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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 23 MAY 2013

In this issue:
• Barber Shop
• Battle Cry
• Cold War Marines

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I want to take a moment and thank all of you. We have received countless emails and phone calls inquiring if we as a company and staff got through the devastating tornado.

I am happy to report that all the staff and our building made it through fine. A few people lost power and water for a day or so. Our artist with his family moved less than a week ago into his new home. Their old house was leveled. Lucky or blessed, you make the call.

Again thank you for your kind emails and calls.

Semper Fi
Sgt Grit

Barber Shop

Saw the story on barbers and thought I would send a picture of the barber shop on Hill 327, DaNang, Vietnam 1965.

Semper Fi
Cpl C Smith
3rd Shore Party

Battle Cry

I watched Battle Cry the other night. I first saw it in 1955 when it came out, and several times since. I was noticing the stripes of the First Sergeant played by James Whitmore and PFC Andy Hookins played by Aldo Ray. The stripes were on the green dress uniform, but they were for dress blues. The pogey bait ropes were all green instead of green and red. The shoes were right as were the leather Sam Brown belts worn in the WWII era. However, the socks were wrong, and they always didn't wear t-shirts under their utilities and dress shirts.

The battle scenes were a little hokey since they were filmed in Puerto Rico probably during a war game. No fierce small arms fire hardly at all. But, it was fun to see sights of Camp Pendleton. There was a sign that said Camp Elliot, but it was probably at Camp Pendleton. When I was at Camp Elliot for a boot camp hike it was a US Naval Re-training Command.

Most of the actors did a fairly good job of saluting, but Lt. Col. Huckley, played by Van Heflin, gave non-Marine salutes. I guess he realized he wasn't very good at it, so he went around uncovered a lot.

All in all, a good movie. It was probably responsible for me enlisting in January 1957.

James V. Merl/3421


Sgt Grit,

Three photos are HMX-1 at Quantico, circa 1958. The last one was at Camp Lejeune circa 1957. I "wuz" there!

Joe Featherston

Marine Mom

My favorite shirt is from Sgt. Grit. It says "I may look harmless, but I raised a Marine." Someone who knew my son, but not my daughter, said, "I know he's a firefighter, but didn't know he was a Marine." I smiled and said, "His younger sister is the Marine."

No one was prouder than I when my daughter made it through boot camp, and no one is prouder than me when I wear my Marine Mom gear. I would never wear anything with a Marine Corps symbol that didn't say Marine Mom. Though I suffered through every day of that 13 weeks. I am not a Marine; I am a Marine Mom.

Elizabeth McKnight

Marine parents, get this t-shirt at:
Custom I May Look Harmless T-Shirt

Cold War Marines

We were the Cold War Marines. We served after the Korean War and in between the Vietnam War. We served at a time of peace. We are the lucky ones. We were trained to carry on the traditions of the Marine Corps and do our duty as it may have come upon us. We still are around, but not much is told about us.

We were ready to deploy like all others that served before us and after us. I am 75 years young now, and just want to say to all that have served before and after us, Thank God for United States Marines. Keep up the Traditions and carry on the missions as they are called upon us.

Thank God for United States Marines.

Donald J. Patterson, Cpl E4, 1561394 USMC 1955-1959
G Btry, 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines
Hq 1st FAG, 1st Marine Division
Semper Fi

Full-faced Helmet

Sgt Grit,

Just a heads up that a friend of mine was riding his motorcycle in southwestern Iowa earlier this week and managed to total his bike in an accident. I reached him on his cell phone at the hospital later in the day (actually expected his buddy to answer, but Dwight did) and he informed me that he didn't have a concussion or any other head injuries due to his full-faced helmet that he had been purchased from Sgt. Grit. Once he's released from the hospital, I told him he owed Sgt. Grit a thank you and a new order for a replacement.

Thanks, Ken Crouse

Get this helmet at:
U.S. Marine Glossy Full-Face Motorcycle Helmet - DOT Approved

My Ears Still Ring

I went to boot camp in '93 where the movie stars are, so I guess my DI's thought everybody should know how to sing. One day I was blind-sided by one of my Jr. DI's with the demand I sing the Marine's Hymn at the top of my lungs... I forgot the words. So I spent the next hour with my head in a shiny metal sh-t can practicing that hymn over and over until I remembered it. My ears still ring every time I think about that, but I'll never forget our song as long as I live.

LCpl Gose

A Few Unceremonious Dunks

I read Joel McHoul's letter about the July 1958 landing in Beirut, Lebanon with great interest. I was in the Marine Detachment on the USS Essex, an Attack Carrier with a full component of support aircraft at that time. We were on a routine Med Cruise, anchored at sea about a mile off the coast of Athens (Pyreus), Greece when the President ordered us to Beirut "immediately". However, many of our ship's command personnel were on leave in Athens and had to be on board before we could leave. It was now about 2:00 am. Since I worked directly for the ship's Commanding Officer, Captain Tom Christopher, he ordered me to collect our Division Heads in Athens and be back aboard by sun up.

Well, to make a long story somewhat shorter, for some very good reasons we didn't make it. The ship left without four Division Heads, including the CAG (Commander of the Air Group) and me! At the Fleet Landing we were told to go to a small supply airstrip nearby. The ship would send a helicopter to get us because they couldn't wait any longer. As all this was happening we had no idea what was going on nor why. The only chopper we had aboard ship was an "Angel" that flew pick up support during Flight Operations. It had a two passenger capacity and was certainly not a long distance aircraft. Since I was by far the most "junior" of the five of us, I was, therefore, the last to be picked up. Actually, NOT picked up. When it became my turn the ship's position exceeded the Angel's flight capacity and I was on my own in Athens with $18.00 in my pocket. The Assistant Naval Attache in Athens happened to be a Marine Major who was a problem solver. After a brief stay in Athens he arranged a flight to Naples, Italy with orders to stay at the Med hotel until the USS Thompson, a supply ship, arrived. I reported to the CO of the Thompson and we left for a trip east toward Lebanon. A few days later we met the Essex and I was high lined aboard from the Thompson after a few unceremonious dunks in the sea provided by some very innocent looking Essex bosuns mates.

So while Joel McHoul and the 6th Marines were landing in Beirut, I was off on an adventure that I will never forget.

John Elkins

Summer Vacation

Sgt. Grit,

While catching up with your latest newsletter (9 May) after a for-some-reason-longer-seeming week at my high school, I was reminded of a different application for the term, "stacking swivel," as mentioned in the article by Cpl. Norm Spilleth.

I don't remember where or when I first heard that term. It very likely was during my "summer vacation" as a Junior PLC candidate out at old Camp Upshur, aboard MCB Quantico, during the summer of '63. It probably was used in the following manner: "Candidate, if you do not square your asz away, I will grab you by the stacking swivel and perform the Manual of Arms with your skuzzy self!"

Semper Fi!
Tom Downey
Once a captain, USMCR; Always a Marine.
1963 - '76 "for pay purposes":
Vietnam: 4Dec66-18Dec67: I-3/11 [art'y FO for L-3/7 approx.
6 months, then FDO), then 3rd-8"How (FDC WatchO/MTO].
Stateside: Jan68-31May69 [H&S Bn, FMFLant, NorVa: Asst.
Reserve: Aug69-Oct75 [ExO of C, then CO of D, 4thReconBn,
combined and re-designated as C-1/23 (XO, then CO)].

PS: A shout out to my TBS and Ft Sill Classmate, "Hoogie". Glad to "hear" you on "the net."

First Woman President

The year is 2016 and the United States has just elected the first woman President. A few days after the election the president-elect, whose name is Debra, calls her father and says, "So, Dad, I assume you will be coming to my inauguration?"

"I don't think so. It's a 10 hour drive."

"Don 't worry about it Dad, I'll send Air Force One. And a limousine.

"I don't know. Everybody will be so fancy. What would your mother wear?"

"Oh Dad," replies Debra, 'I'll make sure she has a wonderful gown custom-made by the best designer in Washington."

"Honey," Dad complains, "you know I can't eat those rich foods you eat."

The President-to-be responds, "Don 't worry Dad. The entire affair will be handled by the best caterer in Washington; I'll ensure your meals are salt free. You and mom just have to be there."

So Dad reluctantly agrees, and on January 20, 2017, Debra is being sworn in as President of the United States. In the front row sits the new President's dad and mom. Dad, noticing the senator sitting next to him, leans over and whispers, "You see that woman over there with her hand on the Bible, becoming President of the United States?"

The Senator whispers back, "You bet I do."

Dad says proudly, "Her brother is an Aviator in the US Marine Corps!"

Word Down The Line

Sgt. Grit,

I didn't want to but... all these d-mnable comments about people wearing USMC clothing or hats or what not, so... We had this problem come up when I was a Main Gate Sentry at Hunters Point Naval Base back in 1947 to 1949. Workmen came aboard to work wearing military and Marine uniforms marked USMC. So all the complaints were sent to the Old Man, and he went to the Base Commander who went to his Commander who went to his Commander who sent this Word down the line. "Get Over It! The War Surplus stores are selling everything that we wore and fought in. It belongs to them, they bought and paid for it, and according to the Constitution, if it belongs to you, you can wear, destroy it, do anything you want with it. But don't F-CK with the Flag or We'll burn your azs!" These are not his exact words, but close enough to inform you that there ain't a D-mn thing you can do about it, and if you hit him or her you can go to jail and I can't imagine anything worse than telling your cellmate that you were in jail because you hit some dumbsh-t for wearing a shirt he bought fair and square.

Sometimes I wear my Sgt. Grit cap that has Gunnery Sergeant Chevrons on the front with Vietnam above and on the back above the size gizmo is "WWII - Korea - Vietnam". When I was working with the TV Series "Baa Baa Blacksheep" I took a Marine Camo cap, put Jump Wings, 1st MarDiv Pin, and a Vietnam Pin on it. They have an Armed Forces Day Celebration here with all the Services represented even helicopters and such. I put the Cap on and went to look at all the stuff I didn't have before I Retired. A young guy age 20 or so asked me about the pins and my being in WWII, Korea and Vietnam. I told him I was young and glad to serve in WWII. I loved the Marine Corps so much I just hung around for a while. He said Thanks for your Service and was so sincere in the way he said it, I took the Cap off and gave it to him.

When I wear the Cap I got from Grit I get a lot of Thanks for your Service and I don't know what to say. So, I just say what comes to mind, usually, "Thanks". When I just retired, if I had Grit's Cap then, I'd never made it out of a Bar.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau USMC Retired

Skinny Runt Lieutenant

Dear Sgt. Grit,

I was stationed in the D.C. - Virginia Area from 1963-1967, and due to war sentiments, some high ranking Staff NCO'S as well as Officers had the option to wear suits to work. My main office was at the Naval Annex, but I was attached to a warehouse in Arlington, Virginia (right across from where they were building Crystal City). I worked in supply. Sometimes I delivered them to all over the area (Naval Weapons Plant, Pentagon, Naval Annex, Henderson Hall, etc.) Marines were stationed all over the place!

My day started at getting up at 0730 and getting to work at the warehouse by 0830 or earlier depending on the workload. Sometimes I delivered supplies at the Naval Annex when they were shorthanded! One day I had no breakfast and was on the go for most of the day. When I delivered supplies to an office in the Naval Annex one of the young women asked me to join her for coffee in the cafeteria. I was starving and said yes. We as Marines were entitled to eat daily, (or maybe it was a silly notion?) Plus I was looking forward to the company of a nice lady to have lunch with, instead of the Few and the Chosen back at the Animal House?

While we were eating the dip-stick Second Lieutenant that worked in my office at the Naval Annex came over and asked nastily, "Where the f-ck were you, and what the f-ck do you think you're doing? You have deliveries to make!" A scene was caused and you could hear a pin drop at the quietness that descended over the place. The Navy also had a large presence at the Naval Annex as well, and the cafeteria was crowded.

All of a sudden a guy built like a linebacker comes over and he is wearing a suit, and another gentleman is behind him that approached as well. The bigger guy asks, "What is the problem Lieutenant?" My Lieutenant is in a rage and says to this guy, "Who the f-ck are you? Butt out of this now!"

The big guy says I am a F-cking General, and this is my friggin' Sgt Major, and you have just let your humming bird asz overload your alligator mouth sweet pea!" The General turns around to the young woman with me, calls her by her first name, and tells her that if this skinny runt Lieutenant causes me problems that I should tell her, and the Lt will be in charge of stacking skivvies in Alaska when he gets thru with him!

The General then called my big boss at my office and said that he would deal with him if they hassled me. The moral of this is that on any base you got to be aware of your surroundings, and being nice to people has its rewards sometimes. The Sgt Major was a class act and everybody who worked in his office loved him as he was in your corner for civilians as well as Marines. I saw the General on occasion, and once he was with an Admiral and a contingent of Officers, he excused himself and walked over to me and asked how I was doing, and if he could do anything for me?" He also said, "my door is always open, drop by anytime!"

I must relate that we had good and bad people that we worked with at all duty stations. It is all part of growing up as I was young at the time, and you tried to get a read on people... as first impressions were important.

Hopefully some of you out there can report back the good you found in people or even the bad... as getting something off your chest is good.

Bruce Bender

P.S. Does anybody remember the Pentagon and how in was set up internally - with wings and rings - and circular ladder - ways between floors. Confusing as h-ll to go and deliver and find any office. Certain areas were restricted and you could not go thru from one area to the next one?

I inherited delivering at the Pentagon because a dip-stick sat in a chair with wheels and rolled down one walkway between floors and almost took out some high ranking officers! He was asked by the Navy PMO - or whatever they call themselves - if he was on a list and since he was not they told him that he would be detained and arrested if he returned.

Blank Check

Regarding the term "Vietnam Veteran" vs "Vietnam Era Veteran". I served during 'Nam and volunteered for duty in 'Nam several times. While stationed on Okinawa, I pulled some strings and got a special assignment to RVN. I was in DaNang for 28 days when I was ordered back to Okinawa. I was CID/PMO and never saw combat, nor was I in a firefight.

Once back on Okinawa, I figured that I had pushed the envelope far enough and returned to my original billet as a Marine Investigator on Oki, and finished my tour. Although I had been "In Country" I considered then as now that I was/am a Vietnam Era Vet, and that is how I describe my service. It is just personal with me, but just about all of the guys I served and lived with had done beau coup more time in country than I did, and the majority had seen some form of combat or had done some time in the "bush". So as for me "Vietnam Era Vet" fits just fine.

If asked if I was "in 'Nam" I tell them, "yes, I had a cup of coffee ther once"... but, as far as I am concerned, anyone who served during that perior is an honorable individual... no shame. We served with honor and distinction. We didn't run or try to wiggle out of it. We wrote Uncle Sam a blank check for those years, and he cashed it and used it as he pleased. And, we stood behind it... as the saying goes... "All gave some, but some gave all"...

Sgt. R.L. Mirabile
2067671 USMC. '63-'69

Captured Korean POW

Sgt Grit,

This is the picture we talked about. Notice my reward for picking up the gentleman from opposing forces. Also received seven days R&R in Kyoto, one case of beer, and a fifth of bourbon.

Corky Knack
Sgt 1225xxx

"Paris" Island

This is a note to Arthur Seiderer: Ordinarily I would be more forgiving in correcting an error, but in your case I won't! You condescendingly chastised a retired MSgt., author of a book about Marines, calling him a "moron" and a "dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks" for saying that the original spelling of PIRD was "Paris" Island. Well, man up and apologize, because the original spelling was "Paris". There are sources out there substantiating this, including P.19 of an excellent book, Through the Wheat.

Gary Nash
Former 0302
RVN '67-'69

Sgt. Grit,

The letter of Arthur Seider in your recent newsletter got my attention.

First, he scoffed, wrongly, at the notion of a Marine MSgt. Second, he ridiculed the claim that Parris had ever been Paris.

So, I researched the origin of the name "Parris Island". Surprise. Marine Corps Order No. 27, dated 22 June 1917, established Marine Barracks, Paris Island, S.C.

That designation remained until Marine Corps Order No. 32, dated 3 May 1919 changed the spelling to "Parris".

My reference source is "Marine Corps Historical Reference Series, Number 8" which was read and approved by Major General Cushman, Jr., on 28 Jul 1962.

David L. Dunn, Major, USMCR, Ret.
Semper Fi

Marine Major One Blogspot

Walk In The Park

Do any of you Jarheads get the Pentagon Channel on Comcast? Had two good stories about Marine Leadership. One was of Jr Officers and NCOs that were OIF and Afghan Vets. Awesome leadership skills! The other was about MCRD PI and the "Crucible". Major Hard Corps sh-t! Makes PI obstacle course in 1965 look like a walk in the park. Great combat leadership skills in BOOT CAMP!

Stone 2034729
The Battle Of MCAS Beaufort '68-'69
YO, Tasker

Parachute Rigger

I've been asked what this WW2 sleeve patch represents. It would seem to designate a Parachute Rigger. There were other such patches worn on the lower sleeve until about 12/31/47 (same time we lost Division Patches). For example, crossed Signal Flags for telephone wireman and 'Lightning' sparks for radioman. Can anyone confirm?

Paul Santiago
GySgt (Ret)

Riderless Horse

He acts as a "riderless horse" rather than a "Mounted Color Guard", which I presume takes 4 horsemen. We do not really follow the riderless horse rules [Colonel & above]. This is more about the families.

Rick & Melody meet the procession about 100-200 yards away from the gravesite. They fall in behind the hearse [unmounted]. They then fall in behind the casket/urn to the gravesite until it is placed. They then withdraw to a place where Melody can face the firing detail as well as the family. Melody is trained to not be startled by the 3 volleys, as long as she can see us firing. After the graveside ceremonies are over [both religious & military: firing/flag folding/taps & any family readings or song], we gather the spent casings for the funeral director, minus one. One goes to Rick/Melody for his count.

As mentioned in the Sgt Grit article, Rick stands at about 525 funerals, even though his personal target was 500, and continues. Rick has also attended several 9/11 ceremonies in NYC – the NYC Police Mounted put him/Melody up in their stable.

Sal Sena is our overall MFH commander; I'm one of his squad leaders [myself - 6 yrs., 226 funerals]. We are usually dispatched via the Connecticut National Guard, but occasionally other Marine circumstances arise, and we respond.

Hope this helps.

By word of mouth, there are 2-3 other units that do this across the US, but I do not know who.

As to Sgt Grit, God I hope he's not ready to retire... he does such a great job!


1948 and 1946

This was taken 1948, and my boot camp pic taken 1946.

Sgt. Retired

Salute And Sprint Off

Being one of my platoons road guards, I have a few funny stories.

Standing in front of cars bearing down on you & keeping a straight face on PI, and attempting to catch up with the platoon, while they were running. Only to come Across another intersection. Standing tall and hoping cars would stop. You would salute and sprint off to catch up.

Running as a road guard at Camp Pendleton, up and down hills was also a joke. Not a big assignment, but I guess someone had to do it. This all comes back after seeing the saying "Road guards out", in the last Sgt grit issue.

Thanks for all you do.

Cpl R Chamberlain
Plt 1000, 7/68, Parris Island

Operation Silver Lance

Sgt. Grit,

This is my Zippo, I bought it while aboard the USS Cabildo LSD 16 in early 1965. I was a tank driver with B Company, 1st. Tank Battalion. We were participating in Operation Silver Lance, which involved a 7-day cruise off the coast of Mexico, and a surf landing from a Mike Boat at Camp Pendleton. Hopefully you can read what is engraved on it, my name, serial #, and the places I had been when I had the engraving done in the Philippines later in 1965.

I remember letting a salty E-5 use my lighter once, and he remarked, "you haven't been many places, have you?" That was before my Carrib., and Med. Cruises. You can see by the shape of it, that I used it as a hammer to many times, had to send it to Zippo to have the hinge replaced.

Semper Fi
John M. Hunter
Cpl. E-4
RVN 1965-1966

A Marine Christmas Story

Sgt Grit,

I have just published this short book, which may be on interest to your readers:

Eddie Grabowski's Gift: A Marine Christmas Story by Robert A. Hall. Published by CreateSpace.com.

A Marine Christmas Story Book on CreateSpace.

A Marine Christmas Story Book on Amazon.

Eddie Grabowski's Gift is a short novella with an old Marine's lessons on life, love, and giving. All author royalties are donated to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation to support the National Museum of the Marine Corps. The MCHF receives a larger royalty when you order directly from CreateSpace.com.

Robert A. Hall
Former SSgt

Setting The Record Straight

Sgt. Grit,

While reading the article from Sgt AJ Manos in this week's Sgt Grit Newsletter, he stated he was the jeep driver for "General Robert E. Barrows". He is mistaken. For the record, there never was a "General Robert E. Barrows" in the Marine Corps. There was however a General Robert Hilliard Barrow who became the 27th Commandant serving in that capacity from 1 July 1979 - 30 June 1983. Sgt Manos, was that the General whose jeep you drove? I had the privilege of serving with Colonel Robert H. Barrow when he commanded the 9th Marine Regiment in RVN back in 1968 / 69, and I was privileged to attend his "wetting down ceremony" in Quang Tri in 1969 when he was promoted to Brig. General. A truly classy gentleman, a tremendous leader, and a Marine's Marine! Just setting the record straight.

SR Van Tyle
Former Captain of Marines


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #5, #2, (FEB, 2015)

While searching around for some info that I was going to include in this month's article or offering, I ran across some info that I had forgotten about for a long time. So bear with this old soul and we'll get back on track just as soon as my brain starts to function properly again, so take your pack off and "take ten, expect five and get two!"

The following Information comes under the heading of "Not normally known or given a darn about". That is the fact that while I was in the Corps, I was fortunate enough to actually have 12 MOSs from Basic MARINE to Aviation, and darn near every one in between. They ran the gamete from 9900, to 0311, to 1371, to 1375, to 2300, to almost 2336, and then back to 1375 and 0431, plus 6123, 6321, 6481, 6413, 6422, and finally 8411. I know your gonna ask why didn't he take a course that included typing? Well, I did, but I flunked the test. Now, that many MOSs kept me busy for my career lasting 20 years. I almost needed to have (2) DD-214's just to list them all, but we got them all listed in my records. My reason for mentioning all this is that I was looking for something else, but being that I uncovered all these various "bits of nothing" is my excuse to convey to you, just how good the MARINE CORPS can be to you if you do your job, and "stand tall amongst them all." Every time they were looking for someone to go to a school, I would raise my hand, and if I was the chosen one then I would be hopefully off on another adventure. Now, this sounds like a recruiting pitch, but it's not. It's just an endorsement of my MARINE CORPS adventure. Everyone had one and they were not all the same. Some were good and not very challenging, and some are not so good and very challenging. Mine just happened to be the former. I'm surprised I didn't talk about this earlier in the FLIGHT LINE, but I guess I had plenty of info at my fingertips, and I didn't have to cope with this studder-step. But, don't worry I'll recover, and when I get started again you may not be able to stop me.

Having said that, I will also tell you that I, along with a handful of my fellow MARINES, were involved in approx. 18-20 different Combat Operations from Tuy-Hoa to the 38th parallel including Operation End sweep (The mine-sweeping operation) ending the Vietnam War.


I guess the difference with a good writer and a not so good writer is their ability to keep the storyline moving forward. I, as you can see, I do not fall into the former category.

When I Could Breathe Again

MSGT Richardson, Comm Chief of 2/1/9 at Sukeran, 1959-1960, like the rest of us, had fallen out, green side out, with Field Marching Pack, sidearm, etc. for the CG's inspection of the entire Bn. The date, unfortunately, was the day after payday... and it was obvious, from his unsteady posture, despite his lean, mean, squared away appearance that he was, if not still drunk, pretty severely hung over... as it ever was, and ever shall be, we were standing out there hours ahead of the expected arrival of the CG, FMFPAC, Lt. Gen Worham. We noticed that the Bn Cmdr, Lt. Col Ike Fenton... who had been a ParaMarine with the 4th ParaMarine Bn, and ended WWII as the CO, MarDet, USS Missouri... and the son of a Marine BG... had noticed that his Comm Chief was unsteady on his feet... and he walked over toward our H&S Co. formation. There was a collective sucking in of breath by we junior flips... because the Col was famous for his office hours, which you could hear, if you had some excuse to be hanging around the H&S Co dayroom (Army term, I know... but it had a pool table and the duty NCO's desk)... we knew the Top was in for it... big time.

Col Fenton approached, the Top saw him, and saluted (in the relaxed way that only WWII vets could do)... the Col said, (and I will never, ever, forget this...) "Rich... you don't look like you feel too good... why don't you go back to the barracks and lie down for a while?" He did... and the word went around that these old guys (must've both been near 40 or so) had been together in some bad times...

Had a MGySgt Maintenance Chief, name of Red Shea in 1st Tanks, when I was the 2ndLt (Temp) BnMaintO... we were standing by for a visit from CG, FMF Pac, one Henry Buse... I'm standing at parade rest outside the maintenance office tent, Shea is inside, and here comes the jeep with the General. I'm practically screaming in a whisper... "Top! Top!... get your azs out here!" The jeep rolled to a stop, my Maintenance Chief, probably fortified with a sip or two of Jim or Jack (at 10:00) comes rolling out of the tent as the General rolls (he was well-fed) out of the jeep... whereupon, MY Maintenance Chief throws his arm around the shoulders of this Lt. General, and says "Hank... you old SOB (he didn't use the initials)... how the h-ll are ya? Seems they had spent some time together 25 years earlier on an island... Guadalcanal, or something like that. When I could breathe again, I decided it was going to be OK...


Johnson M1941

I have heard that the USMC attempted to adopt an automatic rifle during WWII called the Johnson M1941 and also a machine gun, but got no support.

I also heard that Germany may have used this weapon as a prototype for its German Sturmgewehr and the Russian AK 47. I've read the reviews online, but do we have anyone left out there who handled one of these weapons.

Bill Carey Cpl '65-'69
On Inactive Duty

Memphis Belle

Sgt Grit,

Enclosed is a photo of a Marine Corps amhib nicknamed "Memphis Belle" coming up the beach at Okinawa in Eric Hammel's book "Islands of H-ll".

As the archivist and historian for the Memphis Belle Memorial Association, Inc., an organization chartered to restore and educate the public about the B-17F "Memphis Belle", a bomber from WWII, I am on the lookout for "Memphis Belle" and associated material. Although the airplane, which the city of Memphis saved from the smelter in 1946, has been moved from Memphis to the National Museum of the United States Air Force. We remain involved in the restoration and development of her history. This effort produced a book about the "Belle" entitled "Memphis Belle Dispelling the Myths". What I am looking for is information from anyone who was on Okinawa during the fighting that might possibly remember things about this vehicle. I realize that it is a long shot, but Marines remember things that many people don't.

Thank you for your help.

Harry Friedman, M.D.
CAPT, MC, USN (Ret.)


We are searching for any former Platoon Members of Platoon 386 PISC Graduated 27 August 1968. Hoping to get as many as possible together for a reunion either this year or next year.

Third Battalion
Platoon 386
Commenced Trainin: 26 June 1968
Completed Training: 27 August 1968

Roman Milanowicz
(717) 278-5634

Lost And Found

Sergeant Grit,

It's been over 57 years since I became a Marine at MCRD Parris Island, and with the exception of one of my DI's (SSgt Richard E. Buice) who I ran into at Camp Lejeune in 1965; I haven't seen nor heard from any of my Recruit Platoon members. I've done internet searches and phone directory searches, advertising in the Marine Times, Leatherneck, etc. with no luck. I was thinking that perhaps some of those Marines who get the Grit newsletter just might be one of those Marines from Platoon 197 who graduated with me in March 1956. Attached is Platoon photo.

Palmer Brown
1568000 SSgt
091392 LtCol

Short Rounds

Good morning Sgt Grit and Staff. I believe the Response to the Greeting "Semper Fi" is OOO-RA from one Marine to another Marine after being recognized. My response to anyone who will say, "Thank You For Your Service" or "Thank You For Serving" is "It Was My Honor".

Semper Fi
Jim Angelo

Sgt. Grit:

D-mn near sh-t myself when I opened the 9 May newsletter. There was my tattoo, you talk about a shock. And you put "Old Corps" Flame thrower operator on it. All I can say is thank you/ It made my day/week/month/etc. Guess I will have to make another purchase now ha-ha.

Thomas J. Yates
Sgt. E4 USMC
1955/59 MCRDSD
First Batt. Plt. 140

Anyone remember the term "duct butter"? It's that yellow cr-p that collects in the urinal trough drain.

James Ashworth
USMC '70-'72

The American dream is sometimes accompanied by nightmares. For those occasions we have United States Marines.

Jerry D.

Sgt. Grit,

In reference to "hoogie/Captain/Gunny" article in the May 3rd newsletter. When I'm thanked for my service, I answer, "it was my privilege, it was an honor to serve my Country."

Semper Fidelis,
Ray Kelley

I'm of the right age, so I often get asked if I am a Viet Nam Veteran. I usually provide a somewhat long winded answer:

"I was in the Corps from '64-'68 and had orders for Viet Nam twice. Both times the Corps or the good Lord had enough sense to change those orders and send me somewhere else."

I both regret, and am relieved that I never got to Viet Nam.

Glenn Talbott

Thanks Sgt. Grit... keep up the good work...

Semper Fi

P.S. At formation in 1965 with K/3/6... we'd say... every day is a holiday... every meal a feast... every formation is a family reunion.

Raymond Kelley


"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing."
--Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791

"So they've got us surrounded, good! Now we can fire in any direction, those bast-rds won't get away this time!"
--Chesty Puller, USMC

"Tyranny, like h-ll, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."
--Thomas Paine, 1776

"We have two companies of MARINES running all over this island and thousands of ARMY troops doing nothing!"
--Gen. John Vessy, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs

"Retreat h-ll! We just got here!"
--Capt. Lloyd Williams, USMC

"I' m here to finish a job no one ever started..."

"I came here to chew gum, take names, and kick azs... I'm outta gum, and my pencil's broke..."

"Don't get p-ssed; re-enlist!"

"There is the right way, the wrong way, and the Marine Corps way."

Gung Ho!
Sgt Grit

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Oklahoma City, OK 73179
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