the hooch. We were In Alpha Co 1/3. I lost touch with most everyone over the years. The picture brings back a lot of memories.
Some good, some bad.

Semper Fi Till I Die

Bikini Atoll

Lt Col. Kenneth M. Ford
Died July 30, 2009

Fighter pilot, WWII 1942
22 Kills

Giant Grouper Sea Bass
Bikini Atoll, 4lbs short of world record.

Distinguished Flying Cross
American Defense Service
American Campaign
Asiatic Pacific Campaign
WWII Victory
Korean Service
United Nation
Korean Presidential Unit Citation
Navy and Marine Corps Commendation

Don't Realize

I would like to share some memories of my own, and see if anyone of your readers served in Beirut, especially between August 1982 and February 1984. I was with Bravo Co. 1/8, 24th MAU, in country May to November 1983. I have good memories and bad, as anyone who has been in combat has. Some of the good ones usually involve the crazy things that we did to keep our sanity, ie practical jokes on each other, or just silly things, like the night we took a close hit at the University, a shell landed outside the area we chose to sleep in, the room was full of choking dust, our ears were ringing, and as they cleared, we could hear the steady snoring of one of the Marines.

I still carry the bad memories, and will keep them to myself, we all know about them. Combat, though tragic in many ways, can bring about the most hilarious things. One night we were taking fire, everyone was geared up and in their positions, when this 2nd Lt came running up with his helmet and flak jacket on over white skivvies, did he ever stand out like a sore thumb.

But a memorable time was the day all h-ll broke loose, a Sunday, we were at the University position, and Sunday was traditional Barbecue day. The Company Gunny and 1st Sgt were at the grill, both Vietnam Vets, calmly donned flak jackets and brain buckets, and continued to grill. (at that time most of the incoming rounds appeared not to be directed at us, but soon it was clearly meant to ruin our day). War is h-ll, and you make the best of a bad situation, SNAFU is the word.

Most people outside of the military don't realize that unlike the wars of the past, time out doesn't exist for Christmas and New Years, it continues as routine. To all my Brother and Sister Marines, Navy, Army, Air Force and Coast Guard that are out in harm's way, I wish you a safe New Year and a speedy return home. Stay Frosty and be proud, because we are proud of you and stand behind you if not beside you,
SEMPER FI. Robert Brady

Bayonet To The Back Of Neck

Dear Sgt. Grit,

As I was going through some "old stuff", I ran across something that might be of interest to those that are pictured here. The only name I have is that of a Pvt. Moroni who took a bayonet to the back of his neck while the drill team came to "Present Arms" in a very close quartered situation. Also included is a picture of the Color Guard from 8th & I Marine Barracks that was also in Edinburgh for the "Military Tattoo". This article appeared in the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper on Aug.21, 1958.

As I was present in Edinburgh as a member of the "Commandants Own" (The U.S. Marine Drum & Bugle Corps. Wash. D.C.) I was able to obtain this newspaper. After keeping this newspaper all these years, I thought it would be a good idea if it could somehow end up in the hands of those involved. Perhaps if you could display these articles in your Sgt. Grit column we may find some of the ones in these pictures. I only have one copy of this paper, but if there are more than one request, I would be happy to have others copied from the original.

I may be contacted at email:
bjs02vette @ sbcglobal .net (no spaces)

Bill Marshall, Sgt.
USMC '56 - '59 1603464

Vietnam and Iwo Vets

Sgt. Grit, My name is Reymundo Gonzales from CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS, my twin brother Reynaldo & I graduated from High School on JUNE the 4th 1967 & were standing side-by-side on those famous YELLOW FOOT-PRINTS on the 6th. I arrived in VIET-NAM on NOV.26th, 1967 & my brother was sent to RECON in Camp Pendleton. I spent 23 month in NAM as a SCOUT SNIPER with 7th Marines HD. QUATERS CO. Scout Sniper Platoon out HILL 55,working with all THREE BATALLIONS,1/7 ,2/7, 3/7 in DODGE CITY, ARIZONA TERRITORY, around LIBERTY BRIDGE, CHARLIE RIDGE.

I retired 4 years ago from a CIVIL SERVICE JOB. I worked on repairing all types of HELICOPTERS for the Federal Government for over 35 years.

I am active with the MARINE CORPS LEAGUE, and there is a gentleman 85 years old by the name of Wes Plummer that served in IWA JIMA & earned a SILVER STAR with VALOR, He was there when they raised the flag in MOUNT Suribachi, HE continues to work 40 hours a week, goes to the GYM, and runs three times a week, there is not an ounce of FAT on him. Here is a picture of him and I.

Short Rounds

I got my Grit mag yesterday and read it cover to cover. Great job. Now I know how my wife feels about her Pottery Barn Mag. Keep it up guys. S.F.

Burney Gasque III

I am a Somalia Marine and in my empty days since returning, the only thing that keeps me going are my fellow Marines.
Semper Fi till I die! Ooh rah
Adam S.

I have a complaint about your newsletters, THEY ARE TOO SHORT! I really enjoy reading them and wouldn't mind more. Thanks!


Thanks Sgt Grit for all you do in providing all the great stories! This issue really moved me!
Sgt Winston B. Pelfrey USMC Vet

My name is Terry Enfield, I have seen several reunions posted in your News Letter and hope you can assist me. Plt. 328 M.C.R.D. San Diego. 1966 is planning a reunion. our D. I.'s were S. Sgt. Steffan Sgt. Williams and Sgt. Hullem.
Semper Fi.

Terry Enfield
308 764 2477
enfieldr @ neb-sandhills .net (no spaces)

Hello Sgt. Grit, I was a Marine myself and would just like to say the pictures on here with Gen. Amos with the 3/5 in Afghanistan, I was very happy to see my son kneeling in one of those pictures and very proud. Just wanted to say thanks and God bless the Marine Corps.

Looking back One realizes the Staff Sergeant was probably suffering from what we now call Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome from some of his past experiences in Vietnam. I never saw him again after that night. One day shortly after this happened the Battalion Commander did run up on post in his pt gear but since he did give the proper response I didn't put him on the ground, lol. But I would have! I guess he was just testing the waters.

Happy New Year and Roll Tide.
FJ Breck

Dear Sgt Grit
I was in Plt 356 at MCRD San Diego June to Sept 1957. Our senior DI was S/Sgt Joe Curley. Our Junior D I was Sgt T J Hayek. I visited him at his home in July of 07. I just found that he passed away in April 09.I don't know how many platoons he graduated There but i suppose several. Thought maybe someone out there would like to know. R D Hartley 1607484

"Boot Camp Democracy"

Sgt. Grit,
I see all the e-mails about recruits being hit mostly come out of the 60's and prior. Well I went through boot camp, P.I., in 1983 and believe me, we were hit. I remember myself, I got punched in the face twice, I saw another recruit get poked in the eyes, because he referred to himself as "I" rather than recruit. There were other incidents of people getting punched in the gut or shoved into racks, etc.

I remember our senior DI, SSGT Acres. He asked the platoon after the first week of training if we wanted to get trained by the book or his way. We chose his way (the only time we had a democratic vote). His way involved corporal punishment. I remember somewhere around third phase, several of us were brought into an office to meet with the series commander. He asked us all, individually, if we had ever been hit or abused during training. He received all negative responses.

In addition to being hit, there were rack drills, left/right step march with racks, scrub brush races, holding your rifle straight out by the flash suppressor, foot locker exercises, and any other form of torture they could devise. I actually remember rolling around in an ant hill while at the rifle range and doing push-ups in the grass which contained these round prickers. My hands were bloody after a session in the grass.

Sounds sadistic, but thinking back to what a punk azz kid I was, I thank my three DI's for everything they did. I wouldn't be where I am today if it wasn't for them. They straightened this punk out. Thank you SSgt Acres, Sgt. Patterson (who I still hate), and Sgt. Bowden.

Semper Fi
Sgt. DeVoe 0481 (Red Patcher)

Because They Want To

Sgt. Grit,

I just recently started getting your newsletter. What a great publication.

I'm a retired Marine GySgt / 0369 - 8511 / 2137732 (21 yrs - 1964 - 1985). I'm one of a very few Marines who was honored to serve as a Drill Instructor on both drill fields, San Diego 1972 - 1976 and Parris Island 1980 - 1983. And I can say without a shadow of a doubt that there is very little difference between the two boot camps. An effort was made during the late 70s and early 80s to make the two identical. The effort made is quite obvious; Marines are more disciplined, more professional, more dedicated than ever before.

In addition, the training SOP has been rewritten, modified, changed when needed to insure that Drill Instructors are as professional as they can be. One of those changes was to prohibit DIs from physically striking recruits. Do "hats" still hit recruits today? Yes, I suspect that it does, from time to time, happen. However, there is really no justification for physical abuse. If I need to beat a recruit to get him / her to obey my orders or to develop self discipline, then I don't want him / her in my Marine Corps. The "Corps" doesn't need or want them. Recruits should develop discipline because they want to - period. Honor, Courage, Commitment must be followed regardless of your position / rank. Discipline stemming from desire is, by far, longer lasting, more durable, more sustainable.

Finally, today I do some volunteer work with the recruiters in my home town. I teach basic Marine Corps history, the general orders, leadership traits and principals, and rank structure to young men in the poolie program. So, I frequently get to see new Marines returning from Parris Island after recruit training. I can assure you they are every bit as good as we were, maybe better. I have attended graduations at Parris Island three times in the past year. I have talked to Drill Instructors. Buildings, the causeway, and other things at P.I. have changed but not the training.

I certainly don't intent to demean the service of prior generations of Marines. They set the pace for the rest of us to follow. Now, Marines today are continuing the traditions that we so proudly served. I don't see that changing. To all my fellow Marine brothers, past, present, and future;

Fair Winds and
Following Seas

Gunny "B"

Visiting Royalty

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was in boot camp at Parris Island and was in the 1st Battalion on the swamp side of the main grinder there in the last of the wooden barracks at PI. At the time only 3rd battalion and the rifle range had brick barracks, so we called 3rd battalion Disneyland. 2nd Battalion still had wood barracks too and we called them the Twilight Zone because the only time we ever passed through their area was during the time we were forming up platoons and doing all the paperwork necessary to the Marine Corps for us to go through boot camp. This was where we got our first haircuts.

The nickname for the 1st Battalion was Blood Alley of course, and our DI's made it clear from the first day that they would show us why we had that nickname. This all took place in the last few days of November, 1967 and into December. I was in Platoon 1076, and we must have graduated during January or February 1968. Our DI's were S/Sgt Knight as the SDI, S/Sgt Osborne as the JDI, and Sgt. Thompson as the ADI. S/Sgt. Knight picked up Gunnery Sgt. and became the company Gunny upon our graduation.

After I returned from RVN in '69, I was stationed at Beaufort MCAS, about 7 miles from PI, because it was the nearest permanent duty station to my home town, and the first thing I did after checking in was to drive over to PI and look up Gunny Knight. He took me to his home off base where I met his wife and children. He was one of the nicest people you could have ever met, but you wouldn't have known it while we were in boot camp.

I was in poor physical condition because of wounds received and I drove over to PI every morning so I could do the morning PT with one of Gunny Knight's platoons. Everywhere I went at PI, I was treated like visiting royalty. I guess Gunny Knight put out the word that I had been one of his recruits. After 6 months of daily PT with his platoons, I was returned to full and unrestricted duty. Without him, I think the Marine Corps would have discharged me as physically unfit for duty.

I stayed in the Marine Corps for a total of 6 years after shipping over for 2 years and never regretted a single day of it. If any of your readers has a copy of our platoon picture, or especially a copy of our platoon book, I would be more than happy to pay to have copies made. I lost all of my Marine Corps pictures and memorabilia during a house fire and would give just about anything for the platoon picture and platoon book. It's funny how much these old photo's come to mean to us.

I never one time heard a Marine use the word "Oorah" while I was in. It must have been used, because of some of the letters I have read here, but I don't recall ever hearing it myself.

I saw in this week's newsletter where you wanted to hear some of the terminology we used. Squad Bay. Deck instead of floor or ground. Ladder instead of stairs. Overhead instead of ceiling. Bulkhead instead of wall. Smoking circle. Firewatch. Wing Wiper. Mess Hall. WM for Women Marines. Motor T. Geedunk with a hard G. Pogey Bait. Housemouse. I could go on for hours.

Criss Morgan 2409092

Well Done

I was a Drill Instructor at San Diego from 1974-1976. I found out after the recruits had graduated of how one recruit had hidden from a massive thrashing that we gave them.

It was the night before the platoon was returning from ITR training. The Platoon Commander, SSgt Jamieson, had taken the last night there. Well it seemed that one of the fire watches did not want to stand his full tour and forwarded the clock so that by morning the time was about an hour to an hour & half early. When the platoon came back to San Diego the recruits were stowing their gear and the recruit, Pvt Tapia, was squaring away the cleaning storage locker. Well because of what had happened to the Plt Cmdr that morning Sgt Stovall and I started thrashing the platoon. We kept this up for about 2 hours. Well Pvt Tapia said that as the door to the cleaning locker was closed he hid there until after the fun was over. WELL DONE Pvt Tapia were every you are.

Paul DeLaricheliere

You Want Sympathy?

Sgt. Grit,

I'll quote the question, but I'm not sure you'll want to publish the answer, so maybe you can send this to Cpl. Rowe.

"A question: Sympathy is found in the dictionary between ---??? and Tough S-it. Can't remember the start of that line. Semper Fi Cpl Rowe"

As my Senior Drill Instructor would have said, "You want sympathy? You can find it in the dictionary jammed between sh-t and syph-lis. Now begin!"

Semper Fidelis,

Mark Harrington

Plt 262 P.I. 1965

Sgt. David (Tony) Dangleman July 65 to Sep 70 VN 66-67 1st Bn 1st Marines 1st Marine Division Just south of Marble Mountain SFC. USA Aug 71 to Mar 88 But always a Marine

Platoon 3051 Parris Island November 19,1967

I hope you post this picture of Platoon 3051...I have never heard from anyone in this platoon.
Tom McKenna Jr.

Government Property

Sgt Grit,
Seen the picture of Mike Flynn and the 1960. I went thru platoon 372 August 1960.

Went to Pendleton to Camp San Mateo with 2-1 till March 62 when we boarded The Mann for Okinawa where we went to Camp Hansen with 1/9.

There I was with a Cpl James Wilson which was the article under Mikes article. Maybe he could be the same Cpl Wilson. In December 1962 we were riding on my Honda 305 back from Ishikawa and coming into Kin Village I flipped it and had it impounded and went to the Dispensary with 3 cracked ribs.

Next day I had a run to Naha but couldn't push in the clutch (lmao). So he covered my run and I covered the dispatch. A week or so later this Lt. called me into his office and questioned me about some destruction of Government property. I told him I did mess up my Bike but had it fixed and he tells me no I'm talking about the 3 cracked ribs (lmao). He asked me if I Reported to work the next day. I told him yes I did and he said do you have proof of this I told him that Cpl. Wilson took my run and I took his dispatch. He told me I was dismissed. I asked him what would have happened if I didn't report to work the next day what would have happened. He told me that I would have to receive a Summary Court martial wow.

Went up to HQ 9th from 63 to 64. Was released from Active duty at Treasure Island.

Never lost the Love of our Glorious Corps
Semper Fidelis,
Robert (Bob) Hanna

Was So Light

I was in boot in San Diego from June to Aug 69. In boot my original M14 rifle had a wood stock (and yes I do have my "Woodstock in 1969" coffee cup from Sgt Grit). At the rifle range at Camp Pendleton I was issued a different rifle with a fiberglass stock since mine didn't have a firing pin. The armorer said it was because the firing pin hole on the bolt was elongated. And every Marine who has fired a M14 knows the bolt is the only non-interchangeable part of that rifle.

We went to ITR the day after we graduated from boot. There we were issued the M16. Rumor had it that it was "Made by Mattel" so we spent a few moments looking for the Mattel trade mark. Couldn't find it but the rifle was so light it felt like we could carry it all day and never break a sweat. These were brand new weapons with nary a scratch on them. Not sure who cleaned any packing grease off of them but they were clean. Also not sure if we were the first ones to get the M16 but we had them. Three weeks later when we left ITR, it looked like they had gone through a battle or two. And they felt just as heavy as a M14 did.

Never did fire a M1 but right after we got to Camp Pendleton there was a big fire. Most of the training range bleachers and buildings were burned along with the brush. I did see a lot of M1 & M14 brass ground into the dirt. Since there wasn't anything covering it up we got to police that brass along with the M16 brass.

Semper Fi,
Tom Tilque
Cpl, USMC 1969-73

Sweaty B-lls

Parris Island P.T. Field, On or around Nov, 2001 (don't remember the exact date but I will never forget this). As our platoon is standing at attention waiting for the Series Gunny to jump onto the platform to kick off that mornings P.T. I hear a Recruit say "Sir, Good Morning Sir, Recruit Gordon Requests Permission to Speak to Drill Instructor Sergeant Chase, SIR!"

As a Recruit or Drill Instructor you knew 90% of the time that if a recruit requested permission to speak, he was going to request permission to make a head call.

I don't even think that he got all of that out before the drill instructor snapped the finger in his face and instructed him to "LOCK IT UP!" . I figured that would be the end of it. There really was no place to make a head call anyway even if the D.I. did allow the recruit permission. We were in the middle of the P.T. field at 2nd BN, it's not like there is a head ANYWHERE in that area.

Well a minute or so later the Recruit speaks up again with "Sir Good Morning Sir, Recruit..." By this time the D.I. comes storming over... "SHUT YOUR STINKING mouth boy!". I knew at this point that the recruit must REALLY have to go as I could see him doing the all too famous "Pee Pee Dance".

Well this Recruit couldn't hold it any longer and just let it go and out of the corner of my eye I could see the wet spot forming in his pants and as this happens I see the D.I. come over and throw a finger in this Recruits face and say... "You nasty little f--k you have NO discipline, You have just WASTED 15 years of your Senior Drill Instructors Career!"... the D.I. turns to walk away but stops himself and goes back to the Recruit and says "Don't worry... We'll just tell him you have REALLY SWEATY B-LLS!"


Language Institute at Monterey

Semper Fi to all my fellow Marines who attended the Defense Language Institute at Monterey Peninsula in Monterey, California and spent countless hours in class and studying tapes to learn to read, write and speak the three dialects of the Vietnamese language. We were d-mn good at what we did and I am enormously proud for having attended. My compliments to Ong Diggs, Ong Probst, Ong Ostlund, Ong Notro, Ong Winchester and Ong Shindler who were all my class mates and of course, Marines. Hoping this note finds each of you and your families well. I fondly remember you all and will forever keep you in my prayers.

SSgt Bruce E. Brown, Ong Bao

Lt.Col Jerald Giles

I thought it would be appropriate to inform all Marines that Lt.Col Jerald Giles, the great Commanding Officer of Kilo 3/9 (66 to 67) is having serious medical complications. Lt. Col. Giles is a tough Marine and will no doubt recover, just as he exemplified his courage leading his company of Marines against the NVA in the fight for hill 881s, Operation Buffalo, Hill 70 and many more senseless operations along the DMZ. Lt. Col. Giles is the type of Marine leader who devoted all of his energy, tactical knowledge and experience to protect his men and destroy the NVA. There were none better in the of the face danger than Lt. Col. Giles especially when it involved the safety of his Marines

Cpl (E4) D. H. Swan
1805204/3rd Mar Div

More On Gomer Pyle

Can't get back to the specific item at the moment, as it appears y'all are working on the website... however... for the individual who called BS on the Jim Nabors/Capt Stremic item... got some news for ya, stud... for openers, you obviously have no idea of the time element that may be involved in the production/release of a film or TV series... secondly, I was there... a DI at MCRD San Diego, for both '63 and '64... and witnessed some of the shooting of the 'Gomer Pyle, USMC' series. The encounter between Capt Stremic (OIC of DI School) and Jim Nabors at the Dispensary was well known around the Depot at the time...

The recruits marching in the opening scene are in fact not one, but two, platoons combined, and the 'real' DI's, from a series in L Company are off-camera, and controlling the platoons... I know this because the two platoons involved were half of a 'Series'... and I was a DI for one of the platoons in the other half... got to watch some of the filming where 'Sgt Carter' is alongside, chewing on Pvt. Pyle... this was by the flag pole, center north side of the 'grinder'. 'Sgt Carter, BTW, is vertically challenged... and wore really thick-soled built-up shoes throughout the series of programs... and, at the time, we were not really all that keen on a program that appeared would be making fun of our Corps...

By early '64, I had been transferred from L Company to be a plank-holder in the then new Motivation Platoon. Part of our experimental program involved showing combat footage to the Motivation Platoon recruits in our classroom at the end of every training day... PowerPoint and DVD's hadn't been invented yet, but 16MM film had, and as a result, I was well acquainted with the NCOs at the Training Aids Library... had gone down there one day (in early '64) to exchange films, and the NCOIC told me he had something new to show me... it was the pilot film for the Gomer Pyle series, that he had just received... and it had a trailer on it where Nabors was singing opera... (which I was sure was faked)...

The net is: the pilot film was shot in '63... and not released until '64. Your abject apology to my brother 8511 is hereby accepted... and the next time you are in mommy's basement, playing film historian on the internet... here's a suggestion: Hike on down to WalMart... go back to row 27, aisle 13, shelf B... and get a life!... they got 'em on sale!

Dick Dickerson, Major (LDO) USMC, Retired

Not to drag a dead horse through the mud, but I want to respond to Gary Harlan's comments about filming the Gomer Pyle TV series.

First of all, Wikipedia which can be edited by anyone, is often as inaccurate as snopes.com. Don't take it as Gospel.

If I remember correctly, Gomer Pyle had been on TV for at least a season before I reported to MCRD San Diego in January 1965. In late March of that year the TV cast and crew showed up to film the parade scene on the Grinder. Anyone that's been there would easily recognize that location. Camp Pendleton doesn't have anything like it. This may have been a re-shoot or whatever. It took about 4 takes before we were dismissed to meet and greet with the cast. I do know that I was marching in the platoon directly behind the one with Jim Nabors, and I have Frank Sutton's (Sgt Carter) autograph to prove it.

Wes Kent
SSgt, USMC 1965-1973

In answer to Gary Harlan's post about the credibility of the Howdy Captain story I posted.
Filming locations for Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.
Desilu Studios - 9336 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, California Marine Corps Recruiting Depot, San Diego, California
Paramount Studios - 5555 Melrose Avenue, Hollywood, Los Angeles,
California Ren-Mar Studios - 846 N. Cahuemga Blvd., Hollywood, Los Angeles, California

The Pilot episode of Gomer Pyle was filmed in 1963 as part of the Andy Griffith Show, but was not aired until 1964, as the finale of the Andy Griffith Show's fourth season.

I will gladly give the email address of M/SGT Al Loreth if he needs more verification.

Semper Fi
Dale Landon

Old Corps

Sgt Grit. We weren't issued spears and wooded shields, but were wearing the herringbone twill green utilities, canvas leggins, and field shoes. In addition, all of the weapons we used are obsolete. However, a corporal on the main gate at Lejeune sort of placed me in the old crew.

My wife and I had driven to Florida several times, passing signs to PI and Lejeune and I guess I must have expressed a desire to visit, but we never did, that is until a couple of years ago. My wife surprised me by announcing that she was planning a vacation for us at Beaufort, N.C., and that we could take a day to visit Lejeune. We did so and to my surprise found that most of the old barracks have been replaced with what seemed to be three story apartments.

I did find that my old barracks was still standing with a sign indicating Weapons Co. I was there with Wpns Co, 3Bn. 2ndMar in 1951. It was between the movie theater and 6th Marines. Upon leaving the post, I stopped at the guard house to return my visitor pass and announced to the corporal that the last time I went through that gate was Dec 1951. His reply was, "That was a long time ago". I responded by suggesting that at that time he was just a gleam in his father's eye. His next reply was, "No I wasn't. He wasn't born until 1954." That really made me feel like a member of the "Old Corps".

Incidentally, We had lunch at the Commissary and I was again surprised to see that no one was in "dress uniform of the day". In my time, if one had time on the lunch break to go to the laundry, or whatever, one had to change from field clothes to the uniform of the day upon leaving the company area.

In any event it was a great time. Unfortunately, I wasn't that sure of it then.

Jim Black, S/Sgt '51-'54


Sgt. Grit,
Do you and the other Marines on this site remember the old LST's the flat bottom T's? We floated from Oki to Japan on one for three days it never stopped rocking even when the ocean was smooth as glass. The amphib's were in the well deck a good place to hide out. The Marines had to hide or lock up their combat boots or the sailors would steal them and leave their deck books in place of them if anything.

The best place to catch a few winks was in the area where the anchor line came in. A nice cool breeze came in and you could find a good place to kick back and relax. The new T's had the V bow and do not rock as much. I floated on the USS Peoria a couple of times before leaving the beauty of South East Asia.

As Marines we are not Navy we a Department of the Navy which needs to be changed however, we depend on the Navy for transport to many beautiful vacation destinations! Knowing the terms used by those who sail those big gray things is important. I enjoyed reading the comments on the terms used. I still use a number of them today.

My 17 year old son has a desire to become a Marine. After he serves a mission for our church and goes to a little college he most likely will be enlisting. He is already talking about being a lifer. I told him let's get through boot and your first hitch and see where you going then.

I enjoy the items from your store. Top quality and excellent prices. The best place to buy Marine items. Talking about Marine items can you or any of your readers tell me when the long tie bar was issued and when they stopped issuing the long tie bar for the short tie bar? I have a long one I received from my father after he passed a few years ago. He was a Marine in WW ll. He was an air winger.

SSGT Joseph Whimple
2-70 through 12-76
DI 75-76

The Gun Crews

Sgt. Grit:

I really enjoy the Newsletter and all the old stories that have been shared. One of my most memorable memories happened on July 4th 1965. I had just arrived at Phu Bai. 3rd. BN 4th Mar. had only been in country a few months. The battalion had actually been together for almost 2yrs. stationed at K-Bay Hawaii. I was a radio operator assigned to H&S Co. And from there I ended up in a variety of jobs from a FAC team to a rifle company radio man.

Per SOP... we had a 360 perimeter established along with our 81mm mortars all set up with pre set dope on the guns... or at least we all thought. Just as it turned dark, we all heard a round go off from one of our 81/s... then about 5 seconds later another round went off. By this time, everybody came out of their tents to see what was going on. We couldn't see or hear any in-coming fire... but the mortars kept firing off their rounds. Then, it all came into view. The gun crews wanted to celebrate the 4th in Marine style. So the lit up the entire perimeter with illumination rounds.

You could hear the gun crews having on h-ll of a time. Although it was entertaining... the Battalion C.O. ( Col. Taylor ) was not happy.

L/Cpl. Carl Howlett

USMC 20 Year Tattoo

Sgt. Grit,
I am GySgt Rose USMC Retired. This is the tattoo I finally got after retiring from the Corps in 2001. I spent 20 yr. 8 months and 5 days in and never got a tattoo but wanted one so I went to 616 A. West Roosevelt Blvd. Monroe, North Carolina 28110 704.225.9383 while visiting another retired Marine and I got this one of a kind original tattoo I had it drawn before I went to get it, I wanted to make sure I got what I wanted so this is it.

Owner / Artist: John Mills did my tattoo. Hope you enjoy the art.

Subtly Incorporated

Sgt. Grit,

I got the eagle tattoo in the summer of '06 on my left leg, just about three years after the end of my active duty. I just got the Huey and Cobra tattoo in Nov of '10. I designed it myself, and even had the artist subtly incorporate my M.O.S. into the design as the helicopter's numbers: 6154. I was stationed at MCAS New River, NC from June '99 to Sep '03, and served with the HML/A-269 Gunrunners as an Airframes Mechanic on the Huey and Cobra.

Sgt. Shaun Lakeberg
Not as Lean, Still as Mean, Always A Marine Semper Fidelis


I was hoping you can display my USMC tattoo on your site.. I'm currently serving with 1st Tank Battalion, 29 Palms Ca.

The tattoo is 3D, Eagle, Globe & Anchor tearing out of my right shoulder.

LCpl D. Morales

The Original

Sgt Grit, mi amigo...

A little bit of humorous info:

The cover of Vol 17 depicts a group of Marines of the day. I have the original, or one of them, given to me a few years back by my older daughter. Assuming the one she gave me is authentic, we seem to have a discrepancy. The one on Vol 17 seems to be reversed; the older one has the gun being fired to starboard, not to port. (If we are looking toward the bow.)

It is on the cover of LESLIE'S Illustrated Weekly Newspaper, dated June 14th, 1917.

Best to all at your wonderful store, Semper Fi.

Earle Breeding, Maj, USMC (Ret)
CO E/2/26 Khe Sanh, Tet, 68

I Was Born On

Hi Sgt.
Just wanted to thank you for the outstanding custom jacket, it's everything I expected from your company. I always tell people "Once And Always" describes how I feel about being in our Corps.

I was born on Nov.10,1941 so you can see I was born to be a Marine, joined as soon as I turned 17 years old and was active from 1958 to 1962. My older brother (Sgt. Michael W. Stack 1469032 Deceased) joined a couple of years ahead of me. I thank you Sgt. for your service to our country and I thank our Corps for squaring away a young 17 year old.

Brian T. Stack

Welcome Home Marine, Job Well Done!
Gung Ho
Sgt Grit

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