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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 24 JAN 2013

In this issue:
• Still A Hard Charger
• A Rat Amongst Our Gear
• Unpatriotic Response

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While going through my seabag, I came across a box with all of my brass... tie clasps, belt buckles, and Eagle, Globe, and Anchors for the various uniforms. I came across some brass (yep, I know they need some polishing!), and wondered what/why the difference?

The Eagle, Globe, and Anchor on the left has a banner coming from the Eagle that reads, "Semper Fidelis"... the Eagle on the right is without the banner... anyone know why?

Semper Fi!
Howard Hada
Sea Going '62-'64
SN 1989822

Still A Hard Charger

Dear Sgt Grit:

Enclosed is a picture of CPL Cyla Barron Huber. Now what is annoying about her is that this is a very recent picture of her, 20 years after she was on active duty, and she still fits in her blues and looks like she is in her early 20's. That said... She is still a hard-charger.

Over the past several years she has organized several working parties to restore an OV-10 Bronco in Fort Worth to its former glory. She has organized Bronco re-unions over the past few years as well. If I have my facts straight, the picture you see of her in her blues was taken when she gave a lecture to some ROTC kids.

She is also the Mom of a Marine that you featured recently of a 7 year old in a flight suit and a utility cover, and then all grown up in 782 gear just having completed SOI. She is an incredible wife and mother, raising 4 boys. She is an outstanding ambassador of the Marine Corps. Personally, I think the Commandant should recognize her post active duty activities for the Marine Corps.

Semper Fi!

Our Weapons Were the Greatest

While looking through some old pictures I noticed how much things have changed in the Corps over the past 56 years... The only camouflage we had was our helmet covers and the netting over our 155 Howitzers... Our Quonset huts were heated by a coal or wood burning stove set in the middle of the hut... Our daily uniform was the old green herringbone pattern utilities... Our weapons were the greatest rifles ever invented... The 3.0 cal. Semi- Automatic Gas operated M1 Garand, The Browning A.R. And the Model 1911 (45 cal. Another great weapon... Those in this picture are Marines of Kilo Btry. 4th Battalion 12th Marines, 3rd Marine Div. Camp Hauge, Okinawa... Miles... After looking at this picture I realized though the weapons, uniforms, and housing have drastically changed, it's still the same Marine Corps and always will be at the ready... Old Corps, New Corps no difference as long as it's Marine Corps...

"Semper Fidelis"
H.W. Kennedy USMC
1956/1962... 0811

A Rat Amongst Our Gear

The story about the roaches reminded me of the time we, Charlie Battery 1/13, were at Subic Bay, Philippine Islands. We were in a newly build Quonset hut with only had a concrete floor in it. So we only had our mattresses "Rubber Ladies" to sleep on. One night we sat up talking about several things along with the fact that there was a rat amongst our gear that was piled in one corner.

When we finally finished talking I laid back down on my rubber lady. The second my bare back touched the mattress this rat ran from my shoulder down my arm and off my right hand. A second later I was again sitting up with heart pounding and eyes open so wide you could see them back in the states. Later I would find that most nights at Khe Sanh rats would sleep on our chest for warmth. Many night I would feel their little feet run off me whenever I would move.

There are many things I don't miss about Vietnam and this is truly one of them.

L/Cpl Ron Hoffman
Charlie Battery 1/13
RVN '66-'67

Note: Since Vietnam I hate rats and snakes. Rats at night getting creative, and snakes, awe sh-t snakes anytime, anywhere, any type.

Sgt Grit

Unpatriotic Response

Sgt. Grit,

I must comment on Ddick's receiving a Military discount at Lowes. I too take advantage of Lowe's and Home Depots 10 percent Military discount. Every time I present my retired Military ID, I am thanked for my service. I have been working on a major home improvement project and the discount has saved me a sizeable amount of cash. I recently sent Menards an email asking why they did not offer the same discount as their competitors. The response from "Ray" was, "We do not discriminate. We charge the same low prices to all without regard to race, creed or occupation. Thank you for your patience and understanding." I thanked him for his timely and Unpatriotic response. I refuse to darken the doors of Menards.

P.S. The local Arby's restaurant offers a 50 percent Military discount!

CW3 Jeff Hoebing, USA Retired.
USMC '87-'98. Semper FI!

No Time

Dear Sgt. Grit,

A few months ago one of our brother Marines posted a recipe for "authentic" SOS. After much procrastination, on Saturday morning I put on a Sgt. Grit tee shirt, opened a beer and got to work. The end result was outstanding. Even my wife liked it.

I remembered my first Marine Corps breakfast on PI, a box of Sugar Smacks and a banana. There was no time for milk, no time for a spoon, no time for a bowl. I just had time to open the box and peel the banana. This was several hours after the footprints while waiting for our regular DIs to pick us up - new boots, new utilities, untrimmed belt and a chrome dome. Good times.

Jim Reese
Sgt. '67-'71

Short Rounds

USMC Bulk Fuel Association's 25th Reunion is to be held in Richmond/Chester, Virginia area.

Please E-mail Howard Huston at: HHust61[at]aol.com or call (609) 432-4027, for details.

Thank you,
Howard Huston (sec/treas)

I read a clip from T. Stewart, Sgt (E-4). He was asking about the PC and what the correct name was for it. It's a Dodge M-37 (personal carrier). The were used everywhere by the Marines even during Viet Nam. They were tough and even tough to drive. You almost had to stand up to steer it.

Another Vehicle that was a lot of fun to drive and to just have fun with was the Mule (M-247). We would just try to see where we could take it. If you couldn't ride on it you just tilted the steering wheel and walk along beside it. It had the right name MULE because it was one.

Philip M Stiles
Sgt (E-5) 1961 - 1968

I was in Viet Nam with G 2/5 at first. Then went to Suicide Charlie 1/7 . This was '68/'69. Lost a lot of good Marines.

Semper Fi, my brothers.
Terry Parker

In response to LCpl Kotula's email about the "yodeling DI in 3rd Bn at PISC in 1965", I believe that may have been my Sr. Drill Instructor, SSgt Mortis. I was there from June to September 1965 and I never thought of his cadence as a yodel but looking back, I can see why it would be described that way.

I copied it as best I could whenever I had the opportunity to drill troops. His nickname was "Rigor" Mortis and the last time I saw him, he was a SgtMaj.

M. F. Weaver
CWO-4 1803


Loved your closing salutations in the last newsletter. Have you been watching Gunny Moore in your off-time? lol. I got a 100 year old grandma that gets out of her sack faster than you people.

Ron Morse (Sgt, USMC, class of '69)

My Father keeps stealing my Grunt Catalog. Can you please add him to your mailing list and send him his own catalog.


The best D.I. cadence I heard in Aug. and Sept. of 1970 at MCRD was a black DI who would call a cadence that everyone heard on the parade deck.

No One Will Deface My Uniform

Sgt. Grit,

In several letters over the past few months I have read Marines write to you about the Un-American, Uncivil, and Ungrateful rabble that was supposed to be Spitting on, Throwing human waste on the returning American Servicemen. When I returned from three Wars, my weight was 138 pounds and my height was 5'6" and I have this to say; "No One! No One! will deface my uniform in any way without the might of 138 pounds of Marine Corps tempered spring steel landing on him. He will either eat sh-t, or spit through a mouth of no teeth or he will limp for days because his b-lls hurt so Bad.

In case no one remembers, during those times, at UCSD a mob was intending to pull down the American Flag and a Former Marine stepped in front of the Mob and said there would be no disrespect to the American Flag as long as he stood there. The mob as most mobs are, chickens in mode and culture, stopped and went away from the fire in his eyes and the GRIT (if I may) in his persona. A Friend of mine was in the OSS during WWII and was assigned to the Guerrilla Forces in the Philippines. One of the leaders in the Guerrilla forces was to be President Marcos.

When Marcos became President he was invited to the White House by President Lyndon Johnson. Marcos invited 3 of his former Guerrilla Fighters from WWII to join him. When his plane landed at LAX, Marcos stood up front with his 3 former American OSS members and looked out upon the crowd of flotsom and Jetsom demonstrating, and said to his former Guerrillas; "The four of us old Guerrillas here could wipe out all those in no time, Couldn't we?" That would have been my sentiments exactly. At the age of 86 years, No one will show disrespect to my Uniform. And that's it PERIOD!

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau,
USMC Retired

Proud Marine Corps Family

Just a short note to let you know how much I look forward to your newsletter each week and to let you know about our proud Marine family.

My dad served with HMR 161 in Korea in the fifties. I enlisted in 1968 and served with H&MS 26 and HML 167 at MCAF New River. I also served with HML 776 at Glenview Naval Air Station. My first brother enlisted in 1969 and served as an MP. His last duty station was Cherry Point, NC. My second brother enlisted in 1970 and was a cook. My fourth brother enlisted in the 1990's and retired a few years ago after 20 years. My nephew (brother # 4's oldest) reports to MCRDPI in two weeks. So far as a family we have over 40 years of service in the Corps and the tradition continues.

Semper Fi
Sgt. Paul Kelly
Member of one proud Marine Corps Family

His Father's Love

Semper Fi Grit,

Summer of '81, Jr DI, Sgt Mendez had the duty to put us "girls" (and that's putting it nicely!) to bed and was in the process of the hygiene inspection before lights out. The process at the time was everybody standing tall on top of their footlockers in just their skivvies. He tells Pvt Sh-t for brains to do an about face so he could check his Achilles tendon. Sh-t for brains does the about face but did not realize he put his boxers on backwards so his pimply red cheeks are poking out the p-- hole about eye level with Sgt Mendez!

I cannot do justice to the tirade and statements Sgt Mendez said to him for the next 5 minutes but let's just say his heterosexuality all the way to his father's love for him was very much questioned! Funniest thing I ever heard and saw in my life all while trying my hardest to maintain a military bearing!

Sgt Mendez became a Sr DI his next Plt and got busted for thumping on a Pvt and I think was ultimately discharged. Regardless of that he and SSGT McHenry were great DI's & bad to the bone, but then again I expected no less.

Thanks for the newsletter, enjoy it each week!
D. Dalton Sgt 1 ea. '81-'89
3rd LSB
4th Recon

Roy's Story

Corporal Roy Ford, Iwo Jima survivor.

I am relaying Roy's story as best I can, mostly from memory. I've tried to be accurate but it may contain some minor errors. Roy Ford's story is just one of thousands that should be remembered. Roy is now 90 years old and his mind is still sharp. He says he is blessed, as he has never been sick, has had good eyesight and hearing until recently, but "now my body has gone to h-ll."

Before going to Iwo, Roy was on Guadalcanal, Bougainsville, and a few other islands I can't remember the names of. He says that then the Parachute troops, of which he was a part of, were sent to the states and combined with the Raiders "to create the 5th Division out of us old timers" as he puts it. Roy landed on the SE shore of Iwo just north of Mt. Suribachi. The plan was to move across the island to the west beach in 12 hours. It took 2 or 3 days. Along the way he killed an enemy soldier and confiscated his Belgium made 32 auto pistol "which had tiny Japanese writing on it" he says. Roy carried it the rest of his tour.

Then they moved north towards the center of the island where there was an airfield. He was once caught in a crossfire along the way, but says "it wasn't my time to die". Further north he was ordered to blow up some enemy pill boxes that protected a cave held by the enemy. The cave was large enough to drive a truck into. Roy said there were reports that the enemy had an American made generator in the cave. The objective had to be secured by later that day. He sent two Marines with explosives to do the job at about 0700. They were both KIA.

As acting platoon guide, acting platoon Sergeant, Roy chose to do the job himself. He loaded up with 3 bags hanging on his left shoulder and 3 on his right, filled with C2 explosives. Roy made it a point to tell me that the "Caps were already in" so that he would not waste time when placing the charges. He took 2 men with him. "One was a Sharpshooter from Tennessee," he said. "He shot a lot of squirrels back home."

Roy was in front, low crawling along the trail with the hill rising on one side of him and descending on the other. He did not see an enemy soldier camouflaged below. Roy was past him when the enemy raised up slightly, exposing his head and shoulders. He had his rifle pointed at Roy's chest just 3 or 4 feet away. (remember all the explosives). One of the Marines hollered. Roy turned his head & shoulders to see what he was hollering about. Just then the enemy fired. Roy saw the Marine from Tennessee fire from the hip and "blow the enemy's head off." The enemy's bullet went into Roy's right side, thru his chest and exited the front, left side of his chest near his throat. The bullet left its mark on his left ear as it grazed past it completely missing ALL the C2 and caps. By turning to see who hollered, Roy was in exactly the right position for the bullet to miss causing a bloodbath.

Roy and his men then walked back to the lines (about 75 yards). "As soon as I got there" he says "I crapped out". He remembers some "Big wheels" talking over him and then he passed out. He woke up onboard a ship headed for San Francisco. He earned his Silver Star. Back in the States, Roy eventually rode Broncos, bareback, for fun & money. Today he is visited at the assisted living center by family & friends & local Marines.


We Drove Those 5T's Like Idiots

In May of '65 our unit of 3rd FSR, 3rd MarDiv (Fumble Stumble Regroup) off loaded from the USS Tulare onto Mike boats headed for dry land. Full combat gear, no ammo. About 4 of us were assigned 5T trucks with trailers that we were instructed to deliver to Da Nang Air Base. As our trucks were too heavy to cross a bridge with the main convoy, we crossed the river on a pontoon ferry that delivered us to downtown Da Nang. We were told an escort would show up to take us to the air base. This was about 4pm and after the sun was setting about 8pm, we realized we were forgotten and we better find the base on our own.

Not one of us had ever seen a map of the area, but someone thought maybe the base was on the north side of the city. We saw where the sun went down, so off we went headed north through the center of the city. We drove those 5T's like idiots through those narrow streets barely missing bicycles and people heading what we thought was north, scared as h-ll. Remember, no ammo.

About midnight (that's right, 4 hours of driving) we came to an M48 parked in the middle of the street with its gun barrel pointed at us and surrounded by concertina wire with what turned out to be the base behind it. Since we didn't know the pass word, but spoke English, the tank was moved and we spent the next hour driving around the base looking for our unit.

Amazing, we didn't run out of gas. Needless to say, they never missed us. Would love to hear from anyone involved in that fiasco.

Vernon Martin
Sgt of Marines, '64/'67
Chu Lai in July '65

Lowly Corporal

There is no such thing.

Years ago, around 1949, BLT-6, 1stMarDiv. got a new Bn. C.O.. One of the first things he did was gather all the Commissioned and Non-Commissioned Officers at the 16 Area theater. I had recently become a Corporal after 3 years of trying. All hands were seated in order of rank, Corporals in front with the most senior officers in the rear. The Colonel proceeded to inform us of his general policies, likes and dislikes and how he expected the Battalion to fulfill all of its missions.

He told us how he expected all of his officers and NCOs to perform. He noted that all he could do was issue orders to his officers to be passed down, but he could not personally ensure success. The gist of it was that success in the mission was completely in the hands of the Corporals. They were the commanders closest to the troops who would carry out the mission. Failure of the Corporal could mean failure of the Battalion. That was why he had us seated in front.

In today's parlance, we were the 'Spearpoint'. This was very unnerving to those of us who had just become NCOs. I had been a Corporal about one month. Remember, at that time, a Corporal was an E3, there was no L/Cpl, you went from PFC to Cpl.

So, again, there is no such thing as a 'lowly Corporal', the Cpl. may be at a higher pay grade today, but he/she is still the commander closest to the troops. The mission is in their hands, today more than ever before.

Paul Santiago GySgt(Ret)

Red Friday

Hi Sgt. Grit,

I have been promoting Red Friday Support Our Troops for many years, and have rarely failed to wear my red shirts on Fridays. At one school I started a reward for the top reading students in my classes. I gave each a red shirt with a Support Our Troops yellow ribbon, or similar patriotic design on the front. On the back was lettered "If you are reading this, Thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, Thank a Marine!"

I had someone ask if theirs could say, thank a soldier as the parent was in the Army. I changed it to say, "Thank a Veteran!" That covered all the services. At the school where I last taught, a small one, I bought T-shirts I had made for each staff member, and told them the reason. They proudly still wear red on Fridays, although I am no longer there. (Retired!)

I was a Marine wife for over 10 years, through my husband's two tours in Vietnam. I thank every military person I see for their service. The first time he was publicly thanked was a few years ago by a Vietnamese chef in a restaurant where we were eating I asked him where he was from, and then told him my husband had been there. He was too young to even have been alive alive then, but he thanked Jim for helping his family.

Keep up the great work!
Semper Fi
Bev Harper,
Sorrento, FL

The Last Patrol

This situation happened to a friend of mine. He is now my neighbor and we talk to each other a lot both being Marines. This situation I am referring to happened in Viet Nam near Chu Lai.

My friend was a 60s gunner on a 21 man patrol when they came to a "Y" in the trail. A second lieutenant was leading the patrol despite the fact he had no infantry experience up to that point. He ordered my neighbor and his assistant gunner to scout the left trail. There was some unspoken protest about sending only two and not four up the trail but to no avail. So off they went.

The two Marines approached a clearing to find some small rice paddy fields. They crouched to survey the area. It seemed calm until some slight movement 100 meters away caught their attention. Shots rang out and the gunner went down. His assistant gunner returned fire and was soon joined by others from the patrol and the Corpsman. The wounded Marine was seriously injured in the shin and thigh where automatic fire had passed. His fellow Marines fashioned support for his injured leg with an M-14 so they could move him.

He was first transported to Chu Lai, then Da Nang, and finally Clark Air Force Base. He wasn't going back to Viet Nam. The Corpsman who had first treated him had said, "You got a million dollar wound". He didn't feel the least bit lucky however. He almost lost the leg and to this day uses an insert in his shoe to even his walk.

Many years later while at a Marine Corps reunion he learned more about his past situation. His assistant gunner who had survived Viet Nam told him he had killed the VC that had wounded him not long after. Apparently there had been two enemies secreted in spider holes. There were plenty of spent cartridges around and so it was speculated that they were the ones who had shot at the Marines the day before.

The remarkable thing about the day of the shooting is that the assistant gunner does not remember his gunner getting shot. So, thanks to their conversation, the two Marines learned something from each other about that day.


Right Guard On Fire

Last newsletter, one article was on roaches in Okinawa. I've encountered them rather frequently in my various duty stations, and used a simple method to combat them. When assigned a new billet I would take my wall locker, and spray Right Guard deodorant throughout the inside and bottom of the locker. After about 30 seconds, I used my Zippo to light the Right Guard on fire, and the roaches would scatter in all directions. Weekly applications, minus the fire, kept them away, and my uniforms smelled good.

After checking in to H&S, 3/6 in Lejeune and "cleansing" my wall locker in my usual way the other Marines looked at me with awe and disbelief on their faces, and the next day, most had emptied their lockers and did the same thing.

Never saw another roach while in 3/6, and the squad bay smelled better than before. Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome! Semper Fi!

Viet Nam 1967-68


To comment on the note from MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny):

BLT 2/7 landed on the beaches of Qui Nhon, RVN 7 July 1965. It was Second Battalion, Seventh Marines (Rein). We had along a few tanks, Ontos, artillery pieces. We were put under the Army command of Field Forces Five (FFV). The Army helped us unload the ships that brought us. They had Ducks, which we found amusing after being used to Mike and Papa boats. We sat on the beach for a week or so while a CP was established west of the city. It was 19 miles out on Hwy 1.

On the beach was the Qui Nhon hotel. As you noted the Army officers had pretty much moved in and lived there. Around the hotel were hard-back tents which the lower rates lived in. They all had maids and house-boys. All spit and polish and few guns. This was the French Riviera before the loss at Dien Bien Fu. Beautiful place. The Army had a Tropospheric Scatter antenna nearby, which was the long-haul communications of the day. Really big thing. That is what they wanted protected. But they couldn't get the 7th Cav in until October; so we were conscripted.

After we moved into the jungle, it was a treat to deliver messages to the Army for transmission. We could stop in the hotel and have a hot breakfast. Otherwise, we lived in our shelter halves and ponchos in the jungle with two C-Rat meals a day. The Army did not appreciate that we arrived for breakfast with our M-14's locked and loaded, and smelling of the jungle. But it was only once a week we got to go.

Later, you folks from HMM-161 would pick us up, in that giant grasshopper, to deliver our classified SitRep to the Army communications station in the city. Supposed to be delivered ASAP, but the helo pilots always took an hour to fly that 19 road-miles. They were looking to get shot at by someone so the door gunners could get off a few rounds. Then another hour or so to get me back out to the boonies.

I also got to ride your helos out to where the grunts were on the perimeter (TAOR) on resupply missions, to deliver communications paperwork. We had the grunts along an 88-mile string of hills and those helos had to bring them everything, mostly water in 5-gallon cans, C-rats and ammo. They lived pretty hard out there. Everything that didn't rot away was shredded in the thorny bush. One Marine Battalion over 88 miles.

Then the October monsoons came and washed everything and everybody away. That is just unexplainable. If you weren't there, you can't imagine it.

The 7th Cav replaced us in October and in November '65 we moved to Chu Lai, west of the airstrip. Still in the boonies, but with hardback GP tents.

Scott McClellan (Then L/Cpl)
2082XXX (Boot)

Brother Was MIA

I was stationed at Phu Bai, 2/9, 81 Mortars. My older brother was with 1st Recon Bn at Chu Lai. When time would allow we would take turns and catch a hop back-n-forth to visit each other.

Finally the scare of my life happened around Feb 1967. I received a letter from... with a return address from Gen Westmoreland. My first thought why am I getting a letter from the General. Opening the letter I read the words I dreaded to read. My brother was MIA. I freaked out. This story and many others continued at:


Marine Corps Stories

Miles of TOW Wire


In response to Ddick's statement about Miles of TOW wire lying all over 29 Palms. Yes it was still all over the place in 1989-90. After serving 2 years as a Sea Going Bell Hop, USS Midway CV-41, I was given orders to 1/4 in 29 Palms. Imagine my surprise when I showed up, new family in tow, to find out that 1/4 had been transferred to Camp Pendleton. Luckily it was decided that I would join 1st PLT, India Company, 3 / 7, instead. First order of business was to get my new family settled in the lovely little town of 29 Palms. At that time the closest K-mart was in the town of Yucca Valley about 20 miles away.

Well we got the family settled in true Marine Corps fashion and then it was time to go out and explore the vast open area of one of the largest Live Fire Ranges in the Marine Corps. I got to 3/7 just in time for their CAX in 1989, and was made the SAW Gunner for 1st PLT, 1st Squad. Well we only had enough warm bodies to make up one squad at that time.

My first exercise was a Mechanized movement to contact involving the entire Battalion. It was kind of cool seeing so many Amtracks hauling azs across the desert. We were supposed to attack a simulated enemy base. So there was a large air strike from some F/A 18's and Harriers with 500 lb. booms and such.

Well as many of you may know that when you bomb the crap out of sand and such sometimes, the ground can get so soft that instead of exploding on contact, bombs and mortars will sometimes just impact in the dust and wait for some poor sap to come along and kick them or in this case start shooting at them thinking that they were one of the enemy targets. Luckily the 500 pounder did not go off and take out a lot of Marines that were pouring out of the back of those Amtracks. That was day one of that week.

The next day we were sent out to, if I remember correctly, the Rainbow Canyon area to do dismounted patrols and such. I do not remember how many times you would take 2 or 3 steps forward and then get tangled up in that TOW / Dragon wire. It was hard to see because it was a copper color and would blend in with the ground, and it would not break very easily. You would hear guys cussing up a storm about it, some of us started carrying wire cutters so that we could get ourselves out of it. I also found out that the Amtrackers hated it as well. It would get wrapped up in their tracks and they would have to crawl under the Track and cut all that wire loose. They would also find comm wire wrapped up as well and would have to use an Ax to chop that away from the axles.

The coolest thing about that whole week was when we did an entire Battalion on-line Live Fire at night. Seeing all that Fire Power from all three Rifle & Weapons Companies as well as the Amtracks and a few TOW & Dragons going down range was a sight that I will never forget.

I ended up spending 3 out of every 4 weeks out in the vast training area called 29 Palms over the next year with 3/7 and then 1/7 when they moved up to the Stumps after their West Pac, but that is another story.

G Lindahl
0311 / 6463

Neglected to Give Detailed Instructions

It was late fall of 1968 and 3rd LAMM was loading on an LST at Morehead City, NC, for an exercise on Vieques, PR. We completed loading in the early morning hours and retired to those funny little stacked bunks. Several hours later we were awake because we had to hold on to keep from being thrown out of our bunks. The LST and the rest of the ships had set sail and we were skirting the edge of a tropical storm. Our head compartment was connected to our living compartment by a short passageway and very soon it was covered in vomit, so if you wanted to get to the head you had to navigate the slick floor. Many never made it, they just upchucked on the way and turned around and headed for their bunk. I did not eat for two days and later when I said something to one of the ship's Sailors about how sick we had been, he commented that there had been Sailors sick also.

We survived though and were grateful to finally arrive on Vieques and get on some solid ground. Communications was set up on the highest point on the island to ensure good reception, so our command tent and living quarters tents were pitched and naturally a hole was dug for the outdoor head. A wooden frame was installed over the hole and a tent was put up to cover it all. You had some privacy but it was like 120 degrees in there during the day. After we had been there a week or so, the Gunny hollers for a PFC to report to his tent and proceeded to tell him to take some motor fuel (diesel?) and burn the sh-tter. Well, Gunny obviously neglected to give detailed instructions, such as move the wooden platform and take down the tent before the fuel was lit. We were in our tent when we saw this huge black cloud of smoke and flames shooting up. Turns out the PFC just poured in the diesel and lit her up. It was pretty funny until we saw Gunny and then we all just scattered. Best I can remember we had a new head set up fairly quickly, but I think we got a new sh-tter burner.

Sgt C

To The Rear March

When I got mess duty in boot camp, one of the cooks liked to sing. He was a boot Lance Cpl who did his job, and if you did yours, he left you to it. No hard-azsing. But he sang almost non-stop. Not a bad voice fortunately, but he sang only one song. (Below).

Our Jr. DI didn't call cadence with a yodel. But at times when we were in step, in the groove, he call cadence to the Marines' Hymn.

The yodeling DI who lured other platoons into his cadence does remind me of one of our DI's. They eased back a bit in boot camp and would share some humor. It turns out that one of our DIs was a fairly good mimic. For mostly his, the other DI (Sr was not there) and somewhat to our amusement, one day while we were busily gathered cleaning rifles, another platoon came marching by... of course to their DI's cadence. I'm going to assume these DIs were friends and liked to bust each other's chops... because as they passed by, nicely in step, our DI did a pretty good "to the rear march" in the voice of their DI, causing havoc in their ranks.

Those up front close to their DI knew it didn't come from him, but the some guys in the middle of the pack and rear reacted and some didn't and they went azs over tincups just about in front of us. We thought it was hilarious which further p-ssed off their DI, who was not a happy camper. He eventually got them re-organized and on the way. Our DI got us back in line, but with a rare smile on his face.

Gee But I Wanna Go Home

I don't want no more of the U.S. Marines Gee, but I wanna go, right back to Quantico Gee, but I wanna go home.

They say when you're enlisted, promotions are mighty fine, Well, I'm a godd-mned private, I've been in over nine.

The uniform they give us, they say is sure to fit, We walk along the highway, we look like a sack of sh-t. The shelter half they give us, to keep us from the wet, A friend of mine lay down in one, they haven't found him yet.

The officers they send us can stand up to the worst, You'll find them every weekend, shacked up with a nurse.

The shoes they give the gyrenes, they say are mighty fine, You need a number seven, they give you number nine.

The bedsacks they give you, they say are mighty fine, Well how the H-ll would I know, I never slept in mine.

The craphouse that they give us, is mighty cold and bare, The wind flows through the open seat, and tickles your curly hair.

They say if you're in the Corps, then you're the very best, Well they can take the fighting, and we'll take a rest.

Don Harkness

USS Maurice Rose

Sgt. Grit:

I think the Marine who said he came from Germany on the USS Morris Rose actually sailed on the USS Maurice Rose. It was named after Lt. General Maurice Rose Commanding General of the 3rd Armored Division in WWII. He was the only Division Commander killed in combat while trying to surrender after being stopped by German SS troops outside Paderborn, Germany. He was machine gunned to death.

Donations from men in his unit established a wing in a hospital in Denver which is now the Rose Hospital. Children like my grandson who are born in that hospital are called Rose babies.

He was the son of a Jewish Rabbi who rose from the rank of private to Lt. General. He began the war as a Major and because of his abilities rose quickly through the ranks. He commanded Combat Command B of the 2nd Armored in North Africa and Normandy and was rewarded with his own Division. He led from the front and was reprimanded several times by his superiors for being too far forward.

His 3rd Armored was responsible for stopping the German northern advance during the Battle of the Bulge at Hotton, Belgium. My father was an original member of the 3rd Armored and I was privileged to attend the 49th and 50th reunions with him before he passed away.

Maurice Rose is often called the "Forgotten General". Had he not been killed no telling what he might have accomplished.

Now you are probably asking what this has to do with our beloved Marine Corps, so here goes. General Rose had two sons from two marriages, both named Maurice Rose. The youngest nicknamed Reece was a Chief Criminal Investigator in San Antonio, but the younger Maurice nicknamed Mike was a Colonel in the Marine Corps.

Both grew up not only not knowing their father but neither had met each other until 2002.

Here is a link with photos of Colonel Mike Rose.

Col Mike Rose, USMC

From what I could tell Colonel Rose had a very distinguished career.

Jim Grimes USMC 1969-72


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #3, #9, (SEPT., 2013)

In the last Issue of the Flight Line we talked about the monkeys and the goat that we had at Qui Nhon. I thought I should tell you that Ho Che and Alice loved chewing gum and all you had to do would be to put a stick up to the side of the cage and they would go nut's. I guess I should let you know that Ho Che was also a "s-x addict" and Alice wasn't much better. They were just crazy to watch.

I don't want to go much further without filling you in on our exploits within the village of Qui Nhon and a certain warehouse where the ARMY stored their damaged pallets of beer. There were two Army Sgt's. responsible for this, out of the way, little known facility that I found quite by accident. Plus, we found an Ice House in the down town area. This used to be a fishing port so they had to have an ice house somewhere to pack their catch's in, and also for the ships that would stop there. Ok, now we had beer and ice! All we need is a bunch of thirsty MARINES, and man did we have that. I've got to tell you that finding both of these places was a "God Send".

I bought beer there for so cheap that it was almost a "Give Away". First, I have to explain how this beer got there in the first place. Shiploads of beer and everything else follows the ARMY around like flies follow horses. If a pallet is broken then the cargo goes off to a different location for disposal, well what better way to dispose of beer than to, "Drink It". These two Sgt's had the task of getting rid of the damaged pallets how ever they could. Isn't that the craziest thing that you ever heard of.

Well, what else can I say but only in the ARMY. But, this is only part of that story. These guy's had only been in Qui Nhon for a very short time, but they already knew where the ice house was and were using that on a daily basis. I have to stop and think about this for a minute because I wasn't all that hyped up about buying and using ice made by the Vietnamese because of not having 100 percent faith in the fact that they were friendlies, or not. I could just imagine getting a bunch of ice in my glass, and half of it being acid or some other odorless and deadly chemical. That could really ruin your day. I recall an incident whereas a Soldier went into town for a shave and the barber was not a friendly and used acid as a aftershave. Needless to say, the solder was badly burned and required medical attention for a simple shave.

Anyway, back to the warehouse, one day I was negotiating for an even cheaper price than what I was already paying for beer and the subject of our d-mn near wore out generator came up and I said words to the effect that I wished we had another one. Now, understand that we as a Detachment did not have the luxury to have a generator in our inventory and that's why the ARMY had provided one for us. But, the one we had belonged to the unit that was stationed at the base at Qui Nhon, and not this same unit.

Well, I guess that the ARMY just happened to have this abundance of trailer mounted generators that week and they wanted to give one to everybody that raised their hand. Well, you guessed it, I ended up back at our little tent retreat, next to the Flight Line, with a brand new ARMY generator. It just ran and ran and ran until the new CO, Col. Kew came out one day and looked at it and asked us "Where in the h-ll did this come from? We couldn't lie so we spilled our guts and of course the newly found generator was history. When we took it back to our new found friends they wanted to know what the problem was and couldn't believe that our Commanding Officer wouldn't allow us to have it. "Go figure". I thought that we all worked for the same Govt. I'll type at ya next month.


BTW... re: the Agent Orange and F-4's? Not likely, not likely at all... most of that stuff was sprayed from cargo types, e.g. C-130s... a Phantom would be a severe miss-use of an important asset, and likely could not be configured with sufficient external tanks to justify the mission, etc... gotta call BS on that one...

Now... to the confession. Sufficient years have passed, the originals have been replaced with "Q-span" buildings, fabric shelters are design generations removed from the tent, GP, medium, and those who lived in them have to have become old enough to have some sense of humor... and maybe appreciation for the idea of saving OUR money, so I will finally admit to being the dirty SOB who thunk up the "A-Frame" shelters (you could hardly call them 'buildings', and mostly they were known as "D" huts... either for Desert... or my name...) at 29 Palm's ESB, or 'Camp Wilson' or whatever it is called today... these were built over a period of several months, starting in 1980... and used, I am told, for most of 20 years or so. Ultimately, there were around 80 or so of these shiny hog houses in rows out there in the desert... each 64 feet long, 22 feet wide at the base, etc. (somebody better at trig than me can figure out the center beam height... the rafters were 16' long, cut at 45 degrees top and bottom... top was nailed to the center rib, the bottom to a 2X12 that was pinned with 18" of rebar... the whole thing was covered with sheets of 4'X16' ribbed aluminum from Sears & Roebuck (Roebuck was still around in those days)... dirt floors, too. I know no one who ever bunked in one will believe this, but they were actually a few degrees cooler inside than a GP tent with the sides rolled up.

The Equipment Allowance Pool at the time was tasked with keeping 150 tents, general purpose, medium, poles, center beams and all, in inventory... and the life of a tent was five months, five exercises, or one windstorm, whichever came first... tentage was eating the budget. The first proposal to do something different was returned with some non-negotiable parameters... whatever was to replace tents had to be rudimentary (primitive?), no molly-coddling, etc... these were for training for combat, and no Air Force type cushiness would be allowed. OK... a little work with a drafting board, a calculator, and some balsa wood (never lean over anything you are using CYA super-glue on... the fumes will eat your eyeballs... trust me...) and we had a scale model. The thing was to be built with working parties and hand tools, and had to be simple... so, all the 2X6's were 16 feet long... rafters every four feet, purlins across those every four feet, plywood gussets at the peak, and skinned with the aforementioned aluminum sheets... the ends did require cutting aluminum with hand shears, and for doors... why....we used the sliding canvas curtains from old GP tents. We could build the sleeping space of three GP tents for the price of two, and if the thing lasted even five months, we were ahead... it took a while, and a small test piece had to be built for the first year (only 16' long, vice 64).

When the go ahead, get it done, was issued, I trotted off to the Base Supply Purchasing Officer's Office. He was a nice guy, a Mustang 1st Lt. who had bookshelves full of regulations he had to live by... including one about 'small business'... seems Sears, Roebuck ain't a small business... but they were the only source for the 4X16 aluminum (key to the design), and, it turns out, you don't usually get kiln-dried dimensional lumber by X number of 16', 2X4 Douglass Fir... you get so many thousand board feet... which MAY include some 16'ers... along with other lengths... we got the stuff, (all 16 foot) the Purchasing Officer got an ulcer, might've been looking at a trip to Portsmouth (that's where they keep former supply and/or disbursing officers)... but we got'er done.

Over time, more shelters were built by Reserve Engineer units, some by SeaBEES (those guys had 12" radial arm saws on trailers, screw guns, etc. and could flat knock'em out. They were still being added to when I retired... and took my Beneficial Suggestion check with me... over time, the savings over tents had to run into seven digit numbers... and the 'hog house'? I had recalled that as a lad on an Illinois farm, we had small A-frame shelters in the pasture, called 'farrowing houses'... each held a momma sow and her piglets... sufficient to the need, and economical of materiel... as they say today, the idea was 'scaleable'... and, despite the spacing of the wood, and the aluminum... they will burn... a CAX field range proved it...


Lost And Found

Sgt. Grit,

In my possession I have a diary or a log book from Lt. Alfred Russ Pilotte, 1944, WWII, B.E.S. 541, Marine Air Group, on the Island of Peleliu in combat action. It could be too late but I am looking to see if there are any Marines on duty. If you can help me it would be appreciated. I have a whole year of combat events very interesting.

Cpl. Ted Hetland,
Plt. 23, 1957,
Newport R.I.

Looking to find two buddies that we're stationed in An Hoa '69/'70 Pete Moritz & Ruben Reyes.

Cpl Ron chamberlain

All you grunts out there, OoRah! Good reading about your service time. Let me hear from someone back in the old times... MT&MCo, MS&MBn, 1st Service Regiment, FMF Camp Pendleton and all parts of California. Was time of plenty, except promotions, no wars... 1958-1962...

Cpl Waldo Search

May the hand of a MARINE always be Near You. "Semper Fi" The FLAG does not fly because of the wind that blows it. The FLAG flies because each Soldiers last breath blows by it.


I am trying to locate some brothers from a long time ago... I thought by putting this letter and picture in your newsletter one of your readers just might recognize one or more of these guys. This picture was taken in the Philippines during Operation Strongback in 1957 while with Kilo Btry, 4th Battalion, 12th Marines.

From L-R is Noffsinger, Maxwell, Hadley, MacNamara, and Miceli... If anyone has information about any of these guys I'd sure like to hear from you... Thank you.

Howard W. Kennedy
USMC 1956/1962


"Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence."
--Leonardo da Vinci

"There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."
--Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

"Freedom is not free, but the U.S. Marine Corps will pay most of your share."
--Ned Dolan

"You people are lower than whale sh-t... and that's at the bottom of the ocean!"

"Rise and shine, another day to serve the Corps!"

"You people are too slow, it you were in combat you'd be dead!"

God Bless the American Dream!
Sgt Grit

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