Sgt Grit Newsletter - 27 FEB 2014

In this issue:
• Dog Food
• About A Dozen Push-Ups
• It Was Like Christmas

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Assistant CMC shoveling driveway

Picture of Gen. Paxton, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps! Leadership by example! Oohrah!

Surely he would not have a junior Marine hold an umbrella to protect him from the rain. Shoveling snow may seem mundane and ordinary, but No God complex.

Gen. Paxton Shovels His Own Driveway



Guam beaches during WWII

GySgt Roussea, Top, and his Lt. in Vietnam hootch

Being too d-mn old to cut my toe nails any more I have a pedicure whenever needed. The gal that does the Pedicure is Vietnamese, I asked where she was from and she told me DaNang and I mentioned I had been in 1st Recon. She told me about going home again for the first time some years ago and going home again just a few months ago. She told me to go to, DaNang on and take a look at how it is now. I mentioned BaNa and she said go to BaNa, DaNang, and see how it turned out, China Beach, DaNang, I went home and was swept away with what I saw. Now I ain't one to go visiting places I had been where I had to carry a weapon even to the head, and in all the years since I left the Marine Corps the only place I happened to visit since I retired was Guam. I was returning to the states after a visit to Japan for business reasons and the plane stopped in Guam and I had a couple hours to look about. Christ what had been a barren beach with all the palms reduced to splinters was now a spot for Japanese Honeymooners and the hotel was fabulous looking. The pictures show Guam during WWII and the sad looking beaches, the other picture shows me, Top and the Lieutenant having a beer at a hootch on Vietnamese side of China Beach in 1968 or so. The mama-san tried to give us her baby to bring back to the states, I guess she already knew how the d-mn war would end.

GySgt. F. L. Rousseau, USMC Retired

Dog Food

When I was in HMM-261 (1962-64) we had a Sgt Connelly who had been a DI, as well as few other former DI's in the squadron as well. One day I heard a young Corporal call Sgt Connelly, "Hey Sarg!" Sgt Connelly whirled around and as former DI's always seem to do glared down in distain at the young Corporal and said, "Do I look like a can of Dog Food to you?" I am a Sergeant and that is how you will address all Sergeants! At that time there was a very popular dog food called "SARG". I've never forgotten that and after I gained my own Sergeant stripes I never allowed anyone to call me "Sarg" either!

Semper Fidelis,
DB Wright
'59-'74, former GySgt

Getting A Whole Lot

I was never issued a Ka-Bar, but on one of my last days on active duty as I was turning in gear to the Gunny at Company supply, he gave me a Ka-Bar to take home. That really meant a lot to me. However, like the dumbsh-t I was in college after the Marines, I left it on a rock at my camp site when backpacking in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison River. Sad to say, that wasn't the last bit of gear I ever left in the field. That being said, I never let a loss of "stuff" prevent me from completing my field tasks in 35 years of being a field geologist, something I got from being a Marine. I have to be honest here and admit that I have received much more in life from my service in the U.S. Marine Corps than I ever felt I gave the Marines in return during my active duty service. Kind of like giving a little and getting a whole lot more in return, and that continues to this day.

Semper Fi, Marines, and thanks for everything.

Robert Dickerson
Cpl, USMC, '69-'71

Blue Cover

Blue Dress Blue Cover

Yes, there was a purpose for those loops on the Blues blouse. In the winter, the Blues were worn with a blue cloth belt and blue cap cover. The belt was secured to the loops with a 3" long tab on each side. The tab was passed through the loop and buttoned. The white belt was worn covering the loops, unlike today where the belt is worn through the loops. The blue cover and belt were discontinued sometime in 1948 or 1949. Attached is a photo of my younger brother taken January 1948. I only got to wear that uniform once when I went home for Christmas 1947, it was not authorized in the Pendleton-San Diego area. I still have the blue belt.

The question was asked about Camp Talega. That may have been Tent Camp 3, there was a 4, but I don't recall which was which. Tent Camp 1 was Las Pulgas, San Onofre was 2. As a bit of ancient history, both 1 and 2 were reopened after WW2 by BLT-6 (6thMar). We moved to Tent Camp 1 from 16 Area in the summer of '49, while the insides of the barracks were remodeled. A month or so later, we moved to Tent Camp 2 while BLT-7 (7thMar) moved to 1. The move from Pulgas to San Onofre was executed as a tactical column up Basilone Road. In both cases we displaced a lot of rattlesnakes and other wildlife from those huts.

GySgt. P. Santiago

Found Myself Face Down

Semper Fi, Sgt. Grit:

Gunny Rousseau's comment in the last newsletter reminded me of an incident right after I got back from Nam.

When I got out, I went back to work at the small factory I had worked at before serving. U. S. Terminals in Madeira, Ohio fronted a main road that had a slight incline. Within a week of re-starting my job, I was in the parking lot after work going to my car. It had just snowed and then warmed up during the day so the lot was filled with about 6" of wet slush. A truck going down the frontal road backfired loudly. Without thinking, I found myself face down in that slush and had all the other guys from my shift laughing at me as I got back up drenched.

Bill Reed
RVN '68-'69

Helmet Cover

I was with 1st Bridge Co., 7th Engineer Bn. We mounted out and left the states on June 1st, 1965 and headed for Okinawa. We were on Okinawa until mid-August when we loaded ourselves and our equipment on an LST and headed south, but that's another story. While on Okinawa, I got the bright idea to have a helmet cover made from the tiger stripe camo that was popular with the ARVNs. The tailor on Okinawa did a wonderful job, and for all I know, I was the only Marine with a tiger stripe helmet cover. Oddly enough, no one ever told me to change back to the original. I was also the only one in the company that had a select fire M-14. When I got to Nam, I ran into a grunt that had selector switches for sale, .25 cents. I had gone to armorer's school and knew what the switch was for so I bought one and installed in on my rifle. I was also the only one in the outfit that had bi-pods for the M-14. I still have the bi-pods and I've seen them at gun shows and they go for about $250.00. Those same bi-pods will also fit on an M1 Garand.

By the way, when I was in North Carolina, everybody on base referred to the locals as "Grits". Three days in North Carolina was enough to make me ask if I could go back to Nam. They wouldn't let me go unless I extended for another year, and at the time, I didn't really want to do that.

Thank you for a great newsletter, Sgt. Grit.

Orlando La Rosa
Sept. '65 - Sept. '67
1371 / 2111

About A Dozen Push-ups

Sgt McCollum during inspection

Mike Benfield during inspection

On graduation day, we wore trops with ties (field scarves) for the grand occasion. We were marched over to the parade field and as soon as we were on the blacktop, Sgt. McCollum ordered us to halt and get down for push-ups. Nobody had any idea why. The asphalt was rather hot and our ties dragged the ground with each pushup. My main concern was my spit-shined dress shoes, and I made sure to keep the toes from being scratched. We only had to do about a dozen pushups so it wasn't all that bad but it sure was a surprise.

Thanks to Sgt. Grit for making these communications possible.

Semper Fidelis and oohrah,
Mike Benfield

Cut Into Your Throat

In a previous newsletter, C. Walters expressed his opinion about what he thought was the worse uniform. I agree with him re. one thing... khakis. The trousers wrinkled easily, but the worst part was the shirt. The d-mn things had to be starched and that stiff collar cut into your throat and scratched like h-ll. By the way... does anyone else out there remember the failed experiment in '55 or '56 of the ascot-looking green field scarf, i.e. akin to what doggies were wearing at the same time.

Also, a very comfortable winter set was a long-sleeve green flannel shirt worn with the khaki tie. Recall wearing same at Camp Gifu, Japan, with HqHq3rdMarDiv in '54.

Semper Fi,

Bob Rader, Sgt. #140xxxx

It Was Like Christmas

Got my Ka-bar in March 1969. I was healing from a leg wound I got on Dewey Canyon. I was PO'd when they sent me to the armorer's hooch to clean Medevac rifles in Quang Tri. I must have cleaned 20 rifles. I finished up and the armorer walked out. I asked if we were done, he said, "yes." I spotted a case of brand new, in the wrapper, Ka-Bars. I stuffed 6 in my belt, covered them with my utility jacket and walked out. When I got back to the bush, it was like Christmas. I figured they were a lot more useful in the bush than in a crate! Oh yeah, on 3/17/69 the day I got hit, Kilo 3/9 went down to 29 men in the field.

I bought my dress blues, second hand on Treasure Island, when I was being separated. Somehow the figure $33 comes to mind. This was my going home uniform, no civvies for me. God help the azshole that would give me any Sh-t. No problems at Newark Airport, greeted by family and friends.

Semper Fi,
Adam "Wally" Mackow
K-3/9 '68-'69

Call Signs

Call signs of Hq. 2Bn. 11th Marines; Beach Nut, Head Cold and another one I don't remember of my 13 months as Cpl. 2531, Dec. 1967- Jan. 1969. My personal call sign on the BS freq. was Sunset, being a Hollywood MARINE. Plt. 1135...

Michael Felch 2296xxx

Looking for: Kevin Stafford & George Abbott

Seabags From 2 And 3

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why Marines graduating from recruit training during Vietnam weren't issued Dress Blues. Most had orders to WestPac and they were too expensive to issue, especially if you didn't make it home. There were 80,000 to 84,000 Marines operating in the I Corps area at any given time between '65 and '69. Do the math. Sea bags were stored in Butler buildings at Camp Hansen Transit Facility in Okinawa. Those supply guys stationed at Camp Butler, which encompassed Camp Hansen, had their hands full rifling through sea bags of Marines who were sent to the big pond. You had three ways in which to leave Nam, (1) you finished your 13-month tour of duty, hoping to leave with half your marbles, (2) wounded so severely and winding up in a U.S. Naval Hospital back in the world or (3) in a box. Just think of all those sea bags from 2 and 3 that were left at Camp Hansen. How many do you think had Dress Blues in them? The Dress Blues for the combat vets were the Dickeys tied behind the back when you had your picture taken in boot camp after the DI slapped you in the back of the head to make you look tough. We had our jungle utility uniform and the seagoing bell hops had their Blues. If you stayed in you may have purchased a set of Blues, but as they say, the uniform doesn't make you any different or better or even a Marine for that matter. I did not enlist in the Corps for the dress uniform as so many others also didn't, but to earn the TITLE.

Joe Alvino
Sgt., USMC

Fire Mission Over

Sgt. Grit,

I just started reading this week's (13 February 2014) issue and paused at your list of call signs early on the page. I recognized one of them--"Basketball". No major connection, but a "memory jogger".

During Operation Desoto, in and around the Duc Pho District, from 27 January to 9 April 1967, I was the artillery Forward Observer from India Battery, 3/11, assigned to support Lima Company 3/7 for almost six months. We, along with India 3/7, were helo-lifted in to the Duc Pho area the day before the remainder of 3/7, with its attached units, landed to officially begin the "Op." Lima landed on a hill called "Nui Dang," that rose out of a field east of the town of Duc Pho. India landed on another hill, whose name I don't remember, several "clicks" south of us.

In the pre-op briefing, we were told that the area was the birth-place of a high North Vietnam official or officer (General Giap?--don't remember, exactly) and that it contained a heavy "enemy presence." Lima was initially to occupy the top of the hill, replacing a group of South Vietnam troops who just set up on the hill and did nothing on the ground below them. Turns out they had pretty-heavily booby-trapped the hill around their positions. Some Marines found out the hard way, I was told.

After the rest of 3/11-reinforced landed, we stayed on top of the hill for a couple of days, then provided security for the battalion HQ. On 1 February, we became a "roving" company, and got to see the area around the district pretty thoroughly.

One night I was monitoring the "call-for-fire" net when I heard (in a whisper, from a recon Marine): "Average India, Average India, this is Basketball, Basketball, fire mission, over."

Reply from inside the well-lighted Fire Direction Center--not whispering: "Uh, this is India over"
Slightly louder whisper: "Cool-it, man! Cool it! This is Basketball--fire mission: grid-xxxxxx, direction: xxxx, adjust fire, over."

Reply--not so loud, now--repeating the info.

A few years ago, I bought a paperback book titled First Recon-Second To None, written by Paul R. Young. It turns out that he was with "Basketball," at the time, a member of the Basic School class that I might have been in, if I hadn't needed an extra semester of college to make up for two failed classes during my first year.

I spent more time "out with the grunts" of Lima 3/7 than I did with my two parent batteries: India, and later, the headquarters unit of 3rd 8-Inch Howitzers. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything--except for more time to get to know my (relatively) new bride. (We were married at the Basic School on 23 July 1966, went to Fort Sill for two month of artillery officer school, then home on leave for a month before I reported in to the First Marine Division at Da Nang on 4 December. At least we did get a delayed five-day honeymoon for $5 a night, at old Fort Deruse (sp?) on the island of Oahu, Hawaii (1-5 August of '67) right after I was transferred to 3d-8".

Semper Fi!

Tom Downey
Once a Captain, USMCR; Always a Marine

Khe Sanh Corpsman

Doc Antoine on Moto Run at MCRD San Diego

When I was a US Navy Hospital Corpsman assigned to the Marine Corps in Khe Sanh, Viet Nam, I herd many of stores about their Boot Camp experience from the guys in my Platoon.

Last year I had the honor of doing the Boot Camp Challenge obstacle course race, at MCRD San Diego, and had the time of my life. There were 60 of the base DI's to motivate us the through the 3 mile course. OOH RAH!

It was great to finally see the famous place I have heard so much about. Saw companies of recruits out on the grinder doing their stuff, and got to see most of MCRD. Now when I read about your Boot Camp on this web page I can picture it much better.

Doc Antoine HM2
B-1/26 1967-68

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego

Meshachs hospital ticket

Meshachs treatment documents

Sgt Grit,

Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are men recorded in the book of Daniel, Chapters 1–3, Who faced the fiery furnace.

This story is about Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego Reese. Three brothers, born in Wales and immigrated to the U.S. They too faced a firey furnace, known as the American Civil War. Abednego is my Great-Great Grandfather. Abednego and Shadrach enlisted in the Union Army and served honorably.

Meshach is a United States Marine, called to a Higher Duty Station in 1871. His service was brief, about 10 months. Attached are some documents found in the National Archives in Washington D.C.

I am hopeful that other Marines find some details of their ancestors to brag about. It may be difficult to read, but Mesach had a heart condition which caused him to expire at an early age.

How many Marines have received whiskey as a part of their treatment in a U.S. Naval Hospital?

Again difficult to read (isn't that always the way with doctor's handwriting?) It looks like he served aboard the U.S.S. Brandy (wine) for a short time.

Ken Martin, Cpl
RVN '68-'69

Original data: Hospital Tickets and Case Papers, compiled 1825‒1889. ARC ID: 2694723. Department of the Navy, Records of the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Record Group 52. National Archives at Washington, D.C.

Work Or Pleasure

Sgt Grit,

At the morning briefing while waiting for the private to finish making coffee, the Col. decided to have a little fun with his junior officers. His comment was as follows. "Last night my wife and I decided to roll around, (keeping this in a family talk), and I got to thinking, "Is this work or pleasure, so since we could not come up with an answer, I'm going to ask you the same question." (remember, it takes a long time to brew a pot of coffee). When all the answers were in, the results ended in a tie.

In order to break the tie, the Col. turned to the Pvt. (still making coffee) and asked him the same question. After thinking for quite some time, the Pvt. turned and replied, "It must be pleasure, because if it was work, they would have me doing it!"

J.C. Angelo
1959 - 1965

P.S. Thank goodness for the enlisted man...

Our Fearless and Gallant Leader

MCRD San Diego

Thanks to Sergeant Davis's letter. I too was a member of platoon 294 fifty years ago at MCRD, San Diego. My junior drill instructor was Corporal James Stelling. He was "warm and understanding." The milk of human kindness flowed through his "government issued body." He seemed to take special interest in me. I was a blond haired, blued eyed ex college student. I was 21 years old and a reservist. My name ended in a vowel and I wore milk bottled thick glasses. I was opinionated, somewhat loud, and, oh may I mention, I came from Brooklyn, New York, where the sewers met the sea.

Boot camp for everyone is basically the same thing, but there are certain instances that burn in one's memory. Platoon 294 was organized just after the assassination of JFK. When Corporal Stelling made his entrance, it was obvious that he would become a major factor in our painful birth as US Marines. He was immediately given nicknames. One was "Cuddles" because of his "warm and loveable" personality. The other was "Lobster Face". You see when Corporal Stelling screamed at any recruit, his face took on the color of a freshly cooked lobster. His eyes bulged and the blood vessels seemed ready to pop. As he stood in front of you and screamed in your face you could see his spleen. I know from experience because he took special interest in explaining to me in intricate detail, that I was the "lowest crawling specimen of humanity that he had ever encountered". But I wanted to be a Marine and I would put up with anything or anyone to wear the forest green uniform. I wanted to be a "mud Marine" in the worst way.

The beginning of boot camp is a blur. It takes time for you to get your feet on the ground. I was really trying hard and doing my best. There were perks for my effort and I remember I got one. Corporal Stelling made Iggy Evans and I stand in front of him at "parade rest" while he did paper work and listened to the championship fight with Cassius Clay (Muhammad Ali) and Sonny Liston.

I remember every punch that was thrown because Corporal Stelling demonstrated each one on me. Thankfully, it was a short, bloodless fight.

Soon we were at the rifle range, Camp Mathews. I seemed to come in to my own. I could not read the numbers on the targets but they put me in a place where all I had to do was to hit the third target from the right and I managed to get a sharp shooters badge. Sadly, I never took any training for the Colt .45 1911 Pistol. I became sick, so sick that I was put in the Infirmary. I don't remember any of the last few days while I was there. My temperature was 103 and they kept me in bed.

Corporal Stelling realized that he would lose me from the platoon and I would be put back into another series if I didn't get back into formation. I don't remember him entering the Quonset hut and informing me that my presence was requested. I do remember him dragging me out of my bunk across the ice cold concrete floor. The days that followed were a blur but the fever broke and I became a member of platoon 294 once again.

I must have done something right because the next major event would be "mess week". The best job of "mess week" was the "greeter" who stood before the mess hall and greeted each platoon. In a loud voice you would say, "serve section 6" to the platoon that was formed up at the front door. This went along beautifully, until one day a platoon that was much more advanced than ours, came to eat at the mess hall. Their drill instructor had them all primed. They were all smiling and laughing. When he brought them up, he said to me that each one of his men would like to "knock my block off". I remember standing at perfect attention, and saying to the drill instructor in a clear and precise manor that if he would be so kind as to line up his platoon according to size I would be pleased to accommodate each of them. His head snapped on its swivel and he realized that I was one of Corporal Stelling's bright stars.

That moment was great but the "crowning jewel" with the job was that there was no additional work required. I could "skate" for the entire day.

While I was speaking to a cook he realized I had nothing to do. So he took me back to the private toilet that was utilized by the head cook. I was told to clean that toilet. While cleaning it, I leaned my head against the wall. In less time than it takes to tell you I was asleep. I slept the sleep of the innocent; each blissful moment an eternity. Suddenly the door opened there stood the cook. He shouted "You're sleeping!" I feebly tried to deny the obvious. He smiled at me and asked, "where are you from?" I said Brooklyn, NY. "I'm from Coney Island." In fifteen minutes of animated conversation, we realized we had mutual friends. Who would guess that out of 2 million people in Brooklyn, I would meet with a friend under these circumstances.

He explained to me that at half past ten every morning, he would like to use a clean porcelain convenience and if I could guarantee him this, that would be my only job for all of mess week. Grace Kelly, Elizabeth Taylor, and Marilyn Monroe never used a "facility" that was more meticulously prepared for their personal toiletries. I also had unlimited access to the best food from my new friend the head cook. I loved "mess week".

After "mess week", I believe that Corporal Stelling realized that I had to be brought back to reality. I had not gotten the memo and I was enjoying boot camp at a level never conceived by any of the powers that ruled our little world.

One day, "our fearless and gallant leader" invited me personally to enter the duty hut. There he asked me to please climb into a wall locker. Somehow I managed to squeeze myself in and he closed the door. When I heard the lock snap, I realized that my fate was not my own. Then he called in Private Lee, a Mississippi farm boy who was considered the platoon "Love Child". He ordered Private Lee to take an M14 and put in a magazine and fire into the wall locker. Things did not seem to be going my way and my level of concern started to peak. The moment that Private Lee discharged the rifle, Corporal Stelling struck the aforementioned wall locker with a baseball bat. You might think that sound would be loud, it was "apocalyptic". Next thing I knew the door opened and I fell out "a mass of twitching pulsating protoplasm". "Cuddles" stood there triumphantly over me.

From that time on I was a "true believer". Final Inspection, Graduation, and off to Camp Pendleton (ITR) for "fun and games". I would see Corporal Stelling only once again for a brief instance. I always wondered what happened to him. Those thirteen weeks he had been the center of our universe.


In 1987 I was in Washington DC and found his name was not on the roll call of Fallen Heroes at the Vietnam Wall. Few things have given me greater pleasure. I recently found out that he survived the War, and stayed in his beloved Corps. Today I am 72 years old and I look back at my life and I realize that no man had a more profound and dramatic effect upon my life in such a short period of time. Over the long decades the love hate relationship that is the aftermath of boot camp has been tempered by time and space. Corporal Stelling changed boys into Marines. He left an indelible mark on everyone he trained. None would forget him.

Funny At The Time

Thanks for your website and the products you provide. I like the stories... Here is one:

After coming in from a patrol, it was rainy and we were hungry. I was a Plt Sgt and one of my Fire Team Leaders wanted to make hot choc from his Cs and did not have any heat tabs of C4. So he went to Weapons Plt. and grabbed what he thought was C4 but, was compressed nitro (increments) use as an accelerator for mortars. He packed his stove, lit the increments and launched his water into the air. Maybe not a big deal now, but was funny as h-ll at the time.

Empty Threats

We (Wife and I) recently bought iPads and smart phones. Since the purchase of said objects, I have stopped getting the newsletter. This could be because wife of self has decided to erase emails from who she doesn't know or just starts pushing buttons if the machines don't work fast enough. Why she didn't know who you all are is beyond me.

I've threatened office hours and a 50 mile hike but to no avail. She claims to be a civilian and doesn't have to abide by my empty threats.

Please reinstate my subscription as the memories that return are priceless.

M. Harris
Cpl. USMC, currently unassigned

Until I Realized

I grew up with a BB gun in my hands and used a .22 as a teenager. I earned a University of Oklahoma Sweater & Letter while I was on the NROTC rifle team in 1952-1956. When I was in Basic School and qualifying with the M-1, I noticed a number of people congregating behind me on the 500 yard line. I am not sure if this affected me, but they suddenly disappeared after I got a 4 on one of my shots instead of a 5. I wounded up with a 232. I really loved that M-1. On a live fire exercise, I put 8 rounds, as fast as I could pull the trigger, into a 2 foot circle at over 200 yards. I think that would have suppressed any fire that would have been coming from that area. Because the 2-56 Basic School Class had used something other than the regular targets to shoot at, our 3-56 Basic School Class, rather than "Fam-firing", was required to qualify with the B.A.R. Since part of the shooting was a timed fire, one of the key things was that you had an assistant who was supposed to help by reloading a second magazine. The maximum number of rounds you can fire in one trigger squeeze with the B.A.R. and still stay on target is 3. So you set your-self into a 3 round pattern. Well my assistant failed in his job. He did not get the magazine in so that the bolt failed to load and fire a round when I pulled the trigger. I had to pull the bolt to the real and this time he got it seated. But I panic and fired 5 rounds (2 rounds went into the dirt.) instead of my 3 rounds. I settled down and got the rest of them on target, but I wound up with a 218. When I had been his assistant, I had made sure the magazine was seated. It seemed sort of unfair that his mistake cost me the expert badge, until I realized that my panic had been the real cause as I finished with a few seconds to spare.

I continued to shoot expert with the M-1 in 1957 and 1959, the only years I had a chance to qualify with the M-1. The first time I qualified with the M-14 was at Parris Island. I had heard a lot about the M-14, most of it not good. But I had no problem with it until the 500 yard line on qualification day. I had really good dope and my 200 and 300 yard line scores were really good. I didn't look to break any range records, but I expected to keep my expert badge. When I started getting 4's instead of 5's, I thought it was me and the wind. Well it wasn't, although it was my fault that I finished with a 219. You guessed it. I discovered that I could turn the gas plug with my fingertips. Since I didn't clean the rifle after I had fired on pre-qualification day, I never thought to check the plug, although we had been warned that this gas plug could be a problem. The next time I qualified with the M-14 I was more careful and earned my expert badge back. I also have a 1960, '64, & '65 expert bar for the .45 cal. Pistol.

As a tank officer, I fired the tank retriever mounted .50 cal. MG, the 90mm mounted on the M-48 Tank, and the .45 cal. grease gun that we carried in each tank. As a side note, I never got to fire the .30 cal. co-ax mounted MG, nor the cupola mounted .50 cal. MG. (At the Armor School at Ft Knox, KY, they awarded 75 points out of 100 if you could get the .50 cal. to fire 3 rounds into the general vicinity of the target. In 1965 at Chu Lai in Vietnam, my 3rd Tank Platoon Leader got all 5 of his .50's working, but the first chance he had to use one in combat, the cable used to charge the MG broke. I have never heard anyone that had a good thing to say about that useless .50 Cal. cupola setup! Air defense weapon, you've got to be kidding!) Both the B.A.R. and the grease gun pulled down and in my case, if I am remembering correctly, to the right. The down was due to the heavy bolt hammering the next round into the chamber as it fired. I think the right was due to the trigger pull. I guess if you fired left handed it would pull to the left. But it wouldn't be very pleasant to have the hot empty cartridge flying next to your face, at least in the case of the B.A.R.

Joe Sanders, Maj. USMC (ret)

The Original KA-BAR Design

About month ago an Air force guy at the VFW asked me if I could make a good leather sheath for a KABAR he got from his dad. Said sure and since he was Air Force I stamped it with USAF Well after looking at it he said he wanted USMC as his dad was Marine. Said I wanted to see to see proof (I'm picky). Still waiting.

Anyway, this put me in contact with KABAR about what an Authentic sheath would look like from the 40's. Turns out several other manufacturers produced the KABAR knife under their contract. So all the knives looked the same. However, not necessarily true for the sheaths. Since there was a shortage of leather products and most other things during that time, different manufacturers would sometimes substitute a sheath from another knife. Plus the military would sometimes substitute a tin / aluminum / fiber glass sheath. Some of the leather sheaths, the belt loop part was folded double thus making a double thickness for the back of the sheath, like current production that SGT Grit stocks, whereas some were a single length with belt slits cut into them.

Most were just blank sheaths with no stamping in them. Sometimes at issue the serviceman's last name would be stamped in or they would carve their name in them. Same with USMC it was not always stamped in back in those days. Most finger guards were stamped with a USN/MK 2 indicating it was a second design and was going to the NAVY, But as we all know we are part of the Navy.

The knife's technical designation was FIGHTING / UTILITY. The older MK1 had a fragile point and would break easily. thus the call for a newer heavier made knife. The original submission was modified by the quartermaster. They wanted a knife for slashing but also strong enough for prying crates open, opening C-rats, cutting tough elephant grass, probing for landmines etc. They found the humid air of jungles and salt water from the sea would rapidly rot the leather washers of the handle. Many guys found a type of paint they could use to slow this down. Most came from the factory with a matte black or grey finish to reduce glare and protect it from corrosion. Many guys polished this off. The replacement handles guys made were called Theater fighting knives. Sometimes they did it just because sometimes, because the leather had rotted away and they improvised and adapted and overcame.

Also the way the end plate is secured to the haft. Some of the hafts were peen over, but most were drilled and pinned. Over the course of WW-II the location of the pin changed for no real reason, just did.

If somebody claims they have an authentic WW II or Korean issue KA-BAR in Stainless be very suspicious as KA-BAR says they never made one. It has always been High carbon steel. Except for a brief run in the 1980's that didn't work out well and was discontinued.

The original KA-BAR design was only OFFICIALLY issued during WW-II later conflicts it was never officially issued but they made their way to the troops anyway.

When I was in RVN, '70-'71 I was issued one.

choo choo
Sgt of Marines (nla)
Semper Fi.

I Took the Message Center

Sgt. Grit,

First of all, thanks for the great stuff and the stories. I recently reached out to my buddy from high school, we went through boot camp together, to see if he has his platoon book. Mine was lost in an Indiana flood and unfortunately Ken has lost his also. We were in platoon 143, Sgt. Turpin. We were in the reserves in high school, 1957, and went active the day after graduation. MCRD San Diego, June, 1958! I went to crypto school at Imperial Beach, but washed out because I was a dumb azs. Capt. told me that because I had a Top Secret clearance he would give me one more chance. It was school or a machine gun. Hmmm... I took the message center school.

After school went to 2/11 at Pendleton. Not a great unit so I requested oversea duty and was happy to join 3/5 at Camp Margarita. CO was Lt. Col Sexton. He was a Lt. on Okinawa during WWII. Outstanding officer!

I believe the com officer was Capt. Culkin, but after 74 some things do fade. Went to Camp Schwab close to Isikawa. Great times on Oki. Thanks for listening.

Ron Davis
Cpl. E-4

King Rat

Once again another good read. The Sgt. Grit Newsletter never fails to bring to my attention times and issues from the past when I was active duty Marine Corps. I was set to be drafted into the military in 1970 so I said no way. If I have to go in I am going into the service I want to serve in so I enlisted in February 1970. I cannot say boot camp was a joy, but I did learn a lot in a short period of time. Then I had the honor to be selected to go to Drill Instructor School in 1975. As a Drill Instructor you remember what your Drill Instructors did to you as well as what they taught to you. We had a King Rat and his House Mouse's that took care of the Drill Instructors Office. When needed many times the Drill Instructor would yell out for the King Rat and his Court or his House Mouse's. Just a kind of funny thing I remember from being on the field.

When I did graduate from boot camp we had been issued trops and in fact we wore trops as the uniform of the day on grad day. We were also issued and had to maintain the other light weight uniform which I never used. May be that is why I can't remember what they were called. We had Dress Greens which were most often worn with the SS shirt, sometimes with the LS shirt and tie and even less often with the Green blouse. Three different uniform combinations so that would be green blouse class A, LS shirt and tie class B and then the SS shirt class C. This is how I recall the uniforms. We used the Greens with the trop shirts and green trousers.

The black belt worn by the Drill Instructors in boot camp were only worn by the Senior Drill Instructor or Platoon Commander as it may be. The other Drill Instructors did not wear the black belt. That is the only time while I was in the Corps that I saw the black belt worn as a part of the uniform.

Anyone out there from Platoon 2033 2-1970? Just looking and saying hi hope you are all well.

Semper Fi,
SSgt. Joseph Whimple
U.S.M.C. 2-1970 / 12-1976

Walking Out Uniform

In the 2/19/14 newsletter, 'Keith USMC Inactive' inquired about a set of Dress Blues, circa WWII or Korea, he recently obtained. He asked about the purpose of two very small loops at the waist of the coat (blouse).

These loops were used to attach a cloth strap/tab (stitched at one end with button closure at other) that was affixed to the back of a blue cloth belt. The belt material matched the coat and used the same 3-panel buckle seen on the winter greens. By affixing these straps, the belt wouldn't slip or ride up when bending or sitting.

The dark blue cloth belt was a "walking out" uniform item (i.e., liberty, leave, etc.), where the white web belt was used for ceremonial or similar 'official' duties.

To determine the era for these Blues, Keith should look for pockets: Prior to 1946/47, enlisted coats lacked the pockets seen today. There may also be markings inside the sleeve stamped with a date/maker and size.

It's of historical note the Blues of WWII also had a matching dark blue wool barracks (frame cap) cover, not just the well-known white cloth.

Semper Fi,
C. 'Stoney' Brook
1961-65 11th & 12th Marines

Call Sign

Sgt. Grit,

Marines, from day one, have always been good at adapting and overcoming adversity. They adapt and overcome in as many different ways as there are Marines. Every Marine has heard, started, or repeated a quip that, when remembered, causes him to chuckle. As I was reading the most recent newsletter, that very thing happened to me when I read about the various call signs we had and used in Vietnam.

The last call sign I used as a CAP leader in 2nd CAG was Carnival Time Bravo. I can assure you I don't ever remember any carnivals taking place in my A.O. But that was the call sign that our C.O. chose, so we used it, laughed, and now, cherish the memories.

I also remember this:

Iny, Menny, Minny, Moe, how do you hear my radio? Reply - Fe, Fi, Fo, Fum, hear you with a wittle hum. OH - the quips, quotes, and antics of Marines.

I'm well aware that you asked that no more dress blues stories be sent, but I just have to make one comment. I'm in my late 60s now and still wear, on special occasions, both my mess dress blues, and my traditional blues. Love that uniform.

A Former Hat
GySgt, USMC (Ret)

Note: Others I remember are Rio Grand, Raging River.

Sgt Grit

Dark Green Wool Shirt

I have been reading with interest the statements concerning "trops". My memory is that the "tropical worsted" uniform (the shirt was also worn with the green uniform and with "undress blues") (which I never owned as they were costly and only issued to sea-going Marines, recruiters, and a few others). The creases were razor sharp and there were two creases in the front of the shirt and three in the back.

The khaki uniforms were cotton and very comfortable but looked like a mess after a short time. I was issued two sets and only wore them once or twice during four years. I was also issued two sets of trop's, two sets of greens (one blouse and one "Ike" jacket which I never wore), and two sets of utilities (a few boots of unusual size got herringbone but most got green).

Something I have not seen in the newsletter but has stuck in my mind for 56 years, was when we were fitted for our clothing our Drill Instructor told us, "Don't ask me when you get to wear any of these uniforms; it will be AFTER you become a Marine. In the meantime, you will wear utilities. You may think that is not the uniform you expected, but you should consider it an honor that recruits are even allowed to wear it as it is the uniform Marines die in!"

I was issued a dark green wool shirt while in cold weather training which I was not required to return. I wore it often in the artic (as a civilian) and it was not only warm, but still looked good in a photograph taken eight years after my discharge.

To double check my memory, I Googled the terms and found the following:

The first definition of khaki is as a color.

Worsted is defined as a woolen fabric.

From the descriptions and pictures, it is apparent to me that the terms khaki and trop's are not very firm. They must have varied over the years and, possibly, with location.

Mike Shaw
Once a Corporal of Marines
But always a Marine.
USMC 1958- 1962

Without The Woman

Jerry Nealeys Wife

Jerry Nealey in apron from Sgt Grit

The man cave don't mean nothing without the woman you shared 45yrs with. I go crazy time to time, sit in my chair, over medicate, reflect the two things I loved. The wife, the Corps. The bib is so I don't drool on myself. I get over it. Life goes on.

Another day in paradise to serve the Corps...

Nealey, Jerry C., U.S.M.C.

Get this apron at:

Marine Corps Apron Set

Marine Corps Apron Set

Nickname or Knock-down?

My Dad joined the UASF (yeah... I know) in 1948. At his first duty station he was nicknamed "Wes". I'm guessing it's because of the legendary gunslinger John Wesley Hardin. At his second duty station there was already a guy nicknamed Wes, so they gave my Dad the name "Tex". To this day my Dad is still known as Tex.

Fast Forward to 1978 and my summer of fun in the lovely southern California town of San Diego where I was enjoying a leisurely stay at a little military facility called the Marine Corps Recruit Depot. In first phase I had the honor of being nicknamed "Short-Round". I don't even recall when it happened. But suddenly it was my name and I had to answer to it. It was given to me by Drill Instructor Staff Sergeant Scales. He was a bow-legged black man that could lay out a cadence so smooth it would make the very short hair on the back of our necks stand up straight. I didn't like it at first, but for some reason coming from him it just felt right. Our other DIs used it a few times, but it didn't have the same ring.

I never asked why. For anyone that's stepped on the yellow footprints, you understand my reasoning. For the rest of ya'll let's just say prying into their thought processes might have proven less than advantageous to my young being. I've also never fully understood his meaning behind the moniker. Was it because I'm short, or because I seemed to come up short? I finished boot. I never dropped out of a run or a hike. I guess I'll never know.

The name seemed to drop off the second I left the Depot. I told my fellow Marines about it a few times, but it was never revived. I guess in my day nicknames just weren't popular. It's a real shame. It's one of the unique aspects of military service the poor civilian slobs will never understand.

To Sergeant Chris Vail, USMC: I too am a Sergeant of Marines. When I was on active duty ('78 – '84) you'd NEVER hear a Sergeant being called "Sarge," at least not by another Marine. Even now, when I'm at the local VFW volunteering, I can tell a person's branch from across the room. If they call me "Sarge", then I know they're Army doggies, or as we lovingly used to call them when I was on deployment, "Puppy-breath, embryo-eating pukes!" I can tell you our active duty Marines don't use the abbreviated slang. I know this because I've visited the Wounded Warrior Detachment in San Antonio, Texas a few times. The proper way to address an E-5 Marine is SERGEANT! D-mnit! (And I had a Gunny refer to me that way on several occasions. I thought he'd changed my last name.)...

On a side note: I've written my service memoir, it's entitled IN GARRISON by J. H. Hardin. If you'd like to learn more, go to

In closing, I'll say this: You can call me Jarhead... H-ll, you can call me Knothead... but don't EVER call me "Sarge!" I'll reach down your throat and pull out your azshole!

On a side note: I've written my service memoir, it's entitled IN GARRISON by J. H. Hardin. If you'd like to learn more, go to

Semper FI
J. H. Hardin


I just read the article and the poem you posted in your letter. I had not heard that poem or saw the TV show he did it on, but I have met and spoken to Mr. Wayne on numerous occasions. I even watched as Mr. Wayne cleared out a restaurant in the valley on Venture Blvd and just passed Coldwater Canyon Dr. The restaurant was "The Tail of the C-ck." I sold newspapers their and learned to drive cars by helping Melvin Nickerson the attendant there for over 10 years. In my 27 years in the Corps, I do not recall anyone in the Corps making fun of Mr. Wayne. Sure we call the C-ration can opener the John Wayne, that wasn't out of fun, but out of respect. In my young years in California and living in the Valley we saw, met and talked to many movie stars, some good memories but most of them excellent wonderful memories. There were two types of people that called him Duke, his close friends and true fans. The other type was the wannabee, or those that really didn't fit into his caliber of person. He was quiet and reserved, drunk or sober I never saw him loud and pushy, he never acted like he had a big head or treated anyone but as an equal.

One night late about 1:00 AM, he came out and when he saw me standing by my papers he said you should be home in bed it is too late for you to be out how old are you son? I told him I was 17, he said you need to be home. Told Nick to send me home and he bought my papers so I could go home. I remember many interesting meetings with him. Like the time he came in to the restaurant, (he drove a green two door Cadillac convertible.) He had one arm in a cast and in a sling, I asked him if he broke his arm, he said no making a movie. That movie was the fighting leathernecks, with Robert Ryan. I saw the movie and yes he had his arm in a cast. My personal opinion of him from only my meetings in public as a working person, he always was on your level when he spoke with you. Oh one more thing, while I was stationed in Hawaii, he was there making the movie In Harm's Way, three of my kids were about 10 – 13 went over to the Navy base through the golf course and housing project and watched them film along with a slew of other kids and Mr. Wayne took time to meet the kids and talk to them. A real gentleman.

One more piece of information, since I was a young kid 6 yrs. old when Pearl Harbor happened and following Mr. Wayne in the papers and news real's, etc. I remember the reason he was not in the military was he had a bad back injury and he was 4F because of that. That was something that was spoken about a great deal during the war years. I don't know for sure that was the true story, but that was the talk of the town sort of speaking back then. It's not really important, but just thought I would throw it into the hat.

Semper Fi,
Joe Blaile, MGYSGT

Old Hoot

In the service of his country his last name was Houghten, so we called him "Hoot". I can't remember his first name. I do remember that he was a tall, skinny kid from Florida. Hoot was an ordinance man in VMA-212 at Kaneohe Bay in 1962 when he was killed on our flight line. That day stands out in my memory. Our planes were being loaded with thousand pound bombs for a target run on Kahoolawe. I remember the sun being extremely bright as I walked out to pre-flight my airplane. Old Hoot walked out with me and we talked about how much the sun actually gave us a headache. He went to the string of bomb carts to help with the loading, and I went to my airplane at the other end of the line. I was on the ladder of my plane, checking the cockpit when I looked up and saw a crowd of people running towards the flight line. I looked over the cockpit to see what was up, and then I saw it. A thousand pound bomb was laying on the cement under one our A4Ds. It occurred to me that it was armed and the troops running from the hangar were going to throw it in the bay just back of the line. So I scrambled down the ladder and ran over to help. As I approached the bomb, I could see a body on the other side of it. It was Hoot. But it didn't look like him anymore. His head was crushed. The only way I knew it was him was the name tag on his utilities. His head was crushed, but he was still gasping for air. One of the other plane captains reached down his throat to clear it but it was full of blood. Me and another plane captain ran to the corpsman's office in the hangar and "hai-ockoed" the corpsman out to the scene. He knelt down to check out Hoot and just shook his head. There was nothing he could do.

Hoot and the other ordinance men were loading the bombs on the wing racks. One bomb on the left, one bomb on the right. Each bomb was on its own cart that would be positioned under the wing and then jacked up until the clevis hooks lined up with the rings on the bomb. Then the ordinance man (Hoot in this case), would position himself under the bomb and tighten down the hooks with a ratchet wrench. That's where Hoot was when a new guy electrician was in the cockpit checking the circuits. The new guy hit the arm switch and the pickle button on the stick just as Hoot was underneath the bomb. The electrical current set off the black powder charge that pushed the bomb away from the plane, in this case crushing Hoot. After a half hour or so an ambulance picked him up and took him to the HMM-161 hangar for a helicopter evacuation to Trippler Hospital. He was still gasping for air. They said he died on the helo, but he was dead when the bomb fell on him. Afterward, me and another plane captain were ordered to take buckets of water out to the ramp and wash away the blood and the brains so the pilot assigned to that mission would not have to see it.

His name isn't etched on a wall nor is there a ship named after him, but Hoot gave his life for his country doing his duty. Whether in actual combat or on duty during peace time, all who serve, like Hoot, risk their lives in the service of their country.

"All give some, some give all".

Norm Spilleth
Cpl., 1960-1964


I have only heard the term sarge used by the army. At all the units I have been affiliated with I have only heard Marines referred to by their ranks, with only PFC's, GySgt's and officers not having their full rank used - the officers getting a Sir or Ma'am as the case may be.

In fact I remember going to Camp Roberts here in CA sometime in the mid 1990's to check out the rifle range when our unit was going to use it for qual and the specialist had to be corrected 3 times not to call our training chief - a GySgt - sarge. The third time was by a fellow SSgt as I had to physically remove the Gunny from going across the counter and removing the specialist's teeth. After all it was an Army base and we did want to use their range. By the way the Army SGT1st Class proceeded to remove the specialist from the counter and apologized for the insult. Turns out he had been a Marine Cpl before getting out and cross decking to the national guard, something about a 15 grand bonus.

Does anyone remember the US Army recruiting poster from the 90's that said something about them wanting more Marines. The only funnier one was a recruiting post card from the British Royal Navy which had a picture of a couple Sailors doing VBSS and the slogan "after 3 years in the Navy I started taking drugs!", use to have that one in my office.

Semper Fi,
1stSgt Langedyk

Iwo Jima Flag Raising

This is a picture of the snow replica of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima that was sculpted in the parking lot of Marine Corps Museum.

Snow replica of Iwo Flag Raising


Ira Hayes High School Parade Float

Navajo Code Talker at Parade

Submitted by: MARINE Jim McCallum (the ole gunny)
(Spec. Issue #2), (23 Feb., 2014)

Iwo Jima Flag Raising Commemoration

Not many of you will remember this date, but you'll remember hearing about this event from your fellow MARINES and also from your Drill Instructors. Plus, it was normally discussed during some of the history lessons that used to be taught in school. It is the image of six (6) men raising the American Flag during the battle for the island of Iwo Jima in the South Pacific during the Second World War. The actual date of the Flag Raising on the Island was 23 February 1945, four day's after the actual battle began. Now, Iwo Jima is a volcanic Island shaped like a trapezoid with Mt. Suribachi, being the only mountain on the Island. At 546 ft. high, it is at it's southernmost tip, thereby over looking the rest of the Island to the North. At the time of the Island's invasion it was a part of the prefecture of Japan and was heavily fortified, hence the high causality count sustained by the MARINES that landed there. In 1945.

I guess at this point your asking yourself whats all this got to do with Aviation? Well, the island of Iwo Jima, although small, had three airstrips on it and it would be an ideal stepping stone for the United State military in their move toward the Island of Japan. That was because it laid halfway between the Mariana Islands (where long range American bombers were staged), and the main Islands of Japan. The primary function of the Island enclave was to act as an "Early Warning Station" allowing the Japanese to radio warnings of incoming American bombers to the Japanese homeland, Plus, it was planned by the American forces that the air strips on the Island could be used as emergency landing strips for any damaged bombers operating in the area.

Now, history indicates that there have been several accounts of who was, and who wasn't involved in this event. And it should also be known that there were actually two (2) flag raising's, on that same day. The second is the one that received such high acclaim and the photo that was taken documenting that particular event was taken by Joe Rosenthal. It later was the only photograph to win the Pulitzer Prize for Photography in the same year as it's publication. It has been regarded as the most recognizable image of the war and the MARINE CORPS, and more than likely, the most reproduced photograph of all times.

But, it was not with out controversy, it has been recorded that there were 5 MARINES and one (1) Navy Corpsman depicted in the picture. Their name's were Harlon Black, Franklin Sousley, and Michael Stank who were all killed in one way or the other and then there were the other three men and their names were Rene Gagnon, Ira Hayes and Corpsman, John Bradley who all rose to celebrity status after the photo was taken, and they were identified. It should also be noted that the capture of Suribachi on February 23rd, 4 days after the battle and it did not conclude the effort to capture the island, that task continued for many days, and the island would not be declared "secure" until 31 days later on the 26th of March, 1945.

I'm not going to delve into all the trials and tribulation that later transpired with the surviving participants only to say that there were some complications and all the problems were finally worked out. But, that's a story in itself. I should also state that I have been to Iwo Jima in early 1956 with "A" Co, 3 rd. Eng. Bn., and it was not a pleasant place. While digging in we discovered many different items left behind by our fellow MARINES in 1945, some still intact. It was a very moving experience...

From all this turmoil there is only one name that has seemed to float to the surface, and that is Ira H. Hayes. Sometime after the war, Ira would return and subsequently die in the town of Sacaton, AZ where he was overcome with depression brought on by survivors guilt and he became an alcoholic. His passing at the age of 32 in 1955 was memorialized in a folk song and sung by Johnny Cash in 1964. It was called "The Ballad of Ira Hayes" and it was written by Peter LaFarge. It might also be noted that Rene Gagnon's last years were not any better and he died at the age of 54 in 1979, as an alcoholic.

All this history is remembered and celebrated annually in the town of Sacaton, AZ, in the Gila River Indian Community on the 4th Saturday of Feb. Native Americans representing many different tribes from around the Country and all branches of the Services descend on Sacaton as do a large number of Veteran MARINES and their families to help commemorate this moment in American History. It is truly a moving spectacle dedicated to American Patriotism and of course one of the MARINES involved in the original event, Ira Hayes. Which just so happens to have lived in this town prior to his death.

I'm not going to delve into what and who all were in the Parade, but I would urge any and all MARINES to some day put this event on your calender or, "to do" list and attend. Especially, if you live in a cold climate. I guarantee that you will never regret it. But, bring a light jacket because it gets a little cool in the morning.

God Bless all MARINES and other Defenders of our Freedom


See more images from the parade at:

69th Anniversary of the Flag Raising on Iwo Jima Parade

Short Rounds

I'm Gary Holiday in the Corps from 1960-1964. I disagree. The trops were fine and held their crease very well, it was the Khakis that were horrible they never held their shape and looked too big on every one. We were very sorry when they discontinued the trops and no longer could put our famous anchor and globe on the long sleeve collars of the shirts.

Gary Holiday

Sgt. Grit,

Sgt. O here, read the letter from Mike Benfield about his opinion on dress blues. First off let it be known, there isn't a sharper dressed service man or woman in any service of the US or any other country for that fact than one in dress blues. I'm willing to bet that marriages were started from one wearing dress blues. Dress blues are a woman magnet! Plus, let us not forget the time honor tradition of pinning on the "blood stripes". Which I heard is no longer practiced, is this true? I can already hear SSgt. Bill my senior DI screaming the "Mothers of America are ruining my Marine Corps". Just my opinion.

Sgt. O '77-'82

In reference to Nicknames. My nickname was Moose. And later, became Sgt. Moose to my troops at Marine Barracks Iceland. Got the name playing tackle football on lawn in front of barracks.

On Saturday, the 29th of March, at 0900, the Marines of HML-167 and HMLA-167 will dedicate a memorial to our fallen brothers at The Marine Corps Museum, Quantico, Virginia.

J. M. "Mike" Jeffries
Capt. USMC Ret.

Call a Marine NCO 'Sarge'? Ummm, No!

A Sarge is a mud hugging fish much like a catfish that feeds on excrement and debris; I hope you can see how our fine Sergeants might take offense to the term be applied to them.

Ken H.

In your newsletter about the best uniform ever. I think the best one ever, were the greens we wore during WW2 and Korea were the best. Not only did you look good but you wore it with pride. They were so great that you could almost sleep in them and they would still look the same.

Pat Campagna
'45-'47, '50-'54

Served with India Co. 3/2 1958/59. Made Med Cruise in '58. Carried my Ka-Bar on all field exercises. Best overall knife you could have in the field. Dug holes, opened c-rats, cut down small trees with my knife. Went on inactive status in Dec 1959 and took my Ka-Bar with me. I gave it to my grandson last year and he treasures it. Should be issued to every field Marine.

Patrick Arata
Cpl of Marines
Plt 166 MCRD
Cherry Point, NC
India 3/2 Camp Lejeune

The post from Beth Zielinski-World in your newsletter and the photo of her Gold Star daughter caused a little moisture to form in this old jarhead's eyes. Must have been some errant smoke or just looking at four-year old Lilly reading a Grit catalog and talking about "daddy stuff".

Looks like Beth is doing an outstanding job raising two kids. Attagirl!

Semper Fi,
Bob Rader Sgt, USMC '53-'56

Sgt. Grit,

I got my nickname on Dec. 11, 1967 at 4:50 pm, when I took a hunk of shrapnel in my back. When I got back to duty all the men in my platoon started calling me SCARBACK, it's still that way today...

Sgt. Larry Walker
Nam, 1967-70


"Gunny" T.G. Moore. After a very long illness, Gunny Moore, of Dawsonville, Ga. , passed at the age of 71 at 2315 Hrs. on 15 Feb 2014. He served 21 years in the Marine Corps and Air Force, did 3 tours in Nam, and then retired again after 29 years as a Sheriff's Deputy. It is impossible for me to explain how much he was Loved and Respected by all that ever knew him. Chapter 970 of the VVA in Dawsonville, Ga. has lost a True Brother.

Mark "Rambo" Gallant

Sgt. Grit,

Just a note to let your readers know that GySgt. Michael K. Worden received his final PCS orders and is now standing watch at Heaven's Gate. Mike was a fine Marine, devoted husband and father and always had your back.

Semper Fi GySgt Worden, we'll all miss you.

Lost And Found

Plt 327, MCRD Parris Island

Sgt Grit,

Attached is a picture of Platoon 327, Parris Island SC. We started training April, 1963 and completed training at PI in July 1963. I would to get in touch with anyone from that Platoon. I am in the second row and third one in from the left side. Please email me at pba2352[at]

Don Evans

Any information on anyone from Platoon 350 MCRD in February 1966. There was a comment from Mike Dougherty. Served with a Mike Dougherty from Springfield, Illinois.

Cordell A. Stephens


"What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed, if so celestial an article as Freedom should not be highly rated."
–-Thomas Paine

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

"None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free."

"This will be the best security for maintaining our liberties. A nation of well-informed men who have been taught to know and prize the rights which God had given them cannot be enslaved. It is in the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins."
--Benjamin Franklin

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

"Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor, or caprice?"
--George Washington, Farewell Address [September 17, 1796]

"Well done is better than well said."
--Benjamin Franklin

"Be the hunter, not the hunted: Never allow your unit to be caught with its guard down."
--General James Mattis

"The most ferocious fighting force the world has ever seen is a 19-year-old p!ssed-off Marine."

"Azshole to Belly Button Girls!"

"When I give a command, all I better see is Azsholes and Elbows!"

Semper Fi!
Sgt Grit

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