Sgt Grit Newsletter - 30 JUN 2011

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• Burning Mice
• Call Signs

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The Definition of Hard Corps Forever...
Sgt Grit,
782 gear and 03 rifle I carried on Guadalcanal.
I will be 92 in November.
Speedy Spach

In This Issue

Often I think how can I get anymore stories as interesting as what I got this week, last week, last month. But for 10 plus years you have been a steady source of great stories. I thank you. It is an honor and great pleasure to do this every week.

Here we go: Burning mice, hard Corps and more hard Corps, buried in it, ANGLICO x 4, NAM66, hard liquor, presupposed irresponsibility, ensigns march too, sealed beams, VMA 223, call signs.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

GriTogether 2011 Photos

Sorry if we missed you at the 8th Annual GriTogether!
It was a great time for all Marines and Family members
Check out all the photos

Uncle Marvin

Hello Sgt Grit!

I feel like I know you, though I've not yet had the pleasure. My husband (a "NOLOAD" Marine) and I are hoping to attend next year's "Grit-together". We are hoping to bring my Uncle Marv, a WWII Pacific Marine, with us! He turned 86 this weekend but acts 56 (sometimes 26!) and in typical Marine fashion can out- drink any of us! Uncle Marvin was the youngest of 4 boys, my father, Charlie, was the oldest. We lost my father in 1996.

Uncle Marvin says "When Pearl happened they were 'fighting mad' and ready to go! They attacked MY COUNTRY!". Three of the four boys enlisted (one uncle was 4F because of polio). Uncle Marv joined the Marines while my dad (Charlie) joined the Army. Dad was assigned to the engineer corps, Uncle Marvin was a grunt... he says "they taught me one thing in boot to kill" .

I grew up listening to tales from their journey through that time. Never any combat stories, those are still too painful... Uncle Marvin still has nightmares EVERY SINGLE NIGHT, 60+ years later! ALL gave some! Uncle Marvin recently told me his promotion story... on Saipan he was promoted to Corporal because there were only 2 men left in his squad and "the other guy was a sissy!"... No ceremony, no fanfare, no celebration.

The most remarkable tales are of the three times the two of them met up with each other while in the Pacific... Can you imagine! No computers, no cell phones and they found each other 3 times! I have attached some pictures of them together on Saipan, Tinian, and Okinawa! Two red neck, hillbilly boys who grew up in the hills of Kentucky!

These men are truly of "the greatest generation"... though each generation breeds its own brave men and women, The Few - The Proud! I couldn't be prouder than to retell their stories to anyone who will listen these days! Hopefully we'll be able to share a few next year!

I hope this is worthy of posting in your newsletter. Even though I am not a Marine I wear my colors proudly and boldly!

Forever Faithful and Proud to be an American!
Charlita Mangrum Smith

More Hard Corps

Hi, Sgt.,

I've been discharged from the Corps for quite a few years, but like so many others, I can't get it out of my system. I still practice what I've learned back then. Example, I have to make my own bed each morning. It is properly tight and straight, specially the bed spread. I always wonder if the DI would approve.

I still have a Marine Corps issue of my bunk blanket and carry it in my car for use in an emergency, if one should happen. I also have my utility cap that has seen its better days, but I can't 'retire' it. Only occasionally, do I wear it in my own privacy when doing some yard work. Here is a picture of it.

Semper Fi,

Chris Savas

Didn't Believe We Were Brothers

In February of 2005 my unit was leaving Iraq and sitting in Kuwait to go home from our second deployment. I called my parents and let them know we were on our way, my mom said that my brother was in Kuwait at the same camp awaiting to go into Iraq. I thought no way, and no way he's at our camp. So I began my search for his unit and no luck after about three hours. I had to go through customs and lost time to keep looking.

I remember goofing around in our hut waiting to leave and one of my Marines came in and told me a Sgt was outside looking for me. I ran out the tent and there was my brother who I hadn't seen since boot camp in 2002. We had lost contact for the most part since boot camp bc I was stationed at Pendleton and he was on the east coast. We only had a few minutes to talk before I had to leave and I remember my Lt. didn't believe we were brothers and nor did his commanders. It was amazing to see him and share our memories of that day, attached is our picture of our incredible meeting in Kuwait.

Dave Willis

JAWS Okinawa


Back in 1985 after spending a Saturday having a Battery Party, (Hotel 3/12 155mm Towed Howitzers), at Kin Blue Point Okinawa, this was on the front page of the Stars & Stripes a few days later. Sure glad he didn't swim up to ask for a beer!

Semper Fi,

PFC-L/Cpl-PFC Ken Heath
5711/0811 '82-'85
Lima 2/11 Camp Pendleton '82-'84
Hotel 3/12 Okinawa/Mainland Camp Fuji '84-'85

In Memory

45 years-13 June 1966...

In Memory:
J.D. Cook
Donald DiSapio
William Dely
John Young

Buried In It

Robert A. Rainey
U.S. Embassy San Jose

No offense taken. I have worn the USMC uniform with pride. I did so for almost 4 years. I took care of MY Marines and they took care of me. I have been in fights with Navy personnel because of their disparaging me and MY Marine Corps Uniform. I have also been cussed and spat on because of MY Marine Corps Uniform (this happened in that lovely city by the bay).

Unlike you, I did not have a choice but I am PROUD of my Marine uniform, and will be buried in it. I was authorized by the Department of the Navy, United Stated Marine Corps to wear the uniform. It was Issued to me at USMCB Camp Lejeune, NC in Oct, 1968. I last wore my Marine uniform in Apr, 1972

Semper Fi Doc Davis

I Asked Him Why

My Uncle, Harold Finchem, my mother's only brother, enlisted in 1938 (or it may have been '39). He was kind of a role model for me, although back in those days the term wasn't in use by the public, maybe by professionals, I don't know.

He stopped by our home in Illinois on his way from Korea (he was in the Inchon landing) to his new duty station at Camp Lejeune in '51 and tried to talk me out of enlisting. I asked him why he'd stayed in, he told me that he enlisted because there just weren't any decent civilian jobs available back then, during the war he got married and had a couple of kids (he later had four more). He turned down a commission in '42, they made him a Warrant Officer and after the war he reverted to Master Sergeant (E-7, the highest enlisted grade then). He said that back then a lot of people thought that after the war was over things would go back to the way they were before it started, with high unemployment and he knew he'd be competing with a lot of others for what jobs there were so he decided to stay in for 20; he eventually put in 30 and retired as a Master Gunnery Sergeant, E-9. He told me something to the effect that "you probably think it is just a big adventure, but it's not".

Well, he was right of course but never underestimate the lack of good judgment of an 18 year old; I graduated from High School in early June '52 and enlisted on my 18th birthday, 6/16/1952. I put in three years and was released from active duty as a Sergeant (E-4) and honorably discharged on the completion of my eight years enlistment contract in 1960.

I left San Diego for Korea on the APA R.L. Howze around the middle of November 1953. The second day out, I talked to one of the civilian radio operators on the ship, and he told me that we had been called by a Russian submarine that morning. My reaction, of course, was "How's that again??". He said it happened every trip, they would be waiting out there off the U.S. West Coast; they'd spot an American ship, submerge, and get close enough to read the numbers off the bow, go back out of visual range, and call the ship on a standard maritime frequency; the fact that it was a Russian (Soviet) ship calling was verified by the call sign, every country has certain "blocks" of call signs internationally assigned. They were under orders not to rely, in fact not to do any transmitting except in an emergency, the transmitters were sealed. But he said the sub would follow us across, and if war should break out they'd immediately sink us. I've never known for sure whether or not he was telling the truth, or just "putting me on" but he seemed to be sincere enough. Does anybody know for sure about this??

Semper Fi,
Jerry Brookman


Regarding "last used nets for debark & embark" from ships:

I participated in the largest amphibious assault & landing ever launched since Korea. in April of 1969 (1st MARDIV, BLT, 26th Marines). We debarked from nets from the USS Okinawa (LPDH) into AmTracs and whatever you call those boats with the big suicide open front door.

The operation was code named "Operation Brave Armada" and included units from not only the US Marines & Navy but the 101st. Army Airborne, US Air Force, South Vietnam Regular Army and the South Korean Marines.

The AOA was Chu Lai, south of Da Nang, a heavily held fortress for both the NVA and the Viet Cong.

We assaulted from the sea, the 101st held the back, the SVRA held left, the SKM's held the right and the USAF finished the job!

"Pincer Operation to say the least"

Needless to say, the operation was very successful!

Cpl. David R. DeBarth
USMC 1968-1972 (Nam-68, 69, 70)

Radio Telegraph

This is a Radio-Telegraph Operators class (MOS 2533) in San Diego in early 1969. The only name I can remember is Joe Holt, who is standing just left of center. I last saw him on Okinawa as a Corporal with H&S Company 2/4.---Larry Anderson---2nd Amtracs, 5th Comm., 2/4, and for my last 2 years, 1st Shore Party Battalion at Camp Pendleton.

21 Card

Sgt. Grit,

The only Liberty cards I was issued, I had to turn back in at the end of the liberty. When I was stationed at Camp Hansen, Okinawa, being the age of 21, I was issued a 21 Club card which meant you were of age to drink all types of alcohol. Along with saving my 21 card I also saved my Geneva Convention card from when I served in Vietnam.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Giuseppe (Joe) Mastrangelo

In My Closet

I want to thank Doc Goodrich for reminding ya'll about the anniversary of the Navy Hospital Corps. My Brother Corpsmen have always been and always will be there to support their Brother Marines. I had the privilege of serving with the Best Rifle Company in Vietnam - Kilo Company Third Battalion Seventh Marines!

Of all the honors I have received, one of the proudest was the privilege of wearing the Eagle, Globe and Anchor of the United States Marine Corps.

In my closet I keep three symbols which I cherish, my Marine Green Jacket with HM3 Strips, my Navy Dress Blue Jacket with Commander Strips, and my Black Judicial Robe. I may have retired from the Navy and I may have retired from the Bench, but I will NEVER Retire from the Corps.

SEMPER FI BROTHERS - Jerry L. (Doc) Walker, HM3, May 1965 - May 1971, Commander, United States Navy July 1972 - July 1989.

Burning Mice

While at PI (Plt 108 1955) we were called out one evening and our DIs said we had been so good that week we were going to the movies. We marched down to the outdoor movie on the parade ground and were placed around the outside perimeter with orders to keep non-paying customers out. Just as the movie started, we were called to attention and given an about face and parade rest. With our backs now to the screen, our DIs said anyone looking at the screen would regret it! While marching back, one DI asked if we girls enjoyed the movie; which we answered with a loud "YES SIR".

Surprised I haven't seen any Vieques stories for I have fond memories of my two trips there. When I arrived in Camp Lejeune with 18 months left after 2 years of Sea Duty (USS Leyte aircraft carrier), my Gunny Sergeant said I arrived just in time to leave for Vieques in 30 days and I needed to get in shape for the trip. He said he understood the usual lack of conditioning while on Sea Duty, and he said while doing our morning run if I had to drop out he would understand as long as he saw I was busting my butt. I'm happy to say I never dropped out! My first landing at Vieques was by helicopter and the following little tales are well remembered:

1. Upon arriving at my tent and chasing away the many field mice in and around the tent, I was startled to see a burning mouse running through my tent. I didn't participate, but some of the old Vieques hands used to set the mice on fire and place bets on which one ran the furtherest.

2. I did play the game where a number of us had either a tarantula or a large lizard as pets, and we used to stage fights between spider/spider, lizard/lizard, or spider/lizard with heavy betting.

3. I'm wondering how many Vieques Marines ever made the night run over the base fences and into the hills to The Red Rooster; which was just a couple of small native houses that sold beer and hard liquor to the Marines. One night a number of jeeps and MPs made a raid on the houses but I believe we all made it down the hill and back to base safely.

4. During a field exercise, a group of us were riding on a tank when the tank driver gunned the tank and started chasing some small animal. Eventually we all fell off the tank without injury; of course the tank driver thought it was quite funny.

Like every Marine, I have many experiences and I hope someday to put them on paper so my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can understand what great experiences I had - including the good, the bad, and the ugly! Of course I will remind them that I did earn a Good Conduct Medal!

Sgt Earnie Aikens
PI plt 108

Born, Raised, Trained At PI

Hey Sgt. Grit, At sixty four years and counting, I'm still looking for anybody else that was born, raised, and trained on a Marine Corps Recruit Depot. Parris Island (my hometown) or San Diego makes no difference.

At 0416 hours, Friday, 13 June, 1947, I reported to this life in the delivery room of USNH Parris Island (before it moved over to Port Royal). My Dad was the Roads and Grounds officer (CWO-4) on three tours of duty at PI from '46-'49, '51-'53, and '55-'58. I spent my boyhood living in three separate quarters( Qtrs. 45,48, & 30) in the west end housing group on Boulevard de France, across the street from 3rd RTBn. I attended the Post nursery school, kindergarten, and elementary school ( Grds. 1,3,4,5). I was in one of the three Cub Scout packs on Post. I played at Elliot's Beach, the Rifle Range, and fished and crabbed off the dock at the yacht club in officer's country.

The evening of 25 July, 1966, I hit the yellow footprints at Receiving Barracks, and the next day was picked up for training with Plt. 3060, Series 3060, Co. K, 3rd RTBn. In one of life's odd coincidences, my barracks was directly across the street from the first quarters my folks took me to after my delivery. Graduated from training 16 Sept. '66, with a tankers MOS, and as a qualified marksman.

In the ensuing years, I've asked around, and made mention of my particular circumstance of birth, childhood, and military experience in various modes, but with no success. However, I'm almost sure that I cannot be the only Marine who can lay claim to my unique status. Maybe somebody who reads this, and who has shared this experience, will write in and let the world know there is more than one of us. Served in Vietnam from 25 July, 1968 to 30 March, 1970 with Hqs Tank Plt., H&S Co., 1st Tank Bn., 1st MARDIV.

Semper Fi, Jesse L. Griffin, Jr., CPL. '66-'70, USMC


Sgt. Grit: Thank you for your kind response. Attached, please find a photo of myself with my memorial license plate... NAM66.

Permission granted to use the photo in your newsletter, but please give the following credit: Photo copyright (c) 1984 by Aldo Panzieri. He is a professional photographer and a fellow Vietnam Veteran, Air Force.

Short Rounds


Just a passing note. 1945, Cherry Point MCAS. We had Women Marines among our assigned duties. And there were comments such as "Bams" their answer most of the time was to call us "Hams" (half azs Marines). That worked in many cases.

Edwin Tate GySgt retd.

In reply to the comments of M (Keim) Christman (Cpl-87-91. Whenever a Woman Marine is referred to as a BAM, say Thanks for being referred to as a "Beautiful American Marine" and that you are very proud of that title, I do that and so do my fellow WMs that belong to our WM chapter of the WMA.
Sgt. 52-55

I was in "B" Co. 3rd Amtrac Bn. Viet Nam 1969-1970 and was wounded in December 1969. My wife never received any notification at all. I was able to get in touch with my brother in Norfolk Va. from the hospital ship and he drove down to N.C. to let my wife know.

Charles Martin SSGT Retired 1960-1981

Dear Sgt Grit,

Another wonderful news letter! How do you do it? They just keep getting better and better.

Cpl. Chip Morgan 3rd Mar.Div. RVN 68-69
(still lost somewhere on the DMZ).

On Dec 31, 1955, Sgt Jack Darby met Pfc Estela Castillo while returning to MCAS El Toro. They were married March 10, 1956 in Costa Mesa, Ca. Just completed 55 years together. One son retired after 22 years, one son 4 years and a retired police officer (we were in Vietnam together in 1966, one grandson (Cpl) on 2nd enlistment, one granddaughter married to Marine Captain at Camp Lejeune.

Jack Darby, Major (rtd) 1/50-9/76

In 1969 with lst Plt, A Co, 1/26 Marines we deployed via cargo nets on two occasions from the LST Washtenaugh County (SP).
Regards, Skip

I tried to recall all the version of C Rations such as Beans and Wienies, Ham Slices, Pork Slices, Ham and Eggs but I cannot remember them all. One thing I could never figure out was Meatballs and Beans. Never in my life have I ever been to a restaurant or seen a cookbook listing meatballs and beans. Where in the world did that combination come from.
Jim Grimes Former Sgt.

Hard Liquor

I think CPL Hannah mis-remembered the regulations about Marines buying liquor at the big PX. On my way home in June 1968, I went to the big PX, picked up 3 bottles of good whiskey and vodka. As I approached the checkout clerk, she told me Marines could not purchase liquor unless you were E-6 or above. I was about to lose it just coming down from Hill 558 outside of Khe Sanh, when an Air Force E-3 behind me offered to buy the booze for me. It seems only Marines were restricted from hard liquor. Everyone else was legal. Go figure.

RVN 67 - 68

Back In The Old Corps

Sgt. Grit,

In November of 1960, I graduated Women Marine boot camp at Parris Island, S. C. with Platoon 13A. We had a male Drill Instructor. He was S. Sgt. J. L. Ray. He was a good D. I. and we learned much from him. Of course he was not with us night and day. We had female Platoon Sgts. who performed the rest of the training and also some of the drill.

Perhaps by 1987 the women had all female Drill Instructors. Back in the old Corps a nightly hygiene inspection was not required nor needed. And we referred to BAMs as Beautiful American Marines.

My husband, a former Marine, and I met at Parris Island and married a few years later while he was stationed at Camp Pendleton. We have been married for 46 years and counting.

Semper Fi
Carmen Teesdale Atteberry
USMC 1960--1962

Presupposed Irresponsibility

Hi Grit,

On Liberty Cards: Had one, never liked it.

I just remember that Adm Zumwalt headed up the Navy. One of the first things he did was get rid of Liberty cards c. 1970. I distinctly remember the wording:
We will not have "Presupposed irresponsibility" represented by Liberty cards.
A sudden, welcome death.

Then he let the Navy grow beards. But that's another, better, story.

Semper Fi
Scott McClellan

What part of
"The terrorists intend to kill us"
do you not understand?

Facebook Photos of the Day

4th LAAD Bt. Security Company 3rd. Plt.
Operation Iraqi Freedom
Al Asad, Iraq
Christmas 2004

Jim in an VMA-324 A-4 at Naval Air Station Roosevelt Roads

See more outstanding photos at the Sgt Grit Facebook Page

German Sub Shadowing

Sgt. Grit,

I just read in the 22 June story of the late 1stLt. Gilbert Olson, CO of the Marine Detachment, USS Wakefield. My late father (2001), former Cpl Ray C. Teuscher was a Forward Observer with E/2/11 and sailed from Norfolk, Va. to Wellington, New Zealand on the USS Wakefield on their way to Guadalcanal. a German Sub was shadowing the convoy and was sunk by some of the escorts. I still have his Shellback certificate and Radio School Certificate. He was a Radio Chief in the Communications Section of "E" Battery. He went on to New Britain and Peleliu. I still have his Ka-bar which he used to dispatch 2 J@p infiltrators the first night on Peleliu.

Respectfully Submitted,
Thomas C. Teuscher, GySgt USMC ret.

Smartly Returned

Sgt Grit,
I too saluted a Navy Corpsman on Okinawa. A Chief no less in Marine uniform. The Chief smartly returned my salute just as I realized my mistake. The old boy stopped me and said he appreciated the respect but it wasn't required. I told him a corpsman wearing a Purple Heart and CAR rated it in my book. It's all in how the receiver of the salute handles it. This was at Camp Foster in early 67 and I was TAD from Vietnam.

Semper Fi!
J.K. Williams
CWO4 USMC(ret)

Still Talked About

Graduation Day September 1967 MCRD San Diego Plt 2023. One of the Marines in our platoon had a father who was a Navy Chief. When I was introduced to him I of course popped tall and saluted. He said, "I'm a Navy Chief and this is what our uniforms look like. You do not need to salute me".

After ITR, I was at my school in Florida when here comes a Navy guy walking down the street. Eager to impress him with my knowledge of Navy ranks I let out a "Good morning Chief". Unfortunately, he was not a Chief and he spent the next ten minutes explaining the difference between a Chief and a Captain.

Twenty some years later, I was stationed with a Navy Commander with the same last name. It was his son who told me that his father still talked about that incident

Howard Spaulding
Sgt 1967-1971

The Company Top

Okay, Grit, you asked for 2nd Lt. stories in response to Cpl. Holden's left-handed salute story. Here's my "confession".

I was straight out of The Basic School, and 1st Platoon Commander, Company H, 2/6, 2nd MarDiv. One of my squad leaders asked me to co-sign a loan so he could buy a car. I did! The Company Top, called me to his desk outside the skipper's office and said, "Lt., I know you want to look good to your platoon, but I wouldn't co-sign and note for my brother!" Fortunately, I never heard from the loan company. The Top probably told that story many times about the dumb (well, maybe just naïve) boot Lt.!

Gary Nash, Former 0302

Ensigns Marching Too

Sgt Grit,

I've read all these stories about these salty Pfc's and L/corporals either not saluting , saluting with their left hand or whatever the gold bars of 2nd Lts.

While I was in flight training at Pensacola after going through OCS and Basic school at Quantico as a former enlisted man, (Tech Sgt.) after I came home from Korea in 1950, another Lt and myself were walking from one class to another. The other Lt., Joe Marosek, had been a platoon leader in Korea and if memory serves correctly (which it doesn't very often any more), Joe was a 1st Lt.

A Ltjg came by us marching a group of cadets and Ensigns to class. The Jg halted the group and ordered Joe and I to join them and march to class. Joe replied that Marine Officers didn't march with cadets. The Jg said "there are ensigns marching too" Joe replied that Marine Officers didn't march with ensigns either. The Jg gave up and marched his group to class.

About this time, two Pfc's were approaching from the opposite direction and with a smirk, walked right on by us without saluting. Joe called for them to halt, come to attention and proceeded to chew them out, saying he didn't give a d-mn if sailors saluted him or not, in fact preferring that they not, but Marines better d-mn well salute, and if he ever came across these two again and they did not salute he would have their hat, azs and overcoat PLUS the single chevron on their sleeve. It wasn't an especially warm day but by the time Joe got through chewing on them, they were both sweating profusely.

I do believe those two Pfc's were sufficiently enlightened as to the practice of saluting officers after that day

Semper Fi
W. F. Mitchell


We didn't use cargo nets to do a landing on a foreign beach, but we did use them at Amphib Warfare School, Little Creek Va. I was with Bravo 1/8, and the two times we went for Amphib training, we used the cargo nets, 1981 and 1982. We climbed down into waiting LCVP's and hit the beach, well 10 yards off the beach.

I remember the water was cold and about 4 and a half feet deep. We had a RTO that was just barely 5'1" or 5'2", carrying all his gear, he looked like a pack with legs. He went off the ramp, and all you could see was his helmet, (we still had steel pots then) and the radio antennae. He didn't panic, just held his breath and walked up onto the beach. It was quite a site watching him slowly appear out of the water.

Robert Brady
USMC (Ret)

That's my memory of Radio Operators, calm, cool, brave, daring... well you get the idea.
Sgt Grit

Best Years Of My Life

On my first 14 month tour overseas I was stationed at Camp McGill, Japan, which was about 10 miles from Yokosuka Naval Base. I arrived in July 1956. Almost a year later, the Japanese Government wanted all Marine ground troop to move off of the Mainland. We packed up the 3rd. Mar. Div., vacated McGill and moved to North Camp Fuji in preparation of moving to our new headquarters in Okinawa. I was at North Camp for only a few months before I was rotated back to the States.

Eight months later I was back on Okinawa. This time I was stationed at Camp Hansen, which at the time was a tent city. This was home of the 3rd. Tank Batt. This was located about 10 miles from Ishakawa, our home liberty town. In the next several months the base was up-graded to "Quonset Huts", a BIG improvement.

Around that time, Lebanon was heating up and we stood by to deploy there. One night IT hit the fan and we boarded ships. I guess the 2nd. Div. beat us to the punch, because en-route we were diverted to Singapore and were there for a month or so. Along the way we also had to go to the Taiwan Straits because of more unrest in that area. By the time we got back to the Rock I rotated home and was discharged. The pix is of my buddies and I aboard the USS Catamount [LSD 17} somewhere during that time. On the left standing is Ryan, Happeney, Engle; I am kneeling and waving and on my left is Davis.

These were some of the best years of my life.

Ray Skarzynski
Sgt. E-4


Sgt Grit:

2 short stories I don't believe I have told before... in' 67 at Camp Schwab at the Messhall close to the front gate, I was in charge of all Food Stores, all Base and Field Mess equipment... 30 Okinawan Mess personal and 30 Marine Mess personal... as a L/Cpl. In the food locker one day, we were fooling around and put about 2 gallons of Welch's Grape Juice, some potato peelings, yeast and sugar in a 2.5 gallon plastic bucket... put a chamois cloth on top of it and put it in a broom closet... and forgot about it, till we had a Field day about a month later... Foam had risen the Chamois Cloth about 3 inches above the top of the bucket, scooped the foam off and started sippin... it was one crazy Field Day after that.

About 16 years ago, someone in our Prospecting Club bought a whole pallet of surplus C-Rats... I went straight for the Peaches... bummer... all the peach acid ate through the cans, rusted the bottoms out; most everything else was good, until someone put one of those peanut butter cans too close to the campfire, it fell in. Don't anyone try it... it will darn sure move a campfire... us Nam Vets thought we had incoming...

L/Cpl Gallant..' 66-' 69
Chu Lai...' 68

Another C-rat Story

My neighbor, Carl, a Vietnam vet whom served with Fox 2/7 has about 4 or 5 cases of c-rats in his garage. One evening, myself and another Marine brother was having a beer over at Carl's.

After nagging and ragging on Carl, we finally talked him into opening up a case. These were the old WWII c-rats. All of the contents inside the cans were a black goo that smelled to high Heaven. The only items salvageable were the Chesterfield cigarettes and the crackers. Anybody that would be willing to pay $200 for a case would be foolish. What-the-heck, take the money and run.

GySgt John Foster
Echo 2/9 (Heck in a Helmet)
67 & 68

Ham And Limas

Cpl. Whitfield wrote about the all-time worst C-rat meal, especially if eaten cold, ham and lima beans. These were, not affectionately, called "Ham & MF's." We were in staging battalion at CamPen, and the company commander was holding court with his four platoon commanders, surrounded by our troops at chow time. There was a bet that we couldn't go one minute without hearing the "MF" word. Sure enough, in less than 60 seconds someone got that dreaded box of C's, and loudly exclaimed, "S-t, ham and MF's!" A five dollar bill changed hands.

Gary Nash
Former 0302


Sgt. Grit,
Re: Short Rounds,

Cpl. W. Parfitt says he never saw anyone write about ANGLICO units. I've seen others including myself with photo in N. Korea when the truce was signed. He can also contact John Maurer, jmaurer @ columbus .rr .com and Google: "1st ANGLICO Marine Corps". There is an annual reunion for ANGLICO, and one for 1st ANGLICO each year.

Sgt. Max Sarazin,
1st ANGLICO, 1952 to 1954

In reply to: "I have never seen anyone write about Anglico units. I was a 0849 Shore Fire Control (Naval Gun). After reporting to Air Naval Gunfire Platoon HQ Battery, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines 1st Mar Div. we were trained in Artillery and Forward Air Control. I have only been able to find one other Marine Dick Lancaster. Are there any others out there? We were a rare breed. Semper Fi.
Seaside 14 and 26.
W. Parfitt Cpl."

I was in 1st ANGLICO, FMF at Camp Delmar, Camp Pendleton; from June 1976 to December 1979. I am a Gold Winger, was in the Air Platoon (2531); and worked in the NBC shop for a while.. Maj OJ Crews was CO when I got there; his brother MAJ CJ Crews was CO when I left...

Always Faithful,

Tom Bates
SSgt of Marines

Yes, there are a few of us out here. Of course, ANGLICO itself no longer exists within the Division. It was dissolved back in the '50s. The only ANGLICO now is Force. There are a few of us still around who were part of ANGLICO when it was formed in '49. At that time, all the NGF and TACP were taken out of the infantry battalions and combined into ANGLICO. We were part of 1st Signal Bn., 1stMarDiv. There was one in 2ndDiv as well as Force Troops. Later there was one in 3rd Div. before we shipped to Japan in '53. In '57 the NGF teams were transferred to the artillery units. I went from 3/1 to 1/11 since 1/11 supported 1st MarRegt. I served with NGF sections in all 3 battalions of the 11thMar. at different times as well as 2/12 on Okinawa. I loved NGF, it was a lot of fun watching the projectiles hit whether it was Artillery or Naval Gunfire.

Call Signs
I can't remember too many, but here's some that were used in Naval Gunfire Support in Korea:
1stMarDiv. - Isherwood 26
USS Missouri - Battle Axe
USS Rochester - Aboveboard

P. Santiago
GySgt (Ret)

Regarding the following comment in today's newsletter:

"I have never seen anyone write about Anglico units... W. Parfitt Cpl."

If you have his contact information, would you please pass along to Cpl Parfitt the following:

* We have an ANGLICO website at for the ANGLICO family and anyone interested in our history

* One author, Tom Petri, has published a book about Sub Unit One in Vietnam, titled "Lightning from the Sky, Thunder from the Sea", available from Authorhouse

* Two authors have books in progress that will include all of ANGLICO history from before the Korean War forward, and perhaps a little about our precursor Marine JASCO during WWII

* I was persuaded by a younger ANGLICO Marine to sign onto Facebook, where we now have a "Lightning from the Sky" Group, and then a Page by the same name. Most of the ANGLICO's have Facebook Groups or Pages.

* We are now into our fourth support mission for ANGLICO units deployed to Afghanistan, shipping thousands of dollars in goods to today's ANGLICO Marines and Sailors. I have the FPO address and the current wish list from the XO. Due to OPSEC, I have to be convinced that someone requesting the FPO address is ANGLICO.

* The ANGLICO Association reunion is scheduled for late August. We will stay at the Crossroads Inn, MCB Quantico. Cpl. Parfitt can email me for details at The address on the website sign-in is forwarded to me as well.

* Ret. GySgt Wm. Arnold (Arnie) Tripp gave me the heads up with regard to Cpl. Parfitt's inquiry.

Sgt. Grit, as you know, I just ordered 160 1st ANGLICO pins that will head to Afghanistan as soon as I receive them. Thank you so much for making all these ANGLICO pins for us. The guys say they are very motivating.

Semper Fi,

Vance Hall, Duty NCO, Nightcover 14B on your Forum

Once a Corpsman Always a Corpsman

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I just read your current new letter, and a particular item was so true.

I was a corpsman for the "BLUE DIAMOND", in Korea.

Steven Goodrich's article in particular caught my eye. I will relate this incident and you can print it or not..this is in reference to Steven's closing comment, "ONCE a DOC ALWAYS a DOC".

I was at the Wadsworth VA hospital, in Los Angeles when I came out of the entrance I notice a veteran bent over in front of a walker, I walked up to him and asked if he needed help, or if he was in trouble.. his head was down looking at the pavement, when I asked him the question he raised his head then I could see he was USMC I identified myself as a corpsman, his comment to me was " of course", he said "NO doc, just can't see my cell phone screen in the sunlight".

It's true that "Once a Marine always a Marine" and the same holds true for Corpsman.

Bless all that serve,
Semper Fi
Chuck "Doc" Gore
NEC 8404

He Served His Country

On 11 May 2011 at 1705, Platoon 145 - MCRD San Diego - 1962, lost our Platoon Commander (Sr. Drill Instructor for you boots). Gunny Way was the youngest of three brothers, all Marines.

In Remembrance of
Gunnery Sergeant William Way
9 November 1926 -- 11 May 2011
USMC 1944 -- 1968

He served his country
Long and well
Through war and peacetime too
He trained young men to be Marines
His goals and purpose true

He suffered life with grit and will
In later years with pain
But he stood tall, a good Marine
Who would have been glad to serve again

Now he's at heaven's door
Valhalla straight ahead
He's standing at the pearly gates
With others he had led

So let him in dear God
Give him a place that is serene
He's earned his place at your side
With all other good Marines

Archie Curtis

He was a Marine
He was a father
He was a brother
He was a husband
He was a veteran of three wars
He was a Drill Instructor and so much more.

Gunnery Sergeant Way was quite a man. The members of Platoon 145, MCRD San Diego remember him for the three months during the summer of 1962 when he dedicated his life to molding us into Marines.

Then Staff Sergeant Way, Platoon Commander of Platoon 145, along with Sergeant Pacheco, Sergeant Clark and Sergeant Broadhead took a motley bunch of pimply faced kids and in three months time, turned us into men. Men with purpose. Men with pride. Men who had what it took to be United States Marines.

For three of the most important months of our young lives, he was our guiding light, our father, our mother and in complete control of our souls. We were sure we hated him more than any other individual on earth but we strived beyond our self- perceived abilities and achieved things we never thought possible, all in a seemingly impossible attempt to please him and the other Drill Instructors. He will be sorely missed.

Thank you Gunny Way. Thank you for the sweat. Thank you for the achy muscles. Thank you for complete exhaustion but most of all, thank you for the dedication it took to complete your mission.

We of Platoon 145 salute you. Until relieved from duty by God, the ultimate Officer of the Day, your new mission is to guard the gates of heaven.

Carry on Gunny.
Semper Fi

Sealed Beams

I was a "sealed beams" 4/eyed glasses wearer. Even those not saddled with them surely remember those military issued weenie specs. Mine never fit quite right, loose not snug (forget getting that fixed!) so I got into the habit of pushing them up often during the day. So it happens one day I was walking up a sidewalk coming from some business or other, during the day, in uniform, and not too far away coming at me in the opposite direction was one of the 1st Lts. I worked with also in uniform.

He was in the saluting distance gray area, technically far enough away as to not require a salute and I wasn't giving it much thought. But... my glasses had slid down my nose once again, so I very smartly raised my right hand and pushed them back in place with my right index figure, and much to my surprise the Lt shot me a salute back. So that taken care of, when we came into range he thought due diligence had been smartly done while I knew that I hadn't done a "hand salute" but a "adjust specs". Hmmm perhaps he needed glasses

VMA 223

In Chu Lai in 68' I was with VMA 223 and got to go to the little PX near the mess hall a couple of times. I remember getting some canned goods with heating elements on the bottom. You took off the zip strip and sat the can down in the sand and lit the pink cotton looking stuff and that heated the contents of, if I remember correctly, Campbell's products. I remember Franks and beans and some others but this is about the bean soup I got once.

The contents were a little thick but I figured that heating it would loosen it up. Zipped off the strip set the can down and lit the heating element and waited for the heated contents. It didn't loosen up at all but it tasted better than any C-rats I had before. That night I could be heard from many hooches and being near the Ocean I don't know which smelled worse me or the dead sea weed. Took me two days to clear the system and then found out the Bean soup was condensed.

Another time we had hot pads during the Bob Hope visit to Chu Lai so we couldn't go, Bob and troop flew past our parked acft in a Huey I don't know who waved and kicked out a cast of Rats but it was greatly appreciated. I remember getting to the mess hall on our first day before we were issued mess gear and we received our dinner in our canteen cup I remember a pork chop, mashed potatoes and green peas with gravy. Looked like s--t but it wasn't bad for a hungry Marine.

That same Mess hall was the scene of a mass exodus once when one of our birds had two 500lb bombs that hadn't come off the bomb rack the Tower wouldn't let him land so he elected to a high speed pull out just off the beach within sight of the Mess hall and it worked but the blast shook the beach and it had to be 200 Marines made for any exit they could get to doors, screens whatever.

Back to C-Rats whenever we didn't make it to the mess hall we had C-Rats I had favorites but I liked them all including the Ham and MFs They were better than the Cheese sandwiches we were given on perimeter guard, laying barbed wire all afternoon setting trips and hanging cans then before dark we had dinner cheese on white bread with cool aid you didn't save any sandwiches because they would bring out the RATs (they were as big as cats). C-Rats were much better.

Semper Fi
Bill Carey
65-69 RVN 68-69

Call Signs

In 1968 C-1/11 used Raging River as their call sign. India, Kilo, Lima, and Mike company FO radios were Raging River 61, 62, 63 and 64. Arty clearance for battalion and Save-A-Plane was Raging River Baily. You would call in a fire mission while 60 and 81 mortars fired waiting for your "Save-A-Plane" clearance from Baily. Then the you would hear, "Raging River 61, this is Raging River. Shot over." The reply from me was, "Roger shot, out." The smoke or WP would stream in BOOM. WOW what a life!

The next year we used Gold Lemon.

I recall having "Activator" when I was with G/2/10 at Lejeune. Think we were "Activator 6-1" when calling fire missions, but that was 1966, and I've killed some brain cells with Scotch since then. And we also had "Appeasement," may have been at Khe Sanh in 67, or on Okinawa. I forget, but recall it because I thought it was a dumb call sign for Marines

Robert A. Hall
CPL 64-68, USMC
SSgt 77-83 USMCR

At 11th Marines HQ Btty we has a book we wrote in just to pass the time of day. We called it the BS Book. Mostly nonsense that 19 year olds would write.
DJ Huntsinger, SSgt extraordinaire has one of the coveted books. He sent the following.
Sgt Grit

Langsdale (you forgot the "S")

Rio Grande 61 (Capt Kassold I think)

Rio Grande 67 (Lt Neuman I think)

Cowpoke 4 (unknown)

Rice Krispies Kilo (4/11/K ... They were the ones that assassinated the four elephants with Fuller and Goog)

Rio Grande 62 (Lt Cowan)

There was also an A O with the sign "Black Ace one eight"

I also found a quote that you can use in the newsletter. It's from Fuller:

"I love the f-cking Marine Corps, and the Marine Corps loves f- cking me"

Semper Fi, Sarge,

Concerning call signs, our call sign on the LZ at LZ Baldy was Charlie Provide. At Fire Base Ryder, overlooking beautiful downtown LZ ROSS, our sign was just Ryder. When we pulled back to the rear to FLC in DaNang, we were known as Pony Boy. I spent many nights on radio watch at FLC playing cards and listening to my sign on the radio... Pony Boy, Pony Boy Pony Boy and not responding. We seldom received our shackle sheets ; I could monitor the calls but was unable to transmit!

Dan Buchanan
Charlie Co. 1st Shore Party Bn.
Nam 1970-71

Sgt. Grit,
Re: Call signs,
Our radio call sign as forward observers at Sok-to in N. Korea was "booze-charlie".
Sgt Max Sarazin 1194840

Grit - I spent almost 2-1/2 years in country ('67-'69) w/1st Recon Bn, Alpha Co, 2nd platoon. My favorite call signs were Grim Reaper and Crankcase. Some others that I remember using were April Date, Big Flower and Texas Pete. MAG36 (CH46's) was Keyhole - always a welcome sound on the radio when we were due for extract.
Semper Fi - John Clary (Tex)

With 2/12 July 66 to Sept 67, Danang to Con Thien to Dong Ha. Radio call sign was Pied Piper but cannot recall what it was for land line which I recall as being different. Would be interested if anyone else knows
Semper Fi
Roger Bock


When I got to Nam and joined VMO-6 their call had recently been changed from "Klondike" to "Cadaver."

I'm sure that bred a lot of confidence in wounded grunts when they were told, "Hank in there Marine. Cadaver medivac is only a few minutes out."

Dave Bushlow
VMO-6 '67-'69

"Rise and shine, it's Grunt time."

Keep your interval!

Microphone clearing sound. Weird whistle:

Then... Now hear this! Now hear this!
All Marines topside go below.
All Marines below go topside.
All Marines forward go aft.
All Marines aft go forward.
All Marines in the middle stand by to direct traffic!
That is all!

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

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