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Sgt Grit Newsletter - 03 JAN 2013

In this issue:
• With All Due Respect
• A Little Moto
• Words To A Song

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This should bring back a memory or two for you Vietnam-era Vets!

Larry Woolverton

With All Due Respect

I met another one of our bravest and best Marines the other day at a Christmas cantata here in Waynesboro. I could tell he was a Marine just by his carriage and persona before I saw his cover. Then I had to shake his hand and introduce myself. His cover said WW2, Korea, Vietnam Veteran and was replete with numerous embroidered ribbons. Floyd Maurice (Reese) Leath is his name. He lives here in Wayne County and has promised to be more visible and to participate in the many Veteran's activities I do in the county.

So many of "my" Marines have stripes and hash marks to their elbows but alas, they treat me, a lowly WM Corporal, with all due respect. Love these guys.


Not A Tartan Dealer

The item on the Leatherneck Tartan was pretty close. I started the effort, submitted the original design, and supplied about half the funding. The rest came from other Marines, including my friend Jack Rosenau (his late wife, Jean, was also a WWII marine - wonderful people). Jack, indeed supplied clips from his uniform seams so they would get the colors close.

We tried for blue and green from the uniform trousers as ground colors, with a scarlet and gold cross check. Rory MacLeod was not a financial backer, but provided suggestions on the design, some of which I took, some I changed in my design. It is registered as an open tartan, so I get no royalties. Anyone can make and sell it. I am not a tartan dealer, but I'm glad the writer liked it.

Robert A. Hall
USMC '64-'68
UMCR '77-'83

Vietnam Service Ribbon Knife

Sgt Grit,

I want to show you what a guy in Southern Missouri did for me. I sent a plain Jane Kershaw Leek to him and this is what I got back. The handles are Culpepper dyed bone and I'm sorry, I don't know how he applied them to the knife other than the obvious screws. The Viet Nam Service Ribbon design for the custom handles was inspired by some SFO (Special Factory Order) Case knives Shepherd Hills Cutlery was selling.

I'm thrilled to death with this knife. It's one of a handful that are the centerpiece of my collection (accumulation).

Forged on the anvil of discipline.
The Few. The Proud.
Jerry D.
USMC 1962-1966
RVN 1965-1966

"OFFICERS", Making simple sh-t harder since 1775.

A Little Moto

Merry Christmas Sgt. Grit!

There is no real category in which to put these pics of our Marine Corps family Christmas Cookies... but you could say we're a little Moto and the Corps is near and dear to our hearts. This is our last Christmas as an ACTIVE duty Corps family, so it's a little bitter sweet for us. Enjoy!

Avien Bost

Words To A Song

My name is Henry L. Young Sr., USMC, 1964 to 1969. I was stationed at Camp Lejeune, Oct 1964 to Aug 1965. Viet Nam, Sept 1965 to Oct 1966, and Jan 1969 to Apr 1969.

I am looking for the words to a song we used to sing in Ammo Co. It was sung to the tune of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier. The first verse was "Born on a shelter half at Camp Lejeune, eating C-rations from a plastic spoon, my father was a Gunny my mother was a Bam, that's why I'm in the shape I am"... Chorus... "Chesty, Chesty Puller, the Marine who knows no fear"... If there is any Marine Vet out there who knows more verses to this song I can be reached at: hyoungsr[at]hotmail.com

Thank you and Semper Fi.

Henry L.Young Sr.
USMC 209----

We Were There

Sgt Grit,

Enjoy reading your newsletters and it really makes me reminisce at times. Dec '71 we were singing Jingle Bells, Shotgun Shells, Bengalies In The Grass.

This was when a place in East Pakistan had a revolt and a 3-day "Police Action" which then became Bangledesh. I was TAD From "The Rock" to FMF/USS Tripoli (LPH 10) HMH462 along with a PLT of MEU's for 'Diplomatic Evacuations" at the fall of East Pakistan. We were sitting in the Bay of Bengal off of Turkey in flight gear 24/7 - that's why some Airwingers have zippers in their flight boots.

Ironic that we are still in that part of the world today. What once was East Pakistan is now Bangeldesh and what was the "HOT" island of Ceylon is now Sri Lanka. However our SRBs never mentioned that we were Ever There, but all MARINES know that in so many places, We Were There or D-mn Close By.

Semper Fi and Merry Christmas to all who remember that excursion; and to all Marines wherever They Are Not!

RM (DINGUS) Dinwiddie
221---- SGT '69 - '75

Short Rounds

A tribute to two of my Marine Comrades from 3/7/1.
Sgt George P Hoffman of Wisconsin
Cpl. Barry Leyendecker of Beaumont Texas

At Ease Marines, After 45 years of us staying in contact, it's like losing part of my FAMILY!


Cpl. Tony Fialkowski
USMC Scout/Sniper Association
CL (Combat/Life)
USMC 1963-1966

Bedtime in boot camp.
"Hit the racks maggots!"
"Sir Yes Sir!"
"God Bless Chesty Puller - Where ever You are!"
" And F--- Ho Chi Minh"
"Kill Kill Kill"

Frank Fillebeck
Sgt 1969 – 1973

Our Marine Captain is celebrating on his first tour in Afghanistan.

We miss him so. God speed.

Merry Christmas to all!

A very proud mother of a Marine Huey Pilot
Patrice Link

I spent a Christmas on ship although it was hot and we slept on the deck, it was so beautiful to look at the stars and Christmas tree that somehow came aboard.

The cosmos were so clear that you could see thousands of those twinkling visions, that was Christmas 1957. Merrry Christmas to all and especially to my Marine bothers: Artie LePorin PLT 227 (1956), Sgt Butats, Bean, and Larimer - P.I.

I'd like to take time to say Happy Holidays to all and don't forget 1967 and Kilo 3/26, Never Forget Them.

Pat Tesche
60 GUNN.

Bushido Warrior Mentality

Sgt. Grit,

I was USMCR '57 to '63, a Cold War Marine, later I served as a Los Angeles Co. Sheriff's Deputy with my last 24 years assigned to SEB/ESD, Special Weapons Team and Paramedic Air Rescue.

My youngest son, Mike, told me when he was 15 y/o, that he wanted what I had, the camaraderie and the brotherhood. (That's pretty much what he grew up with, the Marine Corps and a SWAT Team). He joined the Marines right out of high school and made it into 3rd ANGLICO, spending six weeks with the SEALs in Coronado to get his MOS and then LASD when he was 19. He went to Iraq with 150 other deputies from the department in January 2003.

Mike was part of an 18-man British Spec-Ops Team (think Marine Force RECON) and was operating way behind enemy lines when the war began. Upon his return almost eight months later, he called, asked where I was working security, then came out to see me. At that time, I was working at WAMU Bank in Anaheim Hills with a retired LAPD undercover Narco guy who had been a Corpsman with the Marines in Nam.

Mike came out with a little vial of sand and a box that was obviously a bottle. I asked him what the vial of sand was and he said, "My first engagement, dad. We were right up against an Iraqi Division and got jumped by an Iraqi Company sized force of about 200-300 guys." My partner and I both said "Jesus, what happened?" Mike said, "We killed them all, dad, we burned them down." (Mike was 23 y/o at this time, and all I could see was the little kid that used to go everywhere with me riding on my shoulders). This little 15-man British Spec-Ops Team with 3 United States Marines, wiped out a company sized force of bad guys.

I then opened the box and it was a bottle of Johnny Walker Blue. Mike said that was for everything we had ever talked about and everything I had taught him, because it had righteously saved his f-ckin' life over there. That old SEB/ESD attitude and bushido warrior mentality.

Well, even though the bank was still open and we were still working armed security in the parking lot, we cracked that bottle of high-dollar scotch, I got some Styrofoam cups, and all three of us toasted each other, and all combat vets, slapping each other on the back and blowin' snot bubbles with the tears rollin' down our cheeks. And, that's all I have to say about that...

PS - The Team that Mike was with was designated Lightning 3/4, and they sustained 40 percent casualties during their combat operations in the field.

Saepius Exertus, Semper, Fidelis, Frater Infinitus,
Mike Kennard, Cpl of Marines, 161----

Amtracs and Ontos

I arrived in K-Bay in January 1961, and after a month on mess duty I reported to the "tractor park" for training in Amtracs. Across the main road from the tractor park was an area used for our driver training, the brush was around 15 feet high with roads running through it. Coming rapidly around a corner one day I was stopped short by a strange vehicle that also came to a sudden stop about 20 feet away facing me. I was looking down the muzzles of six giant (106mm) recoilless rifles.

That was my first meeting with an Ontos and it was a memorable one. Up the beach from the tractor park was a large landing area complete with bleachers that were used for public viewings of mock landings. The Amtracs would bring the grunts onto the beach then the Tracs would go down the beach, where we would climb on top of the tractors and watch the show. The Grunts would assault a sandbagged bunker built out in front of the stands. In one of these shows a "Rocket Man" came up to about 100 yards of the bunker and put the first round through the embrasure, blowing it into a smoking pile of debris. A "Flame Man" came forward and could only char what remained of the ruined bunker.

This "Rocket Man" was a friend of mine, L/CPL D and the best Rocketeer in the 4th Marine Regiment, the remarkable thing was he wore Coke bottle glasses; he was blind as a bat without them! After this rather anticlimactic demonstration of firepower from the Grunts they brought an Ontos up the beach, it turned and aimed at a group of rocks about 500 yards off shore. They fired about three pops from the .50 cal. spotting rifle and as the third round found the range all six of the 106's went off with a loud crack, throwing a unbelievably large tongue of flame from the front and a billowing cloud of dust and sand from the back.

You could actually see the rounds flying through the air and they took a rather large chunk out of the rocks with a massive explosion. Impressive to say the least! I remembered those six rifles pointing directly at me from about 20 feet away and just shuddered.

CPL E4 Selders

Question for DDICK: What MOS did the ONTOS crewmen have? Were they Infantry or Artillery?


Casey T. Bazewick, Sr., defender of Bataan and Corregidor, Liberator of Seoul, reported to his new duty station guarding the gates of heaven on 3 December 2012.

Wet Behind The Ears

This took place around the summer of 1967 when VMFA-334 had just received their new F-4Js. I was a new, wet behind the ears LCpl fresh out of 'A' School and working on the first aircraft of my Marine Aviation career. My job was to assist a Sgt with replacing the generator on a C-117 (R4D).

A Phantom began its rollout so I turned around to watch. The aircraft lifted off, went nose high, flamed out, turned 180 degrees, landed backwards and exploded. This all happened close to the crash crew so they were there in an instant. Word was the RIO had punched out and received a broken leg or arm but the pilot stayed with it and walked away.

Driving to work a few days later, I saw it hauled away on a flatbed trailer. It was covered in soot from the RIO seat back but otherwise looked fine.

Wayne Stafford
MCAS El Toro


Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
Vol. #3, #6, (June, 2013)

I'm going to relate just two more stories regarding my experiences with the CH-37 "Deuce" and, then I 'm going to move on. While we were down at Roosevelt Roads and, after the Aircraft was fixed we, of course, were required to take it on a test flight to check out all the systems, because the aircraft had been parked there for sometime. Well, we got all fired up and took off.

While we were flying out over the surrounding fields close to the Airfield Installation, we decided we should do a little clean up inside the aircraft so, one of the mech's, not I, found a old mason jar with some "Day Glow" (Orange Paint) in it. Now, apparently it had been in the A/C for some time and, it was no longer needed so, the one who found it just tossed it out of the aircraft. Well, apparently no one gave any thought to where it would land or, what it would hit. Now, I should also add that we were on our final approach to the landing pad and we continued until we were on the ground.

All was well, and good and the pilot said that he wanted to "go around the patch once more". We, in the belly had nothing to say about it, so we just continued in or efforts to get some of the junk that had accumulated together, to off load once we got back to the base again. We lifted off and, went outbound from the base and made our 180 degree turn and on the return trip the pilot keyed his mic and started to laugh. At that point he said, "did anybody see that Day Glow Cow on the last trip in?" We looked out and, there it was. A cow grazing out in the field apparently got splattered with the thrown out paint when it hit the ground and, was still grazing just like nothing every happened.

What a "LAND MARK" navigational aide. I just wonder what other pilots thought when they saw this cow. We naturally all had a good laugh and, the word got around pretty fast about the "Day Glow Cow".

The next and, last part (Honest) of my H-37 experiences was when we went back out to the carrier during the Cuban Crisis to head North to New River, we were parked next to the island on the deck because there was one extra H-37 on board and that was us. We had to stand watch at night to ensure the A/C's safety. Now, I know that statement doesn't make a whole lot of sense but that was what we were told. We stood guard up on the O-3 level which looked down on the Helo. Now, I submit to you what the hell were we to do if we had a problem? "Call the Cpl of the Guard". I can just here him saying, "What the hell am I supposed to do?"

Anyway, we ran into some bad weather and the ship was rolling quite profusely. I will tell you that the H-37 has 4 tie down points and, we were using what is known as Hurricane tie downs on all points. Every once in awhile you could hear one of the deck tie downs snap and, that meant that it would have to be replaced. This required the man on watch to go down from his post on the 0-3 level and, secure a rope around his waist and venture out on the deck and replace the broken tie down. It also required that someone else would have to assist because venturing out on the deck in the storm alone was not a smart move.

We also had cargo straps holding the rotor blades in the racks that were attached to the side of the aircraft. I don't remember if the Cuban Missile Crisis was over at this time or not but I think that the storm was while we were cruising in the vicinity of Cat Island and in several days were in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands for a couple of days. That's where we'd load up with some booze to take back to the "Lucky devils" that didn't have to make this expedition.

Humble Opinion

In response to "Laying at Attention":

SSgt Whimple - I love that you did it (the Hymn on the rack), and you carried it to your future Marine recruits. I am sure each one of them remembers that "night-night" serenade (mine was "God Bless Chesty Puller wherever you are"... he had passed recently). Thank you for your service as a Drill Instructor in our Corps. You and I share similar years and similar jobs in the Corps.

I take exception to you wanting to review your son's papers out of concern what they will teach him in a skill to serve him... no matter what they offer him in training, it will never eclipse what he learns in boot camp. That is a forever change coming from the men like you, who will train them, discipline them, and show them the road that will serve and guide their character and lives until the day they leave this earth.

In my humble opinion, better a trained Grunt, than a skilled air traffic controller in the Air Force (and my money is on the "grunt" every time, God bless 'em... my son better be picking up a weapon, not a phone if things get ugly).

If you want him to learn a trade, Community College is a better, and safer option (BTW... I was a Community College Engineering Instructor, that is a great way to learn and get started on a career). If you want him to experience life at the best it can offer him...

Sgt of Marines
Sgt Hessler
"It was my honor to serve my country and wear the uniform of a United
States Marine."

Out Of Idle Curiosity

Back in the day... late 50's, early 60's, the Corps had a few 'HARB's... Heavy Artillery Rocket Batteries, which were equipped with the "Honest John" solid fuel missile, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead... special 5-ton truck with a ramp to elevate for firing, (truck had to be re-painted every time a missile was fired from it)... Firing Drill, or 'Service of the Piece' (artillery talk, there...) involved some complicated rigamarole... everything done by the numbers, in a specific sequence, by Marines wearing different colored helmets (actually, liners for the M-1 helmet... multi-purpose... MP's had their versions with white paint, gold/red stripes, etc.)... one of the Batteries at MCB Twentynine Palms was going to get to shoot one, for real, only with a training warhead... this being a BFD, there were many, many dignitaries in the bleachers, and with a narrator telling the tail, the truck moved into position, and different color helmet types began doing all sorts of things to get ready... install the tail fins, check this, verify that... all very impressive, right down to the "fire" command. (firing involved a 'hell box'... that plunger thingy so beloved in western movies). The solid fuel motor ignited... and the rocket went down-range... sorta... seems that somehow, the devices that dogged the rocket to the launch rail were still dogged down. The thing didn't get too far, what with several tons of truck still being attached to it... truck needed a little more than paint that time... (as related to me by Major Hiram Crosby... who had been in a HARB there...)

By 1967, the things were no longer in the Marine Corps inventory... but two of them were mounted, vertically (no truck/launcher) on the either side of the front gate at 29 Palms (different place than where it is now, and the base has extended some south toward the curve on Condor Road)... they looked good! Then one day, just out of idle curiosity, a member of EOD happened to get on his hands and knees, and look up inside the rocket's tail... to find live rocket motors intact. They weren't there much longer after that (around 1968?)... gate closed, cranes, big trucks... all sorts of goings-on. Somewhere out there may be an archived picture from the OP (Observation Post), the base newspaper... The Provost Marshall's office was just inside the gate, and from Google Earth, appears to still be there... the round parking lot remains in front of the building as a reference point for us old coots...

OK... senility has moved on from proceeding at a gentle canter to a full-fledged gallop... as pointed out in the 12/12 newsletter... "bunk" as in 'Junk On The'... has been around a long time, but in my best Okinawan mama-san patois... "I'm forget"... there is yet another from the days of inspections in the barracks, which involved only one's 782 gear, neatly laid out in specified order, and probably as pictured in black and white in the Guidebook For Marines, umpteenth edition... that was unofficially known as "Things on the Springs"...

For those old enough to have been issued both a bunk/rack and a U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1, with bayonet... the bayonet had a use in making up one's rack... if the second blanket was not installed as a 'dust cover' over the pillow area, (and even if it was...) there was to be ten inches of bottom sheet (hospital corners) exposed, and the top sheet was to be folded with the top blanket, so that there was a four-inch band of white across the bunk/rack... ten inches from the top end. The bayonet had... ten inches of blade... and four inches of handle. Bayonets as issued in the 50's might have different shapes... the newer design would have the 'blood groove' stopped short of the point... the older version, although having the same 'drop point', would have the blood groove all the way to the end. These were WWI issue, originally about 18" long, that had been ground back to the shorter WWII length by some ordnance depot...

The best blankets had not only USMC boldly printed in black smack in the middle, but also a black band at either end... others were just olive drab... and, I think, all were 100 percent wool. Wool has one aspect that no synthetic can match... it will still be warm, even if wet (with rain, dumb-ss... if I need elucidate on the dampness)

Gunny of my acquaintance used to allow as how he was headed for quarters, where he would encounter his "double-breasted, long-haired, bow-legged, bed-thrashin', bunkie"... somehow, 'rackie' just wasn't going to work in that construct...



"What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?"
--Thomas Jefferson

"Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in larger ones either."
--Albert Einstein

"Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack."
--George S. Patton Jr.

"Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities... because it is the quality which guarantees all others."
--Winston Churchill

"There is no liberty to men who know not how to govern themselves."
--Henry Ward Beecher

"Being ready is not what matters. What matters is winning after you get there."
--LtGen Victor H. Krulak

"Marines I see as two breeds, Rottweilers or Dobermans, because Marines come in two varieties, big and mean, or skinny and mean. They're aggressive on the attack and tenacious on the defense. They've got really short hair and always go for the throat."
--RAdm "Jay" R. Stark, USN, 10 Nov. 1995

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

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

"Happy New Year!"

Fair winds and following seas
Sgt Grit

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