OOHRAH, and other things that go bump in the night...
by Dick Gaines (Login Dick Gaines)
Is Dave Kendrick still alive and kicking? Dave was one of my corporals when I was a PltLdr in HqBn. In the summer of '49 1stMarDiv ReconCo, was based out of Camp Del Mar. The CO was a 1stLt named John Alexander, and the XO 1stLt Ralph Crossman. 2dLt Dana Cashion had one platoon, and I the other. The PltSgts were GySgt Slagle and GySgt Ernest L. DeFazio, with the latter being my PltSgt. The "Experimental Submarine Company" was designated, for reasons I've never understood, as A Company, 7th Marines. At that time regiments had but three rifle companies under the "I" series of T/Os. A/7/1stMarDiv was commanded by Captain Kenny Houghton, with 1stLt Jim Williams as XO. That company, like ourselves, were based out of Del Mar, but spent a great deal of time aboard the Perch. I know that A Company was aboard Perch when she was rammed by a destroyer in "C" lane off the strand at Del Coronado in the summer of '48, but how much further back than that they had an association with Perch I don't know. MGen Kenny Houghton is still alive, and I'd guess he could tell you. Anyway, I became acquainted with Captain Houghton, and when he redeployed to Perch at North Island in San Diego, he asked that my platoon be attached to him. I'd not bet the farm on it, but it seems to me that Dave Kendrick was in my platoon at that time. We were prepping for Operation "MIKI" in Hawaii in October, and then a MICOWEX 50A on the north coast of the Alaskan Peninsula in January/February of 1950. During the latter exercise Cmdr Oly Payne (Sp?) suffered a mental collapse, and was succeeded by his XO, LtCmdr Bob Quinn. The latter would command Perch during her glory days raiding North Korea targets in July 1950.
When we returned from Alaska in March 1950, during which time we encountered and depth charged at least one submarine in the outer Kodiak (Recon Company was embarked on USS Wantuck, APD 125), Captain Houghton succeeded to command of the DivReconCo. Crossman remained as XO, and Cashion and I as platoon commanders. When Korea broke out on 16Jun50 Houghton took out my old platoon with an officer new to the company, 2dLt Don Sharon. I went to D/2/5 as a PltCmdr with additional duties as BnReconOfficer. 2dLt Dana Cashion, with part of his platoon, and a UDT unit, embarked in Perch and made the raids on the west coast of North Korea. Following the disbandment of the raiding group, Dana joined G/3/5 as a PltCmdr and survived the war.
I've read that Dave Kendrick, then a GySgt, was in Force Recon in 1954 and brought the OORAH with him. Of course, I'd have expected that since the OORAH was already a sort of battle cry when my recon platoon joined A Company in June, 1949. Exactly who originated it I haven't a clue, but for sure for sure OORAH was alive and well the first time we worked off Perch. If Dave is still on the right side of the soil, I know that he'll confirm everything I've written previously.
The last time I saw Dave was at Phu Bai in June 1966. He was 1stSgt or SgtMajor of some outfit, and I was the Phu Bai Defense Commander in addition to my duties as CO of 1/4/3dMarDiv. Should Dave still be around and a member of your outfit, tell him Sully said Semper Fi.
I figure this will give you guys something to chew on regarding when OORAH originated. Semper Fidelis, Sully website: http://sullyusmc.com
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