USMC 1955 Uniforms

I thought you might enjoy seeing the USMC uniforms we wore in 1955 including summer “khakis”; winter “greens”; “dress blues”; and our olive drab combat uniform (that’s an M1 Garand over my right shoulder and a BAR in my left hand). The young lady in a couple of the pictures is my bride of 60 years. Semper Fi. read more

Before they were Plane Captains at Camp Pendleton

It would be a nine day voyage on the USS George Clymer from San Diego to Pearl Harbor, but first we had to spend a month or so at Area 13, Camp Pendleton, a staging Battalion for over 600 Marines waiting to be shipped out to Pacific duty stations. It was April, 1961, and Area 13 was hilly, hot, and dry. In order to keep all these young Marines busy the Officers and NCOs had us run up and down those brown hills several times a day, whenever we weren’t field daying the barracks. read more

Fighting The War At Home

I was once an infantry Marine, and this is my war story.

Spring of 2006, I am holding my rifle straight out with both hands in a half-squatting position yelling, “A hand grenade’s kill radius is five meters, Lance Corporal!” My team leader is three inches from my sweaty face when he shouts, “And what is the fragmentation radius?” My knees begin to shake as I shoot back, “15 meters, Lance Corporal!” read more

When Shadows Danced Under A Fading Red Star

When I open my eyes, I wonder if I’m dreaming. This entire operation has seemed unreal from the start.

It is pitch black and silent. I loosen the top of my sleeping bag, and my fingers reach out to feel the icy metallic floor. I move my body and bump into full ammo boxes. I remember now, I fell asleep in a Humvee. read more

Firewatch At NATTC Memphis

The Marine barracks at NATTC Memphis were two story wooden buildings from the WWII era when I went to aviation mechanics school there in 1960. This made it necessary to have a firewatch on duty after lights out for obvious reasons. This duty always fell to the new Privates right out of boot camp, like me. read more

Real Rifles At Parris Island

At Parris Island in August of 1960, we still had the “REAL” rifles (M1 Garands) with stacking swivels. The stacking swivel actually had two very important uses. Number one was to enable the weapon to be stored in the upright position when hooked to two other rifles in a “teepee”. read more