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MGySgt "Lou" Diamond... Bio, Links, NewsCips, Responses, etc.

September 30 2002 at 1:15 PM
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Dick Gaines  (no login)
from IP address 209.130.220.166

 

http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/Lou.html


MASTER GUNNERY SERGEANT
LELAND DIAMOND, USMC
(Deceased)
*
Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland "Lou" Diamond, who was on many occasions decorated for bravery and offered a commission, lives in memory as one of the most famous of all "Old Breed" fighting Leathernecks.

Diamond, who died in 1951, represents a legend which inscribed a colorful chapter in Marine Corps history and tradi
tion.

Lou Diamond's face, sun-bronzed and accentuated by a neatly trimmed gray goatee, was well known at posts and stations throughout the world. His comrades called him "Lou," but he was thought of, often, as "Mr. Marine" and "Mr. Leatherneck."

Diamond was born May 30, 1890, at Bedford, Ohio. Friends alleged that this date was "lifted" from a tombstone, however, and that "Mr. Leatherneck" actually was "issued" at Tun Tavern in 1775, the place and birth year of the Marine Corps.

Although he first enlisted at the age of 27--somewhat older than most recruits--the difference never was noticeable. His salty, hard-driving personality soon expressed itself in both word and deed, and no Marine ever showed more devotion to the Corps.

Because of the incredible voice which matched his 5-foot, 11-inch, 200-pound frame, Lou was once dubbed "The Honker." Though cool in training and battle, he was rarely quiet. According to his World War I buddies, "The tougher the action, the louder Lou would yell." Many of his comrades at Guadalcanal considered him "a human air-raid warning system."

Though in the military service, Diamond lived informally, going hatless and wearing dungarees practically everywhere. He even accepted one of his decorations in dungarees. When receiving the citation awarded him in Australia by General A. A. Vandergrift, Lou looked the general in the eye and said, "I made my landing in dungarees--guess they're good enough to get my commendation in."

Diamond's informal language occasionally drew frowns from Chaplains within earshot. His earthly manner of speech, however, never appeared to detract from his role as a morale-booster for his unit, nor from his ability as an instructor and leader, as amply attested to by recruits who trained under his wing.
Self-confidence, even cockiness, was one of the sergeant's outstanding characteristics. He considered anybody with less than ten years in the Corps a "boot."
While he bawled out recruits who sometimes instinctively saluted him, he frequently failed, himself, to salute less than a field grade officer. Despite his peculiarities and, in many ways, because of them, he was a "Marine's Marine."

Opportunities to apply for a commission were rejected by the grizzled campaigner, who explained that, "nobody can make a gentleman out of me." Though not a "spit-and-polish" Marine, Diamond proved himself an expert with both 60 and 81mm mortars, his accurate fire being credited as the turning point of many an engagement in the Pacific during World War II.

Diamond enlisted in the Marine Corps at Detroit, Michigan, July 25, 1917, listing as his former occupation "railroad switchman." As a corporal in January, 1918, he shipped out from Philadelphia aboard the USS VON STUBEN bound for Brest, France. He saw action with the famous 6th Marines in the battles at Chateau Thierry, Belleau Wood, the Aisne-Marne, St. Mihiel, and the Meuse Argonne.

Promoted to the grade of sergeant, he marched to the Rhine with the Army of Occupation. At war's end, "Mr. Leatherneck" returned to the United States, disembarked at Hoboken, New Jersey, and on August 13, 1919, received an honorable discharge from the Corps.

But railroading and civilian life in general did not suit his fancy, and on September 23, 1921, Lou again walked into a Marine recruiting office. Promotions were rapid for him and while serving as Assistant Armorer at Parris Island, S. C., in February, 1925, he regained his sergeant's stripes.

"Mr. Marine" itched for more action and he soon go it--in Shanghai with Company "M," 3rd Battallion, 4th Marine Regiment. But the Sino-Japanese controversy, in Lou's opinion, was "not much of a war" and on June 10, 1933, he returned to the United States, disembarking from the USS HENDERSON at Mare Island, California. By then he was a gunnery sergeant.

Diamond returned to Shanghai with his old outfit, the 4th Marines, ten months later; was transferred to the 2nd Marines in December, 1934; and returned to the States February, 1937. Two years after his promotion to Master Gunnery Sergeant, July 10, 1939, he was assigned to the Depot of Supplies at Philadelphia to help design a new infantry pack.

Following the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, Lou shipped out to Guadalcanal with "H" Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Marine Division, arriving at the beaches August 7, 1942. He was 52 years old. Among the many fables concerning his "Canal" service is the tale that he lobbed a mortar shell down the smoke stack of an off-shore Japanese cruiser. It is considered a fact, however, that he drove the cruiser from the bay with his harassing "near-misses."

An indication of Sergeant Diamond's value to the Corps is found in a letter of commendation for "outstanding performance of duty on Tulagi and Guadalcanal," from commandant of the Marine Corps. The letter states in part: To every man in your company you were a counselor, an aarbiter of disputes, and an ideal Marine.

Your matchless loyalty and love of the Marine Corps and all it stands for, are known to hundreds of officers and men of this Division, and will serve as an inspiration to them on all the battlefields on which this Division may in the future be engaged.
After two months on Guadalcanal, physical disabilitites dictated "Mr. Leatherneck's" evacuation by air against his wishes.

He was moved to the New Hebrides and later to a hospital in New Zealand, where he proved to be a somewhat obstreperous patient. Somehow, he acquired orders to board a supply ship for New Caledonia, where a friend ordered him back to Guadalcanal--the supposed location of his old outfit. Upon his arrival, however, Diamond discovered that the 1st Marine Division had shipped out to Australia, a distance of over 1500 miles. Lou made the trip, without orders, by bumming rides on planes, ships and trains.

But "Mr. Marine" was destined to see no more combat. On July 1, 1943, he disembarked from the USS HERMITAGE at San Pedro, California, and twelve days later was made an instructor at the Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C. He was transferred to Camp Lejeune on June 15, 1945, and joined the 5th Training Battalion with the same duties.

A familiar sight in the early morning on the company street thereafter was "Old Lou," standing with watch in hand and whistle in mouth, awaiting the first note of reveille to break the men out.
Master Gunnery Sergeant Leland Diamond retired on November 23, 1945, and returned to his home in Toledo, Ohio.

His death at the Great Lakes, Illinois, Naval Training Center Hospital, September 20, 1951, was followed by a funeral, with full military honors, at Sylvania, Ohio.
He was survived by a brother, Irving, of Toledo.
-USMC-

March, 1956

The above information was provided me by the Marine Corps Historical Center, in response to my request for information on the legendary Lou Diamond.

http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/Lou.html


This is an extension/satellite site of Gunny G's Marine WebSites
By Dick Gaines
GySgt USMC Ret.
Postal 0161 (1952-72) Gunny G's HomePage Links
Lou's NewsClips & Photos
See Marine Vignette #49-"Diamond!F" For more
Mr. Marine/Mr. Leatherneck Comments
Pfc Tom Dowlearn's Story
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This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 209.130.220.166 on Sep 30, 2002 1:21 PM


 
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Dick G
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Lou Diamond -Ultimate Grief Counselor...

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September 30 2002, 1:25 PM 

# 143...MGySgt Leland "Lou" Daimond: Ultimate Grief Counselor
by Dick G
Dick G (Login Dick Gaines)
Forum Owner

GyG'sMailbag: Lou Diamond, Grief Counselor...
by Dick G
Dick G (login Dick Gaines)
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From :
"Chris Bramley" <CWBRAMLEY@worldnet.att.net>

To :
<GunnyG@hotmail.com>

Subject :
Lou Diamond

Date :
Fri, 2 Nov 2001 23:03:17 -0500

< < <> > > Reply Reply All Forward Delete Printer Friendly Version

Hi Gunny,

I am a former enlisted Marine - a Field Radio Operator in the Infantry and Gulf war vet. (I am giving serious consideration to re-enlisting in the Marine Reserves or National Guard these days).

Shortly after returning home from the (1st) Persian Gulf War I began dating the woman I would eventually marry. She was shocked when her father actually liked me - he had hated everyone she and her sisters had ever dated. Turns out he was an ex-Marine. He was fighting cancer at the time and would pass away within a year. During that time he told me a number of stories about his time in the Corps including a great one about Lou Diamond.

My father-in-law, Bill Dodge, enlisted in the Marines in early 1945 and was shipped off to Parris Island. At the time, the Corps was gearing up for the planned assault on mainland Japan. Because there were so many recruits in training, his platoon lived in GP tents throughout their training.

One day a recruit in his platoon cracked under the pressure. Sitting on his cot, the recruit loaded his rifle, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The .30-06 blew his brains all over the tent and left a hole in the roof.

While the members of the platoon sat there too stunned to move, Lou Diamond walked into the tent and looked around. He yelled: "Any of you other ****birds want to shoot yourselves, have the courtesy to take it outside!" Then he ordered the platoon to clean up the mess, and walked away.

My father-in-law had to help mop up the blood and brains. The hole in the top of the tent never was fixed, he got wet every time it rained for the rest of boot camp.
_____________________________________

I think of this story whenever I hear of someone needing "grief counseling" or "sensitivity training." Lou Diamond was the ultimate grief counselor!

Chris Bramley


Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern
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R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-72

Posted on Nov 3, 2001, 7:17 AM
from IP address 209.130.221.247

 
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Dick G
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209.130.220.243

From An Old Salt Marine...

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December 15 2002, 9:35 AM 

Lou Diamond information
by Billie Redding Lewis Billie Redding Lewis
usmcwr@gate.net

There is a slight error in the message was sent to you about Lou Diamond. According to the record you were given he came from the Pacific in '43 and in 12 days was in S.C.

He was at the San Diego Marine Corps Depot in August of '44 for I saw him, the Legend. He had a goatee, no hat, no field scarf, but sharp otherwise. One of women Marines complained to the Base Commander that Lou Diamond wouldn't salute her. The Commander replied, "Lieutenant, Diamond salutes only the Commandant of the Marine Corps." Later when I learned his history I was thrilled to have seen him and have been a fan of his ever since. I thank you for putting his bio on Internet. You have done a great service to many. Billie Redding Lewis, one of those Women Marines of WWII who were not liked by the "old salts." I could understand that, but those who had not been indoctrinated into the military life were insulted.

Again, thanks.
usmcwr@gate.net

Posted on Dec 14, 2002, 7:45 PM
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This message has been edited by Dick Gaines from IP address 209.130.220.243 on Dec 15, 2002 9:38 AM


 
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