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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 18 OCT 2012

In this issue:
• Good Night Chesty
• Throw Him Over
• The Game Changes

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Sgt. Grit,

Thought I'd pass this along to brag about our rifle squad from the Marine Corps League "Sgt.Maj. Linehan" Detachment # 1034. We do the honors for most of the Veterans funerals in our area, which includes the folding of the flag, Taps, & the rifle salute.

What I wanted to point out is that most of us are Viet Nam vets, but look close & you will see (6) rounds in the air, the missing one is either a misfire or blended in with trees in the back ground. Not bad for the "OLD" Corps. Semper Fi Grit. Enjoy the weekly newsletter.

Ron Gray/1911---.

Good Night Chesty

Sgt. Grit:

My wife and I just returned from visiting our son in Maine. We stayed at a "cabin" owned by a friend of ours, a Maj. Gen. in the Air Force Reserve. Yes, he's a two-star general, but it's only the Air Force.

A neighbor who looks after the place for the general greeted us when we arrived. He had been told that I am a Marine Corps Vietnam Veteran and, even though he had no military experience, he was anxious to tell me his story about the Corps.

It seems that his father had been a Marine and had served a tour in Korea. I can only surmise that the father had been with the 1st Marine Division when it battled its way out of the Frozen Chosin because he told his son, later in life, that he had once shaken hands with Chesty Puller. He also told his son that whenever he (the son) met a Marine and shook hands with him (or her) he should tell him that he had just shaken a hand that once shook a hand that once shook the hand of Chesty Puller. Crazy?

A lot of people would probably think so, but not a Marine. I thanked him profusely for giving me the chance to get that close to a true Marine Corps legend. I'd like to say that I'll never wash that hand but that really would be crazy. Suffice it to say that I will never forget that I have a connection, however slight, to Chesty Puller.

Good night, Chesty, wherever you are.

Semper Fi.

Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC, 1968-71
Vietnam 1970-71

Huddle Up For Heroes

Thursday, Nov. 1st, 2012, Christopher Edwards and his mother, the creators of the Huddle Up for Heroes organization, will be at the Sgt Grit headquarters to accept donated items that they can send to currently deployed troops around the world. Items that he is asking to be donated are: deodorant, sanitizer, canned goods, dried goods, candy, drink mixes, monetary gifts, etc.

Christopher is an 12 year old young man with the goal of one day earning the title of U.S. Marine and becoming a Military Police K-9 handler. Please come out and support his cause and give him some insight into the brotherhood that awaits his ability to join our ranks.

To visit the Huddle Up For Heroes Facebook page use the following link:

Huddle Up For Heroes Facebook Page

For those planning to attend our address is:

7100 SW 44th Street
Oklahoma City, OK 73179
Tel: 888-NOV-1775

For Driving Directions to our facility please use the following link:

Driving Directions to Sgt Grit Headquarters

Throw Him Over

Sgt. Grit,

About the mighty mite. I spent my last year in the reserves with 2/14 in Dallas. I was in Motor T and took my turns driving the CO around in one. I didn't like it.

I was on the obstacle course at PI one fine day in August or September 1961 when I heard a great quote from our Series NCO GySgt C.T. Cain. One of our recruits was trying to climb over the wooden wall (6-7 ft ?) and couldn't do it. He kept trying and finally GySgt Cain, who was watching, said "Throw him over!". We did and he moved on. Gunny Cain stood there with his arms folded and said, "Dear Charles Atlas, I have completed the prescribed course. Please send me the promised muscles." He then turned and walked away.

Love the newsletter.
Jim Sanders, 1811944
L/Cpl 1961-1967

Short Rounds

Let us not forget there is a war, a Marine Sgt and mother of four was just killed in action. God Bless.

I would like to respond to Cpl. Richard Burdick's letter. I was in Platoon 3335 at MCRDSD in late 1968 and early 1969. There were four of us from Utah and we were enlistees. We were told the rest of the platoon (around 70 recruits) were draftees mostly from the Los Angeles area.

Larry V. Anderson,
Sgt. of Marines

I was assigned to the 2-1 Cavalry, 4th Infantry Division, Pleiku RVN in '69-'70. That is most likely an M-48. There's a possibility that it's a flamethrower tank used exclusively by the Marines. The M-60 was not used in Vietnam. The closest member of the M-60 family used in 'Nam was the M-728 combat engineer vehicle. The M-88 has large easily recognizable boom.

The item Doug Helmers describes on the muzzle of his Ithaca shotgun is called a 'duckbill', and was, indeed, intended to flatten and broaden the pattern for anti-personnel use.

USMC '66-'70, Nam '68-'69

Sgt William J. Critchfield posted that he was at one time with the 10th Rifle Co., Naval Ammunition Depot, Seal Beach, CA, from early 1960 thru 1964. I was also a member of this unit. It brought back lots of good memories and thoughts of good Marines. Carried an M-1 throughout my active duty and reserve time. I have one in my gun safe and it will never be fired.

Mitchell D. Young 1637142

When I was on Guam during WWII, I was assigned to guard duty at the brig containing fellow Marines who f--ked up along the way. WE were told that if a prisoner escaped and we didn't bring him down with our 12-gauge riot gun, we would have to serve the rest of his time!

Richard Burdick

I read a book that referred to present day Marines and one of the Marines was a "combat medic". My first thought, the author doesn't know his azs from a hole in the ground. Then last week I read an article on one of the military blogs about a Recon unit that had a "combat Medic". Did I miss something, but do the Marines now have non-corpsman medical personnel?

Henk Bergmans
Semper Fi
VN '68-'69

Replying to Cpl. Ebstein's question about the M-88 Tank in the Oct 11th newsletter. The tank in the picture is a M-48. The main gun on a M-48 has a 'flash suppressor as shown and the M-60 does not. The fact that no M-60 Battle tanks were ever deployed to Vietnam is also a clarifier that the picture is a M-48 Tank. A M-88 is a 'Tank retriever' and not a tank.

Rick Leach, CWO-3 Retired
"Not a tanker but would liked to have been one"

L/Cpl Buchanan was mentioning an M-14 being mfgd by Turbo-Hydro Div. I am not sure about that but my M-16 was. We went to an in country R&R at China Beach in April of 1970. They took our weapons while we were there to inspect them. When I went to claim mine I was given a brand new one in a plastic bag.

Instead of Colt on the mag housing it said "Mfg General Motors Corp. Turbo-Hydramatic Div" I used to joke it was under warranty for 5 years or 50,000 rounds whichever came first!

Cpl J W Hornsey
RVN Jan '70 - Jan '71
Mike Co 3/1

Regarding the "Mustang" terminology mentioned by Jerry Cooke, Mustang Colonel (Ret.). It was still in use back when I was stationed in Guam in '97. (we had a mustang Lt.)

By the way, welcome to the site. It'll make you laugh, get misty eyed, and reminiscence of times I believe we all shared in some fashion or another. And sometimes it'll just makes you wonder, "what the h-ll were they thinking"

Cpl. Zar
0311 Grunt
USMC '87-'91

We used regular linseed oil, applied with a rag. We wiped down the M-1 nights before hitting the rack The M-1 was "hung" on the bottom of the rack with tie ties.

Bill Mc Dermott
Plt 347, C Co., 3rd Bn, P.I.
3 October 1958

Whale sh-t was always one of my favorites... lowest of the low said the DI because it sits at the bottom of the deepest oceans... ya have to love those DI's... always inspirational.


The Game Changes

Sgt Grit:

Earlier this month my son's Engineering Battalion left for Afghanistan and brother, I gotta tell you, it was real hard letting him go. The day we found out what their actual deployment date was, there was a different kind of reality that hit me that cannot be explained.

We booked our hotel room and waited. Once the day of their departure rolled around, we headed to Camp Lejeune to spend our last hours with him. Dinner, a movie, the barracks and hotel to try to get some sleep. Momi got the very early morning call for us to come back on base to meet at their departure area.

The wait was nice. I was impressed with the staging of their gear and we were shown some of the vehicles they'd be using. I talked with one of the Lieutenants for a good while to help pass the time. Then the rain came and shortly after the buses, and the mood changed for all with the final goodbyes.

Thank God for the Officers that helped direct the parents, wives and other family members to their Marine's or Sailor's bus. While waiting for the buses to depart, I got to meet Brigadier General James Lukeman, the CG for 2d Marine Division. The concern and compassion he had for the parents and wives welfare was immeasurable. He was introducing himself to all that he could and with all the activity that was going on, he was pulling Marines off the buses for final goodbyes.

I asked him if I could step onto the bus for a picture. At first he was like "OK", but then he stopped me and said that he did not want to start a stampede, so he took the picture for me. To say the least I am very appreciative for what he did. I was very impressed with General Lukeman's actions that early morning. He was very active with helping to take care of his Marines and Sailors in addition to their families. He made a promise to Momi that she is very much holding him too. I hope she is not let down...

When your child deploys, the game changes, there is no amount of preparation that can be done. It makes no difference if a parent has had prior military service or not. You start out at ground zero and try your best to survive just like everybody else. This is our first deployment of this nature, and I pray our last. For the parents that have undergone multiple deployments, you have my respect and admiration.

It is d-mn hard being the parent of a Marine. It has been the most exhausting & rewarding experience supporting my son these past three years.

Semper Fi and God Bless
JJ Chervinko

At Least 3 Tours

Sgt. Grit,

In Vietnam, I Celebrated my last Marine Corps Birthday in the Corps. Two Friends of mine and I went to the Vietnamese side of China Beach, ate sea food cooked in front of us served with lime juice and rock salt. While there the lady running the place, rickety bamboo and palm fronds, offered us her baby to take back to the states. Top Barker had been there at least 3 tours by this time and stayed another tour I believe, he was a World War II and Korea Vet and had earned the Silver Star, Bronze Star and several Purple hearts. Lieut. Little came just after I came, he left the same unit I was in at Camp Pen.

One picture shows the Lieut returning from a patrol, picking leeches off while enjoying the cold beer I had waiting for him. The picture of the bad azs tied up with a POW tag is a very hard Corp NVA captured by 1st Recon on Patrol. We carried our own beer to China Beach rather than drink what they had on hand. We brought our own interpreter the little guy in the picture of all of us raising our glasses to Salute the Marine Corps Birthday and my last MC Birthday while in the Corps.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

No One Ever Asked

Boot Camp, 1967, MCRD San Diego, CA. We have been there about three weeks. One day, our Senior Drill Instructor, GySgt Gallihugh is standing on the "instructor's platform" about three feet off the deck, outside.

Don't remember what we were being lectured on at the time, but believe it or not, our Drill Instructor asked if there was any one of us that had any questions they would like answered. This idiot, I can't remember his name, raised his hand. The Gunny asks him what is his question.

This Putz has the b-lls to ask him when are the privates going to get to call home. He looks out at the rest of us, and he asks us is there anyone else that wants to call home? Well, NOW we figure the Gunny really is going to let us call home, so the whole platoon raises there hand.

So, he says, "okay, everyone from the North get over here. All from the South get over here. Everyone from the East, and so on thru the West." Then our Drill Instructor tells us to turn and face home. When we all faced our own particular direction he then said, "Now! Everyone call home just as loud as you can." We did this little exercise for at least 15 minutes.

Needless to say, no one ever asked to call home again.

Semper Fi all my Brothers and sisters out there in computer land

Your Brother,
Chuck Brewer
Sergeant of Marines FOREVER! And, yes, I am still a Marine!

Not Very Cold

Sgt. Grit,

Here I am at base Camp Mt Fuji Japan 1962. Cold weather training. Not very cold that day 30 - 40 degrees.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Chuck Wanamaker 1960 - 1966

'Saltier' Than They

Hi Guys,

I've been reading this great newsletter for some time and, as always, it reminds you of a story from your time in the Marines. The Sep. 27 issue jolted me into this next piece of information. The writer of one of the stories stated there were definitely no yellow footprints at MCRD SD when he went through in Sep. '59 (Plt 273). I went through there on May '59 (Plt 233), and the yellow footprints were definitely there. Do you think they erased them between May and Sept?

He included a picture of him in his herringbone utilities. I was issued herringbone utilities in '56 while in a Marine Corps Reserve outfit in South Bend, IN and still in high school (serial #1606928). In May '59, I decided to go to Boot Camp as a regular. I was told to take my set of utilities with me. We were issued new sateen utilities in Boot Camp.

The first time we were to fall out in our utilities, I did so in my herringbone set. Starched and complete with a set of PFC stripes. They were over two years old and as many of you know, they get very 'salty' or faded looking. So, here I am, thinking I'm doing the right thing, but as you can imagine, the very worst thing. All h-ll broke loose up and around my shoulders. The favorite tactic of our Drill Instructors was to grab you by the stacking swivel, better known as the Adam's Apple. A nice great big squeeze there would just about neutralize anyone. I was 'gently' informed that I was not to ever were those particular utilities during the remainder of Boot Camp. This particularly p-ssed off the Drill Instructors because they were all in the 'acting' ranks, E-4 was still the old buck sergeant, until they were promoted and none of them had the herringbone utilities and they sure as h-ll didn't want me looking 'saltier' than they.

Issued and used only the M-1 Garand during my tour from '56 to '63. Rifle Range at Camp Matthews, CA. Learned left over right lacing and still do it today. The special way we Marines 'tuck' in our shirts is still used by me and I even taught it to my Sheriff's Volunteer Outfit. Sateen utilities, summer tropicals, and winter greens. I noticed recently at a graduation ceremony at MCRD SD, all of the Platoon Honor Men wore Dress Blues. I was my Platoon Honor Man, but never even heard Dress Blues mentioned. Lived in Quonset Huts during Boot Camp and tents at the rifle range.

Never, ever allowed off base, during my tour, unless you were in full dress uniform of the day or civilian clothes with collared shirt, trousers with belt, and regular shoes.

Another story in that issue spoke of and showed a picture of his short timer's stick from Okinawa. I'm proud to say I have one of those also, having spent a tour at Camp Schwab up in Hun Territory on Okinawa. Third Marine Regimental Headquarters, Air Team Chief, 1960-61. Came to Okinawa as PFC and left as CPL. Boy how the great memories just keep coming.

Thanks Sarge for the newsletter and catalog of great Marine Corps stuff.

K.L. "Rip" Stephens,
former CPL, still a Marine.
Semper Fidelis

In Between Marine

Sgt. Grit, Went to boot camp at Parris Island, 21 Sep 1966, Plt 1067, 1st Recruit Battalion. Was issued the M-14. The M-1 in ITR at Camp Geiger. Wool Greens were being replaced by new Greens - don't know what they were called.

When preparing for graduation I was asked which uniform I wanted. My response was "new ones". When my uniform arrived the day before graduation I had the old blouse, new trousers, don't remember about the belt and a p-ss cutter. Easier to replace trousers, so Graduation day at Inspection I'm in the old wool uniform. The entire team of inspectors which were Officers and Staff NCOs checked me out because the p-ss cutter was one color, the blouse a different color, the belt a third color and of course the trousers were a fourth color.

Needless to say I never wore it again.

Glenn A. Shaw
Sgt 1966 to 1970
Viet Nam 1968 to 1969
MASS 3, 1st MAW

Not a real airwinger, not a real grunt - an in between Marine.

Light It Off

Sgt Grit:

RE: Gunny L. W. Cannon's question about how to make a rough-out boot shiny:

1. Swab the boot with an alcohol-based black shoe dye.

2. Light it off; the burning dye will turn all the "roughs" into Crispy Critters, the boot itself will not burn.

3. After the boot cools, rub it briskly with a piece of window screen 'til the Critters are gone.

4. Shine as usual.

This worked for about 9 Platoons across Parris Island for me.

P. Formaz
GySgt of Marines

I Will Find You

August 1966 - yellow footprints - Hollywood boot camp - what the h-ll have I done - spent the night standing in front of bunks listening to jets leaving San Diego airport next door and waiting to see what would happen next - wondering if there was a way out of this - a huge guy in a smokey starts yelling for us to herd (couldn't march) down the stairs at receiving - next stop the nice barbers - back up to ship our clothes home.

My proudest moment (except for the birth of my daughters) graduation. Last words my senior DI said before dismissing us, I still remember "Gentlemen (first time I heard that term) you are now United States Marines, I expect you to act like it. If you ever disgrace our Corps I will find you and kill you - slowly. Dismissed!"

MCAS Beaufort, SC. Anybody remember sending the new guys to borrow some fallopian tubes from another squadron? We could even get some of them to buy the left handed wrenches bit. Puerto Rico for NATO exercises - best deployment ever - the lunch truck that came by the barracks sold BEER! Didn't have to go to the club! Still worked 12 hour shifts.

Speaking of smoking in boot camp. I took it up because when the smoking lamp was lit we could smoke while non-smokers got a head call. After the lamp was out we got a head call - didn't take me long to figure that one out. As much time away from the DI's as possible.

More later as memories permit.

G T rOe John Roe
Semper Fi

Buried My Plate

While on mess duty in the staff mess, we hit a squall in the North Atlantic. The ship was rocking like a something fierce. All hands throwing up, and reporting to sickbay. Mess Sgt tells me to empty G.I. Cans loaded with garbage from chow. Over fantail, (rear of ship, during worst part of storm. A rope was tied to my waste. Like a 4 or 5 inch heavy corded rope that weighed a ton.) Mess Sgt tells me if I drop the G.I. Can he will cut the rope with a fire axe. Because I can be replaced with another Marine from the ship, but the G.I. can cannot be replaced as they have a shortage of them? The wet, cold, freezing rain water cooled me down from the pictures in the crews quarters because it worked like a cold shower. I emptied cans over the back of ship while the ship rolled dangerously. The sea water came crashing over the fantail as the ship was tossed and turned in the storm. The deck was slick and ice started forming on them because it was cold! Lo and Behold I emptied a sh-t load of cans and when I came back in after this ordeal the Mess Sgt. escorted me to my bunk. I got dry clothes for me and then he took me to the staff quarters. I took a showered in hot water and the Mess Sgt saw to it that I was allowed to sleep and recooperate.

When we got back to the states I went to the messhall one weekend and I buried my plate with ham, bacon, sausage, french toast, eggs, and everything else on the chow line. When I sat down with my buddies and started to eat a large shadow was over my back and the Mess Sgt, a real big dude, said, "Sweet Pea, if you don't finish everything on your plate, I will personally shove it down your throat!"

My friends moved away, and the Mess Sgt pulled me up by my collar and turned me around. It was the same Sgt from the SHIP. He sat down with me and spoke with me for 2 hours about how I had a Brass Pair of B-lls, and how I handled myself when in harm's way.

Steelpike was a real interesting adventure as we pulled liberty in the Canary Islands, Las Palmas. One clown asked a Lt. where the cathouses were in Las Palmas! We all laughed at him, as we left the ship we sort of understood where they were as we saw huge lines of military people from all over NATO countries standing in these lines. One guy who was always bragging about what a ladies man he was, was in front of us on line and as he made his way into the "house of pleasure" a women grabbed him and led him to a rack in a dormitory type setting with sheets between them... he ran out the back door?

We all go into many situations and no one knows how people will react under any sort of a given circumstances?

Las Palmas had an inactive volcano, with vapor trails coming out of it, surrounded by a town at the bottom of valley. People lived in the side of a mountain... with plumbing? Amazing what you see out of the States...

Bruce Bender

1911 Was Meant

I am third generation Navy, a former Naval officer (line) who had the privilege of serving with the Seabees in the early '70s, and all of us had the privilege of serving with United States Marines who were seconded to our Regiment to oversee post boot, pre-RVN deployment military training, especially regarding keeping Charles beyond the wire. Those gentlemen were the real thing! I have thought often of Maj. Wayne Lingenfelter and Gunnery Sgt. Del Rio who taught a lot of the Regimental Staff Officers what the 1911 was meant to do. I hope they still prosper.

I have a thirteen year old son whom I believe will want to serve his country as soon as he finishes college and I have been trying to steer him towards the Corps for at least the last four years. He's already 6'2" and looks like a WWII recruiting poster; wait 'til he finishes this first year of weight training. And, the boy can shoot. I mean really shoot. You should have seen the "body count" he racked up in his first dove hunt, with a single shot .410. Hathcock would have been impressed and I was put deep into the shade.

Nearly a one hundred year family Navy heritage or not, I cannot think of a higher aspiration any father who loves this country or his son can have then for that son, after becoming a Christian (done deal), than to see him become a United States Marine. I hope this one will become an Officer of Marines.

I started reading this newsletter because it followed my signing up for the catalog. I can't tell you how much I appreciate your publishing these or how much I enjoy reading them. I am saving these Marines' newsletter reminiscences for my son to read, in hopes they will help solidify an appreciation that many are called but few or chosen, for either the Church or the Corps. So, keep it up. May God bless the United States Marine Corps and every Marine young or old who ever wore the Globe and Anchor!

Jackson H. Ables, III
Late of the United States Navy

Hand Rubbed

Sgt. Grit,

In reply to an article in Oct. 11th issue by Cpl. Christopher Steere requesting info on the care of the M-1 walnut stock.

I entered USMC in 1956 at MCRDSD. The M-1's we were issued were new but the stocks were very rough, almost in an unfinished state. And all metal parts were wrapped in cosmoline. We found by breaking a coke bottle and looking for a good sharp edge that would work as a Scrapper, we were able to wrap some tape around the other edge to keep from getting cut and start smoothing down the roughness that way. Looking back now I can't imagine doing all this in boot camp, so it must have been at Camp Pendleton, San Onofre for ITR when we started the finishing process.

Now this was on a rough stock, no glass scrapper would be needed on a smooth stock. Once we had the stock as smooth as we could get it by scrapping, we started applying the linseed oil. We were given a can of linseed oil but can't remember if the can said raw or boiled, which I doubt would make any difference in the end result. The way we applied it was to heat up some of it in a shoe polish lid with a cigarette lighter until it was just hot enough we could handle it. We then would pour some onto the stock and start rubbing with the heel of our hand in a circular motion until it was absorbed into the walnut wood. The friction and heat of the oil did a great job. From there it was a long process of every time we had a chance we would get out the oil and start rubbing... there were times I rubbed too long and wore blisters on my hand, but it was worth it.

When I had to turn my M-1 back in it had a beautiful thick finish like it had been shellacked with several coats, but it had all been by hand. At that time the PX sold a polishing cloth that worked wonders on a hand rubbed stock. I always said if a fly landed on my stock, it wouldn't be able to stand up on it. And also what we used on leather was Saddle Soap. I hope maybe this answers your question about the care of the M-1 stock. I enjoyed reading your article. It brought back a lot of good memories about my old M-1. This was my rifle, there were many like it, but that one was mine.

Howard W. Kennedy
USMC Sept. 1956/1962
K/4/12 Camp Hauge, Okinawa '57/'58
0811 / 155 Howitzer
Semper Fidelis

American Idol

Sgt Grit,

In reference to American Idol, L/Cpl Jeffrey Burgess.

L/Cpl Burgess was from Plymouth Massachusetts, America's Hometown, and was a Graduate of Plymouth South High School. His parents still reside in the area. He was Plymouths first casualty from Iraq. He is honored with a Square in the Cedarville section of Town as well as a clock tower at the Cedarville Fire Station.

L/Cpl Burgess has a scholarship in his name at Plymouth South High School, courtesy of the local VFW. His Mother was a guest of honor at the Marine Corps Ball in Plymouth in 2006, whose proceeds helped to fund the scholarship. His funeral service was organized by former Marine Sgt Elliot Chassey, Korean War, USMC.

Jack Pomeroy

Memory Rush

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Found these in the pocket of one of my old uniforms and thought all the old timers might get a memory rush from them. Back in my Marine Corps days (1960-64) the PX and slop chutes all had free matches by the cash register. Although I'm not sure, I would be willing to bet that in todays' politically correct, anti-smoking Corps, there are no matches, much less free ones.

PFC of Marines


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)

By the end of Sept. 1965, MAG -36 had established its headquarters at Ky Ha helicopter facility which was still under construction north of Chu Lai. The entire MAG had just arrived in Vietnam only to find that about one-third of the helipad was graded and, the PSP (Pierced Steel Plate) matting was not completely laid down. HMM-363, of MAG-36 relocated from Da Nang to Qui Nhon after being in Da Nang for a few weeks. They would provide troop/cargo transport and med-evac support for the various U.S. ARMY and South Korean units as they arrived. This mission was previously accomplished by the 10 helicopter detachment from HMM-161 that was still temporally based at Qui Nhon. It was soon learned that some of the troops and all of the aircraft of detachment "A" would be heading north to rejoin the squadron at Phu Bai. Rotation date was the determining factor as to how it was determined who would stay and who would go. Those that would stay would be transferred into HMM-363 from HMM-161 and remain at Qui Nhon.

During this transition period the parent squadron (HMM-161 was making almost daily runs to Quang Tri, a city about 30 miles north of Phu Bai where it picked up supplies for the 1st ARVN Division and delivered them to the less accessible ARVN positions. It was about this time that things were starting to warm up all over the country side. In mid-October HMM-161 carried out an urgent resupply of ARVN outposts at Ca Lu and Ba Long carrying over 43,000 pounds of cargo and 143 Passengers. This particular re-supply mission was made extremely difficult by bad weather with ceiling down to 300 feet and visibility of less than a mile.

On the 17th of Oct., 1965, a helicopter from HMM-161 ran into stormy weather while on a resupply mission in the Phu Bai area. The aircraft, with 10 persons on board, was lost in the storm and reported missing. Search Aircraft from Phu Bai were launched and located the aircraft which had flown into the side of a mountain. The jungle at the crash site made landing impossible so medical personnel were lowered by hoist, and then the survivors were hoisted into the rescue helicopter. A platoon from BLT 3-4 was lifted to the crash site to provide security for the damaged helicopter and to bring out the bodies of the 2 MARINES killed in the crash. One of those killed was from BLT 3-4 and the other was Gy/Sgt Charles R. Chemis from HMM-161. A good friend and also a Flight Line Section Leader.

Down south below Qui Nhon, HMM-363 was supporting the Army's "A" Company, 1st Aviation Battalion on Operation Quyet Thang 172 at Tuy Hoa plus the 52 d. Aviation Bat. and "A" of the 119th Aviation Company. This operation supported the 23rd ARVN Inf. Div. to again secure the rice rich Tuy Hoa Valley. A total of 720 troops were moved in three lifts, under low ceilings and with poor visibility. The Air Force provided a 45 minute pre- strike on the LZ. Records indicate that one UH-1B was struck by ground fire but, recovered to the staging area without any further incidents.

I have to remind everyone that all of these statistics and dates have been researched and gathered together to present this info to you in this form. Most of this info I remember but, I could not have provided the dates or some of the particulars, so I hope you will bear with me.

The Price

It will be Veteran's Day again before we know it. Here in Wonderful Waynesboro, TN, we are once again putting together a program to honor our veterans. This year we have lost 15 WWII Vets, 16 Nam Vets and 14 Kor Vets plus one Air Force nurse and 7 guys from other eras. We hosted the Moving Wall Vietnam Memorial May 31 - June 4, a totally awesome experience and probably the only time such an event will be held in our little town. Wayne County lost 6 young men, KIA's in Nam.

One was recommended for a CMH, but was awarded a Navy Cross. I will again honor these 6 when I do the Veteran's Day program November 12. Twice this year we were able to get some of our WWII veterans to DC on the Honor Flight. Others may forget these brave men and women but I'll be dipped (in chocolate) if I will let it happen on my watch. Freedom is not free. It comes at a h-lluva price... the price of precious blood spilled for others, be it Christ on the Cross or Harold at Anzio, Jake at Shiloh, Dave on Pork Chop Hill, Matt in Hue or John in Iraq/Afghanistan.

Semper Fi
Sunny WM

Die, But Don't Quit

The email address is about a Friend of mine, we served in Vietnam together. I wondered what happened to Top Barker after I left Okinawa. I retired from the Corps and accepted a job selling to PX's and Commissary's. Okinawa was my home base, but I left after 2 1/2 years.

I was flying to Japan, Guam, Philippines, Bangkok and other places monthly. I came home and got a job with Movie/TV as a Military Tech and Weapons Tech. For some time I have wondered what happened to Top Barker and I happened upon that email address which told me about what happened to Top.

Your name is mentioned several times and because of that I am writing this note to you, thanking you for that email information about one of the finest Marines I ever met. He said one time over the radio to one of his teams that was in a sh-t sandwich and needed Help, he told them; "Die, but don't quit." That became my "Live By" ever since and by the way in Vietnam, I told that message a couple of times to other Recon Teams in a hard pressed situation.

I sent a bit to you for your column about Marines, and he was in the bit with a picture. What is missing in the picture of Top Barker on the email site is he changed the front of "A" company, had a Gong brought back from patrol and had written on it' "Die, But Don't Quit", he also had the 1st Recon emblem changed to read "Swift, Silent, Deadly, & Surrounded " and mounted in front of the Co. Office.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

Drafted And Volunteered

Sgt. Grit,

I was interested in what Mr. Ed Hoffman stated about serial numbers in 1945. In the 1950's I was in Korea and everyone was issued a serial number, but after their name was usually USMCR SS. Which meant the person was drafted in the Marine Corps Reserve.

I remember one that was "USMCR, SS, V". This person was drafted and volunteered to be a Reservist. It was the talk of the office there in Korea for quite some time.

Floyd Quisenberry, GySgt (Ret)

Loaders Position

The person who submitted the tank photo, taken in Hue in 1968, asked what kind of tank it was. It is a picture of a USMC M-67 Flame Tank. An M-67 is basically an M-48A3 design which had the 90mm cannon and the .30 cal machine gun removed along with their ammo. They were replaced by a shorter, wider barrel and a large tank of napalm.

The loaders position was also eliminated and the M-67 was crewed by a driver, a gunner, and a tank commander who still had a .50 cal machine gun on the cupola. The current president of the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association was the commander of a M-67 flame tank in Hue during the Tet Offensive in Feb. 1968. That may even be his tank in the photo.

Michael Bolenbaugh
1st Plt, B Co., 3rd Tank Battalion

All Being Showered

I guess I qualify as "Old Time Marine" in that I went into the 2nd Supply Bn, USMCR in 1953 and then to PLC training at a Camp Getchie (Sp?) that was at the far north end of Quantico. We were always "clocked" on being dismissed, get the following gear and back in formation in 30 seconds.

On one such excursion I snapped the clock on my wall locker, but failed to check it. When we returned at the end of the next formation, I was horrified to see my locker tipped over and all my belongings scattered around the area, everything except my beloved M-1 rifle. I then knew what had happened. I went to the platoon office and rapped loudly saying, "Sir, Candidate Dodd wishes to speak to the Drill Instructor, Sir." Gunnery Sgt. Habbock, My DI, was behind the desk and I immediately saw my M-1 standing forlornly in the corner. After a thorough tongue lashing as only a Marine Gunnery Sgt, can do, he finished by telling me, "Since you are incapable of protecting this fine weapon, until further notice you will carry a swab. Maybe you can protect that, it is all you are worthy of." For the next week, every place I went, marches, PT, classroom, and even the obstacle course, it was my swab and me.

Actually, I was fortunate, the same thing happened to another candidate and the DIs buried his on his poncho after detailing and striping all the components. It was then left to bake in the sun with a small cross marking the spot for a week. Finally at 1800 hours this unhappy young man was told to report with his entrenching tool. He was further told that there would be a rifle inspection at 0530 the next morning. He was up all night chipping out all the parts, then washing everything in a hot shower, then oiling it so there was no rust, then at 0430 he dried off the oil, since rifle inspections were always dry. Fortunately, a few buddies chipped in and helped him through the ordeal.

One more small note, I was the Officer in charge of the Butts on Qualification Day for a Basic School Class. This was in September 1961, if memory serves me. Anyway, this was the first class to use the new M-14 instead of the M-1. All went smoothly at the 200 and 300 yard lines, but when they got back to the 500 yard line, all h-ll broke loose. We were all being showered with dirt from the top of the butts and the only rounds hitting the targets were key-holes from rounds bouncing off the concrete top of the butts. I don't know what happened in that. I returned to my normal duties the next day

E.L. Dodd, 1st Lt USMC forever.

Semper Fi

Pretty Cool

Rec'd this from my daughter down in Pittsburgh:


Forgot to send you this! I was at the mall earlier in the week, and this was parked in the lot. Red Hummer with a complete Marines paint job across the entire body, both sides, front and back. And the wheel cover was the emblem. Pretty cool! Must have cost a good buck, too.


Also, a little info for Sgt. "Frenchy" Lariviere ref. .30 cal ammo:

M-1 30-06 / 7.62x63mm M-14 308 / 7.62x51mm 30 Carbine / 7.62x33mm

All considered .30 cal (7.62). The last 2 numbers designate length of the cartridge.

The "Corps" forever!
MSgt R. Krieger (Ret)

Sly Smile

Sgt Grit,

This one is pretty funny. This story took place during my first tour in Beirut. I was standing post with my good buddy Tim Wheeler late one night close to Christmas, and as usual one of us was facing outboard and the other was facing inboard keeping an eye out for a particular officer of the day who liked to sneak up on all of the post and try to catch Marines cat- napping.

On this particular post, (I can no longer recall the post number) it was one of the closest to the main building which was the American University up near the Damascus Highway and the bunker was set up at the end of a long narrow, earthen berm which if I recall correctly sloped down both sides about 10 feet at one point close to the sand-bag bunker, but within about 30 yards. Anyway, I was looking outboard through the lone set of night-vision goggles that we had when all of a sudden Tim said, "I hear someone coming... I think it's Lt. (I'll use the name Schmuckatelli)."

We squared ourselves away and I zoned in on him with the night- vision, but at that point we could clearly hear him even before I saw him because his deuce gear was clanging with every step he took. Just then as he got within ten feet of the bunker but before we could challenge him as per the 11th General Order, he slipped and rolled down the berm. Tim ran out and made his way down the berm to help him up when I heard him say, "Are you okay Lt. Schmuckatelli, Sir?" And Schmuckatelli, replies, "Why didn't you properly challenge me Marine, what is your 11th General Order?"

I can't recall now what Tim said to him, aside from repeating back to him the General Order, but I was thinking to myself, probably because we heard you coming for one thing and because your pistol belt was hanging open and your two canteens were smacking against your flak jacket and your steel pot was not strapped and if that was not enough, we saw you fall down the berm you numb-nut, but I knew we were in deep sh-t, so I just stood there at attention.

No one said anything to us when we got off post at the end of our shift, but the next morning after chow our Platoon Sergeant (a tough, grizzled Viet Nam Vet SSgt) called us both over and asked us why we did not properly challenge the Ell Tee and when we told him the story, he turned his head and looked away shaking his head, (it was all he could do to keep from busting out laughing), and when he turned back around he had a sly smile on his face and just said, "get out of here, both of you."

Great job on the newsletter, keep it coming! And God bless all our servicemen and women!

Semper Fi,
Mike Kunkel
Cpl 0331
Lima 3/8, Weapons Plt.


In the newsletter CPL David Ebstein submitted a photo asking if the tank in the image was an M-60 tank, or an M-88. The M-88 was not a tank. The M-88 was the tank retriever (i.e. tow/repair vehicle).

The M-60 was initially produced in 1959 as a redesigned/modified version of the M-48 Patton. Even though the M-60 did not have the same nomenclature as the M-48, it was still considered by some to be part of the "Patton" family of tanks that included the M-46, M-47, and M-48. The M-60 was officially listed as 105mm Gun, Full Tracked Combat Tank (M60).

In 1963 the M-60 was further upgraded with several changes, and re-designated as the M-60A2, and eventually the last M-60 redesign was in 1980 by the M-60A2. Considering the age of the photo, and the appearance, I believe it is actually a photo of the M-48. I say this because of the barrel end, length, and the rear exhaust deck appearance, though I may be wrong.

As for the M-88, it has a complete different appearance, as it is not a tank. Though it is a full-tracked vehicle. (Image attached). The M-88 (Hercules) saw first use and delivery in 1961 in Vietnam. In 1977 the M-88A1 came into use, and in 1991 the M-88A2 was introduced.

Bill Tomerlin

Little Mexican Border Town

I just gotta say that I really look forward to receiving the Sgt. Grit Newsletter, d-mn good stories by good men from all parts of the country but with one common bond. My submission today is to speak a little on recollections of having been stationed at MCAS Yuma from 1963 to 1966.

I enlisted in September of 1962 in downtown Los Angeles (age 17), and after taking the oath with about 10 other would-be Marines, we were herded onto a bus that took us down to MCRD on I-5 along the coast. Long story short I did okay in boot camp, I graduated as a squad leader and I fired Rifle Expert with the M-14. I also was lucky enough to spend a month (ITR training) at Camp Pendleton where I became familiar with the M-1 (a great rifle!) along with learning how to operate an old-school bazooka, flame thrower and the BAR. ITR for me was my coming out party as a Marine, good training and good instructors.

At some point during this process it was decided that I would be sent to NAS Memphis for testing after ITR to see where I would find a fit in the Wing, and after arriving in Memphis (a Navy base full of sailors, squids and pogues). I went through a battery of tests to determine the capacity of my Brain Housing Unit. I must have cheated fairly well because after about a month I shipped out to NAS Glencoe in Georgia for training as an Air Traffic Controlman. It was also during this time that I discovered the power of the USMC uniform while on liberty off base. Suffice it to say that as a healthy young man my throttle was floored and I was burning high tech in my veins.

Shortly before graduation from ATC school I put in for Kaneohe Bay Hawaii, but the crotch in all its glory and wisdom sent me to MATCU-65 at MACS Yuma... as in southern Arizona along the Mexican border. I arrived in Yuma in early summer of '63, and my first impression was that I had been transferred to h-ll on earth. You couldn't ask for a hotter more miserable boondock stateside duty station! If there was one saving grace it was the fact that MCAS Yuma had previously been Vincent Air Force Base, and as such we were housed in very comfortable air conditioned buildings that accommodated two men to a room and two rooms shared a head with doors that closed. And if this wasn't a great set up, the mess hall was an even a more pleasant surprise; the Air Force really knows how to build a base and take care of its troops, and there is no doubt that if the Marines had been in charge of building the base, our accommodations would have been significantly different as most of you "real" Marines know.

Back in the early '60s when the Vietnam War was picking up speed, Marine and Navy aviation units were gearing up to jump into action as quickly as possible, and Yuma was THE place to train. We had a wide open desert that stretched for miles and it was the perfect location for jets and helicopters to rotate in for training before being shipped to Nam. I worked as both a tower operator and a GCA controller (radar), and the workload was almost non-stop. The fact that MCAS Yuma also served as a civilian airport with commercial flights and local puddle jumpers flying in and out just added to the overall experience of being busier that a one-armed man in a free food line.

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn't take a minute or two to also mention the little Mexican border town that was only 26 miles away; and I'm talking about San Luis, otherwise known as Boys Town. From what I can recall (and I remember a lot!) San Luis looked like it was a movie set made by Hollywood; the location, the layout and the "entertainment" was perfectly suited for the tastes and curiosities of young military men, and whether someone was stationed in Yuma or just passing through with a squadron, we all took advantage of sights and sounds of San Luis like kids in a candy store. And that's all I have to say about that.

All these years later I occasionally think back on my time in the Corps; I look at the photos and memorabilia in my den and I realize how fortunate (lucky) I was. I was in, not going in country, but still I'm grateful that I decided to take that bus ride from L.A. to MCRD back in 1962. I'm an old fart now with two young grandsons who I enjoy teaching Marine Corps jargon to, and on most days I wear something with a USMC logo on it (thank you Sgt. Grit) when I leave the house. As the old saying goes: Not as lean and maybe not as mean, but still a PROUD U.S. Marine.

Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters who also wear and wore Marine green!

Fred Romero
Corporal of Marines 2027884

New Stories

Hi Grit,

I am a long-time reader, occasional buyer of goods from your catalog, and have submitted several stories, although not lately. I hope you will publish this letter.

This is a request to all my fellow Marines. By now we have ascertained that we all had a bucket, a padlock, and a weapon of some sort or another, and either loved or hated the chow. I would love to hear some stories about adventures on a Med. cruise, a SOLANTAMITY cruise, and from people that served at the many out-of-the-way Marine Barracks around the world, and Embassies.

I will say that I get nostalgic whenever I read a story from someone in the 4-12 firing batteries, K,L,M. I was a radioman in HQ-4-12 at Camp Hague, and no doubt called in fire missions for you at NTA or Camp Fuji. After I left the Corps, I spent 25 years working for a company that was like the Corps in many ways. I was a field engineer (field hand, as we were proudly known), and had to go on assignments world-wide at the drop of the hat. My time in the Corps served me well in learning to function in remote areas with no help, just you to get the job done, whether it was in the South American jungle working at a sugar mill, or Saudi Arabia building a power plant, or dozens of other places. I even did a job in Russia, before the wall came down, and was watched every minute for the entire 6 weeks I was there.

I was fortunate in that I got to visit places I had been while in the Corps, like Okinawa and Puerto Rico, among others. One of our biggest customers was the U.S. Navy, and the Merchant fleet. We often had to ride a ship to work on the engine room equipment. Among other places, I sailed to Hawaii, Alaska, Italy, Japan, Okinawa, the Azores, and the armpit of the world, Diego Garcia. The good thing about these assignments was that I had officers privileges and had a stateroom, quite a change from the LST's and other gator freighters I sailed on in the Corps.

I rode one of the Rapid Deployment Force ships from Sasebo to Naha. The ships sit in the lagoon at Diego Garcia waiting for a war to happen. They carry enough equipment to support a Marine battalion in combat for 30 days. There is every type of vehicle the Corps has on those ships. They are the ships that carried everything to Saudi during Desert Storm. There was a small (4 or 5) man Marine detachment aboard, whose only job was to start the vehicles and keep them in running order. Unfortunately, the zillion-dollar ventilation system on the ship, that was supposed to exhaust all the fumes when the vehicles were run, didn't work, so the vehicles never got started. Sitting in the hold of a ship at Diego Garcia, just south of the equator, didn't do them any good.

When we got to Naha and started to offload the vehicles preparatory to the ship going in dry-dock for maintenance, none of them started, they all had to be offloaded by towbar and forklift. It is lucky that wasn't a real combat situation. I used the time to visit my old haunts, but didn't even recognize BC, it sure had changed between 1960-61, when I was in 4-12, and 1982, when I rode the ship. I was really bummed out to find that Camp Hague didn't exist anymore, it was abandoned and dismantled.

Anyway, having said all that, let's hear from some Marines that served in out-of-the-way places, tell us what the daily routine was like at your duty station. In closing, I'll say to anyone who joined the Corps after me, Jan 13, 1959, "You maggot, you're still sh-tting boot camp chow." Ha! Ha!

Paul Lindner,
Cpl. 1959-1963

Handsome Marine


As promised I have enclosed some photos from a lifetime ago.

In my boot camp graduation photo you see SSgt J.M. Scarboro (he is the ugly one that I mentioned yesterday during our conversation), second from the right. I am in the first row, forth from the right, right over his left shoulder.

The other picture is of a very handsome Marine in his "Blues" and the other is my graduation from NAS Jacksonville. I'm the one holding the sign (fourth from the right).

Many thanks for all that you have done for me.

Great wishes!

P.S. Don't forget to show these pictures to the Boss, the "Boot Marine".

Patron Saint Of Recruits

Dear Sgt. Grit,

Re: combination locks. At MCRD San Diego (June-Aug 1968) we had two combination locks... one small for our footlocker and one large for our rifle. The rifle was attached to the racks (bunk bed style) through a hole in the rack with a bicycle lock. We were living in Quonset huts at the time.

Unfortunately, when we were at the rifle range at Camp Pendleton for two weeks, we were in brand new barracks. While our Quonset huts had to be clean at all time, the D.I.'s were under massive pressure to make sure that the new barracks were more than pristine.

This meant that many things that we had previously done indoors now had to be done outside. It also meant that we had to "play Japanese" and take off our combat boots before we could enter the barracks. No extra time was allowed for putting them back on, and as recruits are prone to do, we looked for ways to cut corners.

Our M-14s were not locked to our racks, but to a proper rifle rack. Unlocking your combination lock while a bunch of other recruits were jammed in around you urgently trying to get their locks to open the first time around... made for a real traffic jam. So most of the recruits simply had their locks set so that a simple pull would open it and release the weapon. Sad to say, I was one of those recruits.

One day our Series Officer (Captain Kean, who as a Major would be in charge at the Embassy in Saigon in 1975) was transferred out and we got an honest to goodness 2nd Lt. (just back from RVN) as a replacement. Captain Kean made a habit of bringing up any problems to the D.I.s in private. The new Lt. had different ideas.

We marched back from mess and in front of the barracks was a jumble of M-14s piled every-which-way... The Lt. had walked through the barracks and pulled every lock... most opened immediately. He ordered us to run into the barracks and retrieve our M-14s... and fall in... in one location. Those who could not find their M-14s in the rifle racks were instructed to fall in... in another place. The D.I.s were in shock... he had never brought this to their attention and was running this show in front of everybody.

As I ran into the barracks, I was resigned to a slow and painful death... The D.I.s were massively unhappy... in more ways than one... and I was going to be included in the group that helped cause the problem. I got inside and my rifle was still in the rifle rack! I pulled on the lock and it immediately opened... Either the Lt. pulled at the wrong angle, or lost his place.

Anybody out there know who the patron saint of recruits is? I owe him... big time.

James F. Owings
Platoon 3017

Kind Of Feels Like

Having been a "resident" several times at MCRD Parris Island, I recall plenty of stories ranging from sandfleas to wannabes. One story in particular comes to mind as I read this week's newsletter (October 10, 2012).

I arrived to boot camp in November 1992. Everything was as expected from yellow footprints to screaming monsters in campaign covers. We were nearing the end of our second month of training and had just finished qualifying on the rifle range when we humped out to Basic Warrior Training... BWT... the Big Waste of Time... whatever you choose to call it.

I am traditionally a left-handed person, but shoot better right- handed. This being the case, I carry my rifle like a "righty" but swing around and over walls as a lefty. It was a cold January night when we were completing the night-movement course. I had just negotiated a wall and, being backwards, had to swing around to take a kneeling position before moving on with the course. Little did I know one of the biggest, meanest, darkest drill instructors I ever saw was standing behind me... right in the path of my swinging rifle. CRACK! Butt-stroke to the jaw! Realizing what had happened, I froze as a good recruit would do. He slowly stood up (at which point I realized he had grown three feet taller in the past 20 seconds), placed his cover back on his head, and with one hand on my helmet, slowly pushed me into the ground. Quietly he asked, "What's your name recruit?" Somehow I stammered out "Sir, this recruit's name is Recruit Bigelow, Sir!" To which he replied that he would remember that.

The next day we attacked the rappel tower and were rappelling from the helo skid. As I began my decent, I thought all was well until I was about 3 feet from the ground. Suddenly I felt a quick jerk in my rope and came to a halt in midair. My rope harness applied a massive amount of pressure where no man should ever feel pressure. I turned and saw my worst nightmare standing as my belay with a massive smile on his face. I'll never forget the look on his face when he said to me, "Kind of feels like a butt stroke to the head doesn't it, Bigelow?"

Gotta love those days! Ooh Rah!

Dan Bigelow
Sgt, USMC 1992-2000

Flies And Other Vermin

We used boiled linseed oil, rubbed in with the heel of our palm until it was absorbed by the wood. Did this at least 3 times for the whole stock, until it came out with the "6 inch deep look". Usually your hands stung from the heat built up rubbing it in, but that meant that you were doing it correctly.

As far as the leather sling, the ONLY that was to be used (and that worked) was Neatsfoot oil. The story about using bacon grease from the chow hall on the leather sling as a substitute was a "Gunny's tale" to get some poor FNG in deep kimchee at the next inspection. Turned the leather a pasty white, and attracted a lot of flies and other vermin!

Bill Wilson
USMC Ret'd.

His Story Is Special

Sgt. Grit:

Regarding Marines who were drafted, I knew one when I was stationed at Camp Pendleton with 5th MarDiv headquarters in early 1969 (5th Division was downgraded to 5th Marine Expeditionary Brigade shortly after that).

His story is special. He was an Army brat and his father was a Sergeant Major who was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, where this guy was living when he was drafted. After receiving his notice, he reported to his local draft board, where he expected to be inducted into the Army and sent for permanent duty to Fort Leavenworth after his basic training. What a surprise! He said he didn't know what was happening until he was on his way to MCRD San Diego.

I wish the Army had gotten him. He was a total sh-tbird and spent nearly all of his two years in the Corps on light duty with a mysterious foot ailment that excused him from anything resembling physical activity or extra duty.

Then there was the guy, also with me at Camp Pendleton, who had spent 4 years in the Army, 4 years in the Air Force and had enlisted for 4 years in the Corps. What a loony.

Semper Fi,
Sgt. Bill Federman
USMC, 1968-71
Vietnam 1970-71

Something To Do With…

Nah... the Corps did not have M-88 tank retrievers in Viet Nam. Period. In fact, the tracked vehicle unit(s) on Okinawa (1st Tracked Vehicle Bn), according to the plaques and pennant I have owned since 1977...) had the M-51 retriever... and the M-48 tank until the M-60 came into service there about 1977. (full disclosure... I was the Bn Maint O at Schwab for a year... including putting the M-60 tanks into service... mostly by staying out of the way of MSGT Funkhouser).

The Bn had two companies of tanks, and two of what are now known as 'AAVs"... (still an amtrac to me... YATYAS!)... there was one platoon of tanks up at Fuji, which meant that their M-60's had to be moved up there after being checked out and cleared for issue (this also involved one CWO 'Broke D-Ick' Jim Spaulsbury (spelling mine, may be inaccurate, but a tanker's tanker, reputedly the proud possessor of eleven letters of reprimand... one for singing to his company on the tac net after his tank company had just waxed a whole bunch of bad persons... am sure many old tankers, esp. from 2nd Tanks have stories about him).

Anyway, the new tanks were duly delivered, and the retrograde (fancy word for 'worn-out') M-48's were back-loaded on a LST at Numazu Beach (mainland Japan)... this was of the last class of LST's built... didn't have bow doors, but had two big booms out front that handled a ramp... vehicles would come up from the well deck, cross a turn-table, and descend onto the beach via the ramp. As one of the old M-48's was descending into the well deck, it lost its brakes... and the driver, did exactly what he should have done, which was to grab 'Reverse'... it caught unevenly, causing the tank to slew... and that pranged a big vertical I-beam column. The ship's "First Lieutenant" ( a duty assignment, not necessarily involving single silver bars), who is responsible for the condition of the ship... sorta like a deck ape with an engineering degree... was not pleased. They had to do a lot of jury-rigging to get the weather deck closed and sea-worthy, but they got her back to Kin Red (beach).

We took the Bn Maint retriever from Schwab down to Kin Red (near Hansen) at night (Japanese rules about wide loads... midnight to dawn... only)... recall a hard-charging 3rd Mar Div. MP Company Cpl who was going to write me a ticket for that... he was behind us, said we were throwing sparks (turned out he was right about the sparks... had to do with a loose drive sprocket... oh, well...). The tank came up the inside ramp, crossed the turn- table... and coasted to a stop up in the parking lot... Cpl driving figured if he hit anything, he was going to win, per the laws of physics... have forgotten the name of the LST, but a little work on the net will find you more than you wanted to know about 1100 series LST's... (had a stern ramp for launching Amtracs, also a turn-table in the well deck... from memory... D-mn!... I'd do it all over again!

Bit of a personal item... in '66, we sometimes flew with the Lucky Red Lions, (HMH 363) and once in a while, with the "Purple Foxes" (HMH 364)... at the time, both were flying H-34's... was pleased/astonished on one or two occasions to note that the bird had a long step mounted parallel to, and below the troop compartment door... only ones I ever saw on a H-34, big help in boarding (door gunners tended to be displeased if you grabbed hold of the M-60 to help haul yourself aboard... something to do with the gun being loaded...) any wing-wipers out there who can help out? Might've been an experimental piece, and/or sacrificed in the interest of saving weight. Also encountered a fellow graduate of MB Naha on a door gun... once... Cpl when I knew him a few years earlier... Dark Green Marine, infectious laugh and a great wit... one George Gibson... used to use his Honda 160 with the hump fuel tank for hill climb events at Naha AFB...



"Gone to Florida to fight the Indians. Will be back when the war is over."
--Colonel Commandant Archibald Henderson, USMC in a note pinned to his office door, 1836

"There is but one straight course, and that is to seek truth and pursue it steadily."
--George Washington

Lady Astor once remarked to Winston Churchill at a Dinner Party, "Winston, if you were my husband, I would poison your coffee!"
Winston replied, "Madam if I were your husband I would drink it!"

"Come on, you sons of bitches! Do you want to live forever?"
--GySgt. Daniel J. "Dan" Daly, USMC near Lucy-'le-Bocage as he led the 5th Marines' attack into Belleau Wood, 6 June 1918

"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire."
--Winston Churchill

"For over 221 years our Corps has done two things for this great Nation. We make Marines, and we win battles."
--Gen. Charles C. Krulak, USMC (CMC); 5 May 1997

Keep kicking at darkness until it bleeds light Popping smoke.

Stay Green, Re-enlist.


God Bless the American Dream!

Sgt Grit

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