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Allen Barker
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64.12.116.133

One hell of a fine Marine

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April 18 2004, 6:37 PM 

SSGT. Mat Mckeon was my platoon sgt in Quantico in 1955. When I left in Dec of that year for Japan his last words to me were "Keep your nose clean skinhead." I was very surprised to hear when I arrived at South Camp Fuji, Japan that he was involved in the incident at PI. I am saddened to learn of his passing. I always remembered him as a Marine first and foremost.

 
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william poole
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24.131.98.24

platoon 71

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September 13 2003, 3:01 PM 

Hey Gene,
your the first guy from 71 that i've seen on the inter net, thought i drop and talk for a minute, i read the book by stevens, but 47 years is a hellu'va long time, it was good to see what happened out side the platoon after we made the march. you remember we were sorta shielded from the whole thing,if you have a platoon picture i'm the sixth guy in the front row, going from left to right, i do remember you thought i 've for gotten alot of the names. william poole

 
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william poole
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24.131.98.24

platoon 71

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September 13 2003, 3:22 PM 

hey gunny,
i haven't talked to any one from platoon 71 for several years. you asked for comments so here it is, first of all i'm getting tired of hearing how bad of a platoon we were. in reality i don't suppose we were any worse than any others. i thought than and i still believe the system broke down. the night of our march we were left behind the barracks at the rifle range without supervision. in the many years since the march
i've spent a great deal of time in different areas of supervision. one thing i've learned is you can't leave a large group of young people to thier own devices for any period of time with out horse play. thats where it broke down. if sgt. mckeon had been with or around the platoon that evening instead of drinking there would have been no playing chicken and consequently no march.
i talk to mckeon after graduation and he was a nice guy. but that doesn't change the fact.
I don't blame him as much as his supervisors for not knowing what was going on.
and i don't believe any of that bull **** that it was a normal training exercise to march in ribbon creek. that was a cover up. don't take this letter the wrong way i still think the marine corp is the greatest military force in the world.

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
24.99.13.138

William...

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September 13 2003, 4:07 PM 

Thank you for responding, I am happy that you have done so--and much appreciated.

Your remarks are well taken--as I understand it, S/Sgt McKeon was the junior DI, and so I don't know if he was the one responsible for nobody in authority having been there for supervision of the platoon, or if possibly somebody else dropped the ball--in any event, you were there, and in a better position to judge than any of us now reading this.

Hopefully, others from Plt #71 will see your post and come forward in dialogue on this important matter.

Again, thank you for responding, Marine!
Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines

 
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will poole
(no login)
24.131.98.24

members of plt 71

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September 22 2003, 11:03 AM 

hey Gunny,
Good Day to you. You'll notice my e-mail is different. they're changing from attbi.com. to comcast.com and i don't know if comcast is up yet. you said last e-mail kept comming back to comcast so i thought i'd try something different.
I saw in your message you have e-mails for two different members of plt 71. if those are different from gene irvin and myself. could i bother you to send them on to me.
Other than dick drown in huntington, west v. i haven't been able to raise any other of the guys.

semper-fi will poole

 
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frank fernandez
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205.188.209.141

quonset huts

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September 14 2003, 5:31 PM 

will,were you guys in the quonset huts on the mainland?i e mailed gene,but got no response.if you get a chance open up mail plt#55 and read.im also retired and have plenty of time.sgt swinsburg was our d i

 
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william poole
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24.131.98.24

quonset huts

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September 14 2003, 8:33 PM 

Frank,
we were in the quonset huts on the way to the rifle range, you know its been so many years ago i lose a lot of details, but i'll never forget the huts, lol . they weren't really that bad though. i also read the book , "incedent at ribbon creek". you know it beats the hell out of me how those guys can remember so much that happened over 40 years ago. all i can remember was getting wet and sgt. mckeon telling me that we lost a few men tonight.
you know parris island was a bitch but i wouldn't trade my 14 weeks there for anything.

semper - fi frank
will poole

 
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will poole
(no login)
24.131.98.24

members of plt 71.

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September 23 2003, 12:40 PM 

hey gunny,
good day to you, hey i seen in one of your e-mails you said you had e-mail address's for two members of plt. 71. if these are different from gene irvin's and myself could you possably forward these to me. i would greatly appreciate this.other than dick drown in huntington, west virginia i've never been able to contact anyone.thank you for your time sir,

semper- fi will poole

 
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will poole
(no login)
24.131.98.24

Sgt. King Jr. D . plt 71

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October 4 2003, 9:04 PM 

Gunny,
out of curosity have you ever heard from anyone pertaining to sgt. king. Our jr. d.i. at p.i. i ran into him once while stationed at kaneho in hawaai.there was a lot written about mckeon but very little of king.
he was a pretty good guy. maybe a little to good of a guy. i can remember him letting the guys smoke after s/sgt. huff had said no smokes. but he wasn't much older than we were.
i just was wondering what happen to him.
did you get the book from the m.c.a with the membership in it. i can't find a darn person that i know. the book was sent out in 2001.
i'll talk to you again. have a good day sir.

will poole
semper fi

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
65.41.13.108

Hi Will...

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October 4 2003, 9:21 PM 

No, I never heard anything of King at all--I don't have the book, but I should pick it up--you Marines of Plt #71 who have posted here are the only ones I know of from Plt #71. I did meet S/Sgt McKeon at CPNC in 1958 when he was a Pfc or Cpl there at MAG-24, and he moonlighted at the EM Club nites. In about July '59 McKeon and I hit Disbursing at the same time to check out--I had orders to HQMC; and he was going out on a medical discharge.

I recall we had a brief conversation there--I had gone out myself between enlistments (1955-56) and joined the USMCR in Providence, RI--McKeon mentioned that he might join the USMCR--he was from Worcester, Mass, and I think he may have joined the USMCR unit there--I was never able to get a response from that USMCR unit when I requested info a few years ago, but apparently McK was already deceased at that time.

I have received info from other Marines indicating that McKeon had been a frequesnt guest speaker at various Marine Corps league/VFW/vets organizations for a few years prior to his death.

S/F
Dick


    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 65.41.13.108 on Oct 5, 2003 12:31 PM


 
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John A. Scigliano
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24.110.138.111

Matthew McKeon in VMF-114 at Cherry Point

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August 19 2004, 8:50 PM 

I was the Officer of the Day in VMF-114 at Cherry Point Marine Corps
Air Station one day in the Spring or Summer of 1957. About 2 am, a Marine
came up to my desk, soluted and said Matthew McKeon reporting for duty.
At the time I did not realize who he was, but I was surprised to see hash
marks up and down his sleeve and a chestful of ribbons, but with no visible
rank. I found out later in the day that he just came in from Parris Island.
I got to know him a lot better in the days that followed. I was serving as
the squadron electronics officer in VMF-114, and Matthew was assigned to my unit.

He was a wonderful person, a fine Marine, a joy to talk with, and someone
that would make anyone a great friend.

I was deeply saddened to hear of his death. I'll remember him always.
My deepest sympathies go out to his love ones.

John A. Scigliano
First Lieutenant
USMCR 072715
Semper Fi

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
69.34.2.55

Re S/Sgt Matt McKeon...

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October 24 2003, 2:24 AM 

As I have noted previously, A couple years or so back I attempted to contact McKeon--at that time, I received several e-mails from Marines indicating that McKeon had passed away, which I have assumed to be correct.

The following e-mail from my files is likely old information, buy I am posting it here for the record anyway.
DickG
~~~~~~~~
--- Oliver Pettit <oap3@charter.net> wrote:

---------------------------------
I read that you felt that Sgt McKeon is no long
alive. When did he pass?I am sure you have his
home address and phone number?
178 Maple St
West Boylston MA
508-835-4351
Ralph Hollenbeck was the Sgt that was told to
throw away all the transcriptsfrom the
court-martial
of Sgt Mckeon. Ralph lives in CO. I think at all
the transcripts are nota Quantico.
Oliver A Pettit
www.geocities.com/platoon233


    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 69.34.2.54 on Oct 28, 2003 6:55 AM


 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
69.34.2.55

ATTN: PLATOON #71 MARINES!

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October 24 2003, 3:00 AM 

It occurs to me that you few surviving Plt #71 Marines may not be aware of the interest by Marines in general for the so-called Ribbon Creek Incident, Plt #71, SSgt McKeon, etc.

Because I have Site Meter on most of my sites (Gunny G's...)--over 100+ sites--I can see that of the 1,000--2,000 hits per day that all my sites receive, that the pages on plt #71 get a fair share-- I do not have the stats exactly for this, but I can see just from browsing my Site Meter that this is so.

The numbers that are visible to you on Site Meter are not the number of hits, but rather the number of different Visitors per day/time period. For instance, the Site Meter today indicates about 51,000+ (that is Visitors not hits) when I click on my site meter it indicates close to 200,000 Hits for those 51,000 Visitors--these numbers since May 21st this year.

Over the years, about 7 years, I have had numerous counters on some of my pages, and/or no counters at all. A conservative estimate, based on my observations during this period, would seem to be, again, a conservative estimate--about 3+ million Hits during those 7 years.

Anyway, I wanted to emphasize to you of plt #71, that there is an interest among Marines as to your experience at PISC in April of 1956. As far as I know, I am the only Marines Website who has ever made any effort to contact Marines of Plt #71, and/or to encourage you to post here. Indeed, only a couple of you have done so--I am not aware of any others out there, although it seems there must be others still around. Perhaps, others of Plt #71 have perused these pages but have declined to post here. I wish I had had the insight to have made this effort several years earlier when SSgt McKeon was still about, and might have responded here.

One of the constant topics for Marines (active-discharged-retired-reserves, etc.) is old corps vs. new corps. Ribbon Creek is often cited by Marines and professional writers alike as a turning point for the old corps. Of course, just what constitutes the "Old Corps" really is a debatable subject in itself. For me, the old corps has always been those Marines from WW II and prior--many of whom were still serving during my 20 year cruise w/the Corps.

Many old time Marines tend to claim Old Corps status, but most always concede that today's Marines are just as good. It is on this point that I, personally, take exception--and up front, I am not a combat Marine (that point will always come up in any argument/discussion that ensues)hell, I am not even a field Marine.

The Marines of the 30s, 40s, and 50s came from an America that was very much different from the America of the late 60s, and even more different from the America of recent years. Many of these people are the offspring of the hippy/yuppy generations, etc. Just visit any Marines messageboards and observe the ignorant, braggart, and arrogant "discussions" going on there. Hopefully, they are Not representative of today's Marines in general.

So, the question of the new corps being as good, or even better (as one Marine general recently stated) is not a valid question, since old and new Marines came to the Corps from two different Americas, in my opinion--hell, today's public/state school systems do not even teach the American history that we learned in our time--the socialistic/socialization of America has long been in progress.

Just some thoughts.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines


    
This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 69.34.2.55 on Oct 25, 2003 4:31 AM


 
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will poole
(no login)
24.131.98.24

Sgt. Mathew Mckeon

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October 24 2003, 12:24 PM 

Gunny;
i took sgt. Mckeon's phone # off your message this morning. and bingo he was there and very much alive. he does have cancer and says hes on the way out. it was so great to talk to him after almost 50 years. we talked about 20 minutes about the old days. he started to get tired so i told him semper fi and good bye. you know he was a decorated machine gunner in korea didn't you. again thanks for his #. he still remember me after all these years. he told me i wasn't the biggest guy in the plt. and told me where i was in the grad. picture. quite a memory hun.
thank you sir for your time.
semper fi

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
69.34.2.55

Hey, Will...

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October 24 2003, 2:06 PM 

I thank you for your response and for calling SSgt McKeon!!!

I should have known better than to take the word of anyone that he was deceased, but I heard it from several reliable Marines and....

I hope you have also e-mail Gene about this.

Best Dick Gaines

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
69.34.2.55

Will...

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October 26 2003, 7:04 AM 

I don't specifically recall that Mckeon was a MGr in Korea--but I do remember from the news accounts of the time, that he had previously served an enlistment in the Navy before joining the Corps--seems like he came into the Corps just prior to or about the time of Korea, 1950.

Dick

 
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will poole
(no login)
24.131.98.24

sgt mckeon, korea?

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October 27 2003, 11:35 AM 

Gunny,
you know i'm not quite sure where i read that sgt mckeon was a machine plt leader in korea, but i believe it was in one of the books i read concerning his trial at parris island. i didn't want to keep him on the phone when i called him and i didn't want it to sound like a interragation. he sounded tired and mine was just a call from one marine concerned about the other . but i'm sure he wouldn't mind you calling. thank you for your time
semper fi will

 
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frank fernandez
(no login)
129.44.237.149

re mckeon korea

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October 27 2003, 2:25 PM 

will,i know of an ex navy guy who claimed he was in the navy aboard the same ship with mckeon.it was in the late forties.i thought it was a lot of bull,but im not so sure now.the man passed away last summer.if you find out let me know.

 
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Dick Gaines
(Login Dick Gaines)
Owner
65.41.225.19

Frank...

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October 27 2003, 2:34 PM 

...I know that McKeon had served in the Navy prior to joining the Corps. So your friend was likely correct.
Best
DickG

 
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frank fernandez
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129.44.237.149

re frank

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October 27 2003, 3:27 PM 

gunny,thanks for the info.i was next door to plt 71,and was a runner for sgt mckeon.he seemed to be a pretty descent guy.

 
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