Gunny G's Marine Vignettes - Tales Of The Corps!

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Sunday, 16 April 2000
 
Marine Vignette #107, "Lifetime Medical Care Was Clearly Promised," by Gene Pool, Maj USMC

Background:
The following is in regard to the present situation where medical benefits for retired military personnel have been seriously cut back, little by little through the years; and now, the federal government is denying that lifetime medical care for military retirees was ever promised at all. While younger Americans may believe that, there are still many of us around to say that that was definitely not the case at all! Major Pool, USMC (Ret.) is one of those who was there! And here is his statement.
*********
From: Gene Pool <MAJPOOL30@aol.com>
To: GunnyG@HotMail.Com
Subject: Network54 Auto Response: Lifetime Medical care was clearly promised
Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 18:17:29 -0700

In response to your message titled "Vets Testify About Empty
Promise Of Lifetime Medical Care"
At:
http://network54.com/Forum/message?messageid=954872333&forumid=53892

Gene Pool has replied (with title "Lifetime Medical care was
clearly promised"):

In 1948 my recruiter told me, and my father who signed for me,
that lifetime medical care was one of the benefits of a 20 year
plus career. I was taught this in 1955 as a student at the
Marine Corps recruiter's school at Parris Island, SC. From 1955
to 1958, as a Marine Recruiter in Greenwood, Mississippi I used
that promise as a main selling point to join and serve for a
career. In 1961 and 1962 as an instructor at Marine Corps
recruiter's school,Parris Island, SC I taught hundreds of
Marines that lifetime medical care was one of the many benefits
of making the Corps a career.

As a First Sergeant of Marines I counseled thousands of marines
on the benefits of making the Corps a career. The promise of
lifetime medical care was big on that list reasons to stay. I
repeated those promises many times as a platoon commander,
company commander, staff officer, and other assignments as a
leader of Marines.

This was important to me at Inchon, Seoul and the Chosin
campaign.It was important in Dom Rep and Viet Nam. It was
important to me when I retired in 1977. It is important to me
and my family now, especially since I turn 70 next month.

Looking back on all those promises that I made, which was policy
at the time, I am saddened that my country has made a lier out
of me. Its a matter of integrity. Marine First Sergeants frown
highly on having their integrity impuned. Marine Corps Mustang
Majors get down right pissed off.

Gene Pool
Major of Marines
Retired

-------------------------
From: MAJPOOL30@aol.com
To: gunnyg@hotmail.com (Richard Gaines)
Subject: Lifetime Medical Care
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 17:50:19 EDT

Gunny G.

Permission granted to include my thoughts about the promise of
lifetime medical care in your Marine Vignettes.

I am one of the Chosin Few who was one of the fortunate few who
1) Survived
2) Had a successful career in the finest organization in the
world
3) Had a
second career with an organization that recognized and
appreciated the value
of having a former Marine on their staff, and 4) Am still in
reasonably good health and do volunteer work as President of a statewide not for profit organization whose mission is to make life better for the unfortunate few that suffer with mental illness.

In my spare time I serve as a member of a national veterans
committee and drive a van once a month to haul disabled vets to the VA hospital about 150 miles away.

Keep up the good work and SEMPER FI

Gene Pool
Major of Marines
Retired
**************
My thanks, and
Semper Fidelis
to Major Pool
-Dick Gaines


Comments: 22Reply with comment  

Tuesday, 25 February 2003
The Old Gunny & The T/Sgt!

Ref

http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/rank2.html

Veteran Marines have probably seen the picture of
a knight in a suit of armor, sword and shield,
etc., and which is captioned, "If your 782 gear
doesn't look like this, then you are NOT Old
Corps!

Reminds me of an incident of long ago (1952) involving
an old retired Marine gunnery sergeant and an
active-duty Marine technical sergeant.

I think the setting was a restaurant in
Oceanside, California--I was a boot Pfc not more
than 17, and so it could not have been a bar--but
I know it did occur in Oceanside.

The gist of the conversation between these two
had been generally the war in Korea,the
Old Corps, etc. At one point, the old gunny said to the T/Sgt,
something to the effect that, "if your gunny
chevrons don't look like this (he went on to
describe what his own GySgt insignia/chevrons had
been, with great pride and in detail) then don't speak to me of the Old Corps!" Or, words to that effect--it has been a long time!)

Whether his chevrons had been the three chevrons
and crossed/rifles w/bursting bomb, or the later
(same as above) but w/two rockers/arcs added, I
do not know. At that time, I had no idea what the
Gunny was talking about, and I did not develop,
until these many years later, sufficient interest
in the finer points and details of Marine Corps
history, when I finally
researched this topic thoroughly.

One more point--regarding the technical sergeant
above, from 1946 through 1958, the technical
sergeant was referred to as "gunny"--this was
because the rank of gunnery sergeant had been
abolished in 1946 and was not reinstated until
1959. Since the T/Sgt in 1946 then wore the old
insignia/chevrons (three-up/two rockers/arcs, and
formerly worn by the gunnery sergeant) he
sort of inherited the title of Gunny.

In any case, the topic of the history of Marine
Corps enlisted rank and insignia is an
interesting and varied study for those interested
in such things. For most others it would appear
to be of no interest whatever.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines

=====
R.W. "Dick" Gaines, GySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952-72
Gunny G's Marines Old Salts Tavern (Sites &
Forums)
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/gunny.html>;
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern (GyG's
Weblog/Forum)
http://network54.com/Forum/135069>;
Note: In some cases, your e-mail may not reach me

here, as I am restricting use to selected
individuals (due to spam).You may reach me by
posting to
Weblog above.

=====
R.W. "Dick" Gaines, GySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952-72
Gunny G's Marines Old Salts Tavern (Sites &
Forums)
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/gunny.html>;
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern (GyG's
Weblog/Forum)
http://network54.com/Forum/135069>;
Note: In some cases, your e-mail may not reach me
here, as I am restricting use to selected
individuals (due to spam).You may reach me by posting to
Weblog above.

Comments: -Reply with comment  

Saturday, 11 January 2003
Gunny G's Book Reviews...

This is G o o g l e's cache of http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/BookReview.html.
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These search terms have been highlighted: bobby garwood usmc
GyG's Book Reviews-
Reading List
*
Were American POWs knowingly left behind in Vietnam?
YES
Did any of these prisoners get out of Vietnam alive?
YES
Do you need to hear this incredible story?
YES
*
Spite House
The Last Secret of the War in Vietnam
by Monika Jensen-Stevenson
*
(The following information is from the book jacket of Spite House and the Amerikan Expose website.)
*
Two U. S. Marines, both totally loyal to the same beliefs; one is turned into a hunter, and the other into prey. Such a distortion of patriotism would not be credible unless buttressed by the testimony of both men.
*
In 1965, Marine private Robert Garwood, ten days short of the end of his tour, was sent on a mission from which he did not return. Ambushed by the Vietcong, he was held prisoner for fourteen years. In 1979 he escaped and returned to the United States, where he was hastily court-martialed and convicted of collaborating with the enemy.
*
Now at last we learn Garwood's true story; a harrowing, profoundly moving, fourteen year struggle to survive and prevail, not only over a cruel and manipulative enemy, but over his own country's secret efforts to kill him. Part of Colonel Tom McKenney's job in Vietnam was organizing killer teams to eliminate such "traitors," and Garwood became an obsession to him. Only twenty-five years later did he come to the conclusion that Garwood was innocent, and more than that, a hero. Thanks to McKenney's courageous testimony, and to the author's fearless pursuit of facts, an injustice is at last set right and the workings of a dreadful secret machinery are laid bare.
(from the book jacket)
*
November 11th, 1991
Crystal City Hilton
Washington, D.C.
Annual Meeting
Vietnam Veterans Coalition
*
"I sat at the speakers' table and noticed him come through the door. He surveyed the large room with some distaste and just a touch of embarrassment. Several hundred men and women were milling around breakfast tables...."
"Greeting people after my speech, I again became aware of the visitor, a ramrod-straight, imposing figure in a dark suit, waiting patiently, an intense look on his face. He made no move to speak. Only when I began to move away did he step forward and take both my hands in his. He began to weep silently. The silence stretched on and on. Finally he said, 'I am Colonel Tom C. McKenney. You must know how to reach Bobby Garwood. I directed an official mission to assassinate him behind enemy lines, because I believed what they told me. Would you please tell him I will crawl on my hands and knees to beg his forgiveness?' "
--from Spite House
*
Amerikan Expose Exclusive Interviews
with Monica Jensen-Stevenson, Tom McKenney, and Robert Garwood.
*
Chris Gerner has conducted twelve interviews totaling fifteen hours on Amerikan Expose with Monika Jensen-Stevenson, the author of Spite House, and with Tom McKenney and Bobby Garwood, the subjects of the book. They have a remarkable and heartbreaking story to tell. It is so important that you help to get this information out to the American people. Purchase the books and tapes and share them with your family and friends.
*
(Information regarding purchase of the above book and/or tapes is available at the Amerikan Expose website, click below)
Links
Amerikan Expose
Citizens for Honest Government
Articles By LtCol Tom McKenney USMC Ret.
Other Reviews#1
Other Reviews#2
Garwood Revisited
Zippo's Corner
Firebird 90
Why Didn't You Get Me Out?
Review (above book)
Marine Secret Execution!
By Lee O. Miller
New! Shocking! Controversial!
A Fellowship Of Valor: The Battle History of the USMC
By Col. Joseph H. Alexander, USMC (Ret.)
POW/MIA Books
Soldiers Of The Sea: The USMC
By Col. Robert D. Heinl USMC
Books By Maj. Gene Duncan USMC Ret.
(See also, Sea Stories-MainPageLinks)
Fortunate Son: The Autobiography of Lewis B. Puller Jr.
Korean Vignettes: Faces of War
By Arthur W. Wilson
Marine! The Life of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. (Chesty) Puller USMC (Ret.)
By Burke Davis
Sir, Yes Sir
By Martin Iacampo Sr.
Brothers In Battle
By R. Bruce Watkins
Marine Corps Association Bookstore
Military/Marine Videos and Books
Into The Crucible: Making Marines For The 21st Century
By Captain James B. Woulfe USMC
Marine Pioneers: The Unsung Heroes of WWII
By LtCol Kerry Lane USMC Ret.
Wake Island: The Heroic Gallant Fight
By Duane Schultz, 1978

(From the book jacket)
"It is December 1941. The swiftness and devastation of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor is thought to be the most humiliating and overwhelming military defeat the United States has ever suffered....But one tiny, lonely island holds on. Four hundred forty-nine Marines, sixty-eight sailors, six soldiers, and a few hundred civilian construction workers fight on with four outdated fighter planes, discarded battle ship cannons, a few machine guns and rifles, and some World War I helmets.
....is the gripping story....of the men who worked the miracle in those dark days of December, 1941. In the end, Wake Island was lost, but not before stalling the lightning attack of the Japanese and winning valuable time for the faltering Allies. It was, in a sense, the Allies first victory, a brief but glorious glimpse of light, an indication of the bravery and determination that the Allies would demonstrate time and time again in the years ahead.
But most of all, the action at Wake enabled Americans and people around the world to stand a little taller in these grim days of December, to swell with pride at the cockiness and determination which those few displayed in the face of disaster."
***
Considering the power accumulated for the invasion of Wake Island, and the meager forces of the defenders, it was one of the most humiliating defeats we had ever suffered.
Masatake Okumiya, Commander
Japanese Imperial Navy


A Magnificent Fight: Marines in the Battle for Wake Island
Facing Fearful Odds: The Siege of Wake Island By Gregory Urwin
The Defense of Wake By LtCol R.D. Heinl, Jr. USMC
THE BIG YANKEE
The Life of Carlson of the Raiders
By Michael Blankfort, Little, Brown and Company. Boston, 1947

This biography is the story of one of the most impressive figures to emerge from World War II. Evans F. Carlson is a living war hero who has won a place in the hearts of thousands of Americans through his courage, his humanity, and his grasp of the issues of war and peace. It is the story of Carlson the soldier and of Carlson the great American who has struggled against prejudice, complacency and ignorance to realize his vision of democracy in our military organizations and in the world at large.

Here is the picture of a magnetic military leader who built up the revolutionary Raider Battalion on the principles of "Gung-Ho" and led it into the first land encounter with Jap forces. But underneath the superefficient soldier and planner of battles is the American looking for a way to fulfill the promise of our tradition. Carlson was raised in New England; he ran away from home, entered the Army, was sent to Europe, learned about guerilla warfare in Nicaragua and Asia. His first visit to China opened his eyes to the struggle men were still making to achieve democracy. He lived and fought with the Eighth Route Army. He tried to tell the world what he had learned about military democracy and the threat of Japanese facism. Officialdom, however, was not ready for his messge and he had to resign from the Marine Corps to bring his warning to the American people. Time proved his predictions true, and after 1941 he rejoined the Marines and organized the famous Raider Battalion, which put in practice what he had learned in China and all that he believed about American democracy.

Michael Blankfort was in the Marine Corps himself and got to know Colonel (now Brigadier General) Carlson there. He has written this biography through this personal knowledge od Carlson and through conferences with his family and close friends and enthusiastic veterans who served with him.
This is an extension/satellite site of Gunny G's WebSites
By Dick Gaines
GySgt USMC Ret.
Postal 0161 (1952-72)
~ HomePage ~
This page created with Netscape Navigator Gold

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Tuesday, 7 January 2003
The Old Corps - The Straight Scoop ... by Dick Gaines

"Nothing sounds worse than an old salt blowing
his bugle....before that war we had men among us
who never knew that life existed outside the
Corps. Leather lunged and ramrod straight, hard
drinkers and fighters and spit-and-polish career
men."

The above words were spoken by "Mac," an old salt
Marine, the Master Technical Sergeant in the book
(later, the movie), Battle Cry, by Leon Uris,
1953. And he was reflecting on the great changes
that had taken place affecting his chosen way of
life in the Corps with the advent of WW II.

Although many of us likely have differing
opinions as to just what constitutes the "Old
Corps," I think that most of us here reading this
would accept that period between the two world
wars as such. Also, I believe it is true that we
all initially see all of those Marines who came
before us as old corps; but later, after a few,
or many, years our perception of that tends to
narrow somewhat and we all decide to some degree
just what the old corps means to us individually.
Our opinions are founded and shaped according to
when we entered the Corps, our experiences, etc.
And so our own perception of the Old Corps may
become both similar and /or dissimilar to one
another's.

But it is that period of time between the world
wars that I would choose for myself as that which
best falls into the category of Old Corps--for
me, anyway--and it is that period that I would
prefer to write about. That era was a time when
the Marine Corps was very small (less than
20,000), and career Marines are said to have
known most other career Marines, either by sight
or reputation.

Regretably, I think there is too little specific
information available regarding the routine
everyday life of Marines during that period,
although, we can find numerous bits and pieces
regarding this in some books on this general era.
But these are few and far between, as most books
are written with a specific focus toward its main
theme, not allowing for too many other details.

There is one obvious exception to the above. I am
referring to Brigadier General Robert H.
Williams' book, The Old Corps-A Portrait of the
U.S. Marine Corps Between the Wars, 1982, Naval
Institute Press.This book is presently
out-of-print, but well worth looking for for
those interested in this subject.

In 1953-54, I was a member of the 3rd Marine
Regiment commanded by Colonel Robert H. Williams,
from CJHP, Kaneohe Bay, to Middle Camp Fuji,
Japan. Colonel Williams was just such an "Old
Breed" Marine. Colonel Williams cut an impressive
figure as a Marine, and I observed him pretty
much on a daily basis, as my duties were that of
a postal clerk at the post office at the
regimental headquarters building.

The regimental commander was often seen attired
in campaign hat, battle jacket, riding breeches
and boots, and he carried a riding crop. During
WW II, he had been commander of the 1st Marine
Parachute Battalion on Guadalcanal, and later
served as XO of 28th Marines on Iwo Jima. But his
book was focused on his own personal experiences
prior to WW II. He states that, "Since I was
commissioned a second lieutenant in 1929, the
first ten years of my service coincided with with
what may be considered the last decade of the Old
Corps."

Myself, I didn't join the Marine Corps until
1952, so by my own definition above, I do not
qualify as old corps. But I served with some
Marines who definitely belonged in that
category--mostly staff non-commissioned officers.
Of course, there were by far many more old-timers
around than just those I knew about because I
worked with them. It was not uncommon, at that
time, to see corporals and buck sergeants wearing
up to three or more hashmarks. And
multiple-hashmarked Privates and PFCs were
occasionally seen. And, by the same token, there
were also a few "slick-sleeve" Staff NCOs around
too.

There was one M/Sgt who had been a China Marine
before I was born; another, A T/Sgt (they were
usually called "Gunny") who had been a POW in the
Pacific during WW II; another M/Sgt who
ocassionally wore an old khaki shirt
w/out-of-date, obsolete, chevrons (three up/two
down, w/a diamond in the center)--he said he had
been a first sergeant at one time. Later, much
later, I learned that those chevrons were the
insigne of a pre-1937 first sergeant. And there
were others, many others, some who were even
veterans of the "Banana Wars!"

Makes me now wonder why, with such a wealth of
living Marine Corps history so near to me, I had
not questioned them more closely concerning their
experiences. But, back then, I tended not to get
too "personal"--I was content to listen to their
sea stories and let it go at that. PFCs were like
that.

An unknown author has stated that "sea stories
are the preferred means by which wisdom is passed
from the older generation of Marines to the
next." A lot of truth in that, I think--and a
great deal of good information has been lost
because more of us have not taken down and
preserved these things. I now regret that I had
not sought out these seeming trivial and mundane
things of old corps daily life, while I had the
opportunity to do so, and now I have only the
dimming memories of those (mostly one-sided)
coversations with the old salts.
-Dick Gaines




Ref: Guadalcanal, The Definitive Account by
Richard B. Frank:

"The Old Breed", as described by Lieutenant
Colonel Samuel B. Griffith, one of their own,
described them as they were formed at the
beginning or World War II in the lst Marine
Division just prior to Guadalcanal: "...first
sergeants yanked off "planks" in navy yards,
sergeants from recruiting duty, gunnery sergeants
who had fought in France, perennial privates with
disciplinary records a yard long. These were the
professionals, the "Old Breed" of the United
States Marines. Many had fought "Cacos" in Haiti,
"bandidos" in Nicaragua, and French, English,
Italian, and American soldiers and sailors in
every bar in Shanghai, Manila, Tsingtao,
Tientsin, and Peking."

"They were inveterate gamblers, and accomplished
scroungers, who drank hair tonic in preference to
post exchange beer ("horse piss"), cursed with
wonderful fluency, and never went to chapel ("the
Godbox") unless forced to. Many dipped snuff,
smoked rank cigars, or chewed tobacco (cigarettes
were for women and children). They had little use
for libraries or organized athletics...they could
live on jerked goat, the strong black coffee they
called "boiler compound," and hash cooked in a
tin hat."

"Many wore expert badges with bars for
proficiency in rifle, pistol, machine gun, hand
grenade, auto-rifle, mortar and bayonet. They
knew their weapons and they knew their tactics.
They knew they were tough and they knew they were
good. There were enough of them to leaven the
Division and to impart to the thousands of
younger men a share of both the unique spirit
which animated them and the skills they
possessed. They were like a drop of dye in a
gallon of water, they gave the whole division an
unmistakable hue and they stamped a nickname on
the division: "the Old Breed."

First To Fight!!!

Ref The book, The Old Corps, by BGen Robert H.
Williams USMC (Ret,), 1982, Naval Institute Press

"Staff non-commissioned officers (those of the
top three pay grades) possessed, as they
doubtless do now, a status in relation to the
more numerous sergeants and corporals comparable
to that of field officers to company officers.
Exempt from guard duty, they were not required to
fall in at mess formations and sat behind a
screen at a special table at the far end of the
mess hall away from the galley. There they could
eat "early chow" if they wished. A marine could
be well into his third four-year enlistment
before attaining the third pay grade of staff or
platoon sergeant.

Enlisted rank designations were generally the
same as those of the Army except for the unique
rank of gunnery sergeant. Unlike the first world
war, it was the rank of the third pay grade,
below that of sergeant major and first sergeant.
Functionally, gunnery sergeants were then platoon
sergeants. Platoon leaders were normally second
lieutenants, but sometimes one platoon of a
company would not have an officer assigned and
would be led by its gunnery sergeant. This had a
curious effect. Perhaps feeling deprived at
having no officer and realizing that their
"gunny" was competing with officers, the members
of such a platoon seemed to try harder to perform
well.

A marine first sergeant was just what that rank
designation implies. As in the Army, he was the
senior non-commissioned officer at company level,
but was primarily responsible for administration.
As the burden of paperwork increased, the first
sergeant was more and more confined to his desk.
The need arose for another NCO to be moved up to
the same pay grade as the first sergeant in order
to project senior NCO authority to the drill
field, the classroom, and the rifle range. In
1920 gunnery sergeants were moved up one pay
grade to rank with first sergeants. Later another
rank, staff or platoon sergeant, was created to
replace the gunnery sergeant in the third pay
grade.

A gunnery sergeant might be in his early
thirties, fit, bronzed from the sun, taciturn
rather than loquacious, possibly foreign born. He
might roll his own cigarettes or smoke "tailor
mades" (packaged cigarettes), or he might use
snuff....Within the closed, stratified society of
a company or detachment, both first sergeant and
gunnery sergeant were obeyed with alacrity and
afforded unfailing respect, but there seemed to
be a more discernable warmth in the attitudeof
the men toward the latter than toward the first
sergeant. Except on formal ocassions he was
addressed with friendly respect as "Gunny" by all
ranks from commissioned officers to the youngest
marines recently joined from boot camp. Whether
wearing his field hat with khaki shirt and
trousers or turned out in the martial splendor of
undress blues, perhaps wearing the fourragere of
the Croix de Guerre, he was the archetypal marine
who confidently demanded the respect from
superior and subordinate alike, and received it
ungrudgingly."

The Old Marine Corps
" In the 1930s, both officers and men often made
reference to that Corps of the past....and always
stressing the adjective. Of course, to a young
officer like myself or to a nineteen-year-old
private, the Old Marine Corps was simply part of
an unremembered past which had no bearing on our
lives. It was the Corps in which senior officers
and NCOs had served before we were born, or the
Corps that had sent a brigade of marines to fight
in France when we were children. We knew only the
Corps of the 1930s in which we were serving.

I used to speculate about the image in the mind's
eye of those admirable NCOs, on whose sleeves so
many enlistment stripes were sewn, when they
infrequently uttered those words seriously.
Eventually I understood. Each generation of
marines, as it approaches middle age after twenty
years of service, acquires its own Old Corps,
that of its youth. Its idealization is probably
strongest if the earliest years of service
preceeded a wartime expansion.

Those senior NCOs of the 1930s were not recalling
the Corps that provided half the infantry of the
famous Second Division of the American
Expeditionary Force in 1918.What they referred to
was an apotheosis of the peacetime Corps in which
they had served before the wartime expansion of
1917. The discipline and standards of the
close-knit peacetime few cannot be transmitted in
all their essence to the wartime many. With the
return of peace comes the contraction to another
Corps of regulars. Regulars in name only at
first, who in time will approach but never quite
attain the remembered excellence of theOld
Corps."


Ref The Book, Semper Fi, Mac-Living Memories of
the U.S. Marines In WWII, by Henry Berry, Quill,
1982

Warrant Officer Joseph Crousen (enlisted 1925)
Sergeant Major Francis McGrath (enlisted 1927)

~Discussion~

Joe: ....we had a PFC by the name of Deacon Jones
and so help me gawd, the ole Deacon had
twenty-eight years in the Corps and he was still
a PFC. Can you beat that?
Mac: Oh, Christ, the Deacon! You could put Jones
in the Sahara Desert and he'd find some booze
before the night was over.
Joe: That was his problem. When he'd make
corporal, he'd go out and get a snootful. Then
he'd tell all the officers to go to the
devil--he'd lose that second stripe every time.
Crousen: ...and that's how I made buck sergeant.
I think it was in '38. I guess I was just about
the youngest sergeant in the Corps.
Mac: That's probably right, in '31, when I came
back to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, we had a buck
sergeant named Charley Dowd. He'd made sergeant
in 1909--can you believe that--a buck sergeant in
1909 and still one in 1931?
Joe: Yeah, well money was real scarce in them
days....
Mac: Tell me, Joe. You made platoon sergeant at
Quantico in '40--right?
Joe: Yes, I had thirteen years in at the time. I
remember walkin' into the the NCO club there and
seein' all these buck-ass sergeants with
hashmarks up and down their sleeves. Plenty of
'em had lots of time on me. I had to git the hell
outa there--thought they were going to whip the
hell outa me.
Mac: Oh, you were a boot to some of those men.
Well, I made buck sergeant at the same time. You
had to have that third stripe to get a car on the
base. So I dashed over to Stratford, Virginia,
and bought a new Plymouth for $842. Joe, do you
remember Lou Diamond?
Joe: That sly old devil, of course I do.
Mac: Well, every time Lou saw me driving by; he'd
grunt out, "Quantico's playboy, Quantico's
playboy--big deal!"...
Mac: ...."Chesty," you see, was an old Marine
expression meaning cocky. That's how Lewis Puller
got his nickname "Chesty," even though most of
the old timers always called him Lewie.
Joe: Well, Francis, we're what you'd call the Old
Breed. Our time has long come and gone. But damn
it, there's plenty of career men on active duty
right now, probably a generation or so younger
than we are. And if this country gets into real
hot water again, I bet they'd do as good a job as
we did in turning a bunch of kids into Marines.
There ain't nothin' ever going to change the
Corps. No sir.
Mac: Joe, you're probably right . But where in
the hell did the time go to? How would you like
to turn the clock back fifty years and once again
be sitting around the table at Hempel's joint on
Hatemen Street--maybe just one more stein of beer
there. What would you say to that?
Joe: Amen, Sergeant Major, Amen!
This Site is an extension of
Gunny G's Old Salts Tavern
Sites & Forums!
by
R.W. "Dick" Gaines
GySgtUSMC (Ret.)
1952-72 All Rights Reserved!

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=====
R.W. "Dick" Gaines, GySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952-72
Gunny G's Marines Old Salts Tavern (Sites &
Forums)
http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/gunny.html
Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern (GyG's
Weblog/Forum)
http://network54.com/Forum/135069
Note: In some cases, your e-mail may not reach me
here, as I am restricting use to selected
individuals (due to spam).You may reach me by posting to
Weblog above.

___________________

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Tuesday, 7 January 2003
Don't You Dare Call Me A Soldier! by Dick Gaines

DON'T YOU DARE CALL ME A SOLDIER!!!

Marines' sites and bulletin boards on the
Internet are nothing short of amazing regarding
what many do not know about Marine Corps history
and traditions. There are numerous cases where
Marines--some of them even senior enlisted
Marines and officers--post and respond to
downright erroneous information demonstrating a
definite lack of knowledge on various topics of
Marine Corps interest. I have addressed several
of these individual topics elsewhere on Gunny
G's.
Perhaps, some independent study would be in
order--better start at the top.

One random example, among many I have noticed,
are several items lately where Marines are
lambasting someone or other on the subject of
one's having dared to refer to a Marine, or
Marines, using the term "soldier."

With righteous indignation they scream that they
are Marines, not soldiers, and they decry those
who call them such! And rightfully so, in some
cases, where the media or an individual,
whatever, is using that term within an
inappropriate context.

Of course, they (both the writer and the Marine)
are acting out of their own lack of knowlege.
The user of the term "soldier" is not aware that
he should generally refer to all Marines as
"Marines"; and the Marine is very likely ignorant
of the fact that the word "soldier" is also
correct, in some cases.

Members of our sister-service, for example, the
U.S. Army, are soldiers, that is their name, but
Marines are not soldiers in that sense at all. I
am referring to Marines as soldiers in a much
broader, higher sense, as a class of soldier that
goes to the root of what a Marine is and does.


Reminds me of an oft-times repeated story of a
U.S. Army major visiting the wounded in a WWI
French hospital in 1918. As the story goes, the
major asked a young soldier if he was indeed an
American. "No sir," he replied, "I'm a Marine."
(Ref US Marine Corps In World war I 1917-1918,
Osprey, by Henry/Pavlovic, 1999)
Such it is that Marines have always exemplified
the inherent pride in their identity as a member
of the MarineCorps.

But, many Marines seem to be unaware of the fact
that the Marine Corps itself, as well as
individual Marines, has long referred with pride
to themselves as soldiers. To be sure, we are,
each of us, a United States Marine, that is our
TITLE, earned and claimed by us all as the
capstone of that which we are. But somewhere
within that coveted title lies the soldier
referred to in the following examples.

One dictionary defines the word Marine as, an
infantry soldier associated with a navy. No doubt
there are many references to the Royal Marines as
soldiers back through history. But we need not go
back that far. Our own U.S. Marine Corps has a
long listing of examples supporting the notion of
Marines as soldiers.

A U.S. Marine Corps Recruiting Service poster,
dated May 1866, announces that it is seeking MEN
for its ranks; it then goes on to refer to such
recruits as SOLDIERS no less than six times, and
not once using the word Marine or Marines!
(Ref the book, The Marines, by Simmons/Moskin,
Marine Corps Heritage Foundation, 1998)

And there is the USMC Recruiting Poster of more
recent vintage, shown at the top of this page.

And, in the book, Marine Corps Book of Lists, by
Nofi, Combined Publishing, 1997, the following.

"The Marines are both soldiers and sailors, a
part of the sea services." (Page 154)

"Some Marine Wisdom on Soldiering"
'To be a sergeant, you have to show your stuff.
I'd rather be an outstanding sergeant than just
another officer,"
-GySgt Dan Daly (Page 159)

"Soldiers trained in the ways of the sea,"
-CMC, BGen Benjamin H. Fuller, c. 1934 (Page 181)

"A Dozen Nicknames For Marines"
2. "The Soldiers of the Sea, a traditional term
for Marines dating back at least to the
seventeenth century." (Page 180)

"The finest soldier any captain could wish to
have," said of Dan Daly by BGen W.P. Upshur (Page
182)

The book, "Soldiers of the Sea: The U.S. Marine
Corps," by Col Robert D. Heinl USMC (Ret.),
Annapolis, 1962

The play, (and later, two films) "What Price
Glory," by Andersen/Shillings, 1926, has numerous
references to Marines as soldiers.

"He turned down the gold bars of a second
lieutenant. 'I'm a plain soldier,' he said, 'and
I want to stay one.'"
-GySgt John Basilone
(Ref John Basilone --Italian-American Hero
www.cimorelli.com/pie/heroes/basilone.htm)

Chapter XX, page 69,The United States Marine
Corps in the World War, by Major Edwin N.
McClellan, USMC,1920, Historical Branch, HQMC,
Wash, DC
"In recent years the Marine Corps has devoted a
great deal of time and energy to rifle practice,
believing that one of the first requirements of a
soldier is to know how to shoot...."

And many more references can be found, but
suffice to say, for the purpose of my little
spiel here, that these few examples should
establish that the use of "soldier" was long
commonly in use in the Corps.

The U. S. Marine Corps has a long and glorious
history. There is no need to be "touchy" as to
being referred to as a soldier, even when the
person speaking is not totally aware of all
involved in the fact he is alluding to.

Rather, be yourself informed of what is so and
what isn't, through your own research and
studies. Nor is it of any benefit to deride those
of other services, as is a common practice--
doing so merely reveals your own ignorance, and
it belittles our Corps.

As one old poster states, "Be a Marine!"

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines

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Friday, 27 December 2002
The Man We Left Behind Sgt Bill Genaust USMC - Iwo Jima 1945

The Man We Left Behind
Sgt Bill Genaust USMC-Iwo Jima 1945

October 4, 1999
We learn something new every day, or so they say. As a Marine, I considered myself well versed on the Iwo Jima operation and the famous flag raising, etc. that took place there on February 23, 1945. Many of the American public still do not know that there were actually two flag raisings that day, not just one; twelve flag raisers, not just six; several photographs and a motion-picture footage, not just one. And, today, only one of those twelve flag raisers remains alive, his name is Charles W. Lindberg. Most Marines, however, do know these things. And we know, most of us, the names of both the first and the second flag raisers, as well as the story of how it all came about.
And to a lesser extent some of us remember the names of those who photographed the flag raisings. Their names were Rosenthal, Lowery, Hipple, Campbell, and Genaust, etc. This little known story is about one of those Marine photographers, Sgt William Genaust USMC.

A few days ago, I received an e-mail from Mr. Frank Clynes, which expanded my knowledge of the events associated with the Iwo Jima operation, as follows.

The Man We Left Behind

Dear Sir,

I would like to seek your support in having the Navy Cross
awarded posthumously to Marine Corps Sergeant Bill Genaust. He was recommended for this medal by Lt. Colonel Donald Dickson USMC some fifty-four years ago, but it somehow slipped through the cracks of history. The recommendation was for action during the battle of Saipan. His heroic courage was detailed in a hand written letter from Colonel Dickson to Bill Genaust's widow, which explained
in detail why he recommended Bill for the second highest award in the Marine Corps.

Bill Genaust's story did not end on Saipan. His name and deeds
are well known to students of American history. He is the same Bill
Genaust who later climbed Mt. Suribachi and captured on motion picture film, the famous Flag Raising on Iwo Jima.

The newsreels of the day brought this historic flag raising to
millions of Americans in movie theaters all across the country, but Bill never lived to see his own pictures. He was killed in action just nine days after the flag was raised. His amazing story was told in the book "Immortal Images" by Tedd Thomey. <thomeytedd@webtv.net>


"Who will stand at either hand and guard the bridge with me?"
From the time of Horatius even unto the present, men of outstanding courage and character have always been there, to defend freedom against the forces of tyranny - often with little recognition or reward. Bill Genaust was such a man.

The Marines pride themselves in never leaving anyone behind, but
Genaust is still there... on Iwo Jima. When the USMC removed the bodies of those honored dead from the island for burial in national cemeteries, his was not among them. He and a comrade had entered a cave to flush out the enemy and were killed by a squad of Japanese hidden inside. The Marines hit the cave with a flame thrower and then blew up the entrance. He still lies there today, in an unmarked grave.

Combat photographers go into battle to capture on film the
heroism of others, only to die and lie forgotten in their own. Tedd Thomey did not forget him, nor should we. Today, in the age of "what's in it for me", America desperately needs to pause and to remember -- that once there were giants...

Go tell Bill Genaust that we're coming back for him.

"And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day
when I make up my jewels." ----- Malachi 3:17

ps: If you can help me find Lt. Col. Donald L. Dickson USMC,
that would be very helpful. The USMC has informed me they will follow through with the posthumous Navy Cross award if Lt. Dickson would resubmit his recommendation.

Frank Clynes
65 Pine Street
Swansea, Mass.

I informed Frank that I would attempt to assist him by posting his message on several Marine message boards, and several Marine related E-Mail Discussions Lists that I am familiar with, etc. And I did so, providing copies of each to Frank. I next heard back from Frank as follows.
Dick:

I want to thank you for your efforts on behalf of Sgt. Bill Genaust. If this Navy Cross can be posthumously awarded, it will be to the credit
and honor of every Marine who ever served this country.

But I have no intention of stopping there. Fortified with the national
publicity this long overdue presentation would generate, I intend to go to the Japanese Embassy in Washington, DC and request that their
government direct the Japanese Army, still garrisoned on Iwo Jima, to search for and locate the mortal remains of Sgt. Genaust and as many of his comrades as they can find, and send them home to a heroes welcome, to be buried with honor in Arlington National Cemetery.

Those Iwo Jima caves were interconnected by a vast complex of
tunnels that honeycombed through out the volcanic hills. In all likelihood, the Japanese squad that killed Genaust in that cave, escaped out the back door to fight another day. I'm betting that back door is still open, and the Japanese have preserved the WWII maps of those tunnels. It's time for the lost battalion to return. Sgt. Bill Genaust can bring them all home. It can be done. ...
Let's do it.

Whose heart within him never burned,
As home, his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on some foreign strand.
Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said;
"This is my own, my native land."
-Sir Walter Scott


--Frank Clynes

And here is a copy of the Col Dickson letter, etc. provided by Frank.

Dick..

The attached file is a picture of Bill Genaust. This web site below shows the Bill Genaust film clip.

http://www.iwojima.com/clips/index.htm

The following is the letter written by Lt. Col. Donald L. Dickson to the
widow of Sgt. Bill Genaust in 1944.. Please share it with your readers...
--Frank

My dear Mrs. Genaust:

Your letter of 7 May has been forwarded to me here at my new
location.

Please let me begin by telling you a little of how I feel about
your husband. Sgt. Bill Genaust was one of the finest men it has ever been my privilege to serve with. He was quiet, industrious and very courageous. I know how devoted he was to you and the children because he told me about you several times. Bill was the kind of man who represents the very best in the Marine corps. When I first heard he had become a casualty, it hit me harder personally than any of the other fine men I have lost. I had great confidence in Bill and I think he felt that. He never once let me down or did anything to lessen my feeling of his competence.

When we first hit Saipan in the Marianes, Bill was on the beach
early. It was rough because the Japs were throwing shells on that beach from every mortar within range. Several of these mortar shells landed near Bill and the concussion shocked him a bit. We told him to remain at the "Press Club" in Charan Kanoa until I could arrange transportation for him back to Pearl Harbor.

However, in a day or so Bill announced that he was completely
recovered, took his camera and rejoined his outfit. My opinion of him went up even higher.

I imagine he has told you about how he was wounded on Saipan.
Let me give you the story as I have pieced it together from witnesses.
Bill, a photographer named Howard McClue and a scout from the
4th Division were returning from Marpi Point on Saipan, a day or so before the island was announced "secure." They had completed their mission and were returning to deliver their negatives and secure more fresh film.

While still in the forward area, and very late in the afternoon, they were attacked by about twenty Japs. Bill told me that at first he
thought it was our own men who were charging them thinking Bill's party were Japs. They called out to stop shooting, that they were Marines but then they discovered the attackers were Japs.

The three marines took up positions behind a sugar cane railway
embankment and opened fire on the charging Japs. By the time the Japs had come within a hundred yards of the three Marines the attack was broken up and the remaining Japs took cover behind rocks, where they began a sniping duel.

Unknown to Bill or McClue, the scout withdrew to get help from a nearby Marine unit. McClue also withdrew, gathered about twenty
Marines and returned to the scene about an hour later. In the meantime, Bill remained and continued the fight. We counted nine Jap bodies later. When I asked Bill why he remained there fighting and if escape were possible for him, he answered in true Marine spirit. He said "Yes, I could have retreated through the cane field behind me, but when I yelled to the other two I got no answer.
I thought they might have been hurt so I stayed to make sure
the Japs didn't get them."

When McClue returned after an hour it was pretty dark and he brought his Marines out of the cane field too far down. Bill jumped up and yelled to them. At that moment a Jap rifleman put a bullet through the fleshy part of Bill's thigh. A hospital corpsman came up throu the cane field, gave Bill first aid and helped him back to an aid station. Sometime that night, McClue was shot through the heart while he was apparently searching for Bill.

Bill's wound was neither complicated or serious and a few days later he reported back from the field hospital to me. He limped a bit because he said his leg was stiff but otherwise he felt fine and told me he was ready to return to duty.

We had the Tinian operation coming up in about a week and I
badly needed photographers, but I told Bill to take it easy, I was going to send him back to Pearl Harbor. He left by air a few days later.

I immediately wrote up a recommendation for the Navy Cross for Bill and McClue and asked the Division to which they were attached to
forward it through official channels. When I returned to Pearl Harbor
after the Tinian show I again submitted these recommendations. To date I have heard no results.

I won't bore you with details, but my responsibility to the
photographers of my unit was rather unusual. I could order my Public Relations personnel here and there but with photo Personnel it was different and required a bit of red tape.

I had made up my mind that I would send Bill back to the States for a rest and had started the ball rolling for his transfer when I, myself, was ordered back upon completion of my second tour of overseas duty. I personally asked my relief to carry out the transfer but something unexpected must have turned up after I left, because Bill was assigned to the Iwo Jima operation.

Mrs. Genaust, I know you only from what Bill has told me.
However, if you are like Bill I think you want all the facts I can give you concerning him. These things are very difficult for me to write but I will try to tell you what I know what happened to Bill.

From two photographers who were at Iwo I received this information. I believe it myself and I give it to you as I heard it.

Bill is not a prisoner. He has given his most valuable possession to his country -- his life. He went to his God like the real man and Marine he was. If it must happen to me I want to go the same way.

As I understand it, a group of Marines were clearing caves of
die-hard Japs. Grenades were thrown in one cave and it was believed all the enemy were killed. The Marines wanted to double check and asked Bill if they could borrow his flash light. Bill said he would go in with them. They crawled in and Bill flashed his light around. There were many Japs still alive and they immediately opened fire. Bill dropped without a sound. As the bearer of the light he had been the first target for a number of bullets. I feel sure he never knew what happened to him.

The Marines forced the Japs deeper into the cave but could not
get them out. More men would have been killed in carrying out of the narrow cave Bill's lifeless body. TNT charges were quickly planted at the cave mouth and exploded. The whole cave mouth was blocked with earth from the explosion and Bill's body was completely buried by it.

That is why Bill has been carried as "missing in action." This
is an iron bound rule that the body must be recovered and identified before a man is reported "killed in action." So until the cave is excavated and Bill's body is recovered he will be carried as "missing in action,"

General Denig informs me that the movie of the flag raising on
Mt. Suribachi was taken by Bill. You may have seen it in the news reels. Bill must have been standing besides Joe Rosenthal when Joe made his famous still picture of the flag raising which is so widely used as a poster for the 7th War Loan Drive. Bill got movies of the same event, and when I look at the picture, I will always think of Sergeant Bill Genaust and be proud that he was one of my boys.

Inadequate as it is during times like these, I offer my deepest
sympathy to you and the rest of Bill's family. The world and the Marine Corps has lost a fine, courageous man. I have lost a friend.

Please feel free to call upon me for anything in which I can
help you. I shall of course send on to you any further information
concerning Bill that I receive.

May Bill's courage and character be a source of strength to you
at this time.

Sincerely,
Donald L. Dickson
Lt. Col. U.S.M.C.

And then this regarding Colonel Dickson....

Richard Gaines...
Your efforts paid off. We may have found Lt. Colonel Donald
Dickson.
I received the following message:
Hello
Saw your notes on above on the Scuttlebutt and Small Chow pages.
For your info, I provide the following:
1. Colonel Donald L. Dickson is a famous Marine who was a PRO with
CinCPAC, and who covered Marine Corps operations in the Pacific. He participated in landings in the Marshall Islands, Saipan & Tinian. No doubt Sgt. Genaust was in his unit. He returned to the states in Nov 1944 and so was not in the Iwo Jima operation. In the 1950's he became Editor and Publisher of "Leatherneck" for many years and authored several Marine Corps books. He was born in Jan 1906 which would make him 93 years old today. Contact with the Editor's office at Leatherneck should provide you with updated information on his status. Another thought occurs. He may have donated his personal papers to the Marine Corps Historical Center at the Washington Navy Yard. Or his family may have them. It is possible that a copy of any recommendations he made for awards for any of his men may be contained therein. You should also determine the Unit that Sgt Genaust served with as reports may still exist in archives which detail his heroism.

2. I have consulted "Heroes of the Marine Corps 1861-1955" by
Jane Blakeney and find no award of a Navy Cross (or a Silver Star) for 'Howard McClue' or Sgt Genaust.

3. There WAS a huge fire in St. Louis in 1973. However, Marine
Corps records were not harmed! A request through official channels should produce the Service Records of Genaust and McClue for review.

4. There is a gentleman named Mr. Ben Frank, who for many years
was affiliated with the Marine Corps Historical Center. He is on the
list of Scuttlebutt and Small Chow. perhaps he can help.

Keep me posted. Semper Fi!
Bob Gill Major USMCR (Ret)
-------------------------------------------------

Dick, I've sent Maj. Bob Gill the following message:

Bob....
You struck the Mother Lode! That's exactly what we needed!!!
I have a copy of Lt. Col. Donald L. Dickson's hand written letter
to Mrs. Genaust, from the battlefield in 1944, informing her he had
recommended her husband for the Navy Cross.

Tedd Thomey of Long Beach California obtained it from Mrs.
Genaust when he was writing his book "Immortal Images - A Story of Two Photographers." He returned the original to Mrs. Genaust when he was finished. His web address is: ThomeyTedd@webtv.net

Some years later when she died in Florida, all her papers were
apparently sent to a niece in Minnesota, where I believe it now lies.

First thing Monday I am contacting the Editor at Leatherneck
and have him find Lt. Colonel Dickson. If he is still alive, then we have to contact him to resubmit his recommendation. If he has died, there must be copies of his handwriting in the Leathernecks archives.
Since he was publisher & editor of the magazine, it should be a simple matter to authenticate his handwriting and confirm that he did indeed recommend Sgt Bill Genaust for the Navy Cross back in 1944.

It may be a bit premature to say it - but, I believe the Marines
have landed.

Go tell Bill Genaust that we're coming back for him..

...Frank Clynes.

In yet another e-mail to me, speaking of red tape and those in high places who seemingly should be able to help but do not, Frank says...

...Politicians and bureaucrats, when given a clear choice between doing something and doing nothing, will always choose the latter. If Bill Genaust ever gets his Navy Cross, it will be accomplished by the
same guys who have always got things done.

When Tedd Thomey was writing his book "Immortal Images" about
Genaust and Joe Rosenthal, it didn't occur to him that the "lost recommendation" was right there in his hands!

That personal, 50 year old, authentic hand-written letter from
Lt. Col. Dickson to Mrs. Genaust, was just as good as the misplaced
recommendation that Dickson had sent to the US War Department in 1944. It said it all.

Tedd sent the letter back to Mrs. Genaust after photocopying it
and making a type written copy. Mrs. Genaust died some time later and all her effects were sent to a niece in Minnesota. When I contacted that source, the woman recalled receiving a box of stuff from a Florida attorney, but she never even opened it. It's up in her attic somewhere. Short of flying out to Minnesota myself, I'm trying to get this niece to go up to the attic and look for it. But I will go if I have to. If you know any Marines in that state, their service could be invaluable.

Once secured, the handwriting of the Genaust letter can be
authenticated by experts against other existing copies of Dicksons handwriting, which I hope either surviving relatives would have or samples saved by Leathernecks.

Then will come the real battle. Trying to get people in Washington DC to do the right thing. When that time comes, we can unleash the Gawd almighty power of the press. I have contacts on the Baltimore Sun, Washington Post, Philadelphia Enquirer and CNN who will push this issue to the top of Capitol Hill.

Frank

This case reminds me (somewhat) of the case of Guy "Gabby" Gabaldon, a Mexican lad raised by a Japanese family just prior to WWII in California. When the war began and his family went off to the "camps," Gabaldon joined the U.S. Marine Corps where he served as a PFC in an intelligence section. Apparently assigned to Intelligence due to his knowledge of the Japanese language, he served in the Pacific island campaigns and, eventually, Saipan. Here he was recommended for the Medal of Honor, but awarded the Silver Star medal for going into Japanese occupied caves, where he is said to have talked from between 1000-1500 refugees/Japanese into surrendering. Hollywood made a movie of Gabaldon's story in 1960, and the part of Gabaldon was played by the late actor, Jeffrey Hunter.

His Silver Star was "upped" to a Navy Cross in 1960. Gabaldon is the author of two books, "Saipan: Suicide Island" and "America Betrayed"; the former is now out-of-print, however the latter is available through his website below.

Re
Gabaldon WebSites
http://mysiteinc.com/newsletter/
http://www.neta.com/~1stbooks/unit4a.htm
http://www.wtj.com/articles/gabaldon/
http://www.agif.org/nletter.html


Hell To Eternity, 1960 (movie)
http://us.imdb.com/Title?0053901


And , in the course of events descibed in this story about Sgt Genaust, the following e-mail also came to my attention.

Dear Mr. Clynes

Absolutely, Bill Genaust should be awarded the Navy Cross with combat V if applicable for his action at Iwo Jima . Myself and I think I can speak for all HsinHo survivors, sincerely doubt if you will ever get a favorable conclusion from the Corps.

Members of C Company, 1st Bn, 5th Reg, 1st Mar Div have been corresponding with HQMC and The Navy Dept. since 1992 to gain official recognition for combat action in North China on 5 April, 1947 which resulted in 5 Marines KIA and 18 WIA by units of the Communist Chinese Regular Army.

Personal decorations awarded for this action were three Silver Stars, six Bronze Stars and 23 Purple Hearts but no unit award.
Three years ago, I located Capt. Richard A. Krajnyak who served in WW II and Korea. Mr Krajnyak whos awards include two Purple Hearts, Commended for Valor, Asiatic/Pacific Campaign Ribbon w/4 engagement stars,China Service Ribbon, Korean Campaign w/3 engagement stars and the PUC/V.

Mr. Krajnyak was a 1st Lt. and C-1-5's ex Officer on 5 April, 1947 so he has complete knowledge of events of that action but has been twice denied official MC recognition. First for a PUC and the last time, a Navy Unit Commendation w/v dated March 26, 1999.

Good luck Mr. Clynes and Semper Fi
E-Mail: <lloydr@gateway.net>

C-1-5 China Marine
Lloyd L. Remus Sr.
3446 Willoughby Rd.
Holt, MI 48842

Update, 10/26/99
Since this webpage has gone online. the following information has come to light.

1. LtCol Donald Dickson is deceased ; he had been editor of Leatherneck magazine for many years.

2. The present editor of Leatherneck, W. L. Ford, has been asked by General Palm to determine the facts of the Sgt Genaust case.

3. It has been determined that Sgt Genaust was awarded the Bronze Star medal; but it is unclear at this time whether or not this award was for the same action which LtCol Dickson had recommended him for the Navy Cross.

4. The original letter from LtCol Dickson to Mrs. Genaust, in which Dickson states that he had recommended Genaust for the Navy Cross, has been recovered from a Minnesota museum, the home state of Genaust.

5. The recent death of Senator Chaffee (former Marine officer and veteran of both WWII and Korea, Governor of Rhode Island, etc.) was a setback, as he was in the process of assisting Frank Clynes in his quest to both have the Navy Cross awarded and retrieve the remains of Sgt Genaust, and others, from Iwo Jima. Frank Clynes continues in his fight for Sgt Genaust!

In a recent e-mail from the editor of Leatherneck to Frank Clynes it was stated:
>> If we find in Sgt. Genaust's records that he received the Bronze
Star medal for the action on Saipan as I am fairly certain he did, then
you are going to have to fight an uphill battle to have the award upgraded from a Bronze Star to a Navy Cross. <<

The above is an obvious allusion to the fact that many recommendations for an award are "downgraded" to a lesser award.
For instance:
"...there was a Bronze Star for Puller, given for the action on Guadalcanal in which he was wounded. He told officers in the privacy of his tent: 'They recommended me for a Silver Star for that action, and back at Corps Headquarters at Noumea some jerk reduced it to a Bronze Star. What right have those people got to put their cotton-picking hands into things like that? They didn't see the action, and have no way on earth to judge. Wouldn't you think they could see what it does to morale? I can stand it. I've got enough damned medals. But what it does to these young kids is inexcusable.' "
(From "Marine! The Life of Lt. Gen. Lewis B. (Chesty) Puller, USMC (Ret.) by Burke Davis, 1962.

And then there was the case of PFC Guy Gabaldon...
"...I was recommended for the Medal of Honor and the citation came back The Silver Star....However, because of a twinge of conscience, somewhere in Washington, the Silver Star was later elevated to the Navy Cross. The Brass in Washington said that because of a Five Year Statute of Limitations in appealing a CMH case, any consideration is precluded by law....There is a Statute to that effect, but that does not prohibit the Marine Corps Brass from requesting that the President present the Medal as the Army has done on several occasions. Presidents Carter and Reagan awarded the Medal of Honor many years after the fact."
(From "Saipan: Suicide Island" by Guy Gabaldon, written, printed and published by Guy Gabaldon, Saipan Island, USA, March 1990

An e-mail from Frank Clynes reminds us "why" and sums it all up quite succinctly, I think. It is dated 10/28/99 and reads in part:

"... We don't need people on this committee who know that it can't be done. To them we can only say, "Go tell it to the Marines." .... one million former Marines are going to converge on Washington....Everybody who is anybody has been invited to take part in the ceremony, except the man we left behind...The man whose motion picture footage created that famous monument. He still lies forgotten -- somewhere in a cave in the Pacific, on the island they said could not be taken.

If the truth be known, Sgt. Bill Genaust does not need the Navy Cross, and he does not need a funeral with full military honors in Arlington VA, at the site of the Flag Raising Monument that he inspired. He has gone to his God and received honor and reward, far beyond anything we could ever hope to match or imagine.

But the men and women serving today in our armed services need for him to get it. They need to know that if they die in the service of their country and fall in some remote part of the world, that their sacrifice ... their life has meaning! That this country will honor them, and will move heaven and earth to bring them home, no matter how long it takes.

And that is why we must go tell Bill Genaust, that we're coming back for him.

For we are
Semper Fidelis.
---Frank Clynes
Vosot12@aol.com
It is my hope that Frank Clynes be successful in his goals as stated above. He should be commended for his integrity, tenacity and determination. If you agree with the direction of what has been stated above, and/or you wish to support him or wish him well, you may reach him at the following E-Mail address:
<Vosot12@aol.com>

Even better, contact your congressmen/senators/governor/local newspaper/talk-shows, veterans organizations, etc.

For those of you who wish to learn more regarding the details relative to the story of Sgt Genaust (as well as other information relating to the Iwo Jima operation), I would refer you to the most detailed and excellent source that I have found--the Book, "Immortal Images," by Tedd Thomey, Naval Institute Press, 1996.

Thank you for reading thus far, and....
Semper Fidelis
-RWG
Please Sign/View the Sgt Bill Genaust Guestbook
Here!
(Please Hit the "Sign" button only Once to
avoid multiple entries-Thank You)
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Friday, 27 December 2002
Memories Of Marine Sgt George C. Scott - Damn Fine Actor

My Memories of
Marine SergeantGeorge C. Scott
By Major Bob Morrissey USMC (Ret)
September 24, 1999
The author of this memoir is Maj Bob Morrissey, USMC (Ret), who was aMarine Corps combat correspondent and Public Affairs Officer, who was Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen Wallace M. Greene, Jr.'s personal public affairs officer. I asked Mo if it would be OK to forward this to the WWII list because there have been a number of posts re/Scott in recent days. I hope you all approve. BMF
George C. "Patton" Scott, who died Wednesday of an aneurysm at age 71, and I were good friends and frequent liberty buddies while serving together as three-stripers at the Washington Marine Barracks from 1946--1948.

George and I were both instructors at the Marine Corps Institute, then an accredited academic correspondence school for Marines. I instructed first-year college journalism, English grammar, and authored a new MCI course in photo journalism. George instructed English literature and Radio Speaking and Writing.

Because he marched with the grace of a gazelle, he was designated guidon bearer for the elite Barracks ceremonial company. I marched immediately behind him as company right guide , ever-failing to emulate his awesome ballbearing strides. We marched in rain, snow, and Washington heat in many military funerals at Arlington cemetery--sometimes two or three a day--as well as in presidential inaugural parades and other special ceremonial occasions in DC. This was in addition to our regular MCI duties. George found funeral details distasteful to him. He became very depressed when witnessing families and relatives mourning the deaths of their Marines.

George was quoted several times in his life-after the Corps as saying that the Marine Corps made him an alcoholic. One late night when I was standing barracks duty, I was summoned to Brinkley's, the Marines' watering hole across from the gate, by a fellow sergeant moonlighting as a bouncer. "Get him out of here before he tears up the joint and gets in trouble." I proceeded to wrestle a very intoxicated George back across the street to the barracks. On such occasions, he was always beligerent, if not sometimes mean.

As I was half carrying, half dragging his six foot frame down the barracks arcade enrote to his squad bay, he suddenly paused, looked me straight in the eye, and declared in very slurred , but insistent voice: "You know, Mo, someday I'm gonna be a goddamned great actor."

"Yeah, right George," I responded, humoring him, "you'll be that."
However, he didn't hear me. He had unceremoniously passed out cold on the arcade bricks.

I believe George was falling off the wagon before reporting to DC. It got worse with time, caused by his deep disappointment that he had not seen combat as a Marine in WWII. He had enlisted in the Corps as WWII was coming to an end, specifically choosing to be a Marine because he sincerely believed the Corps would get him into combat before the war ended, something fiercely important to him. Didn't happen. He cried on my shoulder about this.

He liked being a Marine, and was a good one, but he was never destined to make a career of it., returning to civilian life in 1949 upon expiration of his enlistment. He never considered his duties at 8th &I very exciting. He had other fish to fry. For a time he wanted to be a journalist, but becoming an actor eventually consumed him.

He was known to be irascible (as a Marine and his life thereafter). He did not suffer fools (of any rank) lightly, nor did he make friends easily, but he was very loyal to those to befriend. I don't recall him ever dating while on duty at the barracks. When we pulled liberty together (before I became married to Mary Jane), we usually went off post to a deli to enjoy our favorite sandwiches with Coke or coffee and a lot of enjoyable conversation, a blend of serious and humorous. Because I did not imbibe(at the time), he spared me from joining him when he set out to hang one on at Brinkley's. (He did, however, count on me to rescue you him on occasion.)

After watching Marine Sergeant George Scott become Gen. George Patton on the screen, I sought George's address and/or phone number through the studio. I was told to send my communication through the studio and they would ensure he would receive it. My short note read: "Dear George, you were right. You are a goddamned great actor! Semper Fi, Mo."

No reply. He was never big on maintaining friendships. His ambitions were elsewhere. Could be he may not have remembered his declaration that night in the barracks arcade so my message may not have made sense to him. I did have witnesses, however. Two noncom buddies coming off liberty were moving to help me get George to bed and heard his remark.

Here is an additional chapter to Bob Morrissey's recollection of his time and service with George C. Scott. BMF

MO REMINISCES
I'm motivated to write this, in part, because I'm venting. I'm much disturbed to read/hear the extensive news mediacoverage of the death of Sergeant George C. Scott, USMC, almost consistently reporting that Scott spent his four years in the Corps "doing nothing but burial details," which alegedly caused him to become an alcoholic. Not!


During the period we served together ('46--'48)--remember this was more than 50 years ago when we were just escaping from our teens--there existed two major entities at the Washington Marine Barracks: an MCI detachment, composed mostly of enlisted Marine instructors (some with one or more degrees) responsible for the operation of the "school," and a Barracks detachment, responsible for maintenance and security of the Barracks. Marines assigned to one or other detachment did not get along well--ever!

For instance. The barracks detachment had absolute control of the barracks main gate. Marines were required to be spit-and-polish, as they are today, when departing the compound (no civilian clothes authorized in those days). Enter a nasty little (5'6") Barracks corporal named Holmes who actually volunteered for Barracks gate sentry duty from 1600 to midnight EVERYDAY!

When MCI Marines sought to exit the barracks, Holmes subjected us to detailed personnel inspections, including haircuts and fingernails. If Holmes could not see his reflection mirrored in your shoes, you were denied exit. Dull brass belt buckles, wrinkled uniforms, etc. were unacceptable. (Holmes was really disappointed when we were issued Eisenhower jackets --sans belts.)

When MCI types eventually got fed up with Holmes antics, we addressed our grievances to our MCI detachment officers, who insisted that Holmes was just doing his duty in a military manner at all times, then snickered among themselves. The Barracks CO, A pastured colonel, avoided any involvement.

One evening when George and I were heading out on liberty, Holmes made an extra effort to find reason to deny us exit, at which time George drew himself up to his 6-foot tallness, glowering down at the arrogant little corporal, and bellowed in his familiar raspy voice: "I thought we were all Marines, one for all, corporal. Someday soon we're going to meet outside the gate and have a very serious discussion about your biased, chicken-**** antics." Holmes read George loud and clear, paled, and waved us through the gate. (As reported in the media, quick-tempered George suffered five broken noses in his lifetime, never shying from a physical confrontation whether under the influence or not. (I never witnessed a broken Scott nose on my watch.)

George was hardly alone in his dislike for Holmes and very seriously intended he would meet him outside the barracks some night and "straighten out the son-of-a-bitch." A number of MCI Marines, including me, intended to share in the "discusssion." Holmes knew it and never again left the barracks while he was serving as a gate sentry. Never! He also became aware that he was under constant surveillance within the barracks by MCI Marines just waiting for him to go out the gate.

It was for the Barracks detachment to provide personnel for "burial details" --pallbearers, firing squads, buglers, etc. Not a piece of cake, especially for pallbearers, who were required to carry coffins in a military manner from the caisson on a nearby road to the grave site, often up and down formidable hills. Occasionally, they had a helluva time avoiding dropping the coffin and having to frantically chase it down a hill. More so in rain or snow.

In addition to serving as correspondence school instructors--on which we spent more of our time than marching--MCI Marines were responsible for what was usually referred to as "funeral" details (as distinguished from "burial" details), as well as many other cewremonial events requiring marching Marines. We did considerable early am. marching and close order drilling on the barracks parade ground while the Commandant of the Marine Corps was consuming his breakfast in the Home of the Commandants facing the parade ground. Afterwards, stowing our rifles, we were expeditously bussed from southeast Washington to an old, dilapidated (some swore it was condemned) once-upon-a-time school house. Barracks mess personnel would show about noon each workday with "gourmet" field rations to ensure us a hearty "catered" hot lunch.

We were crammed into large departmental classrooms with dangerously worn wooden floors and furnished with ancient WWI-vintage wooden desks butted up against each other. George and I wrer "butted. " allowing us to communicate with each other "very quietly" when so inclined. Our department was supervised by two civilian PhDs, both of whom had once been short-term Marines and were now final reviewers of our work. Their spacious office was in one end of the adjoing cloak room.

The school's furnace rarely functioned adequately, if at all, during cold weather, frequently requiring us to perform our duties wearing our lined field jackets--and gloves! We had no typewriters (nor computers, of course), so all our necessary comments on, and critiques of, written lessons received regularly from U. S. Marines all over the world were reviewed and graded by us in gloved longhand.
If you wanted hot coffee, you brought your own thermos. Sometimes we got so cold that there were vailed threats of burning down the old schoolhouse just so we could get warm.

To set the record straight, neither George nor I were ever assigned to "burial" details, as is being reported. Just periodic "funeral" details--which none of us enjoyed. And none of us ever imbibed on duty. (the famous Washington Marine Barracks didn't even have a slopshute.)

So much for reminisces. RIP "goddamned great actor." Glad you chose to be a Marine and to have known you. You will not be forgotten.
Maj Bob Morrissey USMC (Ret)
This story provided courtesy of
Benis M. Frank
E-Mail: Ben Frank <ben.frank@TCS.WAP.ORG>

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Thursday, 26 December 2002
vVgnettes20.html copy

Marine Vignettes #78-81
Down The Hall
By Bert Kortegaard
August 23, 1999
#78
On 9/13/50, when units of 3/5 mounted out for Inchon on the USS Wantuck, APD 125, I was on board with them, but not one of them. I was Navy, and only went with them to where they left our LCVPs to hit the beach at Wolmi-do. Therein lies a small tale.
I joined the Merchant Marine at 16 (Coast Guard ticket), in
1946. On 1/10/48, my buddy Ken Roach and I were happily recovering from a party in San Francisco, when we decided to join the Corps. It
wasn't a snap decision, we had followed the Pacific war as kids, which was mostly about Marine actions, and had always sort of meant to join up one day. So, that was the day. Except, the Navy recruiting office was first on the hall. The Marine recruiting office was further down, in the hall boondocks. Naturally.

Me being in the Merchant Marine, and having kicked all around
the Pacific for about two years, we stopped in out of curiosity.
We knew the Navy, like the Air Force, was a powerful military
force, but the men in them weren't actually military men. I mean, what the hell did they know about real war, anyway. Warm racks, hot meals, fresh laundry, lots of good liberty ports, easy rates.

What kind of life was that? I mean, a real fighting man should spend his tour hunkered down in foxholes. Hanging his dirty beard on the rim. Scratching his mangy butt with one hand while holding his BAR with the other, squinting into the murk for guys trying to sneak up on him. I mean, what could the Navy offer true men like us, the Real
McCoys?

Well, we found out. The Chief sized us up with no sweat. After
showing boundless admiration for my Merchant Marine sea duty,
and Ken's incredible brain capacity (him having finished High
School), the Chief gave us something called the Eddy Test. Ken
missed passing it by a few points, but I was a half-assed Ham
radio operator, and blew the test away.

The Chief obviously had to fight back his manly tears, that Ken
wouldn't get 14 months of free electronics education, make at
least Third Class, and start on a Begabuck career. Just because of
those few points.

Once he saw Ken was becoming very thoughtful about all this,
the Chief started getting poetic about my own high score. He said
he wasn't good at math, himself. He said he wasn't real sure he'd
graded Ken's test right, that if I signed up maybe he'd find Ken had
passed, and could get on track for those big-time bucks after all.

Well, to cut it short, Ken and I both did join the Navy, and
went to ET school at Treasure Island, making Seaman First almost
straight out of Boots. Ken knocked up a lady early on in the course, and got a Hardship Discharge. I made ET2 on graduation, and never
saw Ken again.

At TI, I qualified on basic infantry weapons because I wanted
to go into PHIBPAC (Amphibious Forces, Pacific), not the big-ship
Navy. I tried out (unsuccessfully) for the 5th Naval District boxing
team, and especially liked fighting the Marines, but I identified with
them at least as much as my Navy buddies.

But two years later, when I helped pick up the Brigade at Pusan,
I I wished I had gone the rest of the way down that hall. It may sound dumb, but I wished more than anything in life that I was one of them.

I did my KW combat tour in PHIBPAC, on the Wantuck We were at Inchon, made two raids with 41 Commando, cleared mines with UDT1, and did other stuff. After making ET1, I did a second combat tour on the Union, AKA 106. After my discharge, I did a third one, as a radar Tech Rep with the Air Force (606th AC&W Squadron). At least, we were doing radar Air Control Ops for flights over North Korea, but with the whole 1st MarDiv between us and the CCF.

Eventually, I went to MIT on the GI Bill, and to grad school at UC Berkely, and recently retired after a reasonably successful
electronics engineering career.

But, part of me has always regretted not going the rest of the way down that hall, feeling that I somehow ducked the chance to prove something to myself that was very important.

If I Had, if I had paid for a ticket the only way you can, and been with the 5th in the Brigade and Inchon and Chosin, maybe I would have been sorry. Most of my ex-Marine friends think I would have been REAL sorry.

So maybe I should thank God I didn't go down that hall,
but am just not smart enough to realize it.

Anyway, at Inchon I wished more than anything in life that I
had, and was going in with them. Sometimes I still feel exactly the same way.
Bert Kortegaard, KW Navy ET1, 798 94 66
http://www.kmike.com/apd125.htm
http://rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/arms.htm
http://rt66.com/~korteng/
E-Mail: korteng@rt66.com
Shenanigans
By Jerry Stroud
August 23, 1999
#79
When we had disembarked the troop ship at Inchon, the Captain had given every Marine two-six-packs of beer. I had directly followed a 1st Lieutenant down the gangway. He had his two six-packs under one arm and his carbine in his other hand. He stumbled! Something had to go! Over the side went the carbine and the beer was held tightly while he caught himself on the hand rail. Very impressive, and lightning quick decision making, and on top of that he made a decision that no brown noser would ever make. It was really what any Marine worth his salt would have done. However that qualified him in my book to represent me. S---birds are sometimes lucky. As it turned out, he had been the legal officer at Pearl Harbor.

It was a dark and stormy night! No kidding, it really was. The seas were pretty heavy and the court-martial was taking place. The room was very stuffy. I wasn't breathing normally. The fact is, I was scared S---less. Anyway, I was acquitted because I was never posted and therefore was not on watch. Justice prevailed! I did my bitching in quieter manner after that.

I have only been sea sick 3 times in my life and I have spent months at a time at sea. We once took a 53 degree roll on a "Tin Can" which was supposed to capsize at 60 degrees.

But when I left that court room I was sea sick. I went directly over to the rail and unloaded over the side. I watched in petrified amazement as all went toward the sea for about 8 feet and the wind picked it up and blew it right back in my face. Then I was really sick. I felt something hairy in my throat and swallowed hard and continued to unload. It was over! I had won! Thanks again Colonel.

(I did do some sleeping on watch before it was over. I don't feel bad about it because I know for a fact everyone in H-3-5 coming back from the Chosin was asleep on 100% watch and 99% of us were asleep. I was awake that night the Chinese walked right through us! Okay, so you don't believe it! I am telling you it is so.)

I was stationed with a few people from H-3-5 at Barbers' Point on Oahu. Now there was a certain Marine named R.E. Williams which I won't name any further without his permission. (He might take the title away from me, but I doubt it). There were three patroll areas at Barbers' Point, patrolled by Marines with jeeps equipped with red lights and sirens. We had pre-determined signals arranged by clicking our radio mikes in a certain manner that would call for a meeting at a given place.

One night on the late watch or early on the mid-watch (I forget) the signal was given and we did group, three of us. It seemed to "We Will" that it would be daring for all three of us to leave our posts and drive into Pearl City with red lights and sirens blasting for a beer. It was agreed it was daring from the start, but to quit one's post for a lousy beer was just a little too much. How ever it wasn't the beer after all, it was to show how brave we were.....wasn't it? Imagine leaving an entire base unguarded! Someone is liable to take a very dim view of such antics! Could even be Treason or maybe worse.

On Oahu it was not allowed for the Military to use red lights and sirens off base, well! We did it! We went right through the gate with the guard looking on and the OD's shack across the street. Red lights shining and sirens blasting and jeeps at full throttle on through Ewa and on to Pearl City and pulled up in front of the bar with all that din. I remember the bar had just closed and we didn't get the beer so we returned to the base, probably a little quieter and no one ever the wiser, until now. (Is there a time limit on such things? I hope so, otherwise I am the biggest liar in the world.)

(There is a bird that doesn't fly in every unit! You know the kind, it is the first word you hear at the receiving Station. The NCO that greeted you informed you that you were one. While I was in the Corps I never thought of myself as being in tat class even though I was assured by many Sergeants that I definitely was. Looking back with more mature understanding removes any doubt I ever had, I was the Company S---bird! If you have any doubt otr think you might be in contest of such a title, then read on my friend,)

The first time I qualified myself for such dishonor with H-3-5 was within hours of being attached to the Company. It was the University of Seoul. I was wandering around by myself and investigating the campus and buildings when I came upon an abandoned "Burp Gun". I had heard many tales about that weapon and never had heard one fired at the time. Curiosity burned deep within me. I thought of booby traps so I inspected the loose dirt around the piece for evidence of any molestation. It was inside of one of the rooms on the dirt floor and the room was open to a rather high hill in the rear of the University. Further, I looked for anyone who might be near enough to foil what little planning I had done. The coast was clear!

I snatched up the piece and unloaded a short burst into the hillside, then dropped it immediately. I ran outside and around the corner of the building away from the troops. I had my own M-1 at port arms and waited about 2 seconds then came back around the corner to meet a dozen Marines looking for the gook that fired that weapon. Someone had already found the "Burp Gun" and as I saw the mistrust in their faces, I ran up the hill as though I was after something. When I arrived at the top of the hill, and of course found nothing, I looked back and there must have been 50 Marines wondering what the hell had happened.

I went back down the hill and asked what the hell was going on. I was told someone fied this "Burp Gun." I said "I didn't see a soul up over the hill." I casually left the crowd and went back to my duties before anyone asked more questions. I knew what a "Burp Gun' sounded like at the expense to the nerves of my fellow Marines. I had also escaped with my life, which I really didn't consider enough at the time. S---birds never do consider the aspects of what's going on enough.

Later on Chisom got a Deck Court for accidental discharge of his 45. I forget exactly what was done to him to cause him to atone for his mistake, but I felt he needed a friend and began to buddy with him. He was more than a little discouraged by his punishment, what ever it was (I think he got busted one rank) and we made a pact to see who could bitch the most and loudest just to irritate people around us, namely the Lieutenant. Boy! That really worked good and fast. It was just a few nights later that nobody awoke me for my watch. It was middle of the night watch for 1 hour and when ZI awakened the sun was coming up and all the NCOs were around me and so was the Lieutenant. Ah so! Sleeping on watch, Huh!

I was told I would get a Special Court for that one. I thought that was good, at least they can't execute you in a special court. Well the court-martial was to take place on the way to Hungnam on board the ship and I needed an officer to represent me.

That is not half of the shenanigans that qualified this S---bird, but it is all I would think anyone would want to read at one time. No, I am not writing from Postsmith, but had we been caught I am sure I would still be there.

Semper Fi,
Jerry Stroud
E-Mail: jastro@netxn.com
H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
Memory Returns
By Marlin Palmer
August 23, 1999
#80
Editor:
Marlin and I go back to our first days in the Marine Corps. We were in boot camp at P.I. together, Platoon 168 in August 1948. Twenty men out of boot platoon 168 ended up being assigned to H-Company.


We went to Guam, then back to Pendleton and then to Korea. We got to know one another and better friends are not to be found.


I read in the April issue of the News, Bob Estell's story about 'Hill 296', outside Seoul, and Doc Kinzy's story about 'PASSWORDS'. The stories brought back a memory I had about this Hill. I remember most of what happened in Korea but I like to talk about the funny things that happened.

They had sent South Koreans up the hill to take the wounded down to the Battalion Headquarters and instructed me to lead them down to where the wounded could be picked up and taken for medical attention. I was to stay at Battalion Headquarters that night. Yes! I was going to be off that hill that night. Wrong!!! On the way down one of the wounded was Marvin Steele who had been shot through both cheeks of his buttocks and was in quite a bit of pain, he was laying on his stomach on a stretcher griping at these Koreans all dressed in white who didn't understand a word he was saying. I told him to shut up or I would smack him on his D---A--. You know what? He did shut up. We laughed most of the way down. WE WERE OFF THE HILL!

We got to the bottom of the hill and Johnson, our H-Company supply man from Battalion Headquarters, was waiting with a jeep and trailer. The wounded were loaded but there were stacks of C-rations and ammo to be taken to the top of the hill. They said you got to take this back up there.

"WAIT A-HOLD IT!" I said "I'm supposed to stay at Battalion Headquarters tonight". They said, "they have to have this tonight". "It will be dark by the time I get there, what's the Password??????, " No one knew. I said, "those trees and shrubs that stand there all day move all over the place at night and they don't ask them for passwords, they just blow them away".

"I've got to yell something when I get there to let them know who it is", I said. Still no password. When we got to the top, someone yelled, "what's the password?" OH BOY! I started cursing and they knew no Korean could curse like that, it had to be a Marine. Lucky for me those Koreans were the most noisy people in the world with their talking and yelling on the way up. They paid the Koreans off and sent them on their way, but dammit! I was back on top of that hill again and as long as I live, I will never forget that password I wanted to know so bad, (SANTA-- CLAUS).

It is possible that they were called and knew of my coming, but to this day, no one has told me any different. As far as I am concerned I was on my own and scared to death.

Semper Fi
Marlin Palmer
05/16/99
E-Mail: Melmop@aol.com
H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
"What's The Password?"
By Doc Kinzy
August 23, 1999
#81

1950--October. After Seoul, but before Wonson, we had blanket sleeping bags; this was before we got into the cold weather. We still didn't get the feather sleeping bags until November 1950, way after we needed them.

The hill we were dug into overlooked the Battalion Aid Station. As I needed to, I would replenish my first aid kit (I really liked the 4X4 battle dressings, it could cover most wounds and had ample ties--they must have been three feet long on each corner). I asked Platoon Lt. Anderson if we were to stay on this hill until the next day. He stated that we were. Sometimes we dug foxholes and then would get orders to move out. Up another hill, dig in again. One time we moved three times after we had dug in twice. It was getting late afternoon and I felt it wouldn't get dark before I could go to the Battalion Aid Statiion, fill up and get back.

I got permission, away I went. On the path down I noticed communication wire laying on the path. It took a little longer than I had anticipated to fill my first aid pack but it was still light. I got to the base of the hill and started up. It was probably a 30-degree slope, and I was hurrying as fast as I could. I got the idea that if I could follow the communication wire it would be faster. So, I picked it up and began doing the crouch and half run.

Looking up, holding the Com. wire to guide me , I felt confident that all was going well. All of a sudden the Com. wire wasn't in the path any longer and I went over the side and tumbled about ten or twelve feet. I still had the wire. I climbed back onto the path and continues on, reaching the point where I was challenged. "Halt! Who goes there?" The classic challenge! To identify myself, "The dumbest corpsman in Korea. I just fell off this hill."
SILENCE!

Next challenge, "What's the password?" Frustrated, tired and hurt, "I don't know the password. I should have gotten it before I left but I didn't."

Another silence. It might have been wishful thinking, but I thought I heard snickering and chuckling. So, I asked , "Are you going to shoot me or what?" The answer was, "No, Doc. Come on up."

When I was within the perimeter and could talk to my challenger, I asked again if they had thought about shooting me. "Naw, we knew that anybody that clumsy couldn't be Korean."

So you see it pays to be clumsy and optimistic.

P.S. There are obscene answers to the challenge, "What's the password?" it usually worked if you didn't remember or didn't know.

Doc Kinzy

Editor: What was the most common answer to the challenge of what is the password if you didn't remember or know? Do you remember?

-------------------------------------
The following letter was written by Doc's Grandson. The type was too large for the News so I copied it exactly as printed by his Grandson. Too cute not to include in the News. The Grandson used all caps, room did not permit all caps.

My Hero is my Grandfather. He was in World War II and the Korean War. He was a Medic in the Navy attached to the Mariens.
In the Korean War he was in the Chosen Resevoir. When he went out to the battle field to help a wounded man he was shot and left for dead. It was two days before another battalion came up and found him after his battalion left. He suffered from frostbite all over his body when they found him. The only why he knew he was alive was when he fely pain. He receives a Purple Heart for his heroic acts. There is a group of soldiers who all fought in the Chosen Resevoir who met once a month two talk about their exsperiences in the war. They call my Grandpa Doc and many of them clam he saved there lives. When returning home from the war he joined the Oklahoma City Fire Department and spent the next 31 years saving peoples lived lives and homes and retired as a Captain. Thanks for listening.
Chris

Doc's Comment:
Christopher Mach read this to his English class. I told him correct spelling does not indicate intelligence. His reply, "Thanks Grandpa".
H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
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Thursday, 26 December 2002
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Marine Vignettes #82-85
A LETTER FROM 'DOC' FLAU
By Don 'Doc' Flau
August 23, 1999
#82
June 21, 1999
Hello 'Rats'
I thought I would write you and tell you how much I enjoy the H-3-5 news...and I have attempted previously to compose a "Story" for the paper, but alas my imput seems so slight when it comes to heroics, etc. Having been a Corpsman with H-3-5, I can recall many incidents, both frightening and humorius, and some that would downright embarrass even the "toughest."

Since contact with H-3-5 News I have also been in contact with Thomas T. Thomas, and even the former platoon leader Lt. Mahakian, who now lives in Palm Desert. I did get together with Karl one time (Lt. Mahakian), and we had a good visit, but my feelings about incidents that occurred when we were on the front differed greatly from his recollections. Nevertheless we shared some laughs and parted good buddies.

As you probably recall, Corpsmen didn't spend the same time on the front lines as infantrymen did. We got rotated to a Battalion Medical Station, and then further back before returning to the States. Prior to my return to the States and the 155 mm Gun Battalion at Pendleton, I was sent to Easy Med. Easy Med, at that time, was located near the site of the "peace talks."

I was wel acquainted with a doctor, Dr. Birney Dibble, and he had written a book about the Corps in Korea "The Taking of Hill 1052." In the book I am "JJ." For any and all interested, this book is respectfully dedicated to the Corpsmen of the Third battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment in Korea, and was published by Northwest Publishing Inc, Salt Lake City, Utah.

(Editor: I have been trying to find a copy of this book for several months for Doc kinzy. The Publishing Company is no longer in business and so far a copy cannot be found.)

Somehow Dr. Dibble heard that I was still around and wrote me a letter from an address he got at a reunion. I had just returned home that day, so I was quite excited and phoned him immediately. The next day I had his book and a VCR tape of the Medical Corps in Korea. It was prepared by the doctor, and is quite an interesting history of the Korean Saga. I was shocked when I placed the video in the VCR and played it. I was a lot thinner in those days.

In reading the "News," I noticed that most of the letter writers were in the thick of the action, as I was in the 15th draft; the action wasn't as heavy when I was on the lines, although I remember my first night on patrol out there with my platoon, all of us colder than you recall what, and wondering just what the hell we were doing there.

I don't regret one minute of the time I spent with the Corps, in fact for many years my wife and I have gone to Pendleton on Memorial day to experience the service on the base. I make it a strict rule never to work on the Marine Corps Birthday, and hold fast to that rule.

As you well know, some of my most frightening experiences were spent in Korea, and some of the most memorable moments of my life were spent there as well, sharing tales, both true and false, with buddies.

One time Jenafern, my wife, were at Oceanside, and on Hill Street this big burley guy was pushing a big keg of beer. He looked up, dropped the keg to the ground, came up, hugged me and said, "I'll be a son-of-a-bitch, Doc Flau, wow this is really a great day!"

I must say I have the same feeling whenever I come across a buddy. I was a Probation Officer at San Berardino County for twenty years, and my most promising probationers became Marines at my urging. Two of them have remained in touch over the years, and one of them; Able Contreras, who works at the base in Barstow, invited me to spend the day when his son got out of boot camp.

You can see I have fond memories of the Corps, and the News brightens my day. I hope to be around April 4, 2000 to share stories with you all.

Take care, I'm looking forward to shaking your hand. My heart aches for those days I was in the Corps and it seemed like we were all headed in the appropriate direction and strong in our faith that direction was fighting for the many amenities we shared.

God Bless-and Semper Fi
/s/ Don Flau

H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
Left In Charge
By Jack Harnsberger
August 23, 1999
#83
"I'm leaving you in charge of the squad Harnsberger, I know you will do a good job," said S/Sgt Cozad as he shoved off for R&R that fine spring day in 1952. Now it didn't look like a clause in a contract, but I understood perfectly that if I screwed up I was going to be asst BAR man instead of fire team leader of the 1st fire team.

That was probably why I volunteered to be the man when the 1st squad was asked for someone to carry the mail out to the outpost later that morning. The outpost was quite a ways out, say 1200 yards or so, and the middle section went through a mine field. On the way out I carried my M-1 in both hands like a bird hunter. Infiltrators were sometimes flushed in the area and unless you scorned all but running shots, it paid to keep old Betsy ready for instant use.

Coming back from the outpost, I was more relaxed and day-dreaming a bit when all of a sudden I stopped in my tracks; something was wrong! Looking about I quickly saw what it was. The trail had taken a slight turn to the left and I had continued on straight , was now in the mine field and up to my ass in alligators.

Looking down in front of my 'Boondockers', I saw the 3 prong firing device of a bouncing betty mine. Oh Boy! The worst kind. I had stopped in the infinitesimal nick of time. looking to the left, there 20 feet away was the trail and I would have given at least one important part of my anatomy to be over there on it.

The situation called for nicotine, a new habit recently acquired free, courtesy of my beloved U.S. Government. (If you have liked this senseless craving dor tobacco, please, stop what you are doing and write to me at once, telling me exactly how you managed to do it.)

Kneeling down to get a closer look at the mine I got thrill #2; there was a trip wire, and this wire was so thin it could not be seen from a standing position. The situation called for extreme caution, but an old salt should be able to get out of it by being careful.

Facing left I slid one foot slowly forward and brought the other foot up, then again, and once again, but the next time as my foot moved forward I saw my dungarees cave in just above the ankle. Backing off and kneeling down I saw the trip wire and carefully stepped over it. Using this careful process I crossed two more wires and was soon back on the trail.

Back on the M.L.R. and after a cup of double strength powdered coffee, I felt pretty good but not for long, as the platoon leader showed up and said with all good cheer "Harnsberger, you have been out to the outpost today and know the way. Be up at the zig zag at 1900 to lead out the replacements for the outpost and bring the others back". Hell No Problem!

At 1830 it was the blackest night in history and I became concerned that I could not see the trail. I told the light gun crew at the zig zag that I would go to the foot of the hill and make sure the trail could be seen enough to risk traveling on it. They promised to guard for me and passed the word that a Marine was out in front of the wire and to hold their fire.

Well, there is always that 10% and sure enough, as I came back through the zig zag a little later, my rifle clanked on a steel stake and some nut had at me, full automatic with a carbine. After the first shot I was flat enough to travel air mail and yelling bloody murder as was the machine gun crew. After the shooting stopped, there was some discussion about passwords, countersigns and the desirability of their use, after which I headed for a triple strength cup of coffee.

The mission was accomplished that night (I made damn sure everyone stayed in single file) and a few days later Cozad came back from Japan with a contented look on his face and a big bottle of fermented spirits for the squad, He looked at me with arched eyebrows on inquiry, "NO PROBLEM" SAYS I, AND REACHED FOR THE JUG.

Semper Fi
/s/ Jack

H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
A Marine's Dream
By Ted Besser
August 23, 1999
#84
A Story By H-3-5's Poet Laureate
Ted Besser
Editor:
Ted has that unique talent to reach all your emotions with his writings, be they sad or humorous. He has contributed many articles to the News over the past few years which we all have enjoyed and for which we are very grateful. He is what Senoer Fidelis means. If I needed a poem, he always came through with one that was appropriate, the same with a story.
He was alone now in the late hours of the evening in his cubby hole of an office. It had been quite a week and he was sleepy, tired and drained, not drained of strength but of emotion. Part of the week had been spent in Washington, D.C. attending the dedication of the Korean War Memorial of the long-overdue "Forgotten War Monument", but he wanted to say in later years, I was there, I saw the presentation that said we weren't forgotten.

It was a historic few days of reverence, sadness and proudness, of being part of it all, but too emotional to stay longer.
Now in slumber and dreams there were no limits as to what he could do or say or remember without anyone knowing.
And now his thoughts transferred from his brain to a typewriter in his mind as the words and pictures flowed freely, not jumbled or mixed up, but one of a conversation with an unknown, not one of the ranks, not one of the Corps, and with closed eyelids he faced the unknown questioner one-on-one.
"Hey jar-head, Hey sea-going bellhop, hey pal were you a Marine?"
"You talking to me Pilgrim? Yes, I was--and am--a Marine, one of the President's own, one of America's Elite."
"What, what's it like to be a Marine, what outfit were you in, were you ever scared, how many medals have you got?"
"It's hot out here son, so let's sit down awhile and I will try to enlighten ya."

"First of all, I was sent to Korea in 1950 to drive back an enemy who was trying to spread Communism and to save lives. You see, the Marine Corps has a chain of command and each link has its responsibility. Many brave men had their bodies broken by bombs, grenades and bullets which break that chain, but it's quickly repaired and new links are added. They return to their place making the chain stronger.

"Scared? Hell yes I was scared beyond belief. Scared is when you drop to the ground with the enemy fire zipping over your head and when you raise your head, right between your eyes is a wide blade of grass with a bullet hole dead center in the leaf. Incoming artillery walking up the hill hitting in front of a foxhole behind you and blows holes in a Navy Corpsman and you can't stop the leaks, and disoriented, you crawl outside your perimeter only to have another Marine place the muzzle of an M-1 six inches from your face, or to hear a sound being of a round being slid into a 45 somewhere behind you, and when you turn around all you see is the barrel and the silhouette of a man, you slap the gun and hands away of a sleeping Marine.

"STILL WITH ME BOY? I got more to tell ya, 'cause you asked for it."
"A firing pin breaks on the first round in your first battle and the fight goes on around ya and then you feel funny and dizzy and not being able to recall what's happening, when the First Sergeant gives you salt tablets and water and then you recover and move out to reinforce the advance unit, only to find the many who have been killed and wounded. And once again you man the gun, you lock and load, only to have a lieutenant tap you on the shoulder and tell you not to fire because we've lost too many men already. You want to fire so damn bad. Maybe the reason you don't remember the Lt's name is because he was an Angel protecting you."

"Hold on kid, sit down. I'm about ready to sum all this up for ya. Scared is being on point, climbing up a hill outside Seoul, digging a foxhole to get some sleep, only to be awakened by incoming mortars that blew me out of the hole, and not being able, at that moment, to see how bad I'd been hit by the shrapnel. You're damn right I've been scared. Yeah, I've got a Purple Heart, but you see, we don't look for a medal for doing a job. We were more concerned for the guys in the next foxhole and I see in these statues at the Memorial the faces of Roy, Bob, Delbert, Everett and Lonnie, plus ten fold more who gave everything, and too many wounded from only a Company of good men."

"The Marine's guidebook tells you a lot about duty but, let me quote from the Bible, Luke 17:10; 'Is he grateful to the servant for carrying out his orders? So with you, when you carried out all your orders you should say 'we are servants and deserve no credit, we have only done our duty'. And to quote from one of my most respected writers, Louis Lamour, he says "Our most important possessions are our memories; in nothing else are we rich, in nothing else are we poor".

"And now my young friend I hope my answers will have made some sense of something you know absolutely nothing about but my wish is that you never have to go to war. But if you have a choice, do the honorable thing."

Perhaps he had hoped for a memorial dedicated to just the Marines who had n Korea, but it wasn't to be, so he bowed his head to the world's warriors who had served and prayed for them. It was an everlasting tribute from his heart.
Quiet now, the peaceful snoring begins as the clock on the wall chimes a long-ago time, August, 1950.

All gave some...Some gave all

The above story is about one of H-3-5's own. We call him 'Woody'

Semper Fidelis,
Ted H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
Parris Island-School Days
By George Maling
August 23, 1999
#85
School Days at P.I. were always looked forward to as a means of getting out of the hot sun and the rifle off your shoulder, or so we thought! I fthey showed a movie, it was a chance to catch a wink or two; so we thought. The D.I. gave you about five minutes to relax, made sure his assistants were strategically positioned ; then all hell broke loose. On went the lights; DIs and Asst's screaming epithets that even Clergy did not know and then came their favorite punishment.

Maling notes: Schools at PI in the '50s were held in lengthy squad tents with two by fours as supports. "Chairs" consisted of wooden planks about two feet off the deck.

After more than half the platoon was caught napping, our empathetic D.I. "requested that you sit on one ankle, " on that hard board while the class lesson continued. I never dozed again at P.I.

I was the Platoon Guide for our outfit so when we entered each class room, it was my job to hold the door open till everyone was seated. So naturally, I was always seated in the back row. This particuilar day was a quiz on our General Orders. The instructor handed out the tests and instructed everyone in his most subdued, melancholy voice that anyone who turns his head or eyes from this minute on will finish his exam up on the ROOST. The ROOST consisted of the two by four over each end of the tent above the doorway.
By the time he was half way through handing out the papers, he caught one Marine looking astray and said, "Up in the ROOST!"

Seeing that I was in the last row when the Instructor came by to hand me my test, I reached over to him to get the test and to my astonishment to say the least, he bellowed, "and you, get up on the other ROOST!"

He then issued instructions to his "birds" up in their ROOST that when he coughed, the first "bird" was to say, "I'm a ****bird from Yamassee" in a very high pitched voice like a bird. And to me hanging on for dear life on that 2X4 over the door and trying to write out my General Orders, I was to respond to the first "bird's" declaration ---"ME TOO" in a high pitched melodious bird call voice. Naturally, however loud you responded, it was never satisfactory for my beloved DI so he would utter that most famous boot camp order; "I CAN'T HEAR YOU!" So after 5 or 10 war chants from the Houdini birds chirping, I'm sure my fellow Marines will never forget their General Orders, at least the day they took their exam.

/s/ George Maling
E-Mail: gmaling@worldnet.att.net

H-3-5 News 7/99
Editor, Jim "RATs" Ratliff
E-Mail: rats@centuryinter.net
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Thursday, 26 December 2002
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Marine Vignettes #86-89
General John Glover
& His Marblehead Mariners
By John Glover Eastman
August 27, 1999
#86
Introduction


Again and again the question is raised by Marines, "Just what is meant by the Old Corps?"
The answers to that question are arguable on into infinity it seems, with the opinion of each one differing in some degree from all others. The answer is ultimately different and unique for each individual Marine. Probably in no other military organization has so much emphasis been placed on its history and traditions. And so Marines are especially well versed in the events that have occurred in our Corps since November 10, 1775 and Tun Tavern.

"...but its roots go back much further. The use of fighting men aboard ships was well established by the time of the Phoenicians, and their duties were remarkably similar to those of today's Corps--fighting in naval engagements, boarding enemy ships, and making raids into enemy territory... The Greeks and Romans picked up the ideas of marines from the Phoenicians, and marines have been used by every maritime country since....Official recognition of marines came first from Charles II of England . In 1664 he decreed the formation of the Admiral's Maritime Regiment, later renamed The Regiment of Marines, still later, the Royal Marines. In 1740 three regiments of marines were raised in the American colonies. An early commander was William Gooch of Virginia, and his troops became known as Gooch's Marines....When the revolution came, the Americans found they needed marines of their own...Samuel Nicholas, a Quaker innkeeper, was commissioned the first Marine officer, and recruiting began at the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia."
(Re The Marine Book, by Chuck Lawliss, Thames & Hudson, NY 1992)

BTW, there seems to be some disagreement in the matter of Tun Tavern.
"...the story is untrue. It probably got its start from the fact that Samuel Nicholas, effectively the first Marine Commandant, actually did own a tavern in Philadelphia, the Conestoga Wagon, which apparently served as his headquarters for a time. However, the owner of the Tun Tavern did become a Marine officer, about a year after the creation of the Corps, which probably gave rise to the legend."
(Re Marine Corps Book of Lists, by Albert A. Nofi, Combined Publishing 1997)

That much of the tradition of the U.S. Marine Corps is rooted in the British Royal Marines is self-evident. American colonists had served in the Royal Marines all along. The official colors of both services are scarlet and gold, etc; and later, both services fought together in Samoa, the Boxer Rebellion, World War I, World War II, and Korea, etc.

Eleven states had established their own organized Marine Corps' by the time of the Revolutionary War. And prior to the war, there were those private marines known as "Privateers."

It is hoped that the interested reader here will delve into the references mentioned-- and there are many others--in the interest of finding that things are never quite as they might have seemed, and that there is always more information to be found on any subject; otherwise there always exists the possibility of error by omission as well as for any other reason.

The following 'vignette' is provided courtesy of Mr. John Glover Eastman, and is one of the many items of information that is not as well known as, I think, it should be. It is hereby presented for your attention.

By Editor, Dick Gaines

For my entire life I've heard the family story that General John Glover donated/leased the first armed vessel in our Nation's history to the United Colonies. It was a schooner christened the "Hannah" and was activated on August 1, 1775. General Glover lived in Marblehead, MA but the "Hannah" was berthed in Beverly, MA.

There still exists a "war" of who is to get the historical credit between these two towns. I understand that there were also armed gunboats on Lake Champlain who claim to be the origin of the US Navy, as well. With apologies to extraordinarily courageous men of the "Brown Water" Navy, I feel that the origin of the Navy belongs to ocean going vessels.

I am new to the list and perhaps all of this is old news but for information: Just a few days out of port she recaptured an American vessel that was seized by the British. The Royal Navy started an intensive search for the "Hannah". On 16 October, 1775 she engaged the H.M.S. Nautilus and although heavily out gunned her crew was able to survive this first naval battle of the Revolution. (Note: The 'list' Mr. Eastman speaks of, above, is the Scuttlebutt & Small Chow Marines History List, where this was first posted. -Ed)

As to the importance of General Glover and his Marblehead Mariners to the United States Marine Corps:

Glover's Mariners were comprised of mostly merchant marine sailors and fishermen. When the Continental Army had to be evacuated from their entrapment in New York it was the Marblehead Mariners who placed their muskets in the boats, picked up and heaved the oars. When they reached the evacuation beaches they laid their oars down and picked up their muskets.


When the boats were loaded they reversed the musket/oar cycle and route continually until the entire Army was safely on the other side. Without these Mariners the Continental Army would have ceased to exist and that first Revolution would have been over. That would leave us today with a lot more in common with Canada. ( I strongly believe that if the Revolution had failed, and the reason I referred to it as the "first", was that eventually in the course of history our forefathers would have ousted British rule.)


Into the boats; land on a hostile shore. Sounds like a US Marine to me.

Another event that makes me feel Glover and his unit are the de facto founders of the US Marines is the battle of Treneton. It was, again, the Marblehead Mariners manning the boats that ferried the Army to defeat the British/Hessians at Trenton. ( Regardless of that well known artistic rendering of the crossing, there was no ice and I doubt anyone was standing in the boats.) When the troops were safely across the Mariners grab their weapons and joined in the assault. This victory was another pivotal event in the eventual success of the Revolution. I'm a little shaky on the following point: I believe that the victory at Trenton, besides raising the level of commitment to final victory over the British, caused France to agree to support the Revolution. France's Fleet (Adm. DeGrasse?) trapped the British fleet allowing our victory at the final battle of Saratoga.

Obviously I have family bias but strongly believe that more attention and credit should be given to our Country's first Marines by the present USMC and its previously active duty members.

Nathan Billias, a noted naval historian, showed in his book "General John Glover and his Marblehead Mariners" that my Great Great Great Great Great Grandfather indeed led our first sea going amphibious force and was, at the very least, was the predecessor of the United States Marine Corps. And if you believe that our founding Fathers were Americans and the first citizens of the United States then they should be considered the actual founding of the Corps.

Thank you for listening.

John Glover Eastman
Vietnam '69-'70
E-Mail: namvets@capecod.net

Addendum:

Dick,

My deepest thanks for your interest in my Ancestor's and his
unit's role in the founding of the United States Marine Corps.
Of course you have my permission to present my writings on the
list. If you can locate Nathan Billias' book it may greatly add to your
publication. I do possess a history of General Glover which contains some of the correspondence between him and Washington and the Continental Congress.

Not the brightest moment in then Colonel Glover's career but
maybe of some interest: When the Army was struggling at Valley Forge, Glover received word that his family was starving in Marblehead which I will guess was caused by the British blockade of Boston and loss of revenue. Keep in mind that before the war he was a very successful merchant marine owner and he and his family
lived a life style that coincided with his wealth. His house, which still
stands in Marblehead, attests to that wealth. During the war his fortunes diminished greatly which caused his family's hardship.

He left Valley Forge and headed for his family. He was either
over taken by a messenger or did arrive at Marblehead and shortly after received a personal letter form Washington. Washington was greatly displeased at Col. Glover leaving Valley Forge and used an interesting ploy and very historical phrase to get him to return.

In the letter Washington chastised him for (this is my remembrance of the letter. But it will give you the gist of it.)

" It is men like you who start an honorable endeavor and then
leave it that cause us the most harm. You are like a soldier who will only serve in the summer months and not stay through the harshness of winter." This passage resulting in the term "Summer Soldiers" and "Winter Soldiers".

The letter continued in my thoughts: " You have been with me since the beginning and have made yourself and your unit a most valuable
force in the conduct of the struggle before us. I am aware of the personal issues that confront you but you will do more for your family and all our families by returning to you post. To honor your accomplishments in pursuit of the dream of freedom you are hereby promoted to the rank of General".

The slap and the promotion worked and General Glover returned
immediately to duty. His family went on in a squalid living situation until the blockade was broken. Sadder yet is that when the war was over Glover was almost penniless and died as an impoverished cobbler. The last sentence may be found in Billias' book but I have no recollection of it in that work. This was family lore from generation to generation. I still use this in my work as a Director of a Veterans' Outreach Center in Hyannis, MA. When some one asks how can the country treat its veterans so poorly. I simply reply, "Tradition."

Again my thanks for interest. Any method of telling the story of
General Glover is most welcomed. Two other bits of information just
recalled; There is large statue of the General on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston and in 1969/70 the US Navy commissioned the USS John Glover, a missile frigate I believe. The Navy tracked down all the direct descendents to include my brother,my father and his eight brother and sisters. I, unfortunately was in I Corps with 101st at that time and missed out on the Christening.

Regards,
John Glover Eastman
USMC Units IN Argentina-WW II
By Bill Mayer
September 8, 1999
#87

"USMC units in Argentina during WWII
Message posted by Bill (bmayer@mninter.net) on Monday, September 06 at 02:16 AM EDT
Message:
My father was a field-promoted Captain in a USMC unit located in Argentina during WWII, whose mission was to destroy secret German Submarine bases. He's been dead 20 years and I'm curious.Does anybody recognize this, heard of this, know about this? FOIA claims the files burned up in a cabinet at the Pentagon in the 60's."

I chanced to see the above message posted on the WAE message board recently. I wondered if perhaps this man's Marine father had been one of the Marines detailed to duties with the OSS during WW II. My curiousity got the better of me and I decided to post this question on the World War II-List where there are many knowledgeable individuals--veterans of WW II, etc, professional and amateur historians, authors, and those with just a burning desire to learn all they can about the history of World War Two! As I expected, there were many responses to the question of whether or not there were Marines in S.A. during WW II, German submarine bases, etc; but none really answered the question regarding Bill's Dad. Well, we tried. But it may yet be answered as once something finds its way into writing there's no telling who may read it sooner or later.

I forwarded the better responses from the list to Bill and received back a very interesting e-mail response telling me about his Marine Dad. In fact, it was so interesting that I asked his permission to use it here on my Marine Vignettes series. He kindly consented and so here it is.
-RWG

Dick:

Thanks for the response. Got alot of responses from the list
you sent my question to. Don't know if this helps, but here are some other things I picked up in my youth:

My dad used to make these business trips to Houston and Mexico
City back in the 60's. A few years after he died, my mom told me he'd be gone as long as 12 weeks at a time, and she never knew where he was.

When my dad took off his clothes, he made Rambo look like he
fell off his bicycle. Bullet holes, stab wounds, tons of stitches. He
wouldn't talk about any of it, ever. Just said, "The War." My mom said she'd noticed what she thought were new bullet holes, but he'd just say, "Those have always been there. You are mistaken."

One of the skills he taught me was shooting and hunting. He was
a marksman with a rifle or a pistol. I once saw him take a sparrow off a phone wire from easily 100 yards with a snub-nose .38 Smith & Wesson. I couldn't hardly believe my eyes! At the time, I just figured Dad was a good shot.

He was also a demolitions expert. He worked at an arsenal in Joliet,
Illinois during part of Vietnam. He used to bring home all kinds of stuff...really cool for a 10 year old kid, ya know?

Some of the feedback I received from your posting mentioned the
OSS. Didn't that outfit evolve into CIA?

When I used to ask him about his days during the war, the most
he would tell me (other than the South America thing) was that it was
just him and one other guy, and it sounded like the other guy didn't make it back.

One other thing...and this has always struck me as odd. When I
was about 12 or so, my mom, dad, myself, and one of my cousins took a family vacation to Mexico. When we got to Mexico City, we stayed at the American Hotel there. There is a parking garage under the hotel, with Mexican attendants to wash your car, work on it if you need it, fill it up with gas, etc. My dad approached one of them and said, "Excuse me, I came thru here about 20 years ago..." That's all he could say before the man answered, "Oh yes, Mr. Mayer. I remember you." Dad hadn't told him his name or anything at
that point, and we'd just arrived and hadn't checked in yet.
Then the man proceeded to tell us what kind of car Dad had been driving, how long he had stayed, and asked Dad if he still had the Colt .45 with the Aztec Calendar silver grips. (Dad had it tucked under the seat of the car!) You could tell the man was scared...even at 12 I remember that. 20 years previous to that time would have been the middle to late 40's.

Dick, I'm rambling here. Sorry. Thanks again for the reply.
It's given some credentials to a hollow story I'd heard from someone who was a textbook sociopath. Absolutely, use whatever you wish of this story. I can't prove any of it and all I've got are memories. Some good, some bad.

I wrote to FOIA a number of years ago. They sent me a letter (which,
unfortunately I don't have anymore) stating that all information relating to that person and those events burned up inside a steel file
cabinet at the Pentagon in the 60's. Uh huh.

I don't have the address for the St. Louis facility you mentioned. But
after all these years, there probably aren't any records left anyway. For your information, his name was Richard Mayer, no middle initial,
from Grand Forks, N.D. He had two brothers (not Marines), and was first generation German heritage. He and I tangled a few times while I was growing up, but
I never got the impression he put his heart into it. But he was
a textbook sociopath...he could turn it on and turn it off, just like
that...so if I hadn't been able to outrun him (grin), I know he would've killed me. (And yes, I probably would've deserved it.) (Big Grin)

Thanks again, Dick. Write again if you're interested, or need
background that I may remember.

Take care,

--- Bill ---
E-Mail: bmayer@mninter.net
Note: Anyone having knowledge of the above may e-mail either Bill and/or GunnyG. Thank You.
-RWG
CACTUS MAG
By John Faust
September 9, 1999
#88
I am not a Marine. Let me make that clear at the start, but my
family and that of my wife, seems to have had a large number of USMC personnel among our ranks. One of my wife's uncles was a Marine MAG groundcrewman at Guadalcanal and during family reunions he and I would swap combat tales.


George Henson was a 30 year man who was finally forced
out of The Corps because he topped out at a little over 250 pounds and couldn't get rid of the extra seabags he seemed to be hiding under his uniform.


George told me of the miserable conditions the Marines endured
during the Marine only phase. Heat, hunger, the creeping crud caused by sweat and chafing, but he said the thing that really scared the hell
out of him (if you discount the nightly Tokyo Express shelling) was
having to help repair the Henderson Field runway after the Jap 155 mm howitzer they called "Pistol Pete" had lobbed a few shells onto the strip. He showed me a picture someone had taken of him on the 'Canal (I didn't recognize the skinny short man in the photo...George, when he was eating Jap rations and suffering from the green apple two-step) standing beside what appeared to be a captured enemy truck.

The truck was part of a rapid response plan to fill in and tamp down shell holes left by Pistol Pete. After a short barrage, the ground personnel would roar out to the shell holes, shovel and dump dirt into the holes as fast as they could so the F4F and SBD's could land. It wasn't the frantic pace or the heat that bothered George and the others. It was the tactic the Jap gunners had come up with to nail a few more Marine coffins shut. The gunners wouldn't resight the guns after their FO's had let them know their shells had hit home. They would wait until the engineering work had begun to repair the shell holes, then they would lay a salvo in, knowing the shells would hit quite close to the Marine crews or on them.


George said you could either run like the Devil was snapping at your
butt when you heard the incoming or dive into the hole, praying the guns had shifted enough to drop the 155 round away from the hole. He said they were showered with a lot of dirt and coral, but his group never took a WIA or KIA. In any case, those Marines stuck it out and repaired the main shell holes so the planes could land, even though once in a while the pilots would have to do some toe brake and rudder dances to dodge the unrepaired areas.

Whatever you want to think about the struggles of the Mud Marines or the fierce fights the MAG pilots endured, to me it seems it took a lot of guts to go where you knew an enemy gunner was just waiting to throw an HE round toward your hip pocket.

John W. Faust
(U.S. Army-DAV ret.)
Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
"INVICTUS"
E-Mail: Dogface4449@webtv.net
The Korean Trench War: A Corpsman's Perspective
By Herb Renner
September 22, 1999
#89
TERMINOLOGY
Never heard anything about the "world" until Vietnam. I guess
returning tothe "world" expressed what we all privately wanted to return to from Korea---family, friends, our good old car and open highways.
Do you remember the words "Mud Marines" referring to Marine infantry? "Gooks" were all enemies. North Koreans and Chinese combined. "Rocks" were the Southern Korean forces. "Chiggy Bearers" carried stretchers and supplies. "Eatie Wa" (sp?) was a spoon. We all carried a long handled brass one (Korean Made from shell casings) for stirring and eating chow. I still have mine! It had a flattened bowl and could retrieve a sausage patty from the "Yukon" stove top, after toasting.

I still remember my first casualty. A Marine was putting up a blanket over the bunker door, using a .30 round for a nail and a grenade for a hammer. He was lucky. The round went off and not the grenade. He lost a few small pieces of his left thumb and forefinger, but, went on patrol that night. His right trigger finger was in good shape.


I remember the Marine Corps with 3 Divisions of 3 Regiments of 3 Battalions of 3 Companys of 3 Platoons of 3 Fire Teams of 3 Men. That made a Corps of 6561 riflemen (BARs included) the heart of the Corps!

I'll never forget my tour of duty with the Infantry. Some of the best
friends I ever had, that took me to the most frightening places I've ever experienced. Your web site has brought back many memories, that I thought were buried long ago, in the convolutions of my mind.

Cordially,
Herb Renner

Dick, I had time today to expand on the things I still remember and really got caught up in it. Yours to use as you see fit. Semper Fi.
Herb Renner,
Master Chief, USN, Retired (Jan 1971)

In the field, in Korea, we were outfitted just as a Marine. 782 Gear, .45 automatic pistol model 1911A1 with two extra magazines, holster and a box of ammo. Thermo boots, field boots and all the other clothing and foul weather gear a Marine had. An M-1 Rifle, with ammo and a bayonet, and a K-Bar knife. Web belt and all the stuff you can hang on it, but always two canteens, both containing clorinated water or sterile water, if we could get it from a Med Bn, for washing wounds. Sometimes, rifle grenades and launchers could be had. The first aid kit was carried in the rear to keep from being identified as a Corpsman by the gooks. Never any identifing red crosses or serum albumin cans (a blood volume expander) taped to the helmet, as you might see in the movies. Grenades, we kept in our pockets, never hung by a spoon on the outside (at least I never did!) I liked concussion grenades.

On patrol, a Thompson submachine or a Grease gun was great if you could get one (they used .45 cal. ammo) The M-1 was kept in the bunker and usually only used to defend our static position. Because I was assigned to a fire team and one of my buddies was a BARman, I
carried an extra harness of .30 Cal. magazines when we fought on Reno, Vegas or Carson (Can't remember which one now. And, at times we were in blocking positions in that area, in March and April of 1953, with the 5th Marines, 2nd Bn, Easy Co.)


As best I can remember, the large first aid kit, contained a pair of very heavy duty bandage-type scissors with the lower flat point to get under clothing and bandages. At the rear of the hinge were wire cutter jaws. It was strong enough to cut barbed wire. Radiomen liked them to cut com wire, etc. A roll of 1/4 mesh wire fabric about 4" wide by 30" long for large splints. A couple small strips of aluminum about 1/16" thick for finger splints. A few tongue depressors. Bandaids. Ammonia inhalant ampules with cotton/gauze covers. A few Benzalkonium chloride antiseptic solution bottles wrapped in cardboard sleeves about 4" long and 3/4" diameter. A couple triangular bandages. 4X4 and 2X2 dressings. As many smaller battle dressings as would fit (Large battle dressings of the abdominal size we carried in our pockets) A few packets of morphine syrettes, 1/4 grain (I think there were 5 to a packet, off-white cardboard containers with a blueish seal) Antibiotic tablets. Serum albumin cans we carried in our pockets. These contained the serum, tubing and needles for administration.
Black silk suture material and assorted suture needles. Safety pins. A pad of Medical Tags with wire ties and some golf pencils. Adhesive tape in assorted widths. Eye patch dressings. A tube of ophthalmic tetracaine (topical anesthesia) and a tube of ophthalmic antibiotic. Sealed packets of copper sulfate to put out "Willie Peter"(white phosphorus) flammable particles burning through the skin.

And, of course, APC's and aspirin, an excellent anti-diaretic.
(For you Vietman vets, APC is not the abbreviation for an Armored Personnel Carrier) Instruments included assorted needle holders, forceps,c and hemostats. Note: Dressings go next to the wound, bandages or tape hold them on. Battle dressings are a combination dressing and bandage. The back side carries the message "Put other side next to the wound". The benzalkonium chloride was dark reddish-brown colored and was also used to mark an "M" on the forehead to indicate the patient had been given a shot of morphine, with time and date on the Medical Tag. (Morphine also controls diarrhea)


If nothing was going on, about every two weeks we could go back toa field shower unit, bath and exchange our clothes for clean ones. If a
field mess was found, the cooks would give you some meat, cheese, onions, butter and bread for sandwiches. Usually they weren't stingy and loaded us up. Quiet times were used to build up fortifications. Sand bagging, digging trenches, bringing up supplies. The wire out front of the MLR had tins cans with stones in them hung on the wire, and 55 gallon drums of napalm with TNT in the bottom wired to a detonator, dug into the slope at about a 45 degree angle. Mine fields were everywhere, especially "bouncing bettys". Going out past the outposts at night you had to step carefully to avoid getting tangled in all the com wire. I always thought the gooks had a sure path, just to follow the com wire in, if they found it.


I remember when a gook 82mm mortar found our "4 Holer". No one was in it at the time, but it certainly made a mess. Turds and slime
everywhere. It took hours to find it all and cover it with dirt. Field sanitation went to hell that day. Worm pills and DDT powder had to be distributed when the lice and worns started to itch. You could tell when someone was bothered with them. Scratching their head, their butt, or both. Our bunker was big enough for a fire team and me.

On a reverse slope, dug into the side of a com trench with logs and sand bags overhead. It was almost water proof. The entrance had a left and right turn with an outer and inner shelter-half cover. Bunks were made of barb wire stakes laced with com wire to hold the air mattress and mountain sleeping bag. Ammo crates made side tables with a lantern or candle, stools and a card table. A "yukon" stove completed the furnishings, fueled with a jerry-can of diesel, a hose and a drip valve.


That stove could get cherry red and damn near run you out of the bunker. When on the bunk reading, rats in the overhead logs read along with you and helped themselves to the chow. We had a mutual understanding. Stay off our face when we were sleeping and we won't throw a concussion grenade in the bunker to kill you. Unless something was going on, we slept during the day and patrolled at night. Patrols were called Cadillacs, Chevrolets, Buicks and some other names. I can't remember which were which, but they were combat, ambush, recon, etc., patrols. I liked the ambush patrol in the spring because we could lay out under the stars and wait for the gooks to find us (which they seldom did)

In winter the recon patrols were the best. You could keep warm moving around. Combat patrols involved getting into the gooks trenches and blowing up their outpost bunkers. These weren't fun, because the gooks would get mad as hell and shoot back or you had to break your butt getting away from a sachel charge blast. Moon lit nights were double dangerous for obvious reasons.
Sometimes we didn'thave to go out very far, if it was too bright, just hang around an outpost or stay close in. No sense getting slaughtered by the gook mortars. The story was, every gook had a mortar and nine hundred ammo carriers. They were good shots! Every now and then, we would find a couple of their lookouts in a shell hole not far from our lines. Usually half frozen in the winter. The G-men liked to get them for guestioning before they were sent back to a prisoner compound.

Our Company commander dearly loved prisoners. I think he got a bonus for everyone captured. Small patrols were lead by a Sergeant and Platoon size by an Officer. The larger the number on patrol the more the danger. I could never hear very well, but it seemed to me I could hear every foot step of everyone around me. The patrol leader usually put me one man forward of the rear most position. Because we had good leaders, we took very few casualties and none of them serious on the patrols I accompanied, and I went on a lot of them. We took more casualties in blocking actions from incoming artillery-ours and theirs!


Somewhere near the Nevada Cities we got smashed by what someone said was our own 105mm's. I never found out for sure. Guess I really didn't want to know. We lost about 14 Marines, most killed. The "chiggy bearers" came up to take out the bodies and the non-walking wounded. Those were brave little old guys from South Korean labor battalions. I could see the shells exploding and walking toward me up the gully we were in, and got up under a washed out tree root beside a dry stream bed. I pulled my helmet down so hard it probably covered my feet.


Another time, we were positioned in a field, below some of our tanks that were sitting on a ridge. Resting and eating what we had gotten from a field mess, on a reverse slope, near the front. I guess the gooks saw the tanks and started shooting at them. The short rounds fell on us. It was broard daylight. Huge pieces of shell fragments got some of the guys. I finally got to a guy that had caught one in the head. It took off most of the right side. I put an abdominal battle dressing over the wound and gave him a shot of morphine. Neither did any good. I just stayed with him until he expired.
I didn't recognize him because of the size of the wound and I long ago forgot the name on his shirt. In below freezing weather wounds that don't involve large veins and arteries don't bleed much. You "Chosen Vets" can attest to that. As I remember, head, chest and belly wounds were the first to be evacuated, usually by heliocopter, to a Med Bn.


I was 6'2", about 190 lbs, when I arrived at Camp Pendleton. When I boarded the troop ship, going home from the "Land of the Morning Calm", I weighed about 150 lbs. I had started my unexpected military career in the "week end warriors", while in High School. After I graduated, I went to a Navy/Marine recruiting station to join the Marines.

They were out to lunch on the Marine side. A Navy Chief grabbed me and talked me into joining the regular Navy. I went to boot camp at Greats Lakes (seems I didn't have enough "week end warrioring" to escape boot camp) Immediately got pneumonia. The Corpsmen in sickbay pulled me through and I got back to "butts and muzzles", because I was always screwing up. When it was time to leave boot camp, It was detected that I had been a soda jerk in a drug store. The Personnelman looked up "soda jerk" in his book and found that "soda jerks" memorized formulas for making ice cream dishes and was suitable as a Corpsman trainee. Off I went to Corps School, where I did well enough to get two stripes with a Caduceus patch. Off I went by train to Beaufort Naval Hospital, near Parris Island.

I was now close to real Marines. We had loads of boot Marine patients at the hospital. Parris Island in those days was very close to being a kin to Devils Island. I drove an ambulance over to Parris Island, sometimes, and watched the poor souls getting their ass kicked by a D.I.
When those kids got out of boot camp, they could eat nails. Many times I got my lumps in a barroom brawl from a "just graduated monster" who thought us boys in our nice, neat, little Navy suits were put on earth solely as punching bags. They probably thought the Caduceus on our left arm meant we healed fast. I left that duty station, with a front tooth missing, as an HM3, heading for Camp Pendleton and God knows what! Field Med School, amphibs, combat in towns, obstacle courses, cold weather training at Pickle Meadows, shooting ranges and close order drill were the Whats!

I remember the M-1 had a muzzle velocity of 2100 feet per second and the effective range of 1000 yards. There ain't much to see at 1000 yards when you spend most of your time crawling on your belly. And, I almost got run over by an amtrac doing just that, near Delmar. When the D.I.s were through with us, I could climb a rope, hand over hand, with a full field transport pack. We really needed more Field Med Schooling than we got, looking back, but a war was on and somebody had to carry the bandaids. Matter of fact, we were needed in hurry enough to warrant a Flight Draft, on PanAm Clipper "Red Rover". That was the name of the first hospital ship, that was used in the Civil War, I think.


We fueled in Hawaii, landing in Itami Japan and then on to Kimpo
Airport in Korea. We boarded a troop train that had most of the floor and windows blown out. I think we stopped before every bridge while someone went ahead to see if it was safe to cross. Finally reaching the rail end at Munsun-ni. We were assigned units and left for the front by trucks. We got out and straggled up to the front line unit. (I mean "straggled" because you don't do a Parade March where the gooks might see you) It was a bright winter day that was about to turn to doom and gloom a few months later.

I remember three Marines by name now, One was a patrol leading Sergeant nick-named "Trigger Jack", Leo Kelly a BARman, and Bill Sterns a radioman. Its funny, but I can't remember the names of the other Corpsmen in our Company, except "Pappy" Grisham (sp?) who blew up a "Yukon" stove by inadvertently getting gasoline at the fuel dump. One side of his face was black for weeks. What a chuckle we all got out of that! My "Eatie Wa"(sp?) spoon still rests in a kitchen drawer. The only spoon in the drawer that has been to war. Made from a shell casing by an old Korean Pa-Pa San and traded for a pack of Luckys.


Next best thing to boarding a troop ship headed for home was the mail and packages. They could really raise your spirits. I still have all the letters that I wrote home, that my folks saved. Return addressed: Co. E 2-5 1st Mar.Div. c/o FPO San Francisco California (no zip code in those days)
Herb Renner
FMF Corpsman
Korea Dec 1952 to Nov 1953
and
Medical Research, Vietnam
E-Mail: Granite FMQ fmq@iwvisp.com

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Marine Vignettes 94-97
THE DAY OSWALD SHOT SOMEBODY
By "Sully"
November 27, 1999
#94
This ain't gonna be another "Where I was when JFK was assassinated story." I promise you, although that is the way it's going to start because some rather interesting things happened right out of the box. And there ain't many times when a very little guy like me gets a chance to see what would become the hottest documents relating to the Kennedy assassination before any other person in Washington got to see them. That's right. Before LBJ and even RFK. And you, the readers, are going to have to pay attention because at the very end I'm going to have a question for you. In spite of all the jillions of investigations, and the millions of pages written about the
assassination, I'm going to put a slant on one little tiny angle of the puzzle that I don't know that anyone has ever illuminated before.


The 22nd of January, 1963 began benignly enough. I hadn't gotten home until 0100 of that morning and slept in while my two teen age daughters got off to their high school, and my wife, Mary Jane, to her job as Director of Guidance and Counseling at Cooper Junior High School, just down the hill from Hickory Hill, the residence of RFK
and his brood. I used to kid her, because the Kennedy's dog sometimes followed children to school. Of course they weren't RFK's kids. Rich liberals don't send their kids to public schools. RFK's kids were enrolled elsewhere. But anyway on occasion Mary Jane would get stuck with the job of bringing the Kennedy's dog home, with her
car, and on her gas money. On occasion she would even be invited in for a cup of tea, usually in the kitchen, but she did meet Ethel on one occasion. Rubbing elbows with the rich and famous yet....but....


I really don't recall when I woke up that morning. It was and would be for another few hours, just another day. But my routine was to have breakfast and then apply myself to whatever project we had going around the house. I had to leave to get back on the job by 3:15 in the afternoon. Pretty weird hours, you say? Standing the 4 to 12 wasn't the half of it.


In June of '61 I had been ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps from The George Washington University where I had spent the previous year earning my AB degree on the Bootstrap Program. The Marine Corps had the largest pool of officers without college degrees of any of the services, and was having a hard time filling staff billets that
had the prerequisite for a college degree. So I had scraped three years of credit together and was admitted to Bootstrap and obtained my degree. One academic year off, with full pay, and all you had to do was figure how to pay the tuition and buy your books.


Should mention that also in June of '61 the Pentagon and HQMC, where I was a new arrival, were still shaking from the fallout from the Bay of Pigs. One of the first people I met is the Colonel that all the books on the Bay of Pigs refer to this day as "the shadowy Marine Logistics Colonel." So I know who he is and I ain't gonna tell you.
So don't ask. I will tell you that he sure enjoyed being considered "shadowy." Matter of fact, he rejoiced in it.


So when I arrived in Headquarters I was assigned to AO4J, Plans & Operations Department, G-4 Division. Hell, I wasn't any G-4 type. I was an operator and had spent all my time as a troop commander or in operations billets. My billet title was "Joint Strategic Plans Officer," and "Top Secret Control Officer" for the G-4 Division. I couldn't
hardly say "Joint Strategic Plans Officer" with a straight face, and here I was one. Oh well. My Assignment Officer insisted it would broaden my career.


During this same period it was necessary to create a new staff function. This was caused by CMC's role with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now you see, contrary to popular belief, CMC isn't a member of the JCS. He has his picture taken with them once a year and the caption always says "The Joint Chiefs of Staff" but that's pure baloney and is what leads to the confusion. He does have co-equal status with the other Chiefs on any matter of direct concern to the Marine Corps. And the Marine Corps, and only the Marine Corps determines when that is. (Heh-Heh. Sure snuck that one past 'em.) Anyway CMC's role mandated that he hold certain publications, and these are so
classified that if I were to tell you what they were I'd have to track you down and kill you.


Anyway, this new staff function began with the moniker "Emergency Actions Center." Like all new agencies in Headquarters they had to scrounge equipment and furniture where they could get it and for the first year of their existence their spaces looked like a cross between Salvation Army East and the Ten Worst Garage Sales You Ever
Attended. But they did have safes with you know what in them. Actually, you'd better not know what. I done warned you once, and you know the story about the mule and the bride....


In my role as TS Control Officer for the G-4 Division I had a certain amount of business with the EAC, and got to know the Director and Staff quite well. About that point, for personal reasons, I decided to extend my tour in HQMC by one year. My extension was approved, and I was transferred to the EAC for duty. Except it was no longer the EAC. They now had brand new quarters next to 2209, the Commandant's Conference Room. I want you to know this cost megabucks, and looked as though designed by the same dude who did the command module for Star Trek. All we needed was some of them there Space Kaydets of the feminine persuasion flitting about. How did the Marine Corps ever come up with that kind of money you may well ask? The only thing we could figure is that Dave Shoup, our Commandant, sat next to Curt Le May, Air Force Chief of Staff, in the "Tank" where the JCS met, and Dave must have picked Curt's pocket. Those Air Force types had lots of money, always buying billion
dollar airplanes and getting flight pay, etc. We always used to say that we didn't question aviators getting flight pay, they earned it. But what in the heck did they do to earn their base pay?


And we even had ourselves a new name: The Marine Corps Command Center. Now doesn't that sound precious? Of course, if you're really in on the know, you realize that CMC commands very few Marines directly. All the fighting forces are assigned OpCon to the CINCs and the Unified or Specified Commanders. But let that go.


My job in the MCCC was strictly entry level slave labor. I was to head a Watch Team. These teams consisted of an officer as Team Head, usually a Captain or a Major, a SSgt Team Chief, and a Sergeant clerk. The Major's chief job was to read every incoming message and JCS document and decide whether any demanded action before the
beginning of the next working day. If so he'd rout out the personnel necessary to deal with the problem. He also wrote written briefs certain messages of wide Marine Corps interest that came in during his watch, and the 0001-0800 Watch Team put these into a MCCC Daily SitRep, which back in '63 seldom was anything more than Secret in classification. Actually, the front page of the Washington Post had more classified stuff than our SitReps. The MCCC was a beehive during the day when HQMC was working, although it took a special pass to enter because we had certain Status of Forces information always on display, and well as DEFCON conditions worldwide. We also had our "Go To War Teletype" installed in one corner, and I ain't gonna tell you nothin' more 'bout that because.... you know....


Normally there were five watch teams. You began your cycle with two 0800-1600 watches, which meant that the oncoming Watch Officer hit the office at 0600 and made the Pentagon Run where he visited the National Military Command Center, Navy Flag Plot, and the Air Force and the Army War Rooms, respectively. We'd bring over
information on Marine Corps troop movements that they had requested, exchange the daily SitReps, and acquire the latest on what everyone else was up to, and be back in HQMC by 0800 to relieve the watch. After standing two day watches you got a 24 hour break and your next watch began at 1600 the day after you'd finished your second day watch. Then two afternoon (1600-2400) watches, and another 24 hour period off. Then back on for two days of the mid watch (0001-0800). Then you crawled home and if you were lucky you slept for 24 hours, which was fine because you had three days off before you went back on cycle. The MCCC, as were all the other
Command Centers, was a suspended steel box, which had more air conditioners than a dog has fleas because of the heat generated by the various types of electronic gear, and with no visual reference to whether it was night or day. We did everything by GMT (Zulu) time and adjusting back to a normal world was enough to make a paranoid schizophrenic out of the most stable person in the world. You could tell new Watch Team Members easily since they had all the outward manifestations of being a Zombie with a terminal head cold because of the air conditioning that turned the MCCC into an arctic wind tunnel.


Ok, ok. I know that this is supposed to be about JFK. I'm just settin' the stage. I'm getting to it. Dong e dong, as we used to say in North China or Chote matte, wo kudasai, dozo, as the Japanese would have it.


Anyway, there I was on November 22, '63 working on my project of the moment. This happened to be a bar that I was building in our downstairs rec room. The top was about the size of a jeep carrier, and I was thinking of registering it with the Navy in case of a National Emergency. All it would have needed was a catapult and arresting gear. I always had the radio turned on and at about 1330 Washington time I caught someone saying something about Kennedy being shot. OK, you've been patient. Now listen to this. I picked up the telephone and called Carl Youngquist, the officer I'd be relieving in a couple of hours and told him what I'd heard and he sounded puzzled but said to hold and he'd check with the National Military Command Center. In the meantime I could hear more gibberish from the radio talking about the president having been shot. Carl came back on the phone and told me that the NMCC had no information, and I held the phone up to the radio so he could hear what was going on, and he quickly signed off. [Note: I do a lot of kidding around in this piece, but the foregoing is not a part of the joke.]


The question before the house is this: Who had their finger on the nuclear trigger during the some thirty minutes between the time JFK was head shot, and the time he was declared clinically dead. The NMCC didn't know, at least at the time I called, that there was a problem. Had the assassination actually been a Russian plot, and they were to launch at the moment of assassination, their missiles would have been impacting prior to anyone putting their finger on the nuclear button. And of course, we know that when LBJ left Parkland and a Warrant Officer trotted up to him and told him that he had the "football" that LBJ had never ever been briefed on SIOP or the codes that would activate certain targeting alternatives. The contents of that "football" were the same contained in the safes I referenced above. Every Watch Officer in every major headquarters in the entire cotton picking blue-eyed world inventoried that material every time he went on watch. Every Watch Team had to correctly respond with the
correctly coded materials several times per week when the SIOP warning system was exercised. And LBJ, the Vice President of the US had never even been briefed as to what the "football" contained or the implications thereof and he was one heartbeat from being President. Boggles the mind and you've got to wonder if anyone was
running that railroad.


To get back to my narrative and abandon the doomsday scenario, I then called my Ever-Loving at her school, and told her what I'd heard. About a minute into the conversation the line went dead. You may have heard that the thousands of telephone calls that were made in the first few minutes after the initial announcement that JFK had
been shot knocked out the Washington telephone system. I'm here to tell you that is the God's truth. Whatever.


For once our kids came home before I went to work, and they were all upset because of the assassination. All the schools it seemed were closing early, although by the time I left home at 1515 my Goodwife had not yet returned. The MCCC appeared totally normal when I entered to relieve the watch. I asked Carl if there was anything uch
new, and he answered in the negative. So I grinned and asked if we had a new Commander in Chief, and he grinned back and acknowledged that we did.


Sometime just about the time I was making the relief there was a radio bulletin saying that someone named Oswald had been captured after he had shot and killed a policeman in Dallas. The initial reports indicated that this was an isolated incident with no connection to the Kennedy assassination. Most of the staff of HQMC by that time were
gathered around various radios in the building, and the name Oswald meant nothing to 99.9% of them. But there were people in the Personnel Department to whom that name meant a bunch. And here's where you really have to pay attention.


There were officers in Personnel to whom the name "Oswald" was synonymous to "Pain in the Rectum." They had written over the years tens of letters and answered questions by the score about that dude. Oswald was bad news in spades. I'm sure they thought oh, no, not that bad penny again. Whatever. There was no hint in the initial
reportage of the policeman's shooting that Oswald was connected with the JFK assassination, if you'll recall. Anyway, one of the officers in Personnel, just about quitting time at 1630 picked up the phone and got the Kansas City Records Depository on the line and asked that they work a few minutes extra to pull Lee Harvey Oswald's file and forward it to HQMC. He was assured it would be done. The Personnel officer's reasoning was that the records would arrive at HQMC by Monday morning, and should anyone want access to them because of the policeman thing the Personnel Department would not be found wanting. And that was how it was at quitting time
for HQMC on that Friday, 22 November, 1963.


About an hour later there was a bulletin that made a possible tie in between the shooting of the policeman, Oswald, and the assassination of the president. The boys in the various intel agencies and the FBI pricked up their ears and suddenly the records, all the records, and more particularly the Marine Corps' records on Lee Harvey Oswald became the hottest property on the planet.


Well, because of the foresight of that blessed Personnel Officer it would be no problem to produce those records. Right? Wrong! Why? Because those records were now safely ensconced in the hands of those faithful carriers who in spite of the gloom of night and heat of day delivered the mail. Put another way, the records were in an envelope somewhere in the bowels of the Kansas City Post Office. What to do, What to do?


Easy. Get every employee of the Kansas City Postal Department down in those bowels and root around until they had by God found that needle in the haystack. And that's what they did. Concurrently someone in the Marine Corps had arranged for a jet aircraft to fly from Anacostia to the Kansas City Airport and stand by until that blessed envelope was found. Now don't get technical on me, I don't know what kind of jet aircraft. They all look the same to me. Damn it, I'm an infantryman and don't know one bloody thing about no airplanes except that I told Wilbur and Orville both they
wouldn't work. Look at CNN any time of the day or night and you'll see pictures of airplanes Not Working.


As I understand it sometime earlier than you would think possible one of the proctologists in the bowels of the Kansas City Post Office shouted Eureka! and the envelope was turned over to the office that had placed it the Postal Department to begin with, and rushed out to the airport and onto the waiting jet.


Now, up until this time the MCCC had been kept completely out of the picture, which is just as I would have it be. But our time in the spotlight, our fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol talked about, was upon us. The Marine Personnel People who met the jet at Anacostia were tasked to deliver it to the Watch Officer, and only the
Watch Officer of the MCCC. Hey! That was me! My orders were to open the envelope, extract the contents, and make a copy for CMC. Then call a certain number at the White House and deliver the envelope to a courier who would be sent over to pick it up.


In the meantime I was to keep the Command Center clear of any and all visitors, and even if J. Edgar Hoover showed up as Mary, in a red dress, not admit him/her/it under any conditions. At that point I activated two of our Sergeants who were unmarried and were billeted in the nearby barracks at Henderson Hall. Only in the daytime did we keep a watch on the entry door and secure space adjacent to it that secured the actual entrance to the MCCC.
The Sergeants arrived, and I armed them with 45s and gave them their marching orders. No one, and that meant absolutely no one, was to be admitted to the MCCC with the single exception of the White House Courier, and I would personally check his credentials prior to admittance. Anyone else was to be terminated, with prejudice, by letting the air out of them.


In the meantime the telephone calls began. The FBI demanded the records. The CIA demanded the records....and it went on and on. The Naval Intelligence folks were particularly insistent and plead on the basis that since we were all naval officers and all that they deserved first crack. I told him the last time a squid officer had done me a favor was in 1950, and I'd think it over for thirteen years and let him know. It was great fun telling all of them to not pass go, not collect $50.00, but instead go directly to Hell. Of course, since all were my seniors, I had to say ".....Hell, Sir." A once in a lifetime opportunity. About 2100 the envelope arrived. I signed a receipt for it, sat down at the Assistant Director's desk and opened it. Now I bet you think I'm gonna tell you what was in it.


Of course I am. You've been patient this long, and that's the least I could do for a good audience. The folder was not all that thick, maybe three-quarters of an inch. Most of the contents were letters from Oswald to the Secretary of the Navy pleading for an upgrading of his discharge, and the Secretary of the Navy writing back telling why he wouldn't upgrade it. There were letters from the State Department having to do with Oswald's return from the USSR. There was also Oswald's Service Record Book. Lots of Article 15 Non Judicial Punishments, a copy of an investigation having to do with possession of an illegal weapon of some sort, and other assorted trivia. One thing stood out loud and clear. Oswald was a bum. There was nothing really interesting. But, by God, only I in all the world knew that there was not much of interest there. Let the rest of mankind wait and wonder. Andy Warhol, where were you when I needed you?


By that time Dan Blather and the other media types were talking about Oswald being trained by the Marine Corps as a sharpshooter, and other such trash, but when I took a look at his range scores there must have been a typhoon that came through every time he fired for record because the scores were quite unexceptional. In
accordance with my orders, I made a copy of everything for the Commandant. In violation of my orders I also made a copy for the Director of the Command Center. Charity does begin at home. And there ain't nothin' ya can do 'bout it 'cause the statute of limitations has done run. So there! At or before 2200 the Courier from the White
House arrived and after I had exchanged certain means of identifying him over the telephone, I delivered the envelope to him, got a signature, and escorted him past the various cloak and dagger types lurking in the hallways and gnashing their teeth and back to his limousine waiting for him at the entrance. And that's pretty much the size of it. The alarm clock rang, and my 15 minutes of fame were over. Sigh.


Now, let's see if you've been paying attention. Who was the Secretary of the Navy whom Oswald had written to so often and been turned down so often by? Oh? You know? Good for you! You're quite right, it was John Connolly. Now, a tougher question: Who was Oswald aiming at? And how can you prove it, since he hit both
men in the vehicle, killing one and damned near killing the other. Let me ask you a question: in all the stuff that I've read on the assassination I have never heard the question above raised before--Have you? Is it possible that Oswald was taking out his old adversary on the discharge issue, and JFK just happened to get in the sight picture?


As a strictly personal aside, I do believe in the Warren Report conclusion of the single assassin theory, although I don't think they got it quite right about which bullet hit whom. But that's a minor flaw IMHO. Only one thing that bothers me a bit. I don't believe that any trained rifleman would have used a scope with a bolt action rifle. And especially not with the angles that Oswald had to contend with. Each time Oswald fired and cranked the bolt he would have had to reacquire the sight picture, and that is much more difficult with a scope than over iron, open sights. And Oswald did belong to a rifle team while living in Russia....and the beat goes on.


You've heard the old saw that if 10,000 monkeys sat down at 10,000 typewriters that in 10,000 years they might produce a perfect copy of Quo Vadis? Could it be that monkey perched in the 5th story window of the Texas Book Depository got it right the first time? It's statistically possible, you know....


I thank you for your attention.
Semper Fidelis,
Sully,
E-Mail: tientsin@juno.com
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Thursday, 26 December 2002
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Marine Vignettes 94-97
THE DAY OSWALD SHOT SOMEBODY
By "Sully"
November 27, 1999
#94
This ain't gonna be another "Where I was when JFK was assassinated story." I promise you, although that is the way it's going to start because some rather interesting things happened right out of the box. And there ain't many times when a very little guy like me gets a chance to see what would become the hottest documents relating to the Kennedy assassination before any other person in Washington got to see them. That's right. Before LBJ and even RFK. And you, the readers, are going to have to pay attention because at the very end I'm going to have a question for you. In spite of all the jillions of investigations, and the millions of pages written about the
assassination, I'm going to put a slant on one little tiny angle of the puzzle that I don't know that anyone has ever illuminated before.


The 22nd of January, 1963 began benignly enough. I hadn't gotten home until 0100 of that morning and slept in while my two teen age daughters got off to their high school, and my wife, Mary Jane, to her job as Director of Guidance and Counseling at Cooper Junior High School, just down the hill from Hickory Hill, the residence of RFK
and his brood. I used to kid her, because the Kennedy's dog sometimes followed children to school. Of course they weren't RFK's kids. Rich liberals don't send their kids to public schools. RFK's kids were enrolled elsewhere. But anyway on occasion Mary Jane would get stuck with the job of bringing the Kennedy's dog home, with her
car, and on her gas money. On occasion she would even be invited in for a cup of tea, usually in the kitchen, but she did meet Ethel on one occasion. Rubbing elbows with the rich and famous yet....but....


I really don't recall when I woke up that morning. It was and would be for another few hours, just another day. But my routine was to have breakfast and then apply myself to whatever project we had going around the house. I had to leave to get back on the job by 3:15 in the afternoon. Pretty weird hours, you say? Standing the 4 to 12 wasn't the half of it.


In June of '61 I had been ordered to Headquarters Marine Corps from The George Washington University where I had spent the previous year earning my AB degree on the Bootstrap Program. The Marine Corps had the largest pool of officers without college degrees of any of the services, and was having a hard time filling staff billets that
had the prerequisite for a college degree. So I had scraped three years of credit together and was admitted to Bootstrap and obtained my degree. One academic year off, with full pay, and all you had to do was figure how to pay the tuition and buy your books.


Should mention that also in June of '61 the Pentagon and HQMC, where I was a new arrival, were still shaking from the fallout from the Bay of Pigs. One of the first people I met is the Colonel that all the books on the Bay of Pigs refer to this day as "the shadowy Marine Logistics Colonel." So I know who he is and I ain't gonna tell you.
So don't ask. I will tell you that he sure enjoyed being considered "shadowy." Matter of fact, he rejoiced in it.


So when I arrived in Headquarters I was assigned to AO4J, Plans & Operations Department, G-4 Division. Hell, I wasn't any G-4 type. I was an operator and had spent all my time as a troop commander or in operations billets. My billet title was "Joint Strategic Plans Officer," and "Top Secret Control Officer" for the G-4 Division. I couldn't
hardly say "Joint Strategic Plans Officer" with a straight face, and here I was one. Oh well. My Assignment Officer insisted it would broaden my career.


During this same period it was necessary to create a new staff function. This was caused by CMC's role with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Now you see, contrary to popular belief, CMC isn't a member of the JCS. He has his picture taken with them once a year and the caption always says "The Joint Chiefs of Staff" but that's pure baloney and is what leads to the confusion. He does have co-equal status with the other Chiefs on any matter of direct concern to the Marine Corps. And the Marine Corps, and only the Marine Corps determines when that is. (Heh-Heh. Sure snuck that one past 'em.) Anyway CMC's role mandated that he hold certain publications, and these are so
classified that if I were to tell you what they were I'd have to track you down and kill you.


Anyway, this new staff function began with the moniker "Emergency Actions Center." Like all new agencies in Headquarters they had to scrounge equipment and furniture where they could get it and for the first year of their existence their spaces looked like a cross between Salvation Army East and the Ten Worst Garage Sales You Ever
Attended. But they did have safes with you know what in them. Actually, you'd better not know what. I done warned you once, and you know the story about the mule and the bride....


In my role as TS Control Officer for the G-4 Division I had a certain amount of business with the EAC, and got to know the Director and Staff quite well. About that point, for personal reasons, I decided to extend my tour in HQMC by one year. My extension was approved, and I was transferred to the EAC for duty. Except it was no longer the EAC. They now had brand new quarters next to 2209, the Commandant's Conference Room. I want you to know this cost megabucks, and looked as though designed by the same dude who did the command module for Star Trek. All we needed was some of them there Space Kaydets of the feminine persuasion flitting about. How did the Marine Corps ever come up with that kind of money you may well ask? The only thing we could figure is that Dave Shoup, our Commandant, sat next to Curt Le May, Air Force Chief of Staff, in the "Tank" where the JCS met, and Dave must have picked Curt's pocket. Those Air Force types had lots of money, always buying billion
dollar airplanes and getting flight pay, etc. We always used to say that we didn't question aviators getting flight pay, they earned it. But what in the heck did they do to earn their base pay?


And we even had ourselves a new name: The Marine Corps Command Center. Now doesn't that sound precious? Of course, if you're really in on the know, you realize that CMC commands very few Marines directly. All the fighting forces are assigned OpCon to the CINCs and the Unified or Specified Commanders. But let that go.


My job in the MCCC was strictly entry level slave labor. I was to head a Watch Team. These teams consisted of an officer as Team Head, usually a Captain or a Major, a SSgt Team Chief, and a Sergeant clerk. The Major's chief job was to read every incoming message and JCS document and decide whether any demanded action before the
beginning of the next working day. If so he'd rout out the personnel necessary to deal with the problem. He also wrote written briefs certain messages of wide Marine Corps interest that came in during his watch, and the 0001-0800 Watch Team put these into a MCCC Daily SitRep, which back in '63 seldom was anything more than Secret in classification. Actually, the front page of the Washington Post had more classified stuff than our SitReps. The MCCC was a beehive during the day when HQMC was working, although it took a special pass to enter because we had certain Status of Forces information always on display, and well as DEFCON conditions worldwide. We also had our "Go To War Teletype" installed in one corner, and I ain't gonna tell you nothin' more 'bout that because.... you know....


Normally there were five watch teams. You began your cycle with two 0800-1600 watches, which meant that the oncoming Watch Officer hit the office at 0600 and made the Pentagon Run where he visited the National Military Command Center, Navy Flag Plot, and the Air Force and the Army War Rooms, respectively. We'd bring over
information on Marine Corps troop movements that they had requested, exchange the daily SitReps, and acquire the latest on what everyone else was up to, and be back in HQMC by 0800 to relieve the watch. After standing two day watches you got a 24 hour break and your next watch began at 1600 the day after you'd finished your second day watch. Then two afternoon (1600-2400) watches, and another 24 hour period off. Then back on for two days of the mid watch (0001-0800). Then you crawled home and if you were lucky you slept for 24 hours, which was fine because you had three days off before you went back on cycle. The MCCC, as were all the other
Command Centers, was a suspended steel box, which had more air conditioners than a dog has fleas because of the heat generated by the various types of electronic gear, and with no visual reference to whether it was night or day. We did everything by GMT (Zulu) time and adjusting back to a normal world was enough to make a paranoid schizophrenic out of the most stable person in the world. You could tell new Watch Team Members easily since they had all the outward manifestations of being a Zombie with a terminal head cold because of the air conditioning that turned the MCCC into an arctic wind tunnel.


Ok, ok. I know that this is supposed to be about JFK. I'm just settin' the stage. I'm getting to it. Dong e dong, as we used to say in North China or Chote matte, wo kudasai, dozo, as the Japanese would have it.


Anyway, there I was on November 22, '63 working on my project of the moment. This happened to be a bar that I was building in our downstairs rec room. The top was about the size of a jeep carrier, and I was thinking of registering it with the Navy in case of a National Emergency. All it would have needed was a catapult and arresting gear. I always had the radio turned on and at about 1330 Washington time I caught someone saying something about Kennedy being shot. OK, you've been patient. Now listen to this. I picked up the telephone and called Carl Youngquist, the officer I'd be relieving in a couple of hours and told him what I'd heard and he sounded puzzled but said to hold and he'd check with the National Military Command Center. In the meantime I could hear more gibberish from the radio talking about the president having been shot. Carl came back on the phone and told me that the NMCC had no information, and I held the phone up to the radio so he could hear what was going on, and he quickly signed off. [Note: I do a lot of kidding around in this piece, but the foregoing is not a part of the joke.]


The question before the house is this: Who had their finger on the nuclear trigger during the some thirty minutes between the time JFK was head shot, and the time he was declared clinically dead. The NMCC didn't know, at least at the time I called, that there was a problem. Had the assassination actually been a Russian plot, and they were to launch at the moment of assassination, their missiles would have been impacting prior to anyone putting their finger on the nuclear button. And of course, we know that when LBJ left Parkland and a Warrant Officer trotted up to him and told him that he had the "football" that LBJ had never ever been briefed on SIOP or the codes that would activate certain targeting alternatives. The contents of that "football" were the same contained in the safes I referenced above. Every Watch Officer in every major headquarters in the entire cotton picking blue-eyed world inventoried that material every time he went on watch. Every Watch Team had to correctly respond with the
correctly coded materials several times per week when the SIOP warning system was exercised. And LBJ, the Vice President of the US had never even been briefed as to what the "football" contained or the implications thereof and he was one heartbeat from being President. Boggles the mind and you've got to wonder if anyone was
running that railroad.


To get back to my narrative and abandon the doomsday scenario, I then called my Ever-Loving at her school, and told her what I'd heard. About a minute into the conversation the line went dead. You may have heard that the thousands of telephone calls that were made in the first few minutes after the initial announcement that JFK had
been shot knocked out the Washington telephone system. I'm here to tell you that is the God's truth. Whatever.


For once our kids came home before I went to work, and they were all upset because of the assassination. All the schools it seemed were closing early, although by the time I left home at 1515 my Goodwife had not yet returned. The MCCC appeared totally normal when I entered to relieve the watch. I asked Carl if there was anything uch
new, and he answered in the negative. So I grinned and asked if we had a new Commander in Chief, and he grinned back and acknowledged that we did.


Sometime just about the time I was making the relief there was a radio bulletin saying that someone named Oswald had been captured after he had shot and killed a policeman in Dallas. The initial reports indicated that this was an isolated incident with no connection to the Kennedy assassination. Most of the staff of HQMC by that time were
gathered around various radios in the building, and the name Oswald meant nothing to 99.9% of them. But there were people in the Personnel Department to whom that name meant a bunch. And here's where you really have to pay attention.


There were officers in Personnel to whom the name "Oswald" was synonymous to "Pain in the Rectum." They had written over the years tens of letters and answered questions by the score about that dude. Oswald was bad news in spades. I'm sure they thought oh, no, not that bad penny again. Whatever. There was no hint in the initial
reportage of the policeman's shooting that Oswald was connected with the JFK assassination, if you'll recall. Anyway, one of the officers in Personnel, just about quitting time at 1630 picked up the phone and got the Kansas City Records Depository on the line and asked that they work a few minutes extra to pull Lee Harvey Oswald's file and forward it to HQMC. He was assured it would be done. The Personnel officer's reasoning was that the records would arrive at HQMC by Monday morning, and should anyone want access to them because of the policeman thing the Personnel Department would not be found wanting. And that was how it was at quitting time
for HQMC on that Friday, 22 November, 1963.


About an hour later there was a bulletin that made a possible tie in between the shooting of the policeman, Oswald, and the assassination of the president. The boys in the various intel agencies and the FBI pricked up their ears and suddenly the records, all the records, and more particularly the Marine Corps' records on Lee Harvey Oswald became the hottest property on the planet.


Well, because of the foresight of that blessed Personnel Officer it would be no problem to produce those records. Right? Wrong! Why? Because those records were now safely ensconced in the hands of those faithful carriers who in spite of the gloom of night and heat of day delivered the mail. Put another way, the records were in an envelope somewhere in the bowels of the Kansas City Post Office. What to do, What to do?


Easy. Get every employee of the Kansas City Postal Department down in those bowels and root around until they had by God found that needle in the haystack. And that's what they did. Concurrently someone in the Marine Corps had arranged for a jet aircraft to fly from Anacostia to the Kansas City Airport and stand by until that blessed envelope was found. Now don't get technical on me, I don't know what kind of jet aircraft. They all look the same to me. Damn it, I'm an infantryman and don't know one bloody thing about no airplanes except that I told Wilbur and Orville both they
wouldn't work. Look at CNN any time of the day or night and you'll see pictures of airplanes Not Working.


As I understand it sometime earlier than you would think possible one of the proctologists in the bowels of the Kansas City Post Office shouted Eureka! and the envelope was turned over to the office that had placed it the Postal Department to begin with, and rushed out to the airport and onto the waiting jet.


Now, up until this time the MCCC had been kept completely out of the picture, which is just as I would have it be. But our time in the spotlight, our fifteen minutes of fame that Andy Warhol talked about, was upon us. The Marine Personnel People who met the jet at Anacostia were tasked to deliver it to the Watch Officer, and only the
Watch Officer of the MCCC. Hey! That was me! My orders were to open the envelope, extract the contents, and make a copy for CMC. Then call a certain number at the White House and deliver the envelope to a courier who would be sent over to pick it up.


In the meantime I was to keep the Command Center clear of any and all visitors, and even if J. Edgar Hoover showed up as Mary, in a red dress, not admit him/her/it under any conditions. At that point I activated two of our Sergeants who were unmarried and were billeted in the nearby barracks at Henderson Hall. Only in the daytime did we keep a watch on the entry door and secure space adjacent to it that secured the actual entrance to the MCCC.
The Sergeants arrived, and I armed them with 45s and gave them their marching orders. No one, and that meant absolutely no one, was to be admitted to the MCCC with the single exception of the White House Courier, and I would personally check his credentials prior to admittance. Anyone else was to be terminated, with prejudice, by letting the air out of them.


In the meantime the telephone calls began. The FBI demanded the records. The CIA demanded the records....and it went on and on. The Naval Intelligence folks were particularly insistent and plead on the basis that since we were all naval officers and all that they deserved first crack. I told him the last time a squid officer had done me a favor was in 1950, and I'd think it over for thirteen years and let him know. It was great fun telling all of them to not pass go, not collect $50.00, but instead go directly to Hell. Of course, since all were my seniors, I had to say ".....Hell, Sir." A once in a lifetime opportunity. About 2100 the envelope arrived. I signed a receipt for it, sat down at the Assistant Director's desk and opened it. Now I bet you think I'm gonna tell you what was in it.


Of course I am. You've been patient this long, and that's the least I could do for a good audience. The folder was not all that thick, maybe three-quarters of an inch. Most of the contents were letters from Oswald to the Secretary of the Navy pleading for an upgrading of his discharge, and the Secretary of the Navy writing back telling why he wouldn't upgrade it. There were letters from the State Department having to do with Oswald's return from the USSR. There was also Oswald's Service Record Book. Lots of Article 15 Non Judicial Punishments, a copy of an investigation having to do with possession of an illegal weapon of some sort, and other assorted trivia. One thing stood out loud and clear. Oswald was a bum. There was nothing really interesting. But, by God, only I in all the world knew that there was not much of interest there. Let the rest of mankind wait and wonder. Andy Warhol, where were you when I needed you?


By that time Dan Blather and the other media types were talking about Oswald being trained by the Marine Corps as a sharpshooter, and other such trash, but when I took a look at his range scores there must have been a typhoon that came through every time he fired for record because the scores were quite unexceptional. In
accordance with my orders, I made a copy of everything for the Commandant. In violation of my orders I also made a copy for the Director of the Command Center. Charity does begin at home. And there ain't nothin' ya can do 'bout it 'cause the statute of limitations has done run. So there! At or before 2200 the Courier from the White
House arrived and after I had exchanged certain means of identifying him over the telephone, I delivered the envelope to him, got a signature, and escorted him past the various cloak and dagger types lurking in the hallways and gnashing their teeth and back to his limousine waiting for him at the entrance. And that's pretty much the size of it. The alarm clock rang, and my 15 minutes of fame were over. Sigh.


Now, let's see if you've been paying attention. Who was the Secretary of the Navy whom Oswald had written to so often and been turned down so often by? Oh? You know? Good for you! You're quite right, it was John Connolly. Now, a tougher question: Who was Oswald aiming at? And how can you prove it, since he hit both
men in the vehicle, killing one and damned near killing the other. Let me ask you a question: in all the stuff that I've read on the assassination I have never heard the question above raised before--Have you? Is it possible that Oswald was taking out his old adversary on the discharge issue, and JFK just happened to get in the sight picture?


As a strictly personal aside, I do believe in the Warren Report conclusion of the single assassin theory, although I don't think they got it quite right about which bullet hit whom. But that's a minor flaw IMHO. Only one thing that bothers me a bit. I don't believe that any trained rifleman would have used a scope with a bolt action rifle. And especially not with the angles that Oswald had to contend with. Each time Oswald fired and cranked the bolt he would have had to reacquire the sight picture, and that is much more difficult with a scope than over iron, open sights. And Oswald did belong to a rifle team while living in Russia....and the beat goes on.


You've heard the old saw that if 10,000 monkeys sat down at 10,000 typewriters that in 10,000 years they might produce a perfect copy of Quo Vadis? Could it be that monkey perched in the 5th story window of the Texas Book Depository got it right the first time? It's statistically possible, you know....


I thank you for your attention.
Semper Fidelis,
Sully,
E-Mail: tientsin@juno.com
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Thursday, 26 December 2002
Vignette #77 - Excerpts From Grandpa's Memoirs, By Bill Monks...

 


Marine Vignettes #77

I DIDN'T RAISE MY BOY TO BE A SOLDIER:
Excerpts from Grandpa’s Memoirs
By Bill Monks
August 1, 1999
(#77)

 Each Morning on the way to James Madison, H.S., Brooklyn N.Y., Pep and
I would pass the Draft Board on Madison Pl. & Quentin Rd. We  would see
either a friend or a relative hanging out in front, waiting to be
processed. It was like a giant drain sucking all the young men out of
the neighborhood. When we graduated in Jan of 44, we were still
seventeen, and too young for the draft. We worked in A & S Dept. store
for about 3 months as stock boys. When I got my draft notice, we both
quit without giving notice. We knew nothing about notice. We got one
heck of a lecture by a somber old gentleman, wearing a black suit, in
the personnel office. He spoke to us about the ethics of the business
world and our responsibility to our employer. That the proper thing to
be done would be to provide the firm with the normal two weeks notice.
What we were doing was not just done. It certainly made a lot of sense.
We hung our heads while we listened and felt very guilty,  then we
quit. Pep got his "Greetings" (draft notice) shortly thereafter.  We
had our 18th birthdays two weeks apart. Two months later the Government
gave us the choice of service, Pep chose the Navy and I went to Parris
Island.

Parris Island, S.C. was Boot Camp for all Marines east of the
Mississippi. I was to find out about forty years later that I had spent
the hottest summer in the history of South Carolina learning how to
obey an order, and stay in back of the guy in front of me.

Crossing over the bridge to Parris Island (P.I.) was a one-way trip.
When we arrived we were greeted by a very large muscular gentleman
called Corp. Stone; he was to be our Drill Instructor (D.I.).     He
had us form into four ranks of 15. We were a group of 60, made up of a
majority of 18 yr. olds;  the rest of us were from 25 to 32. The Gov.
was scraping the barrel, as far as ages available for the draft. I
could tell immediately D.I. Stone was not impressed with the clay that
he was to mold into Marines. He stood there glaring at us with a face
that would make a lemon blanch. He did not snuggle up to us, he hated
us. He vilified us, using all sorts of profanity, displaying a very
limited vocabulary. He randomly picks an individual from the ranks and
destroys him with  demeaning comments about his mother, father and the
girl back home. This guy was really sick. He seemed to be barely
containing an urge to do us bodily harm.  His harangue boiled down to,
that despite this pile of garbage that was unloaded on him, he was
going to turn it into a platoon of Marines. He told us to forget about
Mom, he was going to be our Mother and we were to be in his care from
June 2 till Aug 15th. I later realized that he had either lied to us,
or he had one hell of a tough Mother. I also noticed the poor man had a
hearing problem. He would stand with his nose almost touching mine and
inform me that he couldn't hear me, forcing me to shout into his face.
I had no problem hearing him. His memory was shot too, couldn't
remember names, called everybody "Boy"!  It was my first encounter with
a real live son of a bitch.

From my first moment on P.I. I was totally immersed in a training
program that used my every breath for the good of the Corps.  What ever
they were doing to us, they had it down to a science. The main idea in
the training was to destroy all self esteem, kill the individual. All
the Corps wanted was raw meat. Life was to be found only in the group.
We were to exist only as a cell in the body.   A lobotomy was thrown in
with the hair cut, all free will was removed. A mental gang rape in
reverse, was part of the training program.    The group would think as
one, and of only one thing, OBEY, QUESTION.     The only saving grace
was that we were in it together. We bonded like a herd of musk oxen.
The experience was so irrational. It was like punishing a man before he
committed the crime. It was the stick without the carrot. It was hard
for us to fathom why they were so cruel.

Each morning after they would pair the Boots (us) off in order to box
each other. The match would not be over until there was a display of
blood. The D.I. would always attempt to match two buddies. Those
matches were unholy. I thought the system definitely called for some
constructive criticism, but on second thought I realized I might be
putting the Drill Instructor's foot in my mouth.  I felt sorry for the
old guys, men between the ages of 25 & 32, that was a tough age to be
made over. My age at least left me more pliable, not yet set in the
ways of human behavior. The Drill Instructor assumed no responsibility
for the end product, he really didn't give a damn how you could ever
fit back into  civilian life. His job was to get you back home in one
piece. All I knew, was that each day  I was losing something, part of
me was dying each day. It was as if I was bleeding "me.”

I wondered how anybody could live in  South Carolina while enduring
that horrible heat. Everyday in the sun it was well over a hundred
degrees, I kid you not. I did not realize until years later, when by a
strange quirk of faith, I saw South Carolina's weather statistics.  I
cracked up when I saw that June, July and August of l944  was the
hottest summer S.C. ever had. I remember how I would watch the uniform
of Bill Farrell, the guy in front of me, turn from a light green to
black as we marched, and the beads of sweat drop off his ears.. We
popped salt tablets like peanuts.  The D.I. had a thing about keeping
in step and rank while we threw our rifles from one shoulder to the
other. We would practice this close order drill for hours, on a field
of deep loose sand. God it was hot. He would march beside us constantly
repeating "Reep, Reep, Reep". I could never figure out what he was
trying to tell us.  Joel Kershoff was the  first man to collapse, down
he went into white hot sand. . He was a big fat soft guy from Brooklyn.
I don't think Joel ever exercised in his life.   As we marched over
him, naturally we went out of step to avoid stepping on him. After we
passed over him, the D.I. gave the order to the rear march. Back we
went, every man in step.  As we approached our fallen comrade, lying
where he fell, we were told that there was a possibility of stepping on
him, or over him depending where your foot fell, but you kept in STEP
and in RANK. The D.I.,said, "The man who missed a step or broke rank to
avoid the prostate form, will take his place, and we will walk over
you.”.  The D.I. always had a thing about keeping in step, I guess it
looked pretty. As we  marched over him , we managed not to step on him.
He joined  us back in the barracks, the sand had clung to the sweat on
his face. He looked as if had been stepped on.

Joel was definitely a D.I.'s nightmare. Joel was an overweight, misfit,
a real blob.  Even though he was in sad shape and made a lousy
appearance, Joel had guts. Life on Parris Island was a chore for all of
us, but for Joel the physical training was hell. His special cross was
made of fat.  Most of Joel made it through P.I., but he did leave about
forty pounds down there.  No doubt his mind was busted when we
graduated, but he looked great.  His family must have been shocked when
he came home on Boot leave and saw the end product of P.I. They
probably never believed his tale of woe, he could hardly believe it.

So many guys were collapsing that an order came down, if the  temp.
went over 95 we were not to go on the drill field. The D.I.'s scoffed
and we continued drilling in the sand between the barracks.  I'm
talking about 130 in the sun, look it up, July,Aug., l944, Parris
Island.   Before dawn we would fall in at attention at the foot of  our
sacks.  Guys would collapse like trees falling, never bending their
knees, you would hear this sickening slap, as if a board fell. You
would always hesitate falling out for sick call. There was always the
chance they would put you in the hospital and you would lose your
platoon, which meant additional time on the Island.

I remember one night helping a buddy, John Cook, over to the head
(bathroom) to soak huge blisters he had on his feet. While we were
there we made the  mistake of asking a Marine, who was stepping out of
the shower, for the time. I called him Joe, for lack of a name, big
mistake, he turned out to be a nude D.I. He made us stand at attention
and said he would be back. My buddy and I spent most of the rest of the
night standing at attention. We finally worked up enough courage to
take off back to our barracks. I never did get the gentleman's name.

 Constant fatigue was always a problem, not near enough sleep time. I
remember standing exhausted in front of our  D.I. while I attended one
of his many lectures. God I was tired. He was built like Arnold
Swartzeneger, with  the head  of a gorilla. I was deathly afraid of
him. I guess you would  describe him as a poor mixer and antisocial. He
must have came from a broken  family.  While he talked I was having
serious trouble keeping my upper lid from touching my bottom lid.  The
behemoth's gaze froze on me and I knew there was something horrible
about to happen.  My eye lids were lead. He was kind enough to notice
my unintentional faux pas, as I went off to sleep on my feet. He had a
remedy for my unpardonable  behavior--he grabbed me by the collar, with
these huge hands and shook my eyeballs. I was suddenly wide awake, my
eyelids felt like feathers. I was now able to give him my complete
attention. It was obvious that he  had a medical background. A Johns
Hopkins man no doubt, had specialized in narcolepsy.  It was a lasting
cure; to this day, I sleep with one eye open.

Whenever we screwed up we would have the bucket drill. We  really
didn't have to screw up. Our two D.I.s would come back to the barracks
in the middle of the night, after being well bombed  and yell "BUCKET
DRILL,”  "HIT THE DECK."  Upon hearing that dreaded order you would
leave a coma like sleep  and leap from your sack, and place yourself at
rigid attention in your skivvies (underwear), at the foot of your
metal, double decker sack. Before taking this position, you would place
your heavy cast-iron wash bucket over your head.  Immediately  next to
you is the man you share the double decker with. Our heads, in  the
buckets, are  about six inches from the metal bar along the foot of
your top  sack. The  D.I.s  walking with the silence of cats, would
proceed down the long  aisle  between the  two  rows of bucketed
Marines, at attention, at the foot of  their sacks.  A D.I  would slam
each bucket into the metal bar that was at the foot  of the  top sack.
You would try to anticipate your bell being rung, by trying to  spot
the  toes of  his shoes as he stood in front of you, giving you time to
brace  and  cringe. Now  the bucket drill begins, picture l5 double
deck sacks on each  side of  the aisle  with two bucket heads standing
at the foot of each sack. On the  word  "GO" the  first man crawls on
the floor under the first double decker, he  then  proceeds to  climb
over the top of the second double decker and then under  the bottom  of
the  third, etc. At his heels there are 59 other guys following the
same  course.  Naturally  the buckets remain on our heads during the
whole  drill. It  always was  hilarious, the buckets were filled with
cries of pain and  laughter. It  wasn't all  that bad, it was the only
privacy we ever had.

One Sunday afternoon one of our D.I.'s was attempting to  walk on his
hands  during a break in the training. To show up the D.I., like a real
 smart  ass, I  walk down the few steps that led out of the barracks on
my  hands. He  pretends not  to notice. That night he showed how much
he appreciated my  agility.      That night, about 1 o'clock, The night
guard woke me from my  coma  and  informed me that I had just been
ordered to the D.I.'s quarters,  which  was a  separate room at the end
of the barracks. I knocked on the door  and  reported my  presence  to
the Drill Instructors. They readily granted me  access and  then
proceeded to   bounce me from one wall to another. It was like a  game
of  catch,  only they were too drunk to catch. They eventually opened
the  door and  threw me  out. They never said a word. They didn't have
to.

A great deal of time at P.I. was spent developing a bond  with your
new found  friend the M1 rifle. It was a great weapon and a loyal
friend.  If you  treated  your friend right he would never let you down
.A grueling  exercise called  snapping  in was used to train you in all
the varied firing positions,  which were  never to  be used in combat,
outside  of the prone position. I pulled  every muscle  in my  body
before I pulled a trigger. I did enjoy firing my weapon.      At the
Rifle Range you would not only learn to fire your  weapon with
expertise., but you also had to spend time on butt detail.. This
entailed  standing in a trench as the firing line placed shots in the
target  several feet  above your head. After the firing ceased you
lowered the target,  which  you would  slide down on a frame.
Down in the butts the activity is fast moving. Targets  must be
disked,  marked and pasted up carefully and quickly. You would
immediately place  markers  in the bullet holes, to indicate the hits.
You would also hold  up marker  poles to give the score. All this was
not to difficult under normal  circumstance, but  my friend Corp,
Stone, while sitting on a bench in back of me,  amused  himself, by
prodding me in the back with a marker pole, as I  work the  target.
Maybe I should have offered to teach him to walk on his hands.       I
think we were still at the Range, it was on a Sunday  about the  last
week  of training, a Boot sneaked off to the PX to buy a 1/2 gallon of
Ice  Cream. The  D.I. caught him and tied the container on top of his
head, up  side down.  It was  high noon an another blazing hot day. The
platoon was called  out, to  form up at  attention in front of the
barracks.  We were forced to watch as  the poor  soul  stood suffering
the melt down.  He stood in front of the platoon  until  the ice  cream
had melted all over him and he was covered with sand  flies. In the
beginning we thought it was amusing. I wonder, if he ever got  home, if
 anybody  ever asked him what the low point of his life was.       It's
strange how whenever Marines meet it's never the  campaigns,  but P.I.,
 that always becomes the center of the conversation. Laughter  always
manages to  drown out the wild tales of horror. It always turns into a
game  of "Can  you top  this".  Everybody believed they had the
toughest D.I.'s. And for  some  strange  reason we were proud of them.
(Stockholm Syndrome).     I hold the D.I.s in high esteem. A fine body
of men who did a  damn  good job.  They deserve as much credit for
Marine victories as any front  line  outfit.

On our last day, my personal nemesis, Corp Stone,  gave us a  story
about there  was nothing personal in his tortuous behavior, that it was
all  done to  save our  lives. I am sure his statement had a ring of
truth to it, but it  did  make you  pause and think, just how much you
valued your life. I see the  truth to  Machiavelli's crack about power
tends to corrupt and absolute  power  corrupts  absolutely. There is
always that small element that does not  warrant  power over  other
men.       When I look back at P.I., I get this strange feeling of
pleasure. I  guess  that Frenchman felt the same way, after he had
walked over  Niagara Falls  on a  cable, pushing his wife in a wheel
barrel.  If you want to live  a  hundred years,  spend l0 weeks on
Parris Island. There are two things you cannot  adequately  convey to
another,.. P.I. and pain, thank God.

After combat training in  New River, NC we boarded a troop  train  for
San  Diego (A tragic comedy on wheels). We didn't have enough food on
board  for the  troops. One time the train paused and little black
children  gathered at  the side of the track. We threw money out the
window and asked them to  buy us  some chow.  I can't remember if we
ever got the food before the train moved  on..       We stopped in a
small town in the middle of Texas for l5  minutes of calisthenics,
followed by a ten minute break. We were so hungry,  during  the break
we stripped the only grocery store in town. We bought everything  that
was  eatable.  In minutes the shelves were bare, and the locust were
gone.  Imagine the  memory we must have left with that grocer. The
train pulled out  and left  about  twenty Marines running down the
track.  When they caught up with  us in  San Diego  they were thrown
into the brig for 5 days on piss & punk (bread  &  water).     Once,
while we were rolling, a bum stepped into our car He  must  have been
traveling between cars or on the roof, Gad was he filthy. I  couldn't
believe he  was human. We withdrew from him as if he was a beast. We
fed him  and he  disappeared out of the car.

I shipped out of San Diego on the Dutch East Indian  freighter,
Bloemfontein,  on the Marine Corps birthday 10 November l944.The ship
was never  equipped  to carry  troops. Crew made up of little black
guys, from the Island of  Java. As  we  proceeded further and further
south, the heat and overcrowded  conditions  became  unbearable. We
tried to escape the heat below, by sleeping on  the hatch  covers.  In
the moonlight you could watch the rats jump from one body to  another.
     There were only four things you could do on board to pass  the
time,  read,  play cards, shoot dice, or get on the chow line.  After
we were  out a  couple of  weeks, the guy in the next sack, a card
shark, we called Mr.  Lucky,  asked me to  keep an eye on him, while he
slept. He not only had everybody's  money,  but also  had their
watches. What ever he was doing, he was good at it. He  must  have
noticed that I slept with one eye open. Mr Lucky had narrowed  down the
 entertainment to reading and the chow line. I remember sitting  on the
 floor in  the head cutting cards for ten dollars a cut with Frank
Morganstern.  Neither one  of us had any money. We had extended each
other an endless line  of  credit.  Neither one of us won any money,
but we did lose a lot of time,  which  was the  name of the game.

The smell of fuel oil was memorable. Your uniform took on all  the
attributes  of a greasy, grimy canvas hatch cover. The only water
available  to wash  with was  sea water. Our soap and the sea water
didn't mix. The suds in  your hair  would  turn to gum. Sometimes we
would attach our dirty clothes to a  line and  throw it  over the side,
hoping the motion of the wake would remove the  dirt.. I  remember  how
we would crack up when a Marine would forget he had his  clothes over
the side  and leave it overnight.  When he would heave the line in,
there  would  just be a  bundle of rags.

Taken off ship in Hawaii for a three hour  beer  party. Three  thousand
Marines, charge cases of beer stacked on picnic tables  in an  open
field.  Those who were fleet of foot grabbed as many  cases they could
lift and  kept on  running, disappearing into the boondocks . It was a
case of the  quick  and the  sober. It was hilarious, the mother of all
hide and seek games.  It was  the first  time I drank that much beer, I
got sick as that old dog, part of  me is  still in  Hawaii.

On to Eniwetok, land of palm trees, without palms. The shell  fire
from the  Navy prior to a previous invasion had denuded all the trees
The  island  looked  like a hair brush.      Convoy bombed off Saipan.
Confined below deck during  bombing, all  hatches  battened, felt
trapped. It was the last bombing of Saipan.     Land on Guam, thirty
days out of San Diego, (now the bum  looked well  dressed).  If there
was ever a ship that deserved a toast it was the  Bloemfontein,  "
BOTTOM  UP".     I join Charlie Co.. Live in a tent that has been
pitched over  fox  holes. Five  old salts in tent, nice guys, when they
look at me I feel 5  years old.  They think  I have my Boot hair cut. I
let a buddy cut my hair aboard ship  with a  little  scissors from a
sewing kit. I look like I have the mange.

First  night on  guard  at perimeter, I hear wild pigs eating garbage.
I think we are  about to  be  overrun. P.I. pays off, I managed to
subdue the urge to spray  the area.     First week in Charlie I report
to sickbay, Doc. informs me I  have Mu  Mu (  elephantiasis , a disease
that caused a severe swelling of the  legs and  scrotum)  and that I
can expect big things, tells me I'm going home. This  is  deduced from
infection in the groin. Old salts in my tent get hysterical when  I
tell  them. It  seems the Div. picked up the disease during the
Bougainville  campaign. A  lot of  guys were showing up with it, but
there was no way I could have  it.     Doctor seems disappointed when I
tell him, I just arrived  from the  States.  Infection disappears, no
need for wheel barrel to carry scrotum.        Beragata  Showered in
the rain, (the only fresh water) the  trick was to get the soap off
before it stopped. Led to a lot of  humorous scenes.  What do you do
when your standing in the middle of the Co.  street, stark  naked,
covered with soap and God shuts off the shower. Later we put out  empty
 fuel drums  at edge of tent to catch rain water to wash in. Helmet
great  wash basin.  Drinking  water in Lister bags, (Large canvas bag,
holds about 30 gallons,  water  mixed with  heavy dose of Iodine), it
had four spigots, usually set up at  center of  camp.  Each day before
we would go out on patrol we would stop at the  bag and  fill our
canteens.  Put bullion cubes in my canteen to kill taste of  iodine. It
 was a  strange mix, iodine tasted better. At our meals we drank coffee
 or  concentrated  lemon juice mixed with water. We called the
concentrated lemon  juice,  battery  acid. Naturally without
refrigeration, it was always warm.  It  was so  caustic  that what ever
was left after the meal the cooks would use to  scour the  pots.  Back
in the states I think they call it Vivid.

My squad gives me a unique initiation ceremony. While out on  patrol
we take  a break at a particular spot on the trail, and I'm sent out as
 outpost.  I'm  placed in a small clearing, down trail and told to stay
alert  and warn  them if  I hear anything. I immediately sit on a
fallen log and relax.  After  being there  a short time I realize I am
not alone. Flush up against the back  of the  log I am  sitting on, is
what we would call in those days, a  " Nip"  (Jap). I  first notice
his feet out of the corner of my eye, he is lying on his back. I  jump
up  and  whirl around to look at his face, only to realize he had been
decapitated.       It's obvious by the condition of the body, that he
has been  dead  for some  time. After the initial shock I find it more
interesting than  frightening. When  I return to the squad I mention
the corpse to them, nobody seems  interested.  Later I realize they
must have been watching me make the  discovery, and  I kind  of let
them down. To me he is the enemy, I feel nothing for him.  The  system
worked.

Heat & rain, most of the time it didn't bother me. One of  the main
reasons  I joined the Corps, was to make sure I escaped the hated cold,
 not  realizing I  was heading for the Parris Island oven.
Charlie Co, great bunch, still paling out with old buddy  from New
River,  Sam Morgal. Sam was a good friend, he came from D.C.,a real
character,  great  sense of humor. He was much older than I, about
thirty two.  All  Sam  ever wanted  was a beer and a deck of cards and
my money to lose.  He was a  great  beer drinker  and a great card
player, but he had trouble doing both at the  same time.   The guys in
the tent are Howard Clifton ,Bill Rosnick,  Walter  Clausen,  Jimmy
Gaskins, John Aiello, and Sam Morgal.    We all came from different
States, but we had one thing in  common, that  bound us  together. We
were all suffering and we hated being there.      Thank God we all went
a little crazy.

I remember one night  we got  into our  sacks neglecting to turn off
the light, (Taps had sounded but  our light  was still  burning
brightly.)   Each guy refused to get up. Each time the  guard  would
pass  our tent he would yell lights out. No body would move. About
eleven  o'clock, out  of no where the Officer of The Day lands in the
middle of our  tent  floor,  screaming attention.  Nobody is awake, we
all lie there with our  eyes  bolted  closed. We know the first guy who
shows life is going to get  nailed.  Finally he  shakes Sam. Sam
pretends that he is Lazarus coming forth from  the sleep  of death.
Sam has us all killing our selves holding back the laughter.  Finally
we  all get  up like we are following Sam out of the tomb. The
Lieutenant is  mad as  hell but  we swear to him that the whole thing
was just an oversight.      I remember the day we chipped in and bought
a two tube radio  for $  125 bucks,  big money in those days. The next
day we went off to chow and  our prize  radio  went elsewhere.      I
remember Jimmy Gaskins would wake up some mornings saying  he heard
the  whistle of the train that passed on the other side of the corn
field  back home.  Where I live now, 50 years later, I too hear a train
whistle at  night,  and my  thoughts go back to Jimmy.

Patrols (eyes & ears used to the maximum), mosquitos had a  field  day,
afraid  to take your hands off weapon to brush them off your face.
Thirteen men  moving  in complete silence, ghostlike.  Walking the
point (lead man on patrol, first man to draw fire)  was like  having
cancer, "why me?"  While at point, the silence always tempting  you to
turn around  to make sure you weren't alone. A sustained feeling of
terror  and yet  the eager  tenseness of a football kickoff. Point man
upsets beehive,  discipline  disintegrates, everybody takes off, very
embarrassingly funny.     We would try to guess about how long it would
take us to  actually  sweep Guam  of Japs, not taking prisoners didn't
help. They were still  coming out 25  years  later. For years after the
war I would occasionally spot an  article in  the N.Y.  Times, how 3 or
4 of our little brown brothers emerged from the  boondocks on  Guam.
They played war for keeps. They were as tough as they  come, a  worthy
opponent, they could not accept defeat.        Jungle ( Adapted to
tropical habitat, couldn't believe I  ever  walked on a  sidewalk.)

Time takes a holiday, clock stops moving. I can't get  used to  the
necklaces that two machine gunners are wearing. (Marines wearing
necklaces made  up of the gold teeth, that are being taken out of the
mouths of  the dead  "Nips").  I realized now that the boy next door
had the potential to be a  hell of  a nut.  Some of us were
(anthropologically speaking) were climbing back  up into  the  trees.
I find that the top soil of civilization is very thin.  We needed  Mom
watching us, more than her apple pie. We actually developed a  sort of
new  language to express our inner turmoil. Sex was rampart, every
noun was  having  intercourse. I mean every  word used was preceded by
the  verb.   It was the only way to vent our deep frustration. We all
used  it, so  it must have  worked.

Living in a tent with other men taught me an awful lot about  love  and
 forgiveness. What I remember most was that who ever moved into  our
tent,  no  matter what kind of personality, we would eventually
understand  his  faults and  love him. We had no problem empathizing
with a tentmate, we all  had the  same pain  inside of us. We were
closer than brothers.  A costly bonding, a  unique  sharing  never to
be matched in my life time. (Not ever being in prison.)     It has been
many years but I still have a picture of my squad  over my  desk.  We
each have a beer in our hand, and a great smile on our face.  I think
we were  all pretty shot. I never saw another picture that displayed
more  joy.  Sometimes  you wonder if it ever happened. It has taken me
fifty years to  say "It  was worth  it."        When I came back after
the war I listened to my friends  tell these  wild  stories about the
English, French and German and Italian girls.  We were  sitting  at a
round table at our local Pub, each guy would top the  previous
seduction.  When it came my turn I couldn't think of how to top them,
so I  decided  to tell  the truth.       "The only woman I ever met or
spoke too, was behind a  counter in  the Marvin  House, a PX on Guam.
She was about fifty.  I'll never forget  what I  said to her.  I turned
on the old charm."Can I please have a Coke?" You know  you can  tell
when  a woman is about to lose control, it was obvious she was
smitten. I took  the coke  from her milk white hand. I looked deep into
her eyes, as I said  "Thank  you,” and  walked back into the night.
There was no doubt in my mind that  she would  have  been my slave, but
I had a war to win.  I hope she has forgotten  me."

It gets to the point, at night when a mosquito came under  the net I
won't  interrupt his dinner. There was no malaria on the Island and
it's hot as  hell,  so we sleep naked, we couldn't care less about
mosquitos.  Our  feet were  covered  with the creeping crawling crud.
Our toes look like they are  rotting  off. Every  week the corpsman
tries a new dip. My toes have been painted  every color  of the
rainbow. Soon as I hit the States an immediate cure takes place.
Huge toads all over Guam. No matter where you were in the  boondocks,
there  would be a toad.  The constant spraying of DDT  killed the food
chain  that the  toad depended on, hastening  his demise.  A good
spraying would  turn our  green  dungarees black, I still can remember
the evil smell of it.  Spray planes  came  over often, while we were
out on patrol, we should have been  issued  umbrellas.  " We have met
the enemy and they are us."        I heard years later that the toads
were replaced by giant  snails.  The  latest news is that tree snakes
have killed the snails and  decimated all  the bird  life by destroying
their eggs.

It's my nineteenth birthday, I'm out on patrol.  Tonight  I'll
celebrate  by  sleeping in a swamp, in the rain. I'll sleep on my back
to  prevent  drowning. Now  it's morning, I'm wet, cold, hungry. We
look at each other, and  crack up   laughing. We are all soaked to the
skin, our uniforms are black  with  water, our  hands are wrinkled from
resting in water all night. Why am I  laughing?  Tom  Morgan, a past
member of a Florida chain gang, has broke down  and is  crying. Tom
was much older than the rest of us and we thought of him as our  rock.
There is  a time to cry, and that was the time. Of course nobody
noticed or  mentioned that  Tom had had it.

It is strange how
nobody ever seems to catch a cold, despite  the  hours spend  in the
rain, soaking wet. I had painful asthma attacks from the  time I  was
nine  till I joined the Corps. From the day I left home till the
present day I  never  have another attack. My Mother thought that the
service was  going to be  the death  of me.      Outside of a few minor
scratches I enjoyed marvelous  health.  I do  remember one time when I
was in the hospital, there was a Marine  in a  sack  opposite mine who
was suspended in mid air by ropes. He told me  that  shortly  after he
came back from the Iwo campaign, he was on the top of  his tank
scrubbing  it down with gasoline, when a passing Marine flipped a
cigarette  butt at  the  tank.  He joked with me, saying he was facing
a court marshall  when he  got out  for using gasoline to clean the
tank. I don't think he made it  out. Most  of his  skin was gone, which
left the poor guy looking like a lobster.  The pain  had to  be
unbearable. He was what the word cool was all about. Even  though he
was flat  out he looked real tall to me, man at his best.

 I
actually had a bullet land in my lap while sitting in a  hole on a
combat  firing range. It had ricocheted off a tree, hit my helmet then
the side  of the  hole then into my lap. I nonchalantly placed it in my
breast  pocket and  brought  it home. I always think of it as my
greatest catch.       Served as runner, poor sense of direction. I was
never  lost, always  knew  where I was, but where the hell was Baker
Co. Luck was my North  Star. I  missed  the talent that Phil used, to
guide us out of the cattails, down  at the  old Mill,  back home.
 

We all take a physical prior to Iwo campaign. Doctor tells  me I  have
a heart  murmur.  I thought I had a ticket home, and it wasn't going to
 be on my  toe.  The  Doc. just told me not to run around too much when
I got to Iwo.  We both  cracked  up laughing.       The whole 3rd
Reg.is moving out. My outfit is to board the  APA  Frederick  Funston.
We are strung out for miles in full combat gear,  preparing to  embark.
 As I reach the top of a rise, I can see the five thousand long  snake
winding its  way along the coral road the Seabees (Navy Construction
Battalion)  built, were  heading for the beach. I wonder how many guys
are walking their  last  mile. Thank  God eighteen year olds don't die.
It's a long haul to the ship, and I remember how a case of  stolen
pears  relieved the squads thirst on the march. It was extremely hot
and  everything we  owned was on our back or in our seabag. We would
stick our  Kaybars  (jungle knife)  into a can and suck the juice and
throw the can away with the  pears. I  realized  my James Madison H.S.
ring was missing, and it was going to  remain  somewhere up  in the
hills, where we had broken camp. That ring belonged to a  17 year  old
who  was as missing as the ring.

After several days at sea, we enter the area called the  Volcano
Chain. In  the morning mist, we notice strange land masses called
stacks,  jutting  out of the  water.  It was as if we were approaching
the castle of Dr.  Frankenstein.  Arrive  at Iwo Jima early morning,
rest of Div. has already disembarked.      The panoramic view of Iwo
Jima was awesome. It was a piece  of  nothing,  covered with volcanic
ash. It lacked any growth and was spotted  with  sulphur  wells. The
initial landing had been made and the black beaches  were  covered with
 wreckage. It appeared as if a huge ammo dump had exploded  destroying
all  theÔ  equipment that we had placed ashore. The beach looked like
absolute  chaos.       It was immediately obvious that the Japs had the
catbird  seat on  Mt.  Suribachi, on the southern tip. Our little brown
brothers could  drop  mortars on  anything, on anybody, anywhere. It
was the Queen of positions.  The  beachhead was  continually being
pounded. One year later I stood on top of  Surabachi,  and the  sight
made me sick. It made shooting fish in a barrel look hard.       We
intended to put 60 thousand men ashore  on an Island  that was 2  X 4
miles, 1/3 the size of Manhattan. It was being defended by 25  thousand
 Japs (  Longstreet odds).This does not leave too much standing room
when  you  realize how  much equipment had to be brought ashore. In
spite of our Gung  Ho, 3rd  Div.  Commander, the overall Campaign
Commander (Now sitting at the  right hand  of)  would not authorize the
landing of our 3rd Mar. Regiment. The  other  three  Regiments. in our
Div., the 9th Mar., 21st Mar. & 12th Mar. were  in  action  ashore. Our
Div. was taking tremendous losses but the need was  more for  equipment
 than troops. There was just so much beach room. We were to be
designated  Floating  Reserve. We continuously circled the Island. It
was ringside,  watching  men die  by the thousands. The only thing that
occasionally obstructed  our view  was the  smoke of battle. There was
a mantle of smoke that hung a couple  hundred  feet over  the island.
We were surprisingly very close in. I guess if they  needed  us in a
hurry we could be on the beach in no time.      We could see the tanks
get bogged down and knocked out. The  tanks  were having  a tough time
operating in the volcanic ash, but they were doing  a great  job
rescuing guys who were pinned down. Field glasses were being
continually  passed.      It didn't get much darker during the night.
Flares and shell  fire  were  constant. The noise of the exploding
shells was continuous, no  let up.  The big  wagons were further out to
sea firing their huge shells over us.  They do  sound  like freight
trains. The carrier planes were dive bombing.       We immediately took
wounded aboard. They cleared all cabins  for  them. The  story has it
that the ship's Captain's son came aboard for  dinner. He  was a
Marine Capt serving with the 4th Marine Div on the island. They  say he
 was a  stand up guy, who gave us a brief talk on what was going on. It
 was an  odd  happening, his Dad sailing around Iwo while his son
fought. He  went back  on shore  after dinner. The next evening his
father had his son's body  brought  back on  board. He wanted to bury
him at sea.      The wounded wanted to know why we were not relieving
them.  They said  the JapÔ  mortars were killing them, there was no
cover. If you stood in  one place  long  enough you were bound to get
hit. They said the Japs were firing  huge  mortar  shells that the
Marines had dubbed "flying seabags". Every move  was  being watched
from Suribachi.       We had a tremendous feeling of guilt and
helplessness. To  this day  I still  have a sense of guilt. Some wanted
to go ashore, I prayed to God  we  wouldn't, I  had suddenly found
religion. The best Marine is l8 or l9 and a  hell of  an  optimist. Of
course there is  always the thinking man, who didn't win too many
marble games.       The wounded told us the garbage men were taking the
worse  losses.  Those are  the fellows who carry the flame throwers.
They were priority  targets for  the Japs  because of what they
carried. It did not pay to stay close to  them.  Prior to the  campaign
I had the unlucky experience of having my lungs seared  by a  flame
thrower from a tank. It was during a practice run at a pillbox,  we
were  out of  sight of each other, in high grass. I could hear it
moving but I  couldn't place  it. I just didn't want to be mashed. I
never thought it was  carrying a "  Zippo",  (Cigarette lighter, slang
for flame thrower). For one brief  moment the  air was  burning hot and
my lungs were on fire. What a miserable way to  go.  Luckily there  was
no lasting damage. If you want the same sensation, put your  head  over
the gas  flame in your kitchen and take a deep breath. I might have
stumbled  across the  cure for asthma. Ask your Doctor first.      One
day they call my platoon to fall in on the deck. They  are asking  for
garbage men. No one budged. We are  being asked  to make an
independent  decision,  to use our free will, not used since our
lobotomy. There is no  order  involved,  direct or indirect, if  we are
ordered over the side, we would go as one man. This was  crazy, I  was
no  longer part of the group. For one brief moment I'm  Bill Monks
again. I  stand  alone on the deck. It's catch 22, it going to be
either physical  or  spiritual  death. This wasn't what P.I. was about.
I know if any  of the  guys from  the tent  put their hand up, the
whole tent was going to be in big  trouble.       We took our musk©ox's
stance and closed ranks, no one  volunteered.  Deep in  my heart I knew
there wasn't a coward among us, yet  we were  cursed to  sail on  that
Flying Dutchman for the rest of our lives, forever circling  that  damn
 island, questioning our courage. Talk about a guilt trip. "Yes  Son, I
 saw the  flag go up on Suribachi. I watched".
 

Everyone knew the campaign was going to be settled on  Suribachi.  He
who  holds the high ground wins the battle. It was Marye's Heights at
Fredericksburg,  Cemetery Ridge at Gettysburg and it was going to Mt.
Suribachi  at Iwo  Jima. We  had a huge plaster mock up of the Island
on deck, and that  Mountain  looked  ominous. We hit that Mt. with
everything that we had. All the  heavy  stuff off  shore, are carrier
based planes, constantly bombed and strafed.  All the  Marine
artillery on the Island was concentrating on it, determined to  give
cover to the  Marines who were going to attempt the ascent. I think it
was the  28th  Mar Reg.  who initially sent the first platoon of 40 men
up. The Fifth  Div. had  the  misfortune to have it in its zone.  Some
of the guys watched  through  glasses as  the patrol wound there way
up. The climb itself was mysteriously  easy, I  don't  think they took
any losses going up.  Finally a cheer went up  all over  the ship  when
we saw our flag flying in the breeze. Every horn, whistle  and bell
rang out  aboard the ships surrounding the Island.  The man in the very
 center of  the  arena, is the man who carries the colors. A country's
flag  represents  more than  a cause in battle. It's the ultimate
wager, life itself, with  the odds  against  you. No man walks taller
than when he is carrying his flag into  a  roaring hell.  I could never
stomach a flag sewed on a shoulder or pinned to a  lapel.  God how  I
admire and pray for those thousands of Civil War color bearers  S & N
who served  as point,(most exposed position to fire), and died leading
their  outfits.      Of the 40 men who went up only 4 were not killed
or wounded  by the  end of the  campaign. The blood poured out on Iwo
Jima was to rank with the  baths of  Antietam  and Gettysburg.  On Iwo
Jima, every man was at point.  The  overall  campaign cost  was one in
three killed or wounded. Who can comprehend the  magnificence  of man?
I'll always regret not being ordered over the side.       I had no idea
that moment would live in history, and a year  from  that moment  I
would be standing on that very spot. I was one of six Marines  they
brought back  (randomly picked) for a memorial ceremony. There were a
couple  thousand  service  men stationed on Iwo, a year later, but no
Marines.      We stood at the 3rd Div. cemetery and gazed at the sea of
 crosses.  Unforgettable, a good part of  our  outfit was lying there,
no  doubt the  best.  The Chaplain had asked for two altar boys, but we
embarrassingly  declined. We had  no idea what to do. We fired the
volley and walked among the  crosses. To  the  victor had gone the
marker. They read  18,18,20,19,21,18,19,19,20, each  man a  color
bearer, forever young.  I  spotted  old friends from the  21st Mar.
whom IÔ  knew from, P.I., New River and Guam, Jack Rhett, Bill Egan and
 Ed  Stanton. The  21st was camped across the road from us at Guam.
There's a  saying in the  Corps,  "If you want to meet a real Marine
you will have to dig for  him." I  don't think  the families really
understood what they did, when they brought  all the  bodies  back, 10
years later. Most of my friends had crossed the line,  and would  have
preferred staying with their brothers, strange but I believe  it's
true.  They had  bonded forever.      Our worthy opponents, lay in a
barren field nearby, covered  over by  a  bulldozer, marked Enemy
Cemetery #1. Both forces shared a common  epitaph. "Iwo  Jima, where
uncommon valor was a common virtue."    There was nothing to do that
night, so we got smashed. It was  the  worst drunk  of my life, I knew
I had no right to be there. My buddy and I  were  crawling on  our
hands and knees down the black slanted beach, into the  water.  We  had
no idea  where we were going. The Marine with me was a blond crew cut
guy, named  Fritz  from the 9th.  He was one of two survivors of his
platoon, after  they  had crossed  one of the Jap Air Strips. I
remember when I got him back to his  sack  late that  night, instead of
passing out, he laughed for an hour. It was  like an  insulin
overdose.  All the sailors in the barracks were objecting to the
noise.  I don't  think he heard them, he was in another world.       Up
on Chichi Jima,( 150 miles N. of Iwo) in the Bonins,  Fritz  always had
a  imaginary dog chasing him. He did it so well that you could hear
the dog  bark.  They had a term for his condition "Asiatic"(no longer
sane).  It was a  great try  for a Section 8. (Psychologically unfit to
serve). A sad case of  the  walking  wounded, I hope eventually he got
help.       Back on Guam, Apr. of 45 we immediately went on another
sweep of  the island,  letting our little brown brothers know we were
back, and that  the game  of hide  and seek could once more commence.
By August we were ready for  the big  one. Word  was out, we were going
to hit Kyushu, the southern island of the  mainland of  Japan, in Sept.
They had the 3rd Reg. set up to pay its dues. We  were  going  to be
the point Reg., there were no optimists. We were going  into a meat
grinder.       I return from a problem (Dry run drill) and ready to
collapse on my  sack in  my tent only to find my brother Dick sitting
on it.  I didn't  know that  he was  in the Pacific, he had just
arrived.   It turns out his Seabee  outfit is   stationed up on Saipan
(Island north of us) and he has hitched a  ride  down to  Guam for a
short visit.   I tried for a 72 hour pass, to stay  with him  in aÔ
Seabee outfit, but I was frozen, too close to Kyushu time, we  were
ready  to go...  Dick and I still had a good time, the words had to
take a vow of  celibacy,  (Remove that nasty verb). Back home, we
wouldn't even say "damn"  in the  house.

My school chum, Pep,
was my next visitor. He just walked  into my  tent one  day. I thought
he was in the Atlantic. We celebrated the  dropping of the  Bomb
together. We thought at the time it was the thing to do. We had  no
idea  of its  horror, to us it meant life.  He was a radio operator in
the  Navy. Pep  had just  missed a berth on the Indianapolis, the
Cruiser that went down I  think  between  the Tinian and the Phil. The
Indianapolis had brought the bomb  over.  Pep and I  had gone through
grammar, and high school together.  We were later to attend college
together and keep our  relationship going  for  close to sixty years.
Pep still is a ball of fire and I see him  regularly to this  day . The
odd thing was that Pep and I were sitting on the grass  on a  football
field lacing on our cleats, preparing to play, when we heard of  Pearl
Harbor.   !!!!Some guy suddenly burst into the tent  " Hey did you hear
the radio" " They just dropped one hell of a  bomb,  and a Jap  city
disappeared."  IN A COUPLE OF DAYS IT WAS OVER!!!!! We were numb! We
couldn't  believe  it!  Going HOME !!!     Pep and I are sharing the
close of the war. I could not  believe Pep  was in my  tent. Naturally
I looked like hell when we met I had just came  in out of  the  field.
He looked clean as a whistle and couldn't stop laughing  at the  sight
of  me. He had managed, while attending radio school, to stay in the
states  for quite  a while.      Upon the war ending the Corps was
faced with a hell of a  strange problem. There are not enough ships to
take the men  home.  Their moral is starting to slip.  What do we do to
keep them  busy? They  will not  stand for any nonsensical drill time.
Somebody got a great idea.  We will  send  them all to school. First we
will pick teachers out of the  Div.,anybody  who can  teach any subject
at all, French, Chinese, Basket Weaving,  Trigonometry,  Algebra,  Law,
Cooking, Philosophy, History. The next thing we do is make  it
mandatory that  each man attend a class of his choice, or face a work
detail.      Thank God this program barely got underway, a few classes
were held,  when  they called a halt to it. No more teachers, no more
books, no  more  teachers dirtyÔ  looks, we were off to occupation
duty. There was still a lot of  islands  in the Pacific, held by Japs,
at the close of the war, that  still had to  be demilitarized and
occupied, before we could go home.   On Dec.13, l945 The American Flag
returned to the Bonin Islands  after  117  years.

The First Battalion,
Third Marines, moved ashore on  Chichi Jima  and began  the official
occupation of this former Japanese Island fortress.  (The  Gibraltar
of the Pacific)       According to historical records. in l828 a small
group of  settlers  composed  of several Americans and British
subjects, a Portuguese, and  about 20  Hawaiian  Islanders watched as
Nathaniel Savory of Massachusetts raised  the Stars  and  Stripes to
the top of a makeshift flagpole. At the request of  Savory,  the flag
had been loaned to the group by Captain Joel Abbot of the United
States  Navy, to  be flown as protection against marauding pirates who
had been  terrorizing the  island.        The impressive ceremony which
marked the return of the  American  Flag to  Chichi Jima climaxed a
bloodless invasion of the Bonins and  started the  peaceful  occupation
of the islands by the United States.       Our Battalion had embarked
from Guam five days earlier, and  had  landed from  LSTs. The air was
soon filled with the martial strains of our  battalion's drum  and
bugle section. After a ten minute march, the group formed at  the  base
of the  flag pole in front of the Japanese Headquarters, just across
from and  facing, the  Japanese garrison.      By 10 AM the Japanese
garrison, led by Lieutenant  General  Tachibana  and his  military
staffs composed of high ranking Army and Navy officers,  had
gathered.The  officers were garbed in their best military array and
each  carried for  the last  time his "Samurai" sword. The Nipponese
Flag "The Setting Sun"  flapped  gently in  the breeze.       It was a
strange eerie sensation; there just a few yards  from us  were those
Goddamn son of bitches, out in the open at last. No more  boondocks,
eyeball to  eyeball. After 14 years of war in China and the Pacific
they had  arrived  at a  mortifying surrender.  They appeared so small
and harmless, yet  we knew  what a  horrible faith we would have faced,
if the situation had been  reversed.  Pearl  Harbor, Bataan, Wake,
Singapore, would always be fresh in our  minds,  these  bastards had
never shown any mercy to their captives.      At exactly 10:15, the
Japanese Flag was lowered from the  staff. The  Japanese  color guard,
composed of two soldiers, carried the folded flag  to the  American
side of the field and presented it to Colonel P.M. Rixey the
commanding  officer  of our Battalion. Colonel Rixey, in turn marched
over to the  Japanese  staff and  presented the flag to General
Tachibana.       At exactly 1025, the Marine drum and bugle section
sounded  colors,  and  everyone present, both American and Japanese
alike, rendered a  salute as  Old  Glory was raised to her lofty
summit.        Following the official flag raising, Captain John
Kuziak,  of the  occupation  force staff, stepped forward and read the
occupation  proclamation. The  proclamation directed that all powers of
the government of the  Japanese  Empire  be suspended and promised that
all existing customs, religious  beliefs  and  property rights would be
respected.      Major Horie (See defense of Iwo Jima) of the Japanese
staff  stepped forward  and read the same address. Emotions you might
say were mixed.  General  Tachibana  stared at the ground throughout
the reading of the message.  Frowns were  deep set  on most faces. The
military careers and ambitions of these men  were now  at an  end. This
realization was emphasized a moment later when all  Japanese  officers
present, led by General Tachibana, and Vice©Admiral Mori,  stepped
forward in  single file to surrender their "Samurai" swords.      The
next  day each  Marine  to commemorate the surrender was presented with
one of these  handsome  swords.

The  "Samurai" was highly valued in the
Corps as a souvenir. Up until  that  moment the  sword could only be
obtained, by removing it from the body of a  dead Jap  officer.  Each
man was also issued two Jap Nambu pistols and a pair of  binoculars  as
 trophies of war.      After receiving the swords, Colonel Rixey
marched to the  center  between the  Americans and Japanese garrisons
and began his  occupation  address. "I  accept  these swords in the
name of the United States of America. The  raising of  the  American
Flag and surrender of all officer's swords signifies  the actual
termination of Japanese rule over all islands of the Ogasawara  group."
     The establishment of United States occupation of Muko Jima  Retto,
 Chichi Jima  Retto, and HaHa Jima Retto, is hereby proclaimed
effective at  ten  minutes to  eleven on 13 December l945.      We
shall demilitarize these islands for all time. We shall  destroy  all
evidence of war. I hope these islands will be rebuilt into a  peaceful
land."Ô  (These islands were later to be come a Japanese National Park)
    Cadet Oyama reported Colonel Rixey's address.     Lieutenant James
T. Sanders, a Navy Chaplain, then read a  prayer in  memory of  those
who gave their lives on the battlefield and on the sea.     Everyone
was uncovered with heads bowed. Following the  prayer, the  Marine
bugler sounded taps.       Survivors of the Japanese garrison on Chichi
and Haha, the  neighboring  island, comprised 20,656 Army and Navy
personnel. It was strange  finally  meeting  the enemy face to face.
This was our first introduction to the  oriental  facade.  They were
continuously smiling and bowing to us, polite and  cooperative.  We
thought their attitude was unbelievably hypocritical. All our
knowledge  of the  Japanese added up to a fearless enemy who showed no
mercy. We  could in  no way  except this veneer of fellowship. We
rejected them as if they  were not  human.  We wanted pay back for the
utter misery they had caused us. The  atom  bomb was not  personal
enough. I would not have been surprised when we landed  on  Chichi if
some guy had yelled out "GET A ROPE". As we learned later we had
reason  to get  a rope.       One morning a Japanese Coast Guard cutter
showed up in the  bay. It  was  bearing  Fred Savory, and his three
uncles, all descendants of  Nathaniel  Savory,  a Massachusetts whaler
who had settled in the Bonins in l830,  they were  being  returned to
Chichi. Fred Savory had a strange tale to tell, he  had heard  rumors
in Japan, spread by soldiers repatriated from Chichi. "These  stories
are  not nice  ones," he told the Col. He accused the Japs of
cannibalizing  five  American  airmen. Three were beheaded, one was
bayoneted, and another  beaten to  death.  Prior to the medical officer
removing their livers, these five  men were  murdered  with out any
semblance of a trial.  These livers were later  served as a  meal at  a
"sake" party. This story was corroborated by the Korean slave
laborers, being  used by the Japanese on the Island. All told 21 Japs
were  eventually  tried for  those five murders, and other beheading of
U.S. Navy airmen on  the  Island. The  instigator of the sordid
goings©on at Chichi Jima was a Major  Matoba. He  had  served in China
where, he said, it had been determined that the  eating  of  prisoners
was a stimulant to morale and human liver was a cure  for  stomach
ulcers. He had also ordered the first victim's body dug up it  had been
 in the  ground only one day and the liver removed for eating. Another
pilot,  beheaded  on 26 May l945, had his liver and a 6©pound chunk
from his thigh  removed  andÔ  delivered to the galley of Matoba, who
gave a party at which the  "delicacy" (as  he designated it) was
served.    We found the remains of the deceased and through their
dental  records  identified the bodies. I remember the Corpsmen sorting
out their  remains  on large  tables, by the side of the mess hall. We
sent their remains  home in  small green  boxes. We then arrested and
held the culprits prisoners, until  we  returned to  Guam for their
trial. One of the anomalies of the trial was  this: there  is  nothing
in International Law providing punishment for  cannibalism and  the
cannibals could only be charged with "preventing honorable  burial,"
with  murder  , and with failure to control persons under their
command.      Of the 21 men held responsible, one Japanese lieutenant
was  acquitted, who  had been a cannibal inadvertently, with no
knowledge of what was  taking  place.  General Tachibana, Navy, Captain
Yoshii, Colonel Ito, Major  Matoba  (Tiger of  Chichi) and Captain
Nakajima were sentenced to death by hanging.  The  remainder  of the
guilty were given various sentences ranging from life  imprisonment to
lesser penalties.

 I had the pleasure of being a member of a patrol
that went  deep into  the Jap  camp to arrest Matoba. During his trial
on Guam, the Guam paper  referred  to him  as "The Tiger of Chichi".
   It's afternoon there are  six of us lying in our sacks in  the tent,
 when the  Lieut. enters.  "How about six volunteers"? (normally that
is a  no,no,  but we are  bored stiff.)       Most of the time on the
Island we are bored stiff. The only  thing  to do to  break up the
monotony, outside of ball playing and swimming is  whale  watching.  We
discover them frolicking outside the bay while on a garbage  detail.
To past  the time we take Jap landing crafts off shore, and just sit
out  there  and watch  their antics, gad they were big. One of our
bazooka men says he  is  tempted to get  his weapon and try for some
fresh blubber. He thinks it would be  an easy  shot.  He really wants
to nail a whale. I have no doubt he could do it.  He  manages to
restrain himself      This patrol, is a straw to grasp at, we are
desperate. We  conceal  our weapons  by putting them in two seabags
along with our ammo and helmets.  We are  going to  bring in Matoba.
 

The Japs are not  aware that we know that  Matoba is  responsible  for
initiating the cannibalism. The Lieut., Sam, Clausen, Clif,  John
Lucas, Sam  Hughes and myself, make up the patrol.Ô      Because we are
always under Jap observation it is to be a  clandestine  operation. We
place our seabags in the bottom of our landing  craft,  which had a
load of garbage on board. We cross the bay to the Jap encampment
disguised as a  unarmed working party. Our dress to be only our helmit
liners,  dungaree  pants and  boondockers.       Once we were out in
the bay, we duck low and put our  weapons  together. We  want to get in
and out fast. Our orders were to rush his house,  drag him  back to
the boat as quickly as possible, before any action could be  taken to
defend him, or before he could commit HariªKari, (they were  unarmed,
we  hoped). That just what we do, but there was one hell of hill we
have to  run up. The Japs stand on the side of the road wondering what
we  are up  to. We hit the house and the Lieut. enters it. I remember
absolutely  nothing of what happened at that house, or of our return to
 camp.

Recently I read in the "History of Marine Corps Aviation in
World War  II" by Robert Sherrod a  quote from our Col. Rixey ," A
special squad fetched Matoba  still in his  pink  bathrobe, from beside
his phonograph. I can faintly remember a  Browning  Automatic  Rifle in
my hands as I came down the hill. I know we were not  fired  upon.
 

 On occasion I would pull the guard duty on our war  criminals. You
would sit  with them in a small shack for a four hour tour. I regretted
not  knowing   Japanese, it would have been a wonderful opportunity to
get  their  insight on the  war, instead it was a very dull guard.
Chichi Jima, is located about 150 miles north of Iwo. We  were awe
struck by  its defenses. Nothing previously seen in the Pacific could
compare with  the coast  and artillery defenses surrounding the main
Chichi harbor,  Futami Bay  ,the only  potential landing area for an
invasion. Concrete emplacements,  high in  the  mountains with steel
door openings. The emplacements dug into  the sides  of the  mountains
were so plentiful that it gave the Island the  appearance of a  block
of  swiss cheese. They must have worked on the fortifications for at
least  30 years.  It was no doubt the Gibraltar of the Pacific.
The area were we landed once served as the Japanese sea  plane base  on
Chichi  Jima. Bonb craters in the ramps, used to haul the planes out of
 the  water,  testified to the accuracy of our carrier based planes,
prior to  the  surrender.  The surface damage on the island was quite
extensive, but it was  obvious  that we  hadn't scratched their
defenses, which were expertly concealed  underground and  in the sides
of the mountains.    Once we got on the Island we  found  stairs hidden
in the base of the mountains, leading to the  emplacements.  The guns
in these emplacements were humongous, how they placed  them  there must
have been one tough job. The location of many of the  emplacements
indicated that the Jap plan was to permit an  entrance into  the harbor
or onto the airfield, then to give us the "works".  We found  tunnels
that led to huge ammo and fuel dumps in side of  mountains. These
tunnels  were large  enough to drive a large truck in about 100 yards.
Large  generators  the size of trailers were concealed under the
ground, surrounded  by  thick  concrete.      We all agreed that the
whole Corps would have bought it on  Chichi.  Iwo was  hell, Chichi
impossible.  Sailing into that bay, we should have  been  kneeling on
the deck thanking God that we passed this one up.  I do not
exaggerate.       There was one huge cave,(100 yards deep, 10 yards
wide)  lined with  copper  sheathing. This cave was meant to store the
Japanese archives,  when and  if the  main Japanese Islands were
occupied. I heard very recently from  a native  of the  Island that,
that particular cave was used to store atomic bombs  during  the
Korean action. Japan would not allow the bombs on the mainland.
 

We attempted to salvage the copper. While we were useing  small
jackhammers  to remove the rivets, holding the copper plating together,
 several of us   collapsed and fell off the scaffolding. We didn't know
what the  hell was  going  on, till it dawned on us, the generator
driving our jackhammers,  at the  mouth of  the cave, were pumping
carbon monoxide in. We carried the guys  out and  shut down  the
operation.        To give you an example of what boredom will drive you
to,  I'll  tell you  about an incident that happened during a 5 man
patrol of Haha  Jima, a  near by  island. We were taken to Haha by a
Destroyer Escort that waited  off  shore while  we went on
reconnaissance. We were put a shore just to check out  what  the Jap
garrison had left on the Island. We had removed those who had  been
stationed  there, to Chichi.       It was a beautiful island and being
the only ones on it, it  gave us  a  feeling of ownership. As we were
passing through a valley on the  far  side of the  Island we noticed a
huge cave in the side of the mountain  bordering the  valley.  It was
subway tunnel size, big, those boys liked to dig. Inside  we found  a
several thousand drums of kerosene.       We had no orders to destroy
anything of this magnitude. We  didn't  hesitate  for a second, "Let's
blow it."  We punched holes in one of the  drums and  rolled  it out to
the mouth. We lit the fuel, no good, the ground was to  damp.       We
found a shack nearby, dismantled it, and used the wood  to  construct a
 wick, that we strung deep into cave. We soaked it down with  another
open  drum ,  lit it and took off. We waited and waited and nothing,
ten  minutes. It  was time  to separate the optimist from the
pessimist. We were all nuts,  we went  back in  hoping it wasn't going
to blow in our face. Same operation, we  lit it,  and away  we went.
   WHOOSH!! The daddy of all Zippos, came shooting out of the  mouth of
 the  cave, with a hugh thunderous roar it crossed the valley, and hit
the  opposite  side. We were jumping, and yelling, and laughing.  No
Corps, no  parents,  we were  kids again.       We kept moving and
after a couple of hours we were climbing  back  aboard  ship.

As we hit
the deck,  Capt. Moriority asked "What the hell  did you  guys do  over
there." as he pointed back to the Island. The whole of Haha  Jima  had
a thick  black cloud hovering over it.       Sam quickly rose to the
occasion. "We burned a Jap landing  craft  loaded with  tires." " Boy
look at that smoke" The Capt. kept looking at the  cloud,  as we beat
it below deck.       We were on Chichi about two months when we
received orders  to  detach half  our number for China duty. It seemed
that the Chinese communist  were  attacking  the trains around the
Tientsin area in north eastern China and  some  Marines were  needed.
One billion Chinese and they needed 250 homesick  Marines. They  asked
for  volunteers. None of us had liberty for almost two years or more,
here  was the  opportunity at last. It would be the closest we had ever
came to  civilization  (read that women), for a hell of a long time.
The only hitch was  that we  might  stay overseas a little longer. That
night the outfit stayed up  to the  wee hours,  each man pondering if
he had one more great adventure in him. I  still  had  wanderlust, and
boredom was always a thorn in our side. I knew  this  would be my  only
opportunity to see China. In those days China was a long  way from  the
 States.

My father had previously sent home a beautiful rug while
he  was  doing his  China tour in l930,(38 yrs, Navy). My mother placed
 the rug  in  the  living room  and immediately declared the room off
limits. From then on the  only way  you could  get into my house was
the back door. What a joke it would be to  send the  family  home a new
oriental rug, which I knew would put the dining room  off  limits.
  It was extremely painful, friends trying to convince each  other to
stay or  to go. The debate centered on two choices 1© (big city, and
women, go  home a  little later.)  2© ( Never volunteer and odds were
early return  to the  States,  when you finished the tour on Chichi.) I
gave it a lot of  thought, and  then I  cast my vote to stay on
Chichi..

The guys in the tent argued with Sam all night, trying
to  convince  him to  stay. Sam was a little elf, who could make you
laugh and always  had a  story to  tell. He was about 33 years old and
very homely.  He was honest  with us,  he told  us that his social life
back home in D.C. was nil and it wasn't  going to  get any  better. He
had never had any luck with the ladies. This was the  opportunity of
his life time: woman, wine, and song.         I remember how Sam would
gamble his salary away on pay  day, and  then wake  me up in the middle
of the night so I could give him mine to  lose.  There was  nothing to
do with the money anyway. He looked like a little old  man  lost in a
Marine uniform. There was nothing to him.  What he lacked in  size, he
made up  with a fantastic personality. Everybody felt like they had to
look after  him. His  real name was Bill. He had made such a production
of going over  the  obstacle  course down in New River, N. C., we
labelled  him " Sam, Sam,  the  Obstacle Man."  Sam left. We missed
him, I still do.

One day we woke up to  find a  large  supply ship
from the States in the bay. Word went out that it  was loaded  with
refrigerated stores. We hadn't had fresh food since we came to  the
Pacific.. Our  diet had been made up of powdered eggs, dehydrated
potatoes,  Spam.  cheese and  tins of Australian mutton, plus all the C
& K rations you could  stomach,   (assortment of canned food). The
drink was usually coffee,  powdered  milk, or  battery acid. One
morning, on Guam we went into shock at  breakfast, when  they  served
each man 1/2 of a fried egg. We had traded a Samurai  sword to a
Seabee  cook for the eggs. The Seabee camps always had refrigeration.
    All day long we were hustling from ship to shore, unloading  tons
of  fresh  food. Plus a mountain of beer, Coke and Chocolate Cow.  The
fresh food  was made  up of cases of steaks, turkeys, grapefruit and
oranges. I can't  remember  the rest  of the ships manifest, but
outside of the beverages, it was all  fresh.  We had  cases and cases
of turkey and steaks piled on the beach.  Mountains of  oranges &
grape fruit. I don't know what the opposite of scurvy is, but it
looked  like we  were about to die from it. The ship left the next day,
leaving  us with  one hellÔ  of a problem. They had left us enough
fresh food to last a Reg.  (5,000  men) 2 or  3 months. We had
approximately 200 men. I don't remember if this  episode  happened
before of after the Tientsin detachment had left, it wouldn't  have
made  a  difference. The problem being we didn't have an ice cube on
Chichi. One  big  SNAFU, (Situation Normal All Fouled Up).     We tried
storing the food in caves, but it didn't look too  good.  There was
only one thing we could do, and that was to set a new high for
gluttony.  Never  had so few eaten so much. Just use your imagination
what the  next two  weeks were  like on that Island. We gorged
ourselves day and night. We would  build  fires on  the beach at night
and have beer and steak parties. We were  having  turkey for breakfast,
lunch and supper. We were having steak for  breakfast lunch  and
supper. We were having steak for breakfast, turkey for lunch  and
steak for  supper. We were having turkey for breakfast, steak for
lunch,  and turkey  for  supper.       Finally thank God, we noticed
the steak and turkey were  turning  blue, and  the oranges and
grapefruit were putting on fur coats. We just  couldn't  eat  anymore.
We hadn't made a dent in that mountain. All the meat  and fruit  in the
 caves, were now rotten.   Ever smell rotten turkey? "WHEW". We  ended
the  eating  orgy by taking the remaining, nine tenths of the shipment
out  into the  bay and  dumping it. It wasn't that easy. the next day
it was all over  the  beaches. We  finally ended up burying it. The
whole episode lasted about two  weeks,  then it  was back to basics,
powdered eggs, dehydrated potatoes etc.  The  beer,  coke and
Chocolate Cow  we put to good use: there was only a small supply  of
fresh water  on the Island.  We had brought a small distillation plant
with  us to  provide us  with a limited amount of fresh water.
 

            At  home they  call that  tale,"Dad's Thanksgiving Day
story".  If I'm lucky, and there is  a guest  at the  table, the family
once more is forced to hear why Dad doesn't  like  turkey.

The
episode of cannibalism  did not help slacken the hate we  already  had
mustered toward the guys who now own  Rockefeller Center. The  lobotomy
 was still  in place, we could not understand why we should stop hating
 them. You  can't just  hold up a sign.. If it was that simple there
would be no  bigotry. This  war crime  was not am isolated case, many
even more horrible crimes  committed  against Jap  prisoners are still
coming to light. The N.Y. Times 1994.  published a  list of crimes
admitted to by the Japanese, which actually  topped the  Nazi
atrocities in its viciousness. All sorts of barbaric vivisection
operations wereÔ  performed on their prisoners, for the purpose of
scientific  research.  Our  government in exchange for this research
knowledge did not  prosecute the  doctors  who executed these acts.
These unpunished war criminals are  still  practicing  medicine in
Japan.

When we first arrived on Chichi, the  Marine  enlisted
men would be assigned small working party's of Japs. We would  take
them  into the  hills to destroy gun installations, ammo and fuel
dumps. We  would also  use them  to do all the menial task about the
camp. Some of us were too  tough on  them, but  not any harder then the
D.I.'s were on us. Hatred for the foe  was deeply  embedded  in us.
Some of us, rather enjoyed breaking their humps. I think  it gave  a
lot of  guys a good night sleep when they got home. Not nice but true.
There was never a hint of any sort of atrocity committed.      This
only lasted a short time, the  Jap General complained  to our
Commanding  Officer, Col. Rixey. We were no longer permitted Nip
working  parties,  this really  boiled us. What's the fun of winning a
war.

The Col. was constantly entertaining the Jap General Staff,
those   Officers, who were not involved in the crime, at our
Headquarters in a large building called the White House. The Jap
officers would  sit around on the porch drinking their sacci, watching
us do the  work  done  previously by our new found friends. As I said
before, to most  of us,  the Japs  were not human. Our Government had
propagandized us well, and we  knew  first hand  of the atrocities that
had been committed.       We no longer felt like the victors. We wanted
to know who  was going  to pay  the bill for the misery, not only our
outfit had suffered, but  also the  debt that  the Japs owed every
American .  Is this it?  That was it! We were just there to send them
home,  no pay  back. Some  guys started to get that gold teeth look in
their eyes, they  would  scratch their  heads and wonder what ever
happened to justice.  We felt we were  losing  face, our  morale had
hit rock bottom. What affected our behavior I think  more than  the
Japs, was that we were bored. A second metamorphosis was taking  place.
 

 The war  was over, life had lost its zest. We were all looking for
that  bridge  off Parris  Island.  Each day was twice forever. Please
dear God a letter.  We were  half way  around the bend.       The most
memorable moment during my stay at Chichi was when  my Col.  informed
us that he was going to see us all "Hang from the yardarm". Due  to
circumstances  beyond my control, the Col. mistakenly thought I led a
mutiny.  The  strange thing  about it was that I did lead it, but I had
no idea it was in  back of me.  I  happened to be the first guy out of
the wrong door.        It all started the day scuttlebutt (rumor) went
around the  camp  that the  Col. had invited the Jap Staff to our
theater that evening. Word  went  out (from  where, I still do not
know)  that when the Col. showed, we were  all to  leave. The  theater
was actually a large garage that had been benched to  hold about  2
hundred  of us for a nightly movie. There were two large openings, one
at  each  end of the  building. That night it was my turn to go early
and hold two  seats, for  Sam and  Clausen. I arrived early and spread
my poncho over prime bench,  in the  first row  and waited. Just prior
to the show starting, they both appeared  at the  door  brandishing
three beers, beckoning me out into the darkness to  join  them. There
was no drinking in the theater and this was the normal  procedure.
As I approached them and reached  for my brew I heard  pandemonium
break out  immediately behind me. The three of us were swept away by
the  surging  mob that  was stampeding out the front entrance as Col.
Rixey and his  entourage  entered  through the rear.  Within a
millionth of a second I knew I had  been  stung. Upon  seeing my exit,
the rest of the outfit took it as the cue to  beat it out  the  front
door. I had been the victim of a marvelous sting. Within  seconds  the
theater was empty, all but for the Col. and his friends, who no  doubt
got the  message. It was just my luck that when Sam & Clausen arrived
at  the  door, the  O.D. (The Officer of Day, who was responsible for
the defense  and  decorum of the  camp). was approaching, from their
rear. As the men stampeded  past the  O.D., he  attempted to order us
back into the theater. We had passed the  point of  no  return, the mob
just barreled past him. It was not the place to  be  standing  around.
The crowd quickly disappeared into the black night amid  the  shouts of
 "MOVIE CANCELED". But I knew I had made eye contact with the  O.D.
just  as I had  left the theater, and he would remember who came out
that door  first. He  had been  my Platoon Leader on Guam, my bad luck.
 

      We beat it back to our tents and waited in the dark for the  ax
to  fall. Sam  and Clausen were lying on their sacks laughing
hysterically,  until I  dumped over  their sacks. They swore it was
pure chance that the beer and  Col.  arrived  simultaneously.  Then it
came loud and clear "FALL OUT ON THE  BLACK  TOP".(Formation area).
 The Col. made his second mistake of the evening. He  attempted to
address us  in the dark, I mean dark, a starless night.. We figured
mutiny  was to be  the main  topic of his lecture. There was a very
long pause as we stood at  attention while  he stared at us. He thought
he had us at bay, but we were far  from it.  When he  entertained the
Japs he had crossed the line. In our warped  minds, we  felt he had
disgraced the uniform, and betrayed us. He started to wade into  us
with  a great  opening line." God damn you sons of bitches", (or words
to that  effect),  but he  never got off the ground. He stood about 10
yards in front of  the  Company. I'm  sure he could not identify the
men, who from deep in the ranks,  blanketed him  with those old dull
expletives. "Shove it up your ©©© " "Blow it  out  your ©©©""  "Kiss my
©©©" "Jap loving ©©©©," etc. The officers were too far  out in  front
of  the Company to track the voices in the pitch dark.. It was all
over in  seconds.  The Col. was stunned, he had no alternative but to
have us  quickly  dismissed,  with the warning, that mutiny had a high
price, and we were to  pay every  penny.  "I will see you all hang from
the yardarm". (There is a little  Navy in  every  Marine).       It was
a shocking experience, I never heard of it happening  in the  Corps.  I
saw it happen once before when a naval officer made the  mistake  of
going into  our dark hold, after "lights out" aboard the Funston, up at
Iwo.  He had  shouted  at us to knock off the noise, we immediately
responded with some  salty  heckling.  But that was done in fun and he
quickly retreated, never to be  heard  from again.        The three of
us retreated to our tent and waited, we knew  what was  about to
happen. We quickly agreed to stick to the truth about why I was  the
first to  leave. In the mob we heard people shouting the movie was
canceled and  naturally  we went back to our tent.

Within moments
the O.D. entered the tent and invited me to  Headquarters. The  Col.,
Capt. and three Lieut.'s were waiting for me. I stood at  attention
forever  and waited. The Col. looked like he had the face of that
bulldog  that  Marines  have tattooed on their arms. The Capt. informed
me that I was  seen to be  the  first man out of the theater and would
like an explanation why I  left.  I  readily  admitted I was the first
man out, and only to quench my thirst.  I  explained about  our routine
of saving the seats, and how Sam & Clausen invited  me out to  down a
brew. When we saw the men coming out and hearing the movie was
canceled,  we went  back to our tents. Normally I never enjoyed being
in the company  of  Officers, but  now I was enjoying their plight.
They were stymied, our story  was so  simple and  solid.  I kept my
normal dumb, bewildered look on my face and  waited.  The O.D. who was
a good soul, suggested that,"The man who  shouted out  that the movie
was  canceled was the culprit". But then again a lot of men were
shouting it  out, and  it was canceled... Did someone shout it out from
inside the  theater?"       The Col. said "I'm not buying this crap,
and Monks I'm  going to see  you hang  from the yardarm". (I thought,
where is he going to find a  yardarm)?  After the  questioning of Sam
and Clawsen, we were sent back to our tents.  We sat  in the  dark,
broke out some more beer, and laughed like hell. You only  let guys
you  love, do that to you. How I miss those bums.       The next day
scuttlebutt was flying all over the camp. The  word  went out the  Col.
was going to break down the rank of all Non© Commissioned  Officers,
and our  mail was to be once again censored.      It never happened as
far as breaking the Non©Coms, I don't  know  about the mail.     The
Col. left shortly to fly to Wash, we believed to press  charges of
mutiny, and  to see if he could locate an old yardarm.

In the meantime
disciplinary  action was  to be taken against the whole outfit. This
action consisted of  digging  trenches  and filling them up again.
Unnecessary policing of the area  and  more  work  parties. All beer,
soda and cigarette rations ended. When the  Col.left  things  lightened
up.       While this harassment was going on, we had sent all Jap
troops back  to their  mainland. All except the prisoners. Shortly
after the Japs left,  we  received  orders to return to Guam. The
Bonins were to be placed in a U.N.  Trusteeship.The  Island was to
remain unoccupied for many years. Only the actual  natives,  the
descendants of Nathaniel Savory were to return in Oct. of 46.  Our
orders  of  departure contained the strange request that all live stock
on  Chichi  and Haha  were to  returned with us. The livestock
consisted of 12 horses,  numerous pigs,  goats, chickens, dogs and one
monkey. The Col. had been using  the horses  we found  on the Island to
whip some of our farm boys into a cavalry  outfit. Being  a Va.  man he
knew his horses and something about cavalry drills. He  and the  boys
were  having the time of their lives, until the mutiny.

The vessel
we were to return on was rather small. The ship  was an  LST, 1069
(Landing Ship Tank) mainly used during the war as a landing  craft for
troops and  armor. The ship was 300 ft. in length with a beam of 50 ft.
an a  crew of  110. It  was l,625 tons with a flat bottom. The most
striking  characteristic was  the large  doors that made up its bow.
When the craft ran up onto the beach  these  huge doors  would open,
then like a large tongue a ramp would come out of  the open  mouth.Ô
Tanks and Troops  would then spew out onto the beach.

  C/O FLEET
POST OFFICE, SAN FRANCISCO
 23 March, l946  From:              The Commanding Officer  To:
       The Director, Personnel Department,  Headquarters
        U. S. Marine Corps, Washington, 25, D.C.  Subject:
Embarkation Roster,   Reference:         (a) Article 10©15, Marine
Corps Manual.        1.            The below named members of this
organization  embarked  on 23  March, l946 at Chi Chi Jima, à BONIN
ISLANDSÄ  and sailed therefrom on à             Ä   on USS LST # 1069.
"NOAH'S ARK"                          à †††††††††††???
†††††††††††????  U. S. MARINE Ä  * HOME ADDRESS KNOWN       Ã
OFFICERSÄ  SHAFFER, ROBERT D.      *  06652    1115       USMC
RESTRICTEDÄ  JNR/jrb                         "C" COMPANY
            1ST BATTALION, 3rd MARINES                           FLEET
MARINE FORCE, PACIFIC,   à FIRST LIEUTENANTSÄ  ENGLAND, Joe P.
   041042   1542       USMCR  FLAGG, Allen E.            041045   1542
     USMCR  FOX, Jean T.               041048   1542       USMCR
                       à †††††††????†??†††????††††††††††††††????
ENLISTEDÄ  TECHNICAL SERGEANT:Ô  SCHWARTZ, SAMUEL L.        503669
060       USMCR   BILLS, Harry S.         *  403810    745       USMC
CLEMENTS, Keith R.      *  441332    745       USMCR  HORWATH, Stephen
(n), Jr.  285597    511       USMC  LANGFORD, Philip A.     *  860474
 607       USMCR  MOORE, Karlton L.          212161    585       USMC
à STAFF SERGEANT:Ä  RIGGS, William A.          315687    060
USMC   BAUGHER, Leinard W.        804407    745       USMC©SS  BENSON,
Donald L.       *D 509535    812       USMCR  BLOOMQUIST, Louis O.
852781    604       USMCR  BOOTH, Cecil A.            312909    812
  USMC  GRUZLEWSKI, Floyd T.    *  411713    937       USMCR  Ô
HENDRICKSON, Paul F.       292345    601Á        USMC  HILL, Robert C.
       *  496593    821       USMCR  MALVESTI, Nicholas      *  942924
  533       USMCR  MARCINIAK, Richard H.      803151    917
USMC©SS  MILLER, James R.           500093    405       USMCR  SMITH,
Charels F.          850239    607       USMCR  PLUS  ABOUT 100 ENLISTED
NOT LISTED FOR SPACE REASONS.
 
THE VOYAGE OF THE ARK

 
  We loaded our strange cargo of animals in the hold
,and  made  them as comfortable as we could among the trucks, jeeps and
the  rest of our supplies. The situation did not look too promising
for  our four legged sailors. We constructed a wooden shack on the
main  deck to act as a brig for our cannibals.       After a day out at
sea, the smell of the animals permeated  the  ship. It was painful
trying to sleep below deck. It was like  sailing in a dirty barn. The
second night out, the ship started  taking a beating from a heavy sea.
 

The sailors told us that a  typhoon was coming our way and secure
everything. A sailor also  told me that prior to the ships arrival at
Chichi they had lost  their regular Capt. who had been transferred to
another ship. An  inexperienced Exec. Officer was now the Acting Capt.
The crew  did  not trust him. The Exec. was about to get his baptism of
fire.  Within a couple of hours, the wind had increased in force to 070
 mph. I recently  consulted U.S. Weather Bureau for the WD SP of  that
typhoon in that Log. & Lat. during late Mar. l946. They  sent  me a
computer printout, that read, 045.  070,  070, 100, 085,  080,  070,
080, 090, 090. As any old swabbie would tell you, that was  a  blow and
a half.       The ship was being tossed and battered in an honest to
God  typhoon. I stood out on the deck to watch the magnitude and  power
 of the seas. I could actually see the ship bending amidship. The  deck
plates were continuously crying out in pain. A sailor  reassured me
that the ship was made to buckle amidship so that  it  wouldn't snap in
half. As the ship tipped more then rolled  because  of its flat bottom,
you would look UP at the sea. The decks were  constantly awash.
WHOOSH!! The brig we made for our Jap  prisoners  went over the side,
leaving the prisoners still on the deck. WeÔ  ushered them below, they
looked drowned and in shock.  Ô

We were notified that the port of
Guam was closed and to  ride  out the storm as best we could. We were
to be in the typhoon for  several days.  This storm was a beauty, I had
been in rough  weather  before but nothing like this.  The bow would
ride high into the  air  and come crashing down to bury itself in the
sea.  I prayed that  the two massive doors would stay closed. A sailor
had informed  me  that the doors were damaged and had been jury rigged
to stay  closed. He told me this prior to the storm , I don't thing he
was  trying to snow me. I kept thinking, what a stupid way to build a
ship. The huge seas controlled our course, the ship appeared  helpless,
as the helmsman's metal was being tested. As we left  Guam  to our
stern, the storm just got worse, it looked like we were  going to be
blown  as far south as Truk, in the Caroline  Islands.  I was scared
stiff, I wished they hadn't told me about the doors  and the Exec. I
always hated a rough sea.       The animals in the hold were taking
heavy casualties. A lot  of  the animals including several horses had
died early on. The ship  stunk. The dead horses had bloated. The smell
of the dead and  alive  animals, plus the storm called for a strong
stomach. Some  Marines  volunteered to go into the hold and hoist the
dead carcasses out  through the main hatch. We all watched as the first
horse,  hogtied,  went out of the hold. The horse was bloated to twice
its normal  size and swinging like a pendulum. Just as the carcass got
even  with the deck, it broke in half, deluging the working party down
below, with horse. The audience fell on the deck laughing. The  work
detail was canceled, no more volunteers.     We were out at sea far
longer then we expected and therefore  had  to ration our chow and
fresh water, not that anybody had an  appetite. Some guys would just
lie in their sacks with their  head  in their helmets. At night as the
ship tipped you would hear the  splashing on the deck, as the helmets
runneth over.       Finally we escaped the storm and headed back to
Guam.

As we  entered Guam harbor we breathed a sign of relief, much to
soon.  It seemed that the Exec. was now about to dock a ship for the
firstÔ  time. If there is any sort of wind, combined with the loss
headway,  docking can be a very difficult task for any seaman.       As
we bore in, the Marines on board were lining the rail  checking out the
ships in the harbor. We appeared to be closing  on  a beautiful yacht
the "Lovely Lady" that was tied up to the  dock.  The sailors told us
it belonged to the Commodore of the Island,  it  was flying his flag.
The yacht was J.P. Morgan class. It was a  luxurious show piece made of
wood, its polished, varnished deck,  and brass, glistened in the sun.
The only person on deck was a  lone  Officer, waving to us in a
friendly manner, a very cool  character.  A young guy in pressed khaki,
he looked like "Ensign  Pulver",from  that play "Mr. Roberts" a ninety
day wonder.  His demeanor  quickly  changed to panic as he realized we
had lost headway and were  being  blown into his side. He started
making signs with his hands as  if  to push us off. It was now obvious
we were about to mash the  Lovely  Lady against the dock. The guy on
the yacht's deck had by now  completely lost it. He was springing into
the air, waving his  arms,  and screaming foul language.

We broad sided
her amidship and  watched the polished planks pop and spring into the
air. We  kissed  her, un©puckered and politely  continued on our way.
We had done  extensive damage. We never exchanged a word with the
maniac, he  was  not making any sense. This man was in deep trouble
with the  Commodore. (Officer of the Deck, what deck?)  As we proceeded
 deeper into the harbor, the sailors were cursing the Exec., and  the
Marine laughter, could not be contained. We are now heading  for  a
docking space between two other LST's. who have their doors open  on
to the beach. Sitting ducks! There is about a thirty yard space
between them.  I figure every ship in the harbor, had their  glasses
trained on us now, and we didn't let them down.       The docking
operation looked to us as easy as parking a  car.  I'm sure it appeared
that way to the Exec. As we approached the  gap  between the two ships,
we slowed our forward motion and again we  lost our headway. The cross
wind  caught our bow, crashing us  into  the stern of the LST on our
starboard side. As we back off, we  proceed to cream the other ship on
our port side, with our stern  .Ô  We almost become  wedged between
them. Nobody has the heart to  laugh anymore, by now the Marines are
bonded to our ship and  were  sharing our crew's embarrassment. We can
no longer even look.      Finally the three crews fight us free and we
eventually dock  between the ships. Our sailors want to take it back
out to sea,  and  go down with it.  Now comes the piece de resistance.
When the  ship  is made snug to the beach, the Exec. gives the order,
"Open the  bow  doors."  Sure enough with all the eyes of Guam staring
at us,  out  comes the survivors of the typhoon: chickens, pigs, goats,
and  horses.

Next day, the  headline of the Guam Newspaper read ©
"NOAH'S ARK LANDS ON GUAM".  I want to know, how the heck the  Exec.got
us through that typhoon.  I never saw the man. He is  probably living
out in Kansas, far from the briny deep.       When we got back to Guam
they had a new brig waiting for  us.  Let me correct that, not for us
but for the Jap prisoners. In a  short time we added a few Jap Admirals
and Generals, to our  catch.  They had been scooped up as war criminals
from the other  Islands.  Every so often one of them would make an
attempt at Hari©kari.  They  were always trying to devise a death tool,
any sharp instrument:  a  pencil, stick, or a sharpened  tooth brush.
We had to keep them  under constant surveillance, prior to the trials.
 

The trials got  very little if any publicity in the U.S..       We were
holding our breaths, waiting for the Col. to  return.  Every time I
pictured myself hanging from a yardarm, I would  always  be dressed in
the clothes of a buccaneer. Hanging from a yardarm  sounded pretty
romantic. Remember Lincoln quoting that guy who  was  to be tarred and
feathered "If it wasn't for the honor I would  just  as soon decline"
(Something like that).

One afternoon I was suddenly told to pack
my seabag,  several  of us were going home the next morning. We all got
smashed that  night. We exchanged addresses and promised to look each
other  up.  I just couldn't get it through my head that I had a home
and  family, and I was going their. It was like being told that I was
going to the moon. I had become a person, while far from the  ties  of
my family. I had been born again, and had spent a lifetime  inÔ  the
Pacific. I didn't feel like I was going back, more like I  was  going
to a place for the first time.      The sadness, overwhelmed the joy.
My happiness was to come,  but my loss was immediate. Parting is such
an unnatural  phenomenon.

Those who love are one, and when this oneness dissolves we cease
to  function as whole
persons. Part of me will always be with that  band  of loyal men. We
never doubted our loyalty to the Corps, we kept  the faith. It was the
action of the Col. we despised not the  uniform.  No doubt we were
partly to blame.  At the time it  seemed  like a great idea and we did
make our point. Things are done in  the  dark that have to be done in
the dark. I'm  sure the whole  episode  could have been avoided if the
Col. had found it feasible to  reveal  to us his strategy of obtaining
witnesses, against the cannibals      I got out of the cab, on a Sunday
morning in front of my  house.  I threw my seabag over my shoulder,
walked through the alley to  my  back door. I hadn't forgotten the
"RUG".

 I dropped my bag on the kitchen floor and looked up to see
a  strange girl, holding a baby, staring at me from the table in  the
breakfast room. Looking through the dining and living room I  could
see we were alone, no band.       "Where is the family?" This was not
what I expected.  "Bill? . Their all at Mass. I'm Mary, Dick's wife,
and this  little  fellow is Richard Monks.  Welcome home!"  STICK BALL
ANYONE?        After I had been home a while I received a letter from a
 Paul  Fitzpatrick. He told me that the Col. was back for the Jap
trial,  but that was it.  Scuttlebutt had it, that the only
consequences  growing out of the mutiny is that the outfit  might be
frozen on  Guam for an extended time. The Col. had come back for the
Jap  trial, but that appeared to be it. I guess the Corps felt it  best
 just to forget it. Any extended time on that rock was punishment
enough. The rate of the speed of time passing ,depends on  whether  you
have your hand in or out of the fire, the hands of the clock  never
moved on Guam. I thought I spent most of my life there.  Ô

When
Com. Perry was returning from his historic voyage to  Japan, opening it
up to the West in 1853, he stopped at Chichi  Jima. The Commodore, to
commemorate his visit, had one of his  ship's cannon balls mounted and
left in front of the White House  on  the Island. It's now
commemorating his visit to the Col.'s front  lawn down in Va. The Col.
took it with him when he left Chichi.       The Col. later became a
General. He did a great job in  bringing the cannibals to justice. I
know, now that I look back,  that his fraternizing with the Japs, was
his method of gathering  evidence. He is buried in Arlington next to
his father who was  also  a career Marine.       I spoke to a member of
the Savory family, Jessel Savory,  who  is now living in Las Vegas, 48
years later.  He told me his  family  returned to Chichi in Oct. of 46,
where he was then born. I  asked  him if there were any repercussions
when the Japanese returned  to  occupy the Island in l968. I was
thinking of the Savory  testimony  against the cannibals.       "The
Japanese," he said, "had lost so much face because of  the  crime, they
preferred to believe it never happened.        Jessel also said, " the
Japs, after 10 years, managed to  eradicate the fruit fly on the Island
by genetic cross breeding.  I  think our turkey ship, loaded with
oranges and grapefruit was  responsible for the fruit fly. Jessel said
they never had a fly  prior to the war.

The bad news was, by
importing some lumber, from God knows  where, the Japs inadvertently
introduced a specimen of termite,  that infests the whole Island. The
termites are so plentiful,  they  are seen as clouds. You cannot drive
a motorcycle because of  your  vision being hampered. In order to
correct this problem,  naturalist  were invited to the island to offer
a solution. They  investigated  the problem and threw up their hands."
 

     Chichi was Bush's nemesis, he was bombing it when he was  shot
down. His raft was drifting back to the island, before the Sub  arrived
to pick him up. Japs had boats on their way to grab him  for  a
Presidential dinner. Bush mentioned a fellow pilot destroyed  theÔ
boats. I wonder if those two guys who went down with him ever  made  it
ashore?  Clausen & Sam say farewell  Clausen©  "Sam, the war was a ©©©©
  drag, keep in touch".  [Trans. ("Sam, thank God it's finally over,
but I'm going to  miss  you")  Sam© "Your ©©©©    A, old buddy,"
[Trans. ("I agree, my friend  forever") BOB SNYDER, GETTYSBURG, PA.
 

PARRIS ISLAND I . My first encounter at P.I. was one at the
Receiving  Station.  60 guys stark naked lined up in two ranks. A
doctor and corpsman  using a flashlight and checking everyone. The guy
to my right  had  a C marked on his chest. When I did not get my C , I
started  wondering why. Next the guy on my left got the big C. I don't
know  if I was more pissed off or more worried,        Well it didn't
take long to find out.

The Plt. Sgt. told  everyone with a C to take
one step forward. You guys get your  razors and head for the showers.
You all have the "Crabs". I  sure  was happy about not getting that big
C.   II.   I remember the day in boot camp when the Sgt. told about 4
of  the biggest guys to take another big recruit outside the  barracks,
 strip him, and give him a sand bath. I can still hear the guy
screaming as they tossed him into the hot shower.

Cruise Ship   III.
Going Overseas:   We boarded the Dutch East Indian  freighter,  S.S.
Bloemfontein for a harrowing trip to Guam. Many of us  remember  this
ship. Dirty! Rats! Over Crowded! and Terrible Food! How it  made so
many trips across the Pacific and back is  unbelievable.It  was the
Marines private ferry to hell.  Ô  IV.    The Rock:  When we arrived at
Guam, some of us joined the  3rd Reg. and moved up to Baragota. Couple
of nights later, I was  placed on a perimeter outside camp with a
couple of guys. Sgt.  said  any noise, fire away and we did. At day
light, we found where  the  noise was coming from. Remember those wild
boar hogs? We nailed  a  few.  V.   Flying Dutchman:   Going to IWO.
Most of us in the 3rd Reg.  remember the Frederick Funston A.P.A. 89
and our lucky episode  at  IWO.

How many remember the ship Captain's
son who was in the  Fifth  Div.. After visiting his Father, the next
day he was taken on  board  mortally wounded. His Father buried him at
sea.  VI.   Return to Guam: When we returned to Guam from IWO, the
first   mail call brought a letter from my boyhood buddy, Floyd. He
joined  the Navy the same time I joined the Corps. Seems as though his
ship  an A.K.A. was due in Agana Harbor in two weeks and on a Sunday.
Sgt. let me catch a ride to the docks and I spent a day on board  his
ship. It was the first time we had seen each other in three  years.
VII.   End of the War.

August 15, l945, marked the best day of  our
life. Thank Heavens for Holland (Mad) Smith, who saved our butts  at
IWO and Harry Truman for ending the war quickly. We all owe our  lives
to these two men.  VIII.    Going to Chichi Jima. Playing cards in our
tent one  day,  we observe 5©6 officers drawing straws from a broom. In
short  order, Lt Bob Dukett called the 3rd Platoon of B Co. together.
He  told us we were going to Chichi Jima. we had hopes of going  home.
Before long the 30 of us were aboard the D.D. 403 and 408 and  were  in
the harbor at Chichi. The rest of the battalion came up one  month
later and we all remember the rest of the story.  IX.    BACK ALIVE NOT
IN 45 BUT 46 WILL DO:   Coming Home: On April 1, l946, I sailed from
Guam on the Billy  Mitchell to San Francisco arriving April 10, Easter
Sunday.  After  a couple  of days at Treasure Island, we came across
country byÔ  train to the Bainbridge Naval Center and received my
discharge  on  May 4, l946. It was a great day to be home in great
shape.

 JOHN H. MONAGHAN
HAMPDEN, MA   HOW TO MAKE A CANTEEN CUP SPARKLE        I came out
of P.I. with Platoon No. 487 on 25 October l944  and  following 10 day
boot camp leave, reported to Camp LeJeune, N.C.  for infantry training.
When the 45th replacement draft formed up  and boarded a troop train on
23 December 1944, I was with it.  The  45th draft reached Guam. MI on
16 May l945, and I was assigned  to  C Company, 3rd Engineers, 3rd
Marine Division, an elapse time of  144 days.       Now travel then by
train to the west coast followed by ship  to  Guam totaled 22 days, so
that it may be seen that the 45 had a  couple of delays in route along
the way, mostly spent in  infantry  training in the hills of Camp
Pendleton, CA.

At an early reunion of the Chichi Jima Marines a
member  said.  "The 45th draft was the best trained, if not overly
trained,  draft  of the time" and these days, 50 years later, I meet
and chat  with  old soldiers, on the local shooting range and in the
VFW and  American Legion Halls, and it usually goes like this; "Oh a
Marine.  Hey we were just like you guys, except that you were better
trained."       "Was we ever!" in that business you can't beat training
and  in  the 45th and with the 3rd Marine Division we got plenty of it.
 It  was hard and demanding stuff but interesting and few grumbled.
Morale was high and we looked forward to the objective © the  coming
assault on the main island of Japan.       I was no kid when I joined C
Company of the 3rd Engineers,  having 3 years of manufacturing
experience and machine shopÔ  practice to my credit, but was and still
am impressed by the  collection of talent of trades and skills in each
company of the  3rd Engineers. Our C Company supported the 3rd Marines.
The  ninth  and twenty first Regiments were backed up by A and B
Company,  and  who supported the artillery regiment, the 12th Marines,
I don't  know.      But a typical engineering company, in addition to
cooks and  bakers, QM, clerks, field music, armorers, and assigned Navy
 Corpsman, had: welders, riggers,carpenters, motor mechanics,  dozer
operators with dozer, power shovel operators and road scrapers  with
machines. we had a Bailey Bridge, a crane and pile driving  equipment.
One of my tent mates was a water purification expert,  with a jeep
towed unit. I knew demolition specialist and machine  operators.

My MOS
was armorer©small arms mechanic © one of  three©  and of course all
free hands turned to assemble the damned heavy  parts of the Bailey
Bridge to span stream.     In the 70's, 80's and 90's in the hand
wringing and political  arm waving following the devastation of a
Florida/Caribbean  hurricane © or a mid©western tornado, I would like
to see a  Marine  combat Company or battalion turn to and restore order
and  provide  comfort to survivors. It seems to logical to happen.
When the Japs capitulated following the Hiroshima and  Nagasaki
bombings, the "Magic Carpet" project for return of millions of  Pacific
vets was announced. A point system prevailed. High  points  for men
with wife, children, time overseas and combat  experience,  ranging
from 200 points down to 19 determined who would go  stateside first. I
must say it was fair but when i added up my  meager points, I saw that
I could forget it. I didn't have  enough  points to get from Guam's
Yona Village to Agana unless I walked  ©  so you shut up, wave good©bye
to your buddies and wait, along  with  regulars, reservists and other
low point © long timers.

I wanted Mainland China duty but nothing
such was announced,  so  you polish your gear, go to chow, read and
wait. Then the call  for  volunteers for Chichi Jima came. I signed up
and have never  regretted it. In early December we formed up on Guam.
in  battalionÔ  strength, 600 of us, to listen to Col. Rixey describe
our  mission.  He was no boot, having brought the 10th Marines ashore
on the  3rd  day of Tarawa and he had our full attention. In the next
few  days,  we loaded supplies and equipment on three LSTs and left
Guam on  8  December 1945. I shipped on LST 938. Now the Corps believed
the  old  saying: "the Devil finds work for idle hands" and a young
first  Lt., appointed me "Ship's Librarian" for the voyage! How do you
like that? Ship's Librarian on a LST! Probably the only one on a
crowded vessel since Noah © or at least the first on a U.S. Navy  LST.
But that was OK by me©better than guard or mess duty © I  had  locker
boxes of paper backs but few customers. Most of the  Marines  off duty
were into card games or sack time, but I caught up on  my  reading.
 Five days after leaving Guam, we reached Chichi Jima and as  our  LST
moved slowly into Futami Bay, like into the claws of a  gigantic
pincer crab, my fellow Marines and I , from the forward weather  deck,
watched the island as our ship approached the shore. We  had  to look
up to see the high mountains, left, right and forward.     Each surface
of those slopes was peppered with black spots ©  cave openings © gun
emplacements © an impenetrable defense  system:  no amphibious landing
assault could survive the fire from that  armament.

This was a bypassed
island © thank God. There wasn't a  better one to skip.      Each man's
experience is different but I found life on Chchi  Jima to be good
duty. We were quartered in a compound of many 12  man hospital type
tents near the ruined sea plane hanger and  well  away from the "White
House" © the no©mans©land. This tent camp  was  set up by the Japs,
supervised by an advanced party before we  got  there.     Inland from
the tent camp were the shot up laundry machine  and  boiler that the
mechanics from the 3rd Engineers. repaired and  to  which was added
plumbing and shower heads ©all with plenty of  hot  water.    I used
the laundry. in fact I ruined a good wool issue shirt.  It wouldn't fit
a Barbie doll after that hot water wash. I  can'tÔ  recall the showers.
After all the temperature was about 40  degrees,  a whole lot colder
than Guam © which we were used to © and not  all  that dirty really.
Beyond the laundry and shower was a group of pyramidal tents  for  the
Naval medical people that came to Chichi Jima with us: the  three
doctors, a dentist and 4 Corpsmen. They weren't all that  busy  as far
as I could see and they kept pretty much to themselves. A  low key
quiet group.. Yeah. Turned out they were real party  animals  though I
didn't guess it at first. But I found out.      The way it happened was
this: early one cold morning, a  doctor,  the short pudgy one, got into
the medic's jeep drove sixty feet  to  the big sea plane inclined ramp.
He could have used the exercise  and should have walked. Shortly he
wished he had. His mission  was  to inspect the garbage cans resting on
the near edge of the  seaplane concrete ramp. I had never noticed them,
but all food  scraps from our chow line were put on the ramp and daily,
Japs  from  across the bay came in a boat and took the stuff to their
area,  to  feed the pigs they had. ( I remember them being well
supplied ©  in  light of the future events and disclosures.)      But
back to the doctor. The tide was out and he drove in a  big  semicircle
down the ramp almost to the water's edge and back up  to  the G.I. cans
where he parked, set the brake, cut the engine and  got out. And, he
found he had big trouble.

The jeep with its  locked  wheels started to
slip down the wet slippery surface, and though  he  tried desperately
to save it, sank in some 30 feet of cold  water.     A group of us then
came upon the scene and watched the  bubbles  that were still coming up
and the Marine property  officer that  appeared with forms for the
doctor to sign for the loss of a  Marine  Corps jeep. Meaning he was
responsible and would pay value for  the  lost vehicle © about $800, I
guess©big bucks, real big in those  days.     This distressed the
doctor no end but we told him, "Doc don't  sign©let us have a try at
it," Orry Cornish got and drove up the  cherry picker we had brought
from Guam. This was like a small  tank,  on tracks, with a mast and
boom and a light cable with a hook.  TwoÔ  PFCs John Herron and Bud
Wilson, both from the Midwest, stripped  down to their shorts and took
turns diving into that cold water.  Finally one of them snagged the
hook on the jeep chassis and  Orry  with the picker on the edge of the
bank, slowly raised it,  carefully backed away and set it on solid
ground. It looked  awful.  But now the doctor had a jeep to turn in and
he was off the  monetary hook. Our motor mechanics pushed it into their
shop in  that bombed out hangar and happy as clams , went about taking
it  apart, and flushing everything with fresh water and oil,  restored
it. Took days but they did good work. I've seen worse in car  dealers
lots.

Anyway the doctor called to the corpsmen,"Wrap these brave
men  in blankets and take them to the hospital." We knew that John  and
 Bud would be given©treated© with the medicinal brandy that the  medics
had for exposure, snake and frost bite and such. But they  deserved it.
      We all had a beer ration © warm beer, but no booze. We had  found
batches of sake, the Jap's rice wine, but that was worse  than
nothing. Besides, we figured the Japs had poisoned it and we  couldn't
find anyone, Japs or other, thirsty enough to test it,  so  we stood
there and watched John and Bud move off. But as they  left,  the doctor
turned to us, shook hands all around, thanked us, and  said, "Come over
to our tent tonight. We'll have a party." And  as  he left , called
back over his shoulder."... and bring your  canteen  cup."

Sounded good © so after evening chow, Orry, Andy, Snuffy  and  I headed
for the hospital area. All with canteen cups. Now I'm a  black coffee
addict and my cup hadn't seen a SOS pad since Guam  and  it was stained
a rich mahogany black. We were in the field like,  and weren't having
Saturday morning inspections by a spit and  polish Marine Captain with
a tough old gunny sergeant to take  notes  of guys with dust in the
bore and  E.P.D. to atone for it. So I  didn't worry about my black
stained canteen cup, but walked that  evening with the others to the
medic's tent.        We filed in through the narrow entrance and found
the  eightÔ  Navy types sitting in a semicircle on the plywood deck of
the  otherwise empty tent. A naked bulb hung from a cord taped to the
tent pole, In front of a young Navy doctor was a white enameled  bucket
of the kind used in operating rooms and it was almost  filled  with a
clear liquid: medical alcohol, with some water perhaps.       He was
adding lemonade powder and stirring the mixture with  a  foot long
stainless rod that had a handle at one end and a  gently  pointed,
polished steel, projectile©like object at the other. As  we  entered
and gathered about, he looked up, raised the stirrer  high  and
announced: "Don't worry fellows. It's never been used."      I
recognized the instrument© Hell, I had been around© and it  didn't
bother me. But I felt Andy's elbow in my ribs and heard  his  whisper.
   "John what's that thing he's waving?     "It's a proctoscope."
"So that's what it's called. What the hell is it?"     "It's a rectal
probe."     "John, I'm getting out of here."     "Hold it buddy © these
guys are just trying to snow us. He  said  it was never used. Believe
him." which he did, reluctantly.

We sat down across from them ,
made some small talk and were  invited to have a drink. We filled our
cups in turn and sampled  the  stuff. It had bit of a metallic taste.
No wonder. Then and now.  I'm  no chemist but I know the basics.
Concentrated citric acid  looking  for a convenient active metal © like
my aluminum canteen cup. ©  it  was probably eating big holes in it©
but I paid no attention.      The drinking and the conversation went
on. We let the Navy  people know that we knew what a soft and pampered
life they led  and  they in turn reminded us of how many Marines they
had patched up  and sewed back together. The doctor (of the jeep)
started to  sing  and others joined in.

The evening progressed. I can't
remember  how  much I drank but I know I was the first to leave. This
was right  after somebody accidently upset the bucket and I recall
wishing  it  had happened earlier.     I was sick three times on the
way back to our tent and  wasn'tÔ  sure I could reach it. I needed
medical attention but knew  better  than to go back to that mob. My
cot, which I finally found, was  near the tent wall and I remember
being sick during the night  under  the edge of the canvass. Sick? I
thought I'd die. The next  morning  I found that my buddies had similar
problems during the night.  It  was a situation in which we had been
drinking with the first  team  and had lost, badly. And later that
morning I found my canteen  cup  under my sack. It was later © I wasn't
interested in early chow.  And that dirty old cup was clean, bright and
sparkling as  burnished  chrome. I wasn't surprised. If a guy bottled
and marketed that  stuff as metal polish, he'd make a fortune. I prefer
to forget  the  whole thing.       Time passed quickly on Chichi Jima.
Christmas and New  Year's  came and went. Great chow both days. I
remember the great rat  hunt,  the king crabs we caught but nobody'd
eat. the oriental U.S.  Marine, the  laundry/hot showers, the fire in
the squad tent,  packages from home©marked " book," my problems with
the alien  property officer, and a hundred other stories but I became
restless  and when the chance arose to go back to Guam for
reassignment, I  joined a small group of others and boarded LST 1022 on
1  February  l946.

Bad luck struck before we left Futami Harbor. So we
off  loaded from No. l022 with it's damaged prop and bent shaft,
shipped  on LST 1052 and I saw Chichi Jima for the last time that same
day.       If I had known then what the future held, I would have
stood  fast, stayed put and waited for orders. You never know.
 

Footnote 1:        In l988 I caught Bob Snyder's ad in the VFW Magazine
for a  Chichi Jima Marine's reunion, signed up. and Bob sent me the
duty  roster for the period. I then started my own search for guys I
knew  and for the Doctor.       After some static with the AMA I
reached the Doctor's  office  where he had a practice in Queens, N.Y.,
and in a moment I was  speaking to him.Ô       "Doctor, I'm John
Monaghan and we are having a reunion of  the  3rd Marines and would
like to have you attend. You and I were on  Chichi Jima in late l945."
 

     "That's right, that's right, Mr. Monaghan."       "And I recall
fishing a jeep out of the salt water after it  had slid down off that
sea plane ramp."       He laughed and laughed. "John, that wasn't a
jeep. It was  the  battalion ambulance!"       "Boy! we did you a
bigger favor than I thought."       "Right John. They were ready to
bill me for the cost of it  then and there."       "Yeah. I remember.
Tell me how it happened? ©slid of the  ramp?"       "John that wasn't
my job © that was the first time I did it  Dr. Ralph was the sanitation
officer, but he was sick that  morning©  wasn't feeling all that good."
 

     "Wasn't feeling good? Doc, I attended one of your parties  and  I
understand©fully.      More laughter. "OK John, you know, you know."
  "Do I ever. Now look, Doc, were having a reunion and would  love  to
have you. Now take down this name and address."      But he hasn't come
© as yet. Perhaps some day. We would  welcome  him. It'd be like old
times.      Footnote 2:        For most of l946 I bummed around with
other, on the  Pacific  Islands and up and down the China coast, and
after de©mob at  Great  Lakes, arrived home in upstate New York on 29
October on  terminal  leave with my Honorable Discharge effective
midnight, 31  December  l946.        It took some adjustment. i could
drive a tank nut had to  relearn my automobile driving skills. I found
that president  Truman  had declared the war with Japan to be over as
of close of day,  31  December l946, the same point in time as my
discharge.        I hadn't been consulted, but it was Ok with me.
 

 JIM LEARY JAMESTOWN, PA

A work detail of making and installing windows
and screens  in  an old bombed©out building on Chichi had a tasty
result.       Somehow the Engineers found a freezer, a heavy log chain
and  padlock©the key given to a responsible Marine© and moved same
into  the newly improved building. We soon learned ice cream was being
made and stored in the freezer and so we did some bartering and  were
given a cupful to enjoy. Naturally, there were times when  we  wanted
more, especially in the evenings.       The room was dimly lit with one
bulb and in spite of the  log  chain and having no key, we found we
could manipulate the chain  enough to get the freezer lid open and not
be seen in the  process.

Gradually, the contents of the gallon
containers were reduced as  our delight in the treats augmented.
All good things come to an end and this was no exception  when  the
officers soon began complaining that they were not getting  enough ice
cream. Then we made a polite gesture that was a  mistake.       Lt.
John Oakley came by one evening to discuss the next  day's  operations
and we invited him to have a cup of ice cream. He  reacted with
pleasure and our sharing was a silent confession.  We  knew immediately
 we'd better not sneak ice cream any longer  without putting Lt. Oakley
in the position of having to report  us.  He was a good guy and we
liked him.                             ++++++++++++++++++

Large
guns across the harbor from Island Command were to  be  eliminated, As
a demolition Marine, I was assigned the duty to  do  so.     Ô
After the area had been secured, i worked my way up wooden  stairs from
the access road cut through the mountains and placed  the necessary
charges in the right places, so I thought.  Stringing  the wire behind
me. I made the long trek back down away from the  cave and a safe
distance from the proposed blast. The explosion  demolished the guns as
planned.       As soon as I had parked the jeep back at the compound,
guards  said I was to report to Island Command right away. As I
approach  headquarters I noticed several windows were missing from the
structure. Apparently, I'd over©charged the gun job.        "What plans
do you have for the next two weeks?" I was  asked.        "Replacing
windows?" I questioned, aware that this was the  expected answer and
not bothering to explain it had been  impossible, at least difficult,
to blow up those guns and not  wreck  windows devoid of a barrier
between them and the initial blast.         I repaired the windows.
                       ++++++++++++++++++++

It wasn't fate that
intervened, it was Cpl. Nick Malvesti,  unless of course, it was fate
that he was on hand. Whichever,  I'm  forever grateful to him.
He, Lt. Bob Gath and I were working on Ha Ha Jima with two  Navy
demolition teams destroying mines, guns, kettle mines,  search  lights
and other Japanese war equipment.        After Nick and I had set the
charge to blow up a twin five  inch gun, we crawled into another gun
emplacement hole for  safety.  We turned the handle and waited the
usual length of time,  according  to my calculations.       As I
started lifting myself out of the hole, Nick grabbed  my  leg and
pulled me back. Just then a large piece of shrapnel  whizzed  past and
buried itself exactly where my foot had been a second  before. Nick's
face was white as a sheet, I don't know what I  looked like but sure
know how I felt! What a scare and how lucky  Nick reacted as he did....
lucky for me.Ô                       +++++++++++++++++++++         An
assignment was to destroy the machine shop located in  the  mountains
adjacent to the air strip. This to be done when and if  I  had any
explosives left from a day's activities.       Extra explosives were
carefully collected and stored in the  machine shop©©picric acid, TNT,
etc. Finally, the amount was  sufficient for the job and the area
secured with Marine patrols  and  declared safe for the operation.
 The hell box was connected and  ..WHAM!  ..the side of the  mountain
slid down and over the air strip and gutted the machine  shop as
planned. The job was judged complete and satisfactory  albeit it shook
the entire island of Chichi Jima more than a  little.
    +++++++++++++++++++++

The Radio Station was another
important demolition target.  Our  bombers had hit this area with some
heavy stuff but it hadn't  resulted in enough damage.       Running low
on TNT and CI and C2, we discovered some drums  of  alcohol in nearby
caves and figured we could and must improvise.       With help from the
3rd Marine Infantry, we rolled the drums  into the Station, The day was
set, patrols secured the area and  sentries safely went to cover in the
near by caves. We were  using  a train of explosives leading to the
Station's interior with the  caves protected from the blast by a rock
front.       I dropped the wet cloth and accompanying the BOOM, black
smoke  and fire engulfed the entire area. The once thick concrete
fortress  was gone, but the burning went on and on.       We were
welcomed back at the Compound with "What the hell  was  that blast and
all that smoke? You're to report to Col. Rixey."

Col. Rixey asked
me the same questions. My answer,  proceeded  by a snappy salute and a
definite and audible, "Sir", wasn't  what  the Colonel wanted to see
and hear.Ô       "Oh, my God! We just received a message to save the
Radio  Station," he lamented.       Obviously, the word didn't arrive
in time and that's the  end  of the story as it was the end of the
Station. the Colonel was  considerate in not blaming me and for that I
was thankful.        An aside to this above report is that former
President  George  Bush was a pilot in one of the attacks on this
communication  area  on Sept. 2, l944. Later that same day, Lt. Bush
was shot down  and  rescued by the U.S. Submarine, Finback.        The
last thing we were to destroy was the radar screen  situated in
mid©harbor.        Troops were put aboard LST's and sent out of the
harbor.  All except a Navy helmsman, Lt. Oakley, officer in charge  of
the 3rd Marine Engineers on Chichi and myself. PFC. James  Leary.
 

 The ships anchored outside the harbor entrance waiting for  us  to get
finished. Oakley placed the LCVP behind a large concrete  sea  wall for
safety.        As anticipation and excitement mounted, I asked Lt.
Oakley  if  he would like to engage the hell box handle. He flashed a
big  smile. For a moment there was not a sound except the steady
splash  of the waves against the wall.        "Whenever your ready," I
told Lt. Oakley.        All hell broke loose with pieces of metal,
concrete, etc.,  flying high. In the contrasting, following silence, we
jumped  into  the landing craft and headed for the LST.  Chichi Jima,
the  Gibraltar of the Pacific was history.        As we rounded the
huge rock leading to the ship, a  deafening  cheer arose from those on
board; a tribute I still like to  recall.  It was like a final salute
to Chichi as we left the smashed  bastion  to return to Guam and later
to the great United States of  America.   * Footnote:  I wish to thank
all the guys who helped me lug  explosives, equipment, etc., What
memories I have of my time in  the  Corps and in particular those of
the value of the then, now andÔ  always good buddies.
 

              BOB GATH                                RIVA, MD   1©
CASE OF THE BOOBY TRAPPED WATER PUMP.      We had been ashore a few
days when the morning detail  required  to start the Handy Billy gas
engine water pump found that during  the night someone took a jap 40mm
shell case filled with  explosives  and primed with a pull igniter,
attached the shell to the pump  and  hooked the pull igniter to the fly
wheel required to start the  motor . luckily the Marine spotted it and
saved himself from  serious injury.   2©   STAR SHELL      While
reconnoitring I found a Navy 5*38 cal. navy star shell  dud  with a
mechanical time fuse fairly intact. This fuse contained a  cocked
spring loaded firing pin. I photographed it and moved it  (gently) out
near the road for pick up and disposal.

The next  day  I drove to get
it and it was gone. I put out the word that it  would  show up as soon
as a tent blew up. Next day it was back where I  had  left it.   3©
The Suicide Speed Boats      As I recall I was aboard the L.C.M. and
Capt, Moriarty came  out  on deck and asked if I could render unusable
the caves in the  face  of the cliff overlooking the harbor. The next
day ashore with a  detail, (I think Jim Leary was there) like all
tunnel mazes they  were amazing.  All four caves were connected by a
cross tunnel  and  a central air shaft that came out the top of the
mountain. TheÔ  effort that the Japs had put in constructing these
caves was  astonishing. Each cave was identical, with a metal track
leading  down to the water and a 14' speed boat on a dolly, ready to
launch.  at the moment of attack. Each boat was powered by a 6 cylinder
 overhead cam in line water cooled engine. (I swore it was made  by
G.M. Chevelay. Beside the boat on the wall of the cave was a  large
layout board with complete replacement engine parts. At the rear  of
the cave were stacked 55 gal. gasoline drums. I checked the  boats  for
explosives, finding none, I cut the boats loose to drift in  the
harbor to be captured by anyone who had brought their water  ski's
with them.

They boats were put to good use for recreational
purposes.The next thing we did was to build a coffer dam inside  the
entrance and then vented the gas drums. Those caves burned and
exploded all night, belching a big fire ball out of the air  shaft.  A
spectacular man made volcano.  4© Unexploded Bombs      A report of
unexploded bombs over on the island air strip  got  me moving. Brett
Harvey, myself and Mojo the monkey (our  mascot),  drove over and
located 4 or 5 small bombs, collected them in one  spot, so we could
blow them at the same time. The charge is set  and  primed,demolition
wire laid, and we are ready to fire. Harvey  asked  "Where's the
monkey?" There he was standing on top of the charge  trying to pull the
blasting cap out of the plastic explosive. I  gave Harvey the "Hell
Box", and chased that critter about 1/4 of  a  mile. Boy was he pissed
off at me. It was about a week before he  would have anything to do
with me!  5© Hidden Treasure

I had a Jap prisoner of war assigned
to me at one time. He  was  a draftee from a well to do family in
Osaka, Japan and was a  graduate of UCLA. One day on recon we came
across an elaborate  thick walled concrete building, free standing,
inside of a  mountain. it had double doors,that had a spoked wheel,
like a  bank  vault. Being possibly booby trapped, I had my learned POW
open  it.  You can imagine my surprise when I realized I had discovered
the  treasure of Chichi Jima. There before my bulging eyes, lay theÔ
Col.s, stash of booze, cases and cases of neatly stacked Kinsey.  More
then enough for two men.

CHARLES MARSHALL, FLOYDE KNOBS, IN  THE ACCIDENT
On
the dark and stormy night of 26 January l959 while I  was  asleep on a
greyhound bus. I was suddenly awakened by two men in  uniforms
screaming obscenities, shouting something about maggots  and turds.
They ran down the aisle pulling us out of our seats.  thought we had
come across a terrible accident. little did I  know  that the accident
was just starting and would last 12 weeks. i  had  arrived at Parris
Island, South Carolina.        I thought my best chance to survive was
to be  inconspicuous  but that was not about to happen, The first
night, after getting  our bedding, 74 of us were lined up in front of
our bunks.

We  were  about to learn how to bounce that quarter. I was
the only one in  the whole barracks with just one sheet, and I knew at
one point  I  had to let the Drill Instructor know about my problem. I
tried  to  remember proper procedure and caught his attention between
tantrums. "Sir, Private Charles Mar..." was as far as I got. To  this
day, I remember Sgt Woodruss, with his campaign cover (Boy  Scout Hat)
pressed against my forehead, telling me how nice it  was  that we were
already on a first name basis and he was sure we  would  become good
friends. He lied. He was transferred 3 weeks later  and  my life
improved considerably and I never did get à  first name.

We
were getting pretty salty by the time we go to rifle  range. Marching
back from chow one evening we notice some cooks  unloading beer
apparently for a party for the "real" Marines.  I was not involved in
stealing that case of beer but I did enjoy  several cans of it and
often wondered how many of the hundreds  of  thousands of recruits that
went through Parris Island had a beer  before graduation.        When
my son joined the Corps. in l984 I warned him about  theÔ  sandfleas
and how they would fight the mosquitoes to see which  one  would get
the honor of exploring his eardrum during inspections.  After his
graduation, he assured me the sandfleas won the  battle.  After
generations of selective breeding and marine blood they  our  now the
size of hornets and wear globe and anchor tattoos.         I arrived on
Guam in early l960. My first impression was  "this place smells like
mildew". (Eighteen months later during a  stop over in Hawaii I noticed
it smelled like Flowers. I  wondered  what the difference was in the
Pacific Islands?)

My memories of Guam©rifle and pistol matches,
fighting,  drinking a lot, and a little heavy romance. All of us have
pulled  guard duty. I had several years of it and I found that the most
 important thing, even before your special orders, was to find  some
way to entertain yourself.        Some of us went into quick draws: the
contender dialed a  number on the phone, drew his 45, got off an
assimilated round  before the rotor returned. We were discussing our
expertise with  a  new guy one night before we dropped him off at his
guard post.  About an hour later I heard a round go off. It occurred to
me  later  that no one told him to remove the clip before quick draw.
He  left  a large hole in the guard post wall and received an empty
spot  on  his sleeve where he once had a stripe.

One afternoon
our Company was called to search for some  officer's child who had
wondered off and gotten lost. I recall  searching some brush on a
hillside and discovering an area that  had  apparently been a battle
site. We were told not to touch  anything  because of the possibility
of booby traps. My mind went back to  the  war years  and I tried to
imagine what it must have been like at  that time. I was tempted to
pick up a canteen; it would have  been  a nice souvenir, but I decided
both arms and fingers were nice  too.         I was there when two
stragglers were captured. They had  lived in the jungle for 16 years.
 

What determination and grit it  must have taken to survive like that
for so long. Other  stragglers  turned up on Guam years after I had
left. In l988 I took a  Japanese  language course and I asked our
instructor what the reaction of  hisÔ  people were regarding these
stragglers. He said some thought  they  were heroes; but mostly people
were embarrassed about them.  Japanese society did not want to think
about it.

My high point on Guam was the intramural rifle match.
 There  were over 100 participants from all the Armed Forces and from
the  Guam police force. After rapid firing ten rounds at 300 yards,  my
 target came up with 12 holes in it. Someone else had fired on my
target. I had the option of taking the 48 score or firing again.  I
chose to fir again and scored a 50. Those two points put me over  the
top. i still have the trophy 34 years later.

My low point came
with two weeks left on the island. one  night our Company was having a
beer party. After a few drinks,  several of us went into town to one of
the local bars. An  argument  started with some of the Guamanians.
Since we lacked the odds  for  a successful assault we went back to the
party for  reinforcements,  with beer flowing freely we did not lack
for volunteers. It is  still hard to believe we crammed 14 men in a `52
Ford and headed  back to town. One of our post was main gate security.
We knew  all  the sentries so our driver just slowed slightly and waved
as he  went through. I was looking through the back window and saw the
sentry draw his 45., point it in the air, and fire. In my  drunken
stupor, I thought that guy is in a lot of trouble now. I never  saw
anyone intentionally fire a pistol on duty. Little did I know  that
the O.D. got wind of our raid and called the main gate to stop  us.  it
was a short fight and no real harm done. But I do remember  thinking
what a loud noise a cue stick made when it was broken  over  a man's
back.

Unfortunately this islander had political  influence  and what
should have been just a bar fight turned out to be a  crusade to keep
the Marines under control. We were all charged  with  "conspiracy to
incite a riot". That did not look good on  anybody's  record and we all
lost a stripe©two E©4's, two E©3's and a bunch  of  PFC's.        In
hindsight I wonder how my life would have been  different  if the
sentry had stopped us. I would have left the island an  E©3;  I might
have made E©4 in the states. If so, I would have  reenlistedÔ  in l963.
Vietnam started right after that. Who knows?

I was fortunate
enough to spend three or four months on  Chichi Jima. I was good duty
no spit and polish. our only job  was  to guard a large cave. Inside
this cave was a hugh locked vault.  I  assumed it contained atomic or
chemical weapons.        I sent a lot of my free time exploring the
pill boxes,  caves  and tunnels, At that time in l961 a lot of large
guns were still  in  place, their bores filled with concrete.I have an
old black and  white photo of a crumbled radio tower and i have often
wondered  if  it was the same one that President Bush had bombed so
many years  ago.

There were some Japanese living on the island
and I became  friendly with one of the girls. I was familiar with some
of  their  customs so I was prepared to take off my boots at the door
after  i  had been invited to supper one night. But I was totally taken
 off  guard when her step mother asked me if I wanted to take a bath.
I  thanked her very politely and said I already showered before I
left. I did find out later, during R and R in Japan, a bath is
considerably different from what I was used to.

One of the
islanders named Roy told stories of the  cannibalism  that had taken
place during the war. I was skeptical at the  time,  but having read
much since then, have discovered this  cannibalism  did occur.       I
left Chichi Jima on a seaplane headed for Guam. We  stopped  at Iwo
Jima to refuel. While our plane was being serviced, I was  taken to Mt.
Sarabachi. What a sight it was, looking down from  the  top of that
volcano. The image of the battle invaded my mind  "where  uncommon
valor was a common virtue". It brought a lump to my  throat  and I felt
proud , the reputation of the Corps was assured a  permanent place in
history. Broken, sunken ships still lined the  coast and were used as
breakers.

Caves and tunnels were still  being  discovered. As I wrote
this a poem came to mind.                 "God and a soldier, all men
adore.                 In time of war but not before.Ô
When War is over and all things righted,                 God is
neglected and an old soldier slighted."      As we boarded and got
ready to take off. I saw an old fire  truck  pull up beside our plane.
I did not think much of it until we  started to taxi and he raced along
beside us until we lifted  off.  I did not know whether to be thankful
for the backup system or  be  concerned about the lack of confidence in
our aircraft.

Speaking of unreliable aircraft, when we left Guam
for the  States we made a stop at Wake island. It seemed that the side
of  the plane had started to peel off. It was not very comforting,
standing on the runway, watching some seabee patch a hole in the
airplane that still had 1000 more miles to go.     I was nineteen years
old when i returned. in eighteen months  I  had seen Guam, Saipan,
Tinien, Chichi Jima, Iwo Jima, Japan and  Hawaii. As Bob Hope says,
"Thanks for the memories".   Ô

Howard
Clifton                            Nashville, IN        Bill, talking
to you the other night brought back memories  of  50 years ago when I
was an 18 year old kid on Guam in a tent,  None  of us will ever forget
that time, or the things we experienced.  Until I enlisted in the
Marines I had never been very far from  home  or away from my family.
What a change it was from being a high  school senior in Indiana to a
U.S. Marine in boot camp. in San  Diego, California. We sure had to
grow up fast! Although I lived  east of the Mississippi I was sent to
San Diego. I was the only  one  from Indiana sent there at that time. I
never could figure that  one  out!         I will never forget my first
morning at San Diego. Our  train  arrived at about 2 a.m. and a bus was
waiting there for us. Then  as  cattle to the slaughter we were herded
aboard, and about 20  minutes  later we arrived in camp. We were taken
to a large warehouse  type  building with rows of bunks and told to
"sleep".         About 3 hours later, 5:30 a.m. that morning the blast
of  reveille and the loud voice of the sergeant got our attention!  We
were then told to walk to the end of the building, pick up a  cardboard
box and go out on the street. There we were formed  into  three lines.
The sergeant instructed us to take off all our  clothes, put them in
the box and put our name and address on it.  So  here we were at 6:00
a.m., standing stark naked in the street.

The next order was
"Follow me" and we took off running  about  1/4 of a mile to another
building were we lined up in single  file.  We were handed a duffel bag
and then went through the building  to  get our uniforms. Soon we were
dressed , had our duffel bags  full,  and got our rifles and all our
782 equipment. I also received a  small red cross ditty bag, which
contained along with sundry  toilet  articles, a pack of Philip Morris
cigarettes, which naturally I  became immediately addicted to. I think
in the long run those  giftÔ  cigarettes from the red cross killed as
many Marines as the  Japs.  After being loaded with all our gear we
looked like pack mules!  Again we were lined up and told to follow the
sergeant, so we  ran  about 1/2 mile and passed a sign that read "YOU
ARE ENTERING THE  BOOT AREA © PREPARE TO DIE."

Then we were lined up
again and  divided into platoons. That was when we met the D.I. of our
platoon!....... Like the sign said I died...... I know at the  end  of
Boot Camp we were not the kids that went in.   Ô
 

  Henry R. Steadman Jr. D.V.M.                              Ft.
Lauderdale, FL.       In the spring of 1945, I shipped out of Tacoma,
Washington,  with an Army Veterinary Food Inspection Detachment aboard
a  victory  ship. Most of the personnel aboard the ship were ground and
 support  crews for the 509th Composite Bomb Group of the 20th Air
Force,  which flew nothing but B©29s. After 30 days of zig©zagging
across  the Pacific. We arrived at Tinian, Mariana Islands. During that
 thirty days they bragged about their hot outfit, that they had  been
sent to the Pacific for a very special mission that would end  the
war. Later i learned that the 509th had yet to fly a bombing  mission.
They had only flown training and photo©recon missions.       One night
a ship came in carrying chilled and frozen cargo.  When a ship came in,
you worked around the clock until it was  unloaded. As I left the ship
about midnight, I noticed a Navy  cruiser tied up on the opposite side
of the dock. There was very  heavy security around it. Rarely did any
Navy vessel dock , so I  thought she had come in for damage repairs,
even though she  looked  ship shape.

Not far from the docks.
there was a concrete house or  bunker,  which was surrounded by a full
cyclone and barbed wire fence.  Nobody knew what it was or why it was
there. Returning to the  ship  the next morning, the cruiser was gone.
At the time nobody  realized  what was going on, but later, we learned
the cruiser was the  indianapolis. She had brought the atomic bomb to
Tinian to be  stored in the concrete bunker and guarded around the
clock.        After leaving Tinian, the Indianapolis was sunk by the
Japanese, presumably by a submarine. Eight hundred eighty seaman  were
lost making it the worst ocean  disaster to befall the  Navy.  Five day
after the sinking, the Navy found three hundred sixteen  of  the ship's
complement clinging to debris and life boats in shark  infested waters.
The Skipper, Captain Charles McVay III, was  among  the survivors and
was later court©martialled. He was the onlyÔ  Skipper to be tried for
the loss of his ship in battle during  World  War II.  Very tragically,
McVay used his Navy pistol to take his  own life in l968. To this day
there is still doubt of his guilt.

Within two weeks following the
Hiroshima and Nagasaki  bombings, the 509th packed up and returned
stateside having  ended  the war against Japan.       Not long
afterward, I was transferred to Iwo Jima as Island  Veterinarian, At
this time the military population was about  35,000, and I was
responsible for the control of flies and  mosquitoes. This involved the
Navy, who supplied a 4 engine  bomber  and crew. Fifty gallon drums
filled with DDT in kerosene were  rigged in the bomb bay. Spraying was
done on a routine basis and  was very efficient, particularly from the
altitude of 100 feet.

The  Pilot had flown Submarine Patrol the entire
war without ever  seeing  the enemy. One day while spraying Chichi
Jima, we saw a ship  loaded  of Japanese in the harbor. It wasn't a
sub, but it was going to  have to do.  With an unlighted cigar clamped
between his jaws,  he  ordered all jets opened as he flew just above
the ship from  stern  to bow. It was a calm day and the spray settled
on the men on  deck.  They shook their fists at us, highly pissed off.
When I  admonished  him, he said, "All I did was delouse the sons
©a©bitches!" He  was  grounded upon returning to Tinian and never flew
a spray mission  again.

In January l946, I was sent to Chichi Jima
on temporary duty  to  see the results of the spraying. This is how I
came to know the  3rd  Marines and Major Horie. Major Horie who was
normally stationed  on  Iwo Jima, happened to be visiting Chichi when
the invasion of  Iwo  was launched. Major Yo****ake Horie, as a staff
officer for  General  Kuribayashi commanding officer of all forces on
Iwo Jima, helped  plan the defense of that island. Major Horie provided
the  Marines  on Chichi with a document that was not only extremely
interesting  but also a definitive explanation of how the defense of
Iwo was  planned. He also describes in great detail how the battle
progressed hourly, via radio communication to Chichi from Iwo.  It  was
a unique opportunity to follow the battle from the JapaneseÔ
perspective. A copy of the this document can be obtained from  Bill
Monks ( 201©941©2295)                             JERRY CANDELARIA
                     MOMTEBELLO, CA 90640

THE WAREHOUSE CAPER
One of the best kept secret for 50 years. Who was the  person  or
persons who started the open door policy into the warehouse  that was
used for the storage of war material and personal  armament  such as
samurai swords, rifles, pistols, cameras, machine guns,  binoculars,
machine guns, etc, etc.       We were told by Col. Rixey, our
Commanding Officer, as the  conquerors of the Japanese Empire we were
entitled to these  spoils  of war. We were informed that each Marine
would receive a  samurai  sword, pistol, and rifle. These were
immediately issued to us  upon  the close of the Japanese surrender
ceremony.        We were still left with a super abundance of excellent
 spoils  that left the Marines with their mouths watering. Knowing of
this  thirst, those responsible for these spoils kept them in a
padlocked  warehouse, under the eye of a roving guard..

Our
inborn lust for souvenirs combined with the challenge  to  stiff the
rare echelon of undeserved souvenirs, put us in search  of  a
clandestine method to crack the warehouse. It wasn't hard to  get  by
the roving patrol but the damn padlock had to be left  untouched.  The
ideal plan called for a caper that would go undetected, till  the goods
were ready to leave the island or if we were not too  greedy, maybe
never.     One day while a Marine was walking along the main road  that
 passed by the warehouse. He happened to look up at the roof of  the
warehouse and noticed an odd thing. The black tar roofing paper  had  a
sag every 12" inches apart , along the length of the roof,  which
indicated that the Japs had spaced the roof wood planking 12"  inches
apart to save precious lumber.     They had padlocked a gift shop, that
could be sold out at  theÔ  drop of hat. The Marine reasoned that
cutting three sides of the  roofing paper between the planking would
provide an excellent  trap  door, where upon a man could drop through.
The big risk involved  was whether the culprit was going to be trapped
inside. First a  little research had to be done to make sure that it
was possible  to  use the crates in side to get back up and out the
trap door.

There were several plans put forth to empty the place.
One  idea  was to smash the lock and replace it with another. One of
our  engineers was all for digging a tunnel, from an empty warehouse
near by. The trap door seemed the most practical, after much
discussion all other plans were abandoned for lack of support.      The
trap door Marine picked the huskiest of the volinteers.  Strength and
agility was going to be required. He discussed the  plan with only two
other Marines, the less people involved the  better. It was decided of
cause that it was a night operation  and  that would it only would
require two men to actually do the  roofing  job. A flash light was
modified with a small hole in the lens so  as  not to cast too much
light.      The two Marines decided to leave about 22:00  hrs.,  and
left  along the main road, passed the non©com quarters, then went
through  the wire fence surrounding the warehouse. One Marines boosted
the  other on to the top of the roof, and then he was hoisted up.The
cuts was made on the roofing paper, and one dropped down into  the
pitch black warehouse. When he flashed his light, there was no  doubt
he was in souvenir heaven!      After passing up as much as two could
carry, the roofing  paper  flap was put back down with thumb tacks,
leaving no evidence of  an  access. The loot, covered with their
ponchos and cradled in  their  arms, they hoped to disappear into the
night.      But not so, retreating back the way they came, things had
changed a bit.  A sgt. was now sitting on the porch of the  nonªcom's
quarters, smoking his pipe.       " Oh! oh! What do we do? He has
already seen us" said the  startled Marine. He could see a cell door in
the Marine Brig  down  in Portsmouth, swinging open for them.  Ô
The other replied, "Just keep on walking. It's two dark and  we  are
far enough away where he can't see what we are carrying"

They
walked passed him, he said nothing. They continued on  back to their
tent. The word had gone out, the tent was full of  Marines waiting to
see what they had brought back. The loot was  shared. The best being
kept by the last of the Marine Raiders.  Ð

BILL MONKS                        FAIRVIEW, NJ   Ð
††††††††††?†††††††††††††††††††††??  †††††††††††?†††††††††††††††††††††??
 SUMMER OF 46:        By June of the summer of '46 most of us had made
it back.  We  had been in every military service and every corner of
the  world.  We had gone away as innocent as boys could be, and had
come back  still in a daze from our experiences. Our innocence had also
 been  interred in that common grave, where "Ernies" and Stickball was
buried..

Everybody took that summer off and joined the 52©20
club.  The  Govt. gave all the veterans 20 bucks a week for a year, to
tide  them over until they found themselves. Most of the gang would be
off to college in Sept., courtesy of Uncle Sam.       The only words
that could adequately describe that summer  would have to be, celestial
bliss. We had years to make up and  we  packed it into three months.
For the first time in our lives  we  were free spirited adults with a
tremendous "Joie de vivre". We  all  had our family cars to joyride
with the crowd. We had all  reached  the legal age to drink, which
opened the door to nights of  revelry  and degradation. But for us
there was only "HAPPY'S", one of the  greatest yacht clubs that ever
graced any shore.

Our average day  started in the morning with a round
of golf. We would then  proceed  to the beach which was only a stones
throw from the golf course.  The loser of the golf game would buy lunch
at the Pavilion on  the  boardwalk. We would then go for a swim  and
lie on the beach for  awhile. All over the beach you would see the
crowd lying on  Navy,  Marine and Army blankets. We always had a
football and our  cleats  with us. All the old crowds from Ernie's hung
out in the same  beach  area, Bay 13. There was never any trouble
getting up a touch  tackle  game. There was a grassy playing area in
back of the boardwalk  that  made for a great field. After the game we
would go back into the  water for a quick dip. From there we would go
back to the  PavilionÔ  and sit outside at the round tables and guzzle
a few beers. The  plans for the evening were then brought to the fore.
     In the evening there were three popular places to choose  from.
Happy's Yacht Club, Irish Town and De Leos. No matter which  place  we
chose, at the end of the night we would end up at the Ave S  Diner for
burgers or ham & eggs.       I found Happy's to be the most enjoyable.
When you were in  Happy's, you had it all. The club itself was built
out on the  water. When the atmosphere inside the club got a little too
 stuffy,  you could take a stroll with your date on the open deck
overlooking  the water. Ah! To stand on that deck for one more moment.
 

I can  still hear the music in the background, feel the cool night
breeze  that draws us closer together, as we share the beauty of the
moon,  reflecting off the water.  It was that romantic setting that
Hollywood musicals always strove for. That summer was to be the
beginning of one hell of a love affair in my life. After almost  50
years I can still stir up some beautiful and painful memories.  "There
will be a tree forever leafless in the forest of my  heart".
(Santayana)  Lets leave her out here, get off this deck and get back
inside.        The bands great sound and the good size dance floor,
really  enhanced our dancing pleasure. We took good advantage of those
dancing lessons that we had in Pep's basement a lifetime before.  I
always got a kick out of watching Joe Lundy and Dot Burdgie  doing  the
Peabody, to the music of "Hold That Tiger". It was an  incredibly fast
dance. Joe turned out to be the used car dealer  in  the crowd. He was
as bad as the best of them. Joe was great fun,  I  always enjoyed his
war stories. I remember at the time he was  driving an old Ford. He
used a piece of clothesline to tie the  doors closed. It was probably
the best car on his lot.       The girls would drink rum and coke or
just coke. The guys  would drink a ton of beer. The price was terrific,
the whole  evening would add up to about five bucks. The war had
separated  us  for such a long period that we had a lot of amusing and
excitingÔ  experiences to share. And as the old saying goes, we never
let  the  facts get in the way of a good story.

My two childhood
friends,  the  other two Bills (Harry & Phil) would be at the table.
Phil had  been  a pilot and Harry was part of the crew of a Navy
torpedo bomber.  Pep would be there also, he had been a radioman with
the Navy.  We  each still had our esprit de corps, always defending the
branch  of  the service that we had served in. You can bet this could
only  have  been done in retrospect. It was the first time any of us
ever  said  a good word about the outfits we were glad to get the hell
out  of.        I remember how we would all end up singing at the
table.

The  songs were the old standbys that belonged to that time. "
When  You  Were Sweet Sixteen" "In a Shanty in Old Shanty Town," "The
Gang  Down on the Corner"  "Whippenpoof Song. " Paper Doll"  "Don't
Get  Around Much Anymore. We all sang, we never let a good song get  in
 the way of a bad voice.        I remember how the girls really looked
great. But the guys  wore some strange suits in the those days. All the
Vets came  home  at the same time, causing one big clothing shortage.
There was  just  not enough decent suits to go around. It was always
good for a  laugh to go with a guy who just came home to buy a suit. He
 would  try on these weird suits, and we would say how terrific he
looked.

That night at Happy's we would kid the pants off him. He
wouldn't  care, he was finally out of uniform. Come to think of it, it
was  probably the first suit he ever bought. I remember when the suit
makers finally caught up with the demand, gabardine came into  fashion.
It seemed we exchanged one uniform for another.  Everybody  was wearing
a grey gabardine suit. It looked great on all of us.       I remember
old Irish Town, a section in Rockaway on the  shore.  On a summer
evening after a day at the beach we would pile into  our  cars and
drive into this area that had more Irish bars per sq.  ft.  than any
place in the world. The music from each bar would flow  out  its doors
and windows and blend into an Irish mist that would  permeate the air.
The whole area was in continuous frenzy. I  think  the only scene you
could compare it to would be the feast day in  Pamplona, when on the
occasion they let the Bulls run free,  chasingÔ  the brave populous
down the winding street into the bullring. We  would bounce from one
ginmill to another, pausing in each, to  drink, sing and dance. On the
edge of town there was a miniature  Coney Island.

Occasionally, before
we would go home, we would  end  up at the shooting gallery. Every G.I.
thought he was the  greatest  marksman in the war, especially when he
had a few beers in him.  It  was a great fun town. You had to be in
shape to last the night.  Thank God we always had a designated driver.
     I remember one night after we had returned from Irish Town,  it
must have been about one in the morning . Four of us had  dropped  the
girls off and we were sitting in my parked car on Ave. R.  We  heard
this awful loud noise and turned to look out the back  window.  Here
comes this car, sliding down the Ave. on its side, throwing  sparks
like a blast furnace. Some how it had tipped over in a  race  with
friends in another card. We really didn't know what it was  until the
car came to a halt and the sparks stopped. We  immediately  ran over to
the car and pulled out 5 guys. The chap I pulled out  has only one arm.
I was horrified, till he told me that he lost  it  in the war. No one
was hurt and we quickly set the car upright.  They were gone in a
matter of moments, before the residents on  either side of the street
could open their doors.      It turned out we knew most of them. We
joined them down at  that  roast beef place, Brennen & Carrs, and we
all had a good nervous  laugh. It was hard to believe they all got out
without a  scratch.  They don't make cars like that anymore. You know
it didn't even  look that bad. Forty six years later I met an occupant
of the  car,  Joe Bradberry, in MA. We both agreed not many people ever
 believed  what happened that night. That car slid a good twenty yards.
He  told me he still lived on Marine Parkway.      September finally
came, and higher education beckoned. We  had  no regrets, we had done
the summer of 46 in spades.  It was the  best of times in that kingdom
by the sea.Р Standard  Standard  tylus 800   There were other great
summers that followed, but there was no doubt about that being  the
high water mark. It was now time for the guys in the crowd to  choose
their individual careers. And they were various, they  ranÔ  the gambit
from used car dealer to test pilot, from philosopher  to  architect.
 

Tom Belcher  combined chicken farming and investment  banking.      The
G.I. Bill provided  all the vets with a paid college  education and
sixty bucks a month. All the fellows were anxious  to  take advantage
of it. In a short time we were absorbed in that  wonderful game called,
" What in hell is it all about?"      Phil attended the Acad. of
Aeronautics. He ended up a  designer  and test pilot for Republic
Aircraft. My old childhood friend  never  got flying out of his blood.
He flew for a good thirty years.  His  wife told me at his wake, that
on weekends he would always go  down  to the local field and rent a
plane. That big heart of his quit  on  him one night while he was
sleeping. I was fortunate to have  spent  my youth with him, a real
honest to God Huck Finn.  Harry, Pep  and  I went to one of the local
colleges in Brooklyn, St. Francis.  Harry  had gone to the Prep and had
heard good things about the  College.  It was a very small college and
I'm sure it went into shock when  the great influx of vets enrolled. It
had only five classrooms,  two  labs, a postage size gym and about 7 or
8 hundred students. Lets  just say it was a small college where you had
ample opportunity  to  develop a close relationship with your fellow
students. Every  available space including the roof was used for a
classroom. I  had  the unique experience of attending both day and
night school  during  the same semester. The classes during one
semester were spread  over  a six day week. I remember one semester I
had a math class at 11  AM  and a class in labor law  at 6 PM. The
local restaurant the  Greasy  Spoon was used as our study hall, student
center, and dining  facility. Pie was a dime and coffee a nickel.   Ô
 

          THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE APPEARED IN THE VOLUME BELOW
              VICTORY AND OCCUPATION           History of U.S. Marine
Corps Operations in World War II                                VOLUME
V                                   by
Denis M. Frank                            Henry I Shaw, Jr.
    Historical Branch, G©3 Division, Headquarters,
    U. S. Marine Corp                   Ñ  †††††††††?#   Another
important Japanese capitulation occurred on  September l945, when
Lieutenant General Yosio Tachibana, senior  commander of the Japanese
forces in the Ogasawara Gunto (Bonin  Islands) surrendered to Commodore
John H. Magruder, Jr. aboard  USS  Dunlap, outside the harbor of Chichi
Jima. Until the fall of Iwo  Jima and his death , the former commander
of the Bonin forces.  Lieutenant General Tadamichi Kuribayashi had made
his  headquarters  on that volcanic island. After Kuribayashi's death,
the  subªcommander of  the Bonins succeeded to command and moved the
headquarters to Chichi Jima.        Approximately 140 nautical miles
northeast of Iwo Jima,  Chichi Jima was seriously considered by
American planners as a  potential target for an amphibious landing.
Chichi Jima was  dropped  in favor of Iwo Jima, because although it had
a good protected  harbor , its terrain was too rugged to permit the
rapid  construction of airfields. Even more condemning  were the
results  of photo©reconnaissance mission  which showed Chichi Jima to
have  been more heavily fortified than Iwo. Confirming this evaluation
after the war was the report of the Bonin Occupation Forces  Commander.
Following some preliminary Comments, Colonel Rixey  wrote:       " This
writer has seen Jap defenses from Tarawa to Iwo.  Nothing previously
seen can compare with coast and artillery  defenses .... surrounding
Chichi harbor. Concrete emplacements,  high in the mountains with steel
door openings are too numerous  to  count. Artillery and machine gun
fire which could have been  placed  on the airfield would have
prevented ANY force [Force  Commander's  ANY] attempt at a landing
there. With camouflage as practiced by  the Japs, in place, NGF
spotters would have had a very difficult  time locating these cleverly
placed positions.... The location  of  many of the emplacements which
have to be seen to be  appreciated,  indicates that the Jap plan was to
permit an entrance into the  harbor or onto the airfield, then to give
us the "works." Most  ofÔ  these positions are inaccessible and many
could not be reached  by  NGF as they are situated on narrow slopes
facing east.        Survivors of the Japanese garrison on Chichi and
Haha Jima  comprised 20,656 Army and Navy Personnel and 2,285 civilian
laborers who had been transported to and employed in the islands  by
the military . Additional Japanese garrison troops located on  other
islands were evacuated by the U.S. Navy.       In mid©September 1945,
at the same time that 2/21 was  designated as the military element of
the Truk Occupation Force,  the 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Marine
Division, was  designated  the military element of the Bonins
Occupation Force. Immediately  upon the receipt of the orders detaching
them from parent  organizations, both battalions began to reorganizing
for the  move  filling there ranks with volunteers, regulars, and
low©point  Marines.        On 10 October, the advanced echelon of 1/3,
consisting of  Rixey's small staff and 20 military policeman, landed
and met  the  Japanese liaison group  headed by Major Yo****aka Horie.
When  Colonel Rixey discovered that General Tashibana and Vice Admiral
Kunizo Mori, the senior officer in tactical command at Chchi  Jima
were not present in the group, he "sent for them to report to me  at
the dock, which they, of course complied with."        The Marines were
the first American troops to set foot in  the  Bonins since Commodore
Perry's expedition there in 1853. Rixey's  group had a primary mission
of evacuating and repatriating  the Japanese. A secondary task was to
destroy the extensive  Japanese defenses existing on the island. When
the remainder of  the  battalion arrived on 13 December, it carried
with it a large  supply  of explosives with which to accomplish this
mission.       This main body had been designated the Bonins occupation
 Force  at Guam on 1 December. When it landed on Chichi Jima 12 Days
later,  Colonel Rixey ordered the American flag raised  over the former
Japanese stronghold. After he had originally  landed  on 10 October,
Colonel Rixey determined that the 1st Battalion.  3rdÔ  Marines would
not be required to garrison the island, to  supervise  repatriation,
and to demilitarize the defenses. He therefore  recommended that the
Occupation Forces be reduced to 400 men  only.  He later found that
even less troops could have been used  because  the Japanese were more
cooperative and willing to please. It was  not necessary to establish a
manned boundary between the  American  and the Japanese zones on the
island; "A drawn line on a map was  sufficient."  On 1 June 1946 after
fulfilling its assigned  mission,  1/3 was disbanded on Chichi Jima,
and its Marines were  transferred  to the FMFPP active units in the
Pacific and the Far East.       During the several visits to the Bonins
by the American   fast carrier forces in l944 and l945 and the
subsequent air and  navel gunfire bombardments of those islands, one
Marine and  several  Navy aviators were shot down and listed as missing
in  action.After  Colonel Rixey had assumed his role as commander of
the Bonins,  he  instituted an investigation to determine the faith of
these  downed  pilots. Soon, Rixey began hearing rumors and receiving
anonymous  reports concerning the inhumane and barbaric treatment
American  prisoners had received at the hands of the Japanese captors.
     Shortly after Colonel Rixey's arrival on Chichi Jima, a  Japanese
Coast Guard cutter entered the harbor. On board were  Frederick Arthur
Savory and his three uncles, all of whom were  descendants of Nathaniel
Savory, a Massachusetts whaler who had  settles in the Bonin islands.,
in the 1830s. After the fall of  Saipan the Japanese had evacuated the
American©Chamorro©Hawaiian  family to the Home Islands. While in Japan,
Fred Savory had  heard  rumors spread by soldiers repatriated from
Chichi Jima regarding  cannibalism  on that island. He passed these
stories on to  Colonel  Rixey.       The morbid story of the Chichi
Jima garrison was related in  full at the war crimes trials held later
at Guam. Two naval  aviators © one captured  in March l944 and the
other  in August  after they had parachuted from their disabled
aircraft © were  bayoneted to death at General Tashibana's orders
following their  interrogation. Five more American airmen, one a
Marine, wereÔ  executed after they , too, had been captured when they
bailed  out.of their aircraft. Three were beheaded, one was bayoneted,
and  another beaten to death. It was upon the flesh of these five  that
 certain members of the Japanese garrison fed. Testimony  exonerated
the majority of the Chichi Jima command from having been  involved  in
this disgusting incident, and indicated with the exception of  the
perpetrators of this fowl deed, those who ate the flesh did  not  know
what they were eating.       Reporting his reaction upon learning of
the uncivilized  action  of the guilty parties, Colonel Rixey wrote:
"We were  flabbergasted  at first. We had expected beheadings, of
course. But never  cannibalism! What manner of men were these?" The war
crimes  trial  of 21 Chichi Jima officers and men were held on Guam
during the  fall of 1946, and entailed more than 1,000 pages of
testimony  and  exhibits. Of the 21 accused one officer who had no
knowledge of  the  cannibalism was acquitted. The other 20 were found
guilty and  given  various sentences ranging from death by hanging to
life  imprisonment and lesser penalties. One was hanged in June;
General Tachibana and three of his other officers were executed  at
Guam on 24 September 1947.


The above story provided by Corporal Bill Monks
WW War II Marine, C-1-3dMarines
E-Mail: bmonks9@Bellatlantic.net

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Tuesday, 24 September 2002
#170 GySgt "Manila John" Basilone USMC

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Wednesday, 28 August 2002
#169 The THREE Iwo Jima Flag Raisers...By Gunny G!

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Saturday, 17 August 2002
#168 Semper Fidelis/Col Ripley

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'Semper Fidelis' saves a life
Legend: Decades after his heroics in Vietnam, relatives and servicemen mobilize to help a dying vet.
By Ellen Gamerman
Sun National Staff

August 16, 2002

WASHINGTON - John Ripley's worthless liver had left his skin a sickly yellow. Toxic fluids were collecting in his system, causing his lean frame to bloat: Once 175 pounds, he now weighed 425. His kidneys were failing. An incision glared from his abdomen, closed with staples in case surgeons had to rip it open fast. Eighteen IV lines fed into his unconscious body.

One of the Marine Corps' greatest living heroes was dying.

In the intensive care unit at Georgetown University Medical Center, a son of the retired colonel, Tom Ripley, sat vigil. It was 7 a.m. when the phone rang: A donor liver had been found, but his father might not live long enough to get it.

That's when the Ripleys understood that the delivery of the liver, from a 16-year-old gunshot victim in Philadelphia to the dying veteran in Washington, would take too long if left in the hospital's hands. Their only thought: Call in the Marines.

Over the next hours on that day last month, saving John Ripley's life became a military mission. It would involve the leader of the Marine Corps and helicopters from the president's fleet. Support teams would come from police in two cities, a platoon of current and former Marines, the president of Georgetown University and even a crew of construction workers.

"Sir, this is my dad's last chance," Tom Ripley said in a call to the Marine commandant's office. "I'm measuring my father's life in hours, not days."

The extraordinary efforts to save the 63-year-old Ripley, recovering from transplant surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, shows how far the Corps will go to protect one of its own.

Marines will say they'd do this for any fallen comrade. But Ripley is no ordinary Marine. In a messy war with few widely recognized heroes, he is a legend. And at his moment of need, the Corps treated him like one.

"Colonel Ripley's story is part of our folklore - everybody is moved by it," said Lt. Col. Ward Scott, who helped organize the organ delivery from his post at the Marine Corps Historical Center in Washington, which Ripley has directed for the past three years. "It mattered that it was Colonel Ripley who was in trouble."

A heroic effort

On Easter Sunday 1972, Col. John Walter Ripley - swinging arm over arm to attach explosives to the span while dangling beneath it - almost single-handedly destroyed a bridge near the South Vietnamese city of Dong Ha. The action, which took place under heavy fire over several hours as he ran back and forth to shore for materials, is thought to have thwarted the onslaught of 20,000 enemy troops.

His tale is required reading for every Naval Academy plebe. In Memorial Hall, Ripley, a 1962 academy graduate, is the only Marine featured from the Vietnam War: A diorama shows him clinging to the grid work of the bridge at Dong Ha.

Ripley received the Navy Cross, the second-highest award a Marine can receive for combat. That decoration is surpassed only by the Congressional Medal of Honor, which, many in the Marine Corps vigorously argue, Ripley deserves.

But on this July morning, three decades after surviving combat wounds, Ripley was facing death from a transportation problem. His doctors tried four civilian organ transportation agencies and could not immediately be guaranteed a helicopter by any of them.

The Ripleys say they were told that a civilian helicopter would not be available for at least six hours. Driving to Philadelphia was not an option because doctors worried that any traffic delays would ruin the organ.

Helicopter mission

Tom Ripley saw only one solution. From his father's hospital room, he called the office of the Marine Corps commandant, James L. Jones, and secured the use of a CH-46 helicopter, which is part of the presidential Marine One fleet.

The plan: The chopper would ferry the transplant team to the University of Pennsylvania hospital to remove the donor liver and then transport the doctors back to Washington.

Marine lawyers instantly approved the use of military materiel for Ripley, including nearly three hours on a helicopter that costs up to $6,000 an hour to operate. The commandant considered this an official lifesaving mission for a retired Marine still valuable to the Corps as a living symbol of pride.

Action was swift. The doctors rushed to Anacostia Naval Air Station, where the helicopter was waiting, rotors spinning. The chopper took off before the surgeons were even strapped in. By about 10 a.m., just three hours after learning that a new liver would be available in Philadelphia, the transplant team was swooping into that city. On the landing pad, an ambulance and a Philadelphia Highway Patrol car, both summoned by the Marines, were waiting. The motorcade took off, sirens blaring.

"When you're in a situation like this, and an organ becomes available, you use the fastest resource to get it," said Dr. Cal Matsumodo, a transplant surgeon from Walter Reed who flew on the helicopter to retrieve the new liver. "This turned out to be the swiftest and best-organized effort that I've ever seen."

Years of problems

Ripley's original liver had been ruined by a rare genetic disease as well as by a case of Hepatitis B that he believes he contracted in Vietnam. After a year-and-a-half of hospitalizations and infections, Ripley had received a new liver from a D.C. area donor July 22. But within hours of the surgery, that donor liver began to fail.

Medical professionals say the organ donation process is safeguarded to keep powerful people from skipping to the top of the waiting list. It was Ripley's critical condition - caused by the failure of the first donor liver, his doctors say - not his personal story, that put him first in line for another liver July 24.

Still, most new organs are never granted military escorts.

"It was clearly extraordinary, what they did," said Roger Brown, manager of the Organ Center at the United Network for Organ Sharing, a clearinghouse for organ procurement and allocation. Sometimes, Brown said, patients will die because available organs cannot be transported to them in time.

"There's a lot of work that goes into matching a donor with a patient," he said. "If you can't find that one piece of the puzzle, it's just devastating."

In Ripley's mind, the mission that day reflects the strength of the Marine Corps fraternity. As he convalesces at Walter Reed, where he went after his operation and is listed in stable condition, he summons his booming voice long enough to insist that Marines would do the same for even an unknown grunt.

"Does it surprise me that the Marine Corps would do this?" Ripley said from his hospital bed, his dog tags still hanging around his neck. "The answer is absolutely flat no! If any Marine is out there, no matter who he is, and he's in trouble, then the Marines will say, 'We've got to do what it takes to help him.'"

A battle plan

In Philadelphia, though, the Marine pilots knew exactly whom they were helping, and they called it an honor. On the helipad, the flight crew stood ready as the transplant team rushed back with a box marked "HUMAN ORGAN: FRAGILE."

Moments later, Tom Ripley, traveling with the doctors, got an update from his oldest brother, Stephen, at his father's bedside. Their dad's condition was worsening. The organ had to get to Washington, fast.

Tom and Stephen, both former Marine captains, debated the quickest "rtb" - return to base, which in this case meant the Georgetown hospital. In pager messages fired off like battlefield dispatches, the chopper became "the bird" and the doctors the "pax," slang for passengers. As the day wore on, the brothers drew from their military roots, comforting each other with the Marine motto, Semper Fidelis.

Their father, meanwhile, lay still. His dog tags, fastened with the same tape he'd used to keep them from clanking on secret missions in Vietnam, had been removed. Twice, the family had summoned a Catholic priest to deliver last rites. Now, the Ripleys wondered whether a third might be needed.

The hours ticked away, and the family learned that the Marine helicopter was too big to land on the Georgetown hospital helipad. But the doctors feared getting stuck in traffic on the drive from the Anacostia helipad to the hospital.

The delivery

A well-connected Marine buddy of Ripley's called the president of Georgetown University and got permission to land on the school's football field. A construction crew standing nearby was soon ripping down fencing to make room.

But the Marines rejected that makeshift helipad after sending another helicopter to survey it. The area was deemed too crowded for a landing. At one point, the Ripleys suggested landing at the Marine Corps War Memorial, across the river from Georgetown, by the statue that depicts Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. But that fanciful notion went nowhere.

The answer finally came in the form of a D.C. police helicopter pilot - Sgt. Thomas Hardy, a former Marine. A Corps official found him and asked whether he would take the team from Anacostia to Georgetown on his smaller chopper.

"This was a Marine Corps mission," said Hardy, a Vietnam veteran who agreed to fly without hesitation. "Once a Marine," he explained, "always a Marine."

The organ delivered, the surgery could finally start. The next day, Ripley's recovery began.

Slowly, he is gaining strength and returning to a normal weight. Despite the surgery's success, risks of infection or other problems remain. His family expects him to be in the hospital for up to three more weeks.

Ripley rests quietly, unable to accept visitors. His wife of 37 years, Moline, sits with him amid pictures of their four children and their grandkids.

Repaying an old debt

The sons who orchestrated this rescue operation call it a culminating moment in their father's military life. John Ripley was shot in the side by a North Vietnamese soldier and during two tours of duty was pierced with so much shrapnel that doctors found metal fragments in his body as recently as last year. After Vietnam, Ripley continued to serve, losing most of the pigment in his face from severe sunburns while stationed above the Arctic Circle.

The Marines, his family believes, repaid a longtime debt.

"Dad gave 32 years of his life to the Marine Corps," said Stephen Ripley. "When he really, really needed the Marine Corps, they were there for him."

Even from the quiet of his hospital room, the Marine Corps still defines Ripley. His family has packed a cabinet by his bed with copies of a book that John Grider Miller wrote about Ripley's heroics; Ripley says he will give complimentary copies of The Bridge at Dong Ha to the medical staff.

Not long ago, a military color guard held a bedside ceremony for him, placing in the room the Marine Corps colors that normally hang in Commandant Jones' office. Ripley was urged to keep the flags in his room until he leaves the hospital.

On a recent afternoon, Ripley looked past his IV machine, past the uneaten hospital lunch, past the plastic cup of pills, to the flags. He was, at that moment, John Ripley, grateful warrior, awed by what his sons, and the Marines, had done.

"They reached over the side," he said, "and they pulled me back in the boat."

Copyright © 2002, The Baltimore Sun

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Thursday, 15 August 2002
#167 Gung Ho Raider....



http://216.239.39.100/search?q=cache:KVjQRd-9W3MC:papers.maxwell.af.mil/projects/ay1999/acsc/99-067.pdf+makin+raid+usmc+au&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

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Tuesday, 13 August 2002
#166 OohRah!: Origin and Evolution....by Gunny G

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

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Monday, 12 August 2002
#165 The 1943 ParaMarine raid On Choiseul and JFK!

Shortly after the arrival of the regiment on Vella Lavella, LtCol Victor H. Krulak, CO of the 2d Parachute Bn was advised of the impending Bougainville landings, and was ordered to land w/a raiding force on the island of Choiseul, there to create a disturbance in order to confuse the enemy and to mask the true location of the major assault.

Two diversionary amphibious landings were made the night of Oct. 27-28: the 2nd Marine Parachute Battalion landed on Choiseul; and New Zealand's 8th Brigade, together with Navy Seabees (U.S. Naval Construction Battalions), made an unopposed landing on the Treasury Islands on Oct. 27.

Both operations served their primary purpose of drawing Japanese troops away from Bougainville, but the positions gained in the Treasuries, including valuable Blanche Harbor, were held and strengthened to provide staging for the landings on Bougainville. The Marines left Choiseul by landing craft after a week of harassing Japanese troops and damaging barge and supply bases.

The commander of one of the relief craft which returned the raiding party to Vella Lavella was Lieutenant, later President John F. Kennedy.

The above from.... U.S. Marine Corps Special Units Of World War II By Charles L. Updegraph, Jr. History And Museums Division Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps Washington, D.C. Printed 1972 Gunny G's Marines Sites & Forums http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/gunny.html ===== R.W. "Dick" Gaines, GySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952-72 Gunny G's Marines Old Salts Tavern (Sites & Forums) http://www.angelfire.com/ca/dickg/gunny.html Gunny G's Old Salt Marines Tavern (GyG's Forum) http://network54.com/Forum/135069 The Best Way To Find Old Marine Corps Buddies! http://expage.com/friendsusmc

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Tuesday, 6 August 2002
#164 Joe Rosenthal's Other Photo

http://www.network54.com/Forum/message?forumid=135069&messageid=1028665557

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Tuesday, 6 August 2002
#163 About Evans Carlson

http://216.239.51.100/search?q=cache:EXP4ptjA6v4C:www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/2WWcarlson.htm+evans+carlson+gung+ho+tarawa&hl=en&ie=UTF-8

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Friday, 21 June 2002
#162 The Great Santini Don Conroy USMC

The Great Santini


From George B. Clark

There are some of you who complain when I send you things that seem maudlin, or perhaps mundane. If you don't like this, don't complain, delete it. The Great Santini will understand.
GBC

COLONEL DON CONROY'S EULOGY

by his son, Pat Conroy.

The children of fighter pilots tell different stories than other kids do. None of our fathers can write a will or sell a life insurance policy or fill out a prescription or administer a flu shot or explain what a poet meant. We tell of fathers who land on aircraft carriers at pitch-black night with the wind howling out of the China Sea. Our fathers wiped out aircraft batteries in the Philippines and set Japanese soldiers on fire when they made the mistake of trying to overwhelm our troops on the ground. Your Dads ran the barber shops and worked at the post office and delivered the packages on time and sold the cars, while our Dads were blowing up fuel depots near Seoul, were providing extraordinarily courageous close air support to the beleaguered Marines at the Chosin Reservoir, and who once turned the Naktong River red with blood of a retreating North Korean battalion. We tell of men who made widows of the wives of our nations' enemies and who made orphans out of all their children.

You don't like war or violence? Or napalm? Or rockets? Or cannons or death rained down from the sky? Then let's talk about your fathers, not ours. When we talk about the aviators who raised us and the Marines who loved us, we can look you in the eye and say "you would not like to have been American's enemies when our fathers passed overhead". We were raised by the men who made the United States of America the safest country on earth in the bloodiest century in all recorded history. Our fathers made sacred those strange, singing names of battlefields across the Pacific: Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, the Chosin Reservoir, Khe Sanh and a thousand more. We grew up attending the funerals of Marines slain in these battles. Your fathers made communities like Beaufort decent and prosperous and functional; our fathers made the world safe for democracy.

We have gathered here today to celebrate the amazing and storied life of Col. Donald Conroy who modestly called himself by his nomdeguerre, The Great Santini. There should be no sorrow at this funeral because The Great Santini lived life at full throttle, moved always in the fast lanes, gunned every engine, teetered on every edge, seized every moment and shook it like a terrier shaking a rat. He did not know what moderation was or where you'd go to look for it.

Donald Conroy is the only person I have ever known whose self-esteem was absolutely unassailable. There was not one thing about himself that my father did not like, nor was there one thing about himself that he would change. He simply adored the man he was and walked with perfect confidence through every encounter in his life. Dad wished everyone could be just like him. His stubbornness was an art form. The Great Santini did what hedid, when he wanted to do it, and woe to the man who got in his way.

Once I introduced my father before he gave a speech to an Atlanta audience. I said at the end of the introduction, "My father decided to go into the Marine Corps on the day he discovered his IQ was the temperature of this room". My father rose to the podium, stared down at the audience, and said without skipping a beat, "My God, it's hot in here! It must be at least 180 degrees".

Here is how my father appeared to me as a boy. He came from a race of giants and demi-gods from a mythical land known as Chicago. He married the most beautiful girl ever to come crawling out of the poor and lowborn south, and there were times when I thought we were being raised by Zeus and Athena. After Happy Hour my father would drive his car home at a hundred miles an hour to see his wife and seven children. He would get out of his car, a strapping flight jacketed matinee idol, and walk toward his house, his knuckles dragging along the ground, his shoes stepping on and killing small animals in his slouching amble toward the home place.

My sister, Carol, stationed at the door, would call out, "Godzilla's home!" and we seven children would scamper toward the door to watch his entry. The door would be flung open and the strongest Marine aviator on earth would shout, "Stand by for a fighter pilot!" He would then line his seven kids up against the wall and say, "Who's the greatest of them all?" "You are, O Great Santini, you are." "Who knows all, sees all, and hears all?" "You do, O Great Santini, you do."

We were not in the middle of a normal childhood, yet none of us were sure since it was the only childhood we would ever have. For all we knew other men were coming home and shouting to their families, "Stand by for a pharmacist," or "Stand by for a chiropractor".

In the old, bewildered world of children we knew we were in the presence of a fabulous, overwhelming personality; but had no idea we were being raised by a genius of his own myth-making. My mother always told me that my father had reminded her of Rhett Butler on the day they met and everyone who ever knew our mother conjured up the lovely, coquettish image of Scarlet O'Hara.

Let me give you my father the warrior in full battle array. The Great Santini is catapulted off the deck of the aircraft carrier, Sicily. His Black Sheep squadron is the first to reach the Korean Theater and American ground troops had been getting torn up by North Korean regulars. Let me do it in his voice: "We didn't even have a map of Korea. Not zip. We just headed toward the sound of artillery firing along the Naktong River. They told us to keep the North Koreans on their side of the Naktong. Air power hadn't been a factor until we got there that day. I radioed to BillLundin. I was his wingman. 'There they are. Let's go get'em.' So we did."

I was interviewing Dad so I asked, "how do you know you got them?" "Easy," The Great Santini said. "They were running - it's a good sign when you see the enemy running. There was another good sign."

"What was that, Dad?" "They were on fire."

This is the world in which my father lived deeply. I had no knowledge of it as a child. When I was writing the book The Great Santini, they told me at Headquarters Marines that Don Conroy was at one time one of the most decorated aviators in the Marine Corps. I did not know he had won a single medal. When his children gathered together to write his obituary, not one of us knew of any medal he had won, but he had won a slew of them.

When he flew back toward the carrier that day, he received a call from an Army Colonel on the ground who had witnessed the route of the North Koreans across the river. "Could you go pass over the troops fifty miles south of here? They've been catching hell for a week or more. It'd do them good to know you flyboys are around." He flew those fifty miles and came over a mountain and saw a thousand troops lumbered down in foxholes. He and Bill Lundin went in low so these troops could read the insignias and know the American aviators had entered the fray. My father said, "Thousands of guys came screaming out of their foxholes, son. It sounded like a world series game. I got goose pimples in the cockpit. Get goose pimples telling it forty-eight years later. I dipped my wings, waved to the guys. The roar they let out. I hear it now. I hear it now."

During the Cuban Missile Crisis, my mother took me out to the air station where we watched Dad's squadron scramble on the runway for their bases at Roosevelt Road and Guantanamo. In the car as we watched the F-4's take off, my mother began to say the rosary. "You praying for Dad and his men, Mom?" I asked her. "No, son. I'm praying for the repose of the souls of the Cuban pilots they're going to kill."

Later I would ask my father what his squadron's mission was during the Missile Crisis. "To clear the air of MIGS over Cuba," he said. "You think you could've done it?" The Great Santini answered, "There wouldn't have been a bluebird flying over that island, son."

Now let us turn to the literary of The Great Santini. Some of you may have heard that I had some serious reservations about my father's child-rearing practices. When The Great Santini came out, the book roared through my family like a nuclear device. My father hated it; my grandparents hatedit; my aunts and uncles hated it; my cousins who adore my father thought I was a psychopath for writing it; and rumor has it that my mother gave it to the judge in her divorce case and said, "It's all there. Everything you need to know."

What changed my father's mind was when Hollywood entered the picture and wanted to make a movie of it. This is when my father said, "What a shame John Wayne is dead. Now there was a man. Only he could've gotten my incredible virility across to the American people." Orion Pictures did me a favor and sent my father a telegram; "Dear Col. Conroy: We have selected the actor to play you in the coming film. He wants to come to Atlanta to interview you. His name is Truman Capote."

But my father took well to Hollywood and its Byzantine, unspeakable ways. When his movie came out, he began reading Variety on a daily basis. He called the movie a classic the first month of its existence. He claimed that he had a place in the history of film. In February of the following year, he burst into my apartment in Atlanta, as excited as I have ever seen him, and screamed, "Son, you and I were nominated for Academy Awards last night. Your mother didn't get squat".

Ladies and gentlemen, you are attending the funeral of the most famous Marine that ever lived. Dad's life had grandeur, majesty and sweep. We were all caught in the middle of living lives much paler and less daring than The Great Santini's. His was a high stepping, damn the torpedoes kind of life, and the stick was always set at high throttle. There is not another Marine alive who has not heard of The Great Santini. There's not a fighter pilot alive who does not lift his glass whenever Don Conroy's name is mentioned and give the fighter pilot toast: "Hurrah for the next man to die".

One day last summer, my father asked me to drive him over to Beaufort National Cemetery. He wanted to make sure there were no administrative foul-ups about his plot. I could think of more pleasurable ways to spend the afternoon, but Dad brought new eloquence to the word stubborn. We went into the office and a pretty black woman said that everything was squared away.

My father said, "It'll be the second time I've been buried in this cemetery." The woman and I both looked strangely at Dad. Then he explained, "You ever catch the flick "The Great Santini? That was me they planted at the end of the movie."

All of you will be part of a very special event today. You will be witnessing the actual burial that has already been filmed in fictional setting. This has never happened in world history. You will be presentin a scene that was acted out in film in 1979. You will be in the same town and the same cemetery. Only The Great Santini himself will be different.

In his last weeks my father told me, "I was always your best subject, son. Your career took a nose dive after The Great Santini came out".

He had become so media savvy that during his last illness he told me not to schedule his funeral on the same day as the Seinfeld Farewell. The Colonel thought it would hold down the crowd. The Colonel's death was front-page news across the country. CNN announced his passing on the evening news all around the world.

Don Conroy was a simple man and an American hero. His wit was remarkable; his intelligence frightening; and his sophistication next to none. He was a man's man and I would bet he hadn't spend a thousand dollars in his whole life on his wardrobe. He lived out his whole retirement in a two room efficiency in the Darlington Apartment in Atlanta. He claimed he never spent over a dollar on any piece of furniture he owned. You would believe him if you saw the furniture.

Dad bought a season ticket for himself to Six Flags Over Georgia and would often go there alone to enjoy the rides and hear the children squeal with pleasure. He was a beer drinker who thought wine was for Frenchmen or effete social climbers like his children.

Ah! His children. Here is how God gets a Marine Corps fighter pilot. He sends him seven squarely, mealy-mouth children who march in peace demonstrations, wear Birkenstocks, flirt with vegetarianism, invite cross-dressers to dinner and vote for candidates that Dad would line up and shoot. If my father knew how many tears his children had shed since his death, he would be mortally ashamed of us all and begin yelling that he should've been tougher on us all, knocked us into better shape - that he certainly didn't mean to raise a passel of kids so weak and tacky they would cry at his death. Don Conroy was the best uncle I ever saw, the best brother, the best grandfather, the best friend, and my God, what a father.

After my mother divorced him and The Great Santini was published, Don Conroy had the best second act I ever saw. He never was simply a father. This was The Great Santini. It is time to leave you, Dad. From Carol and Mike and Kathy and Jim and Tim and especially from Tom. Your kids wanted to especially thank Katy and Bobby and Willie Harvey who cared for you heroically.

Let us leave you and say good-bye, Dad, with the passwords that bind all Marines and their wives and their children forever. The Corps was always the most important thing.

Semper Fi, Dad Semper Fi, O Great Santini.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

LETTER FROM PAT CONROY

My dear friends and fellow lovers of Santini, You have written so many letters of condolence since my father died that I've been overwhelmed at the task of answering them. But know this, all of them meant something, all of them moved me deeply, all were appreciated, and all were read. Don Conroy was larger than life and there was never a room he entered that he left without making his mark. At some point in his life, he passed from being merely memorably to being legendary.

In the thirty-three years he was in the Marine Corps, Col. Conroy concentrated on the task of defending his country and he did so, exceedingly well. In the next twenty-four years left to him, he put all his=20= efforts into the art of being a terrific father, a loving uncle, a brother of great=20= substance, a beloved grandfather, and a friend to thousands. Out of uniform,= the Colonel let his genius for humor flourish. Always in motion he made his= rounds in Atlanta each day and no one besides himself knew how many stops h= e put in during a given day. He was like a bee going from flower to flower, pollinating his world with his generous gift for friendships.

Don Conroy was a man's man, a soldier's soldier, a Marine's Marine. There was nothing soft or teddy-bearish about him. His simplicity was extraordinary. He died without ever owning a credit card, never took out a loan in his life, and almost all the furniture in his apartment was rented. I think he loved his family with his body and soul, yet no one ever lived who was less articulate in expressing that love. On the day the doctor told him that there was nothing more to be done for him, my father told me, "Don'= t worry about it. I've had a great life. No one's had a life like me. Everyone should be so lucky."

Don Conroy died with exemplary courage, as one would expect. He never complained about pain or whimpered or cried out. His death was stoical and quiet. He never quit fighting, never surrendered, and never gave up. He died like a king. He died like The Great Santini.

I thank you with all my heart.
Pat Conroy


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Thursday, 28 March 2002
#161 GySgt Dan Daly USMC

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/568469/posts?page=20






R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Friday, 8 March 2002
#160 CMC Dave Shoup On Berets

Former CMC General Shoup On Berets
I think it is a sign of the times...the so called leadership is so far out of touch, they think that a beret will make a difference. The USAF tried to improve pilot retention by issuing WW2 type leather jackets to all pilots...didn't work, this won`t either. About 40 years ago it was suggested to USMC Commandant David Shoup, that perhaps the Marines should adopt beret. General Shoup`s reply was " Why would anyone want to look like a faggot or a Frenchman?"

Ref
The Internet





R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Friday, 8 March 2002
# 159 Old Soldiier Tribute

(from free Republic)

He lay quietly, seemingly lifeless, the occasional breath made a slight movement to his chest, which was barely noticeable to the eye. A lifetime etched upon his face, his skin translucent, his body frail. Jack Spencer slowly opened his eyes to look down the hallway where his hospital gurney had been left, feeling no pain, just tiredness from living so long.

Entering his 83rd year, a veteran of WW2, he had lived a full life. Despite his apparent condition, Jack had plenty going on inside his mind.

His eyes focused as a nurse came into view, approaching she said, ?Mr. Spencer..Just going to take you to your room, are you ready for a ride,? she laughed lightly.

Her laughter took his thoughts back to days when he shared his happiness with family and friends, now he lay alone, he missed his wife?s smile and laughter and life seemed empty now.

Jack Spencer lay quietly, he did not move his eyes to follow her as she moved to the bottom of his bed. ?Hang on! I?ll be right back Mr. Spencer.?

Suddenly he became aware of someone else standing alongside him, yet he didn?t have the inclination to turn and look. The nurse approaching again and the gurney moving backwards allowed him to see a tall fair-haired man, lightly clothed, his hands clasped in front of him, a gentle smile, standing motionless as Jack traveled backwards to his assigned room.

The figure becoming a blur in the distance as the nurse made her way through the security doors of the extended care wing. The nursing staff slipped in and out of Jack?s room, ?there is no peace in a hospital,? he thought.

The wing that would become his home, a holding cell for souls awaiting they?re flight home, was filled with sad cases of people awaiting the exit of life, not necessarily sick, merely worn out and seemingly uninterested in the decaying frames they once cherished.

The day was long, Jack?s bed was alongside a window that looked out onto a finely manicured lawn and sitting area, but he couldn?t see the lawn or seating area laying almost flat on his back. Instead, he watched the sky change like a kaleidoscope; fluffy white clouds passed by his view as the colors changed in the daylight.

The aroma of food began to waft into his room, soon after a robust woman entered his room carrying a tray and the biggest smile he had ever seen.

?Hello there Jack, you don?t mind if I call you Jack do you? It?s just that the people in here are like family ta me and I would be happy to call you Jack, if that?s okay with you?? she said, her voice ending on a high note with the anticipation of a reply.

Jack quietly answered ?that?s fine?. He had little interest in eating but asked for his false teeth anyway.

?Good Lord, did they leave ya in here minus your choppers Jack?? she laughed ?It?s a good job I brought you a nice soft supper then, you won?t be needing teeth for this.? she said. ?You be needing any help to eat this Jack?? she asked as she raised the back of his bed and placed a tray in front of him.

?I?ll be fine.? He replied. Okay then! I?ll be back in a few; by the way, my name is Mary.

Mary had an Irish accent, tempered after years in America, yet distinguishable and undeniable. Jack had recognized it immediately; he had known many an Irishman during the war and was fond of the lilt.

Supper looked unappetizing, it didn?t matter he didn?t have any desire to eat anyway. As Jack sipped his tea, even though it didn?t have the four sugars he liked, Mary returned to the room and fussed about him not having eaten a bite.

?Gracious me Jack, you?ll get me bleeding fired, you have to eat something or I?ll get in heck from my boss here, come on, open up, take a taste of this?. Sensing she was a woman who would not take no for an answer, he opened his mouth to accept the green Jello.

? Soooo Jack, have you always lived in Indianapolis?? He nodded.

?Ever been out of Indianapolis? I?m always interested where people have been, never know, I may want to take a trip and visit a place or two if it sounds good? she prattled on.

Swallowing the last spoonful first, Jack asked her where in Ireland she was from. ?I?m from Dublin, but I?ve lived in America for a long time. Is my accent that obvious then Jack?? she laughed, Jack broke into a smile, it felt so good to smile again.

I would recognize that accent anywhere said Jack, I was stationed in the UK and had a few good buddies from Ireland during the war.?

?You ever been to Ireland Jack, God I miss the place at times.? She sighed.

Jack smiled, ? I sure have, even kissed the ?Blarney Stone?, in fact, I almost fell in, being drunk at the time? he mused.

?Yeah good memories of the place,? they both laughed and enjoyed the moment.

Mary was a woman approaching retirement, who had long accepted her role in the process of life and felt it an honor to assist people through their last months.

?Is there anything else I can do for youz Jack?? she said as she reclined his bed slightly.?

No Mary, I?m fine,? he replied.

The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and soon Jack had lost track of how long he had been there, he had no visitors.

Mary entered his room with the same enthusiasm regularly, ad she was like a breathe of spring in the midst of a winters storm and Jack?s heart always felt a little lighter when he saw her. But As the months past, Jack faded a little more; he spent more time asleep.

Mary loved her job and one day brought in potted plants she had put together at home to fill the windows in the room.

In waking. his thoughts were filled with glimpses of his life, which now seemed so distant. He was pleased to view the plants and watch them grow. It made him think of the times his Beth worked potting bulbs and plants.

The sun was up and Jack opened his eyes slowly, unsure if he was happy to experience it or not yet again, it had become a morning ritual.

He had always been an early riser, running the farm had cause for a strong constitution and to be up at the crack of dawn, hard habits to break. Jack had loved the farm and especially loved raising horses.

As he lay motionless, a familiar scent became apparent to him, as if spring had just walked into the room. A hand touched his own, causing him to flinch and raise his eyes.

?Hello Jack? a soft-spoken voice said. A face came into view in front of him, and Jack recognized it as the young man he had seen months before in the hall.

?It?s almost time to go home Jack? he heard the voice say.

?Home?? repeated Jack, ?But I sold the farm? he said.

In a moment the face was gone. Jack dosed off to sleep in the comfort of his memories and the arms of his sweet Beth. Jack married Beth right out of high school. They had grown up together and been inseparable from the age of 7.

After the war, they raised two sons. Jimmy was killed in a hunting accident in the 70?s and Randy had suffered a fatal heart attack last year. Sweet Beth had passed on ten years prior, and time had been Jack?s only companion.

Mary propped Jack up on a mound of pillows and carefully placed a straw to his lips.

?There you are Jack, I be bringing ya your breakfast, take a sip, it?s banana whippy, and I know you liked this one best.? He always felt encouraged to make an effort for Mary.

As Jack looked at Mary, he noticed standing alongside her, the tall blonde man he was now seeing for the third time. Jack returned a smile to the man, then closed his eyes and faded off to sleep once again.

In and out of sleep as the days passed, uncertain if in dream or reality anymore, Jack asked Mary who was the young man that accompanied her each time she entered the room.

Mary?s heart sank a little, as this had not been the first time a patient had began this line of questioning and she knew only too well what was to follow.

?Mary, did you know I?m going home soon?? Jack stated. Mary took caution in her reply and Jack continued on, ?But I have sold the farm, so I can?t be going there, I can only think of one other home it could be Mary? he said.

Mary gently smiled, holding back a tear and remaining silent for the moment. Mary took Jack?s hand in her own and placed her other atop of it, she gently massaged his hand and said, ?Jack, the good Lord gives and he takes away, and he keeps those dear to his heart close to him.?]

Jack nodded and Mary adjusted the monitor to his right and did her best to cheer the room.

It was 5a.m; the light in the room was dim, Jack gently stirred and seeing the face of the young man he heard, said ?Hello my friend."

Jack wondered if this was dream. No word had passed his lips, yet he was met with a reply, ?No Jack, not a dream!"

Jack?s thoughts traveled through a lifetime, he saw his life captured in frames, and he smiled in the warmth of all he had been blessed with.

?Jack, you have missed a time or two, take your mind back to November 1943.?

Some 60 years had passed, yet in an instant Jack could recall the day as if it were just moments ago. November 3rd thought Jack.

?Yes? he heard the voice say. ?You gave all you had to give that day, selflessly, to a man you didn?t even know.?

Jack recalled a soldier lying shot in the field, his scrambling across the darkness to save him. Little wonder he had recalled that Irish accent all these years, Kenny O?Hare - ?Paddy? as he had called him, reclaimed his life that day because of Jack, who had worked on him to keep him alive, despite the danger to himself.

All the good Jack had done in his years were now to be viewed, things he had not even given a second thought to all these years, suddenly recalled.

?Who are you,? thought Jack. ?You will remember me soon Jack, you know me well.?

?Am I going home?? asked Jack, ?Of course? replied the man with a soft smile as he took Jack?s hand.

Jack momentarily thought of Mary, the robust Nursing Aide who had made his last days bearable. A smile came to his lips as he recalled her voice and wit.

?One more thing Jack? the man said, ?Paddy O?Hare went on to raise a family, and Mary is one of his daughters.? Jack lay there feeling the warmth of contentment and glee of amazement.

The Intercom bellowed out a familiar message, ?PATIENT ALERT- 217, PATIENT ALERT- 217?

Mary had just come on the floor to begin her shift, it was 6a.m. She hurried to room 217, Jack?s room.

Jack took his last breath?

?Just exhale Jack and we?ll be off.? said the voice. Jack was ready for his next adventure. Judith Davies March 6th/2002






R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Monday, 11 February 2002
#156 How Chesty Puller Got His Nickname...

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R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Saturday, 2 March 2002
#158 The Sea Story USMC

The "Sea Story" is the preferred means by which wisdom is passed from one generation of Marines to another.
-Author Unknown</P>

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R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

How "Chesty" Puller Got His Nickname....
by DickG
DickG (no login)

(From the book, Semper Fi, MAC: Living Memories of the U.S. Marines in WW II, by Henry Berry, Quill, 1982, Ch, The Old Breed, conversation WO Joseph Crousen and SgtMaj Francis McGrath, page 34)

"Don't get too chesty, captain," he'd say. 'Don't get too chesty"
"Chesty," you see, was an old Marine expression meaning cocky. That's how Lewis Puller got the nickname "Chesty," even though most of the old timers always called him Lewie."

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R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Friday, 22 February 2002
#157 Book Review by Jim Baxter: The Last Parade

Book Review: The Last Parade
by Carl V. "Sam" Lamb

Review by JAMES BAXTER - A Comrade in Arms
Dear Sam:

I'll take a little time now to talk about your wonderful contribution to Literature and History! No joke - it's a great book! I do not have a single criticism. Obviously, everybody out there had a slightly different view from where they were - even people side-by-side still often have a different perspective, etc.

But, your book could well become a Korean War Classic. I've read a few on the subject of Korea, but none have the breadth and depth of your treatise. It would make a great multi-part TV series - or a movie script. But, we'll see - its future may surprise even you, Sam.

Your attention to idealism, respect for the lives of prisoners, the regard for the values of the American Way, etc. is a value lacking in most Korean War stories, or other war stories in general. But, it is the fundamental, often unspoken, reason men are willing to go through the hell of war and the risk of life and limb. You said it for me, Sam Lamb.

I regret that you were not present [apparently] when I confronted Casey when he said he was going over and "kick the **** out of Goggins." It would have strengthened your case for our values as Humans, Christians, Americans, Marines, etc., if it were a part of your experiences in the book.

I told Big Jim, " If you're going to try that, you'll have to go through me to get to him. I may lose, but I guarantee you, I will make it very expensive for you to get to him. I'm willing to give my life for a Country that values each individual - if that isn't true, I don't want to fight for that Country - but, it is true, so I am willing to risk it all. I'm not going to let you rob me of the very good reason I may lose my life tomorrow or next week. You become my enemy. Let me know what you decide."

He got up from our card game and said, "I'll have to think about it." I said, "Let me know. I'll be here." He came back a little later and said, "You're right. I was wrong." I thanked him for his manliness. [He had previously talked about driving through New Orleans as a police officer and leaning out to hit a black man in the head and laughing as he spun into the street.]

Later, he told me I had changed his life. And, later, Joe came to me privately and thanked me. I said, " Joe, it's the reason we are all out here doing this dirty work. We can't allow anyone to make Our Side like the enemy and his ways. And, you are worthy." He shook my hand with wet eyes.

It would have been a good support in the book for your stated and repeated position on prisoners, etc. Idealism is very very practical in the very real world. I recall that the Company that killed all those prisoners in the swimming pool in the hotel in downtown Seoul had more casualties than any other Company in our Battalion...or the Regiment.

I vaguely recall your reference to being on liberty in Masan and my correcting Vale regarding his mistreatment of the local natives. The one incident I remember even more was the time Casey and I went into town to drink beer and eat peanuts - we were walking down the street when out in front of us we saw a Marine go up behind a native gook who was carrying a flat basket of several large fish on his head.

The Marine grabbed one and started beating the gook with the fish. I grabbed the Marine and threw him to the ground. He jumped up and he and I went at it for a couple of minutes. He yelled at me that he was angry because he lost a lot of buddies over here. Where was I when they were fighting alone at the Perimeter.

I said, "Where were you during WW II?" "It's idiots like you that will cause my [future] sons to have to come back here again in 20 years and do it all over again." He was drunk and crying. I tossed him into a curb and beckoned a passing weapons carrier to take him back to camp. They did.

Casey said, "Why didn't you flatten him?" I said, he's not my enemy - He just needs correction. [More idealism that would have fit well in your book; wish you had been present and had that experience for your book.]

In the book, you had me leaving for home before Vale was killed: Sorry, I was still there. He stacked 'em up with his BAR that night on the nose of that hill. Those Chinese troops were all wearing skirts of grenades...remember? I know he was recommended for the Silver Star...did his family ever get it? He was from New Mexico is all I knew.

When we were on our way from Kobe to Inchon, Malen came to me and said he had put me in for Sgt. stripes, but they wouldn't allow it because I had a different spec. number. He said, "What was that?" I told him my last assignment in the Corps in '45 was Intelligence. He asked who I would recommend. I said, "Give it to John Carpenter. He's a good man, a career Marine." He was my buddy; the best friend I made when we reported to Fox 1st at Pendleton. He didn't live long enough to get it. [Do you remember the speech Chesty made to us - standing on a jeep?]

Sam, yes, I do remember several shots I made from a kneeling position - perhaps, up to 500 yards. But, the one I really remember was the second or third day: We had raced over three hills in a row. The whole second battalion was strung out in a skirmish line from the Inchon-Seoul Highway on the left to the top of high ground on the right. Our platoon was on the extreme right with only our machine gunners on our right. We reached the crest of the fourth hill and everyone flopped on their faces, worn out!

I knew someone had to sit up and watch. A valley extended out in front of us with a flat-topped hill in the distance. I noticed what appeared to be a stick - no other shape - on top of the hill. It did not move. I asked the machine gunners to put their glasses on it. They looked and started yelling, "It's a gook! It's a gook! Get 'em! Get 'em!" I swung my rifle [M-1] up and put the front blade on the stick, raised it slowly until I couldn't see the "stick" and squeezed it off.

I dropped my piece and looked. Wham! It was a man, hit in the stomach, - he came tumbling down the hill! The whole battalion let out a roar like I had kicked a field goal against Notre Dame! All that, after they had spent the morning killing many North Koreans! The machine gunners said their range-finder glasses put that target at OVER a thousand yards! Yikes! I never made such a shot in my whole life. They thought he may have been a Russian advisor...Who knows?

The night we finished the fight in Yong Dong Po, there was 'a word' out that Graff had killed a prisoner that evening. I don't know. It may have been true. The thing I didn't like about the Captain was his little card-board shack with the young Korean girl - all in a combat area. I thought he was a pretty fair field officer in combat, but his morals/ethics and example left much to be desired. I never heard him rant and rave. He was usually pretty quiet when I was around him. But, I tended to avoid officers. Most were a pain in the rear and not always knowledgeable - and often ignorantly put men at risk unnecessarily.

I was surprised you did not mention the field kitchen that was brought to us by General Lowe [Truman's Military aide] over- looking Hoengsong while we waited for the ROKs to clear on our left flank. Stepped into the galley-tent, turkey, mashed-potatoes, gravy, peas, corn, pie, etc. Stepped out of the tent: Frozen. Good try!!! HA!!!

Sam, I think you were the only one I said good-bye to. And, I was happy to leave the .45 with you, but, you gave me $25 bucks for it! Remember? Four books that I have about the Korean War are excellent. Perhaps you can locate them through a local library. I highly recommend them. They are as follows:

1. U.S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950-1953 Volume II The Inchon-Seoul Operation by Lynn Montross & Captain Nicholas A. Canzona, USMC

2. U.S. Marine Operations in Korea 1950-1953 Volume IV The East-Central Front by Lynn Montross, Major Hubard D. Kuokka, USMC, and Major Norman W. Hicks, USMC [Also, there is a Volume 1 regarding The Pusan Perimeter, Vol. 3 regarding the Chosin Reservoir Campaign and a Volume 5 regarding the Operations in Western Korea.

3. Victory at High Tide; The Inchon-Seoul Campaign by Robert Debs Heinl, Jr., Colonel, USMC

4. The New Breed: The Story of the U.S. Marines in Korea by Andrew Geer

These are excellent resources and wonderful texts to leave with your children.

After your book (The Last Parade) comes out this Spring, I'm sure I'll have more to say. More in the way of reminders - not criticism. You have done very well without any additional input. As usual, my friend, I'm very proud of you.

God bless.

Straight ahead, squad leader.






R.W.Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.)
1952-'72

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Monday, 17 December 2001
#155 Medieval Origins: The Lance Corporal Rank

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R.W.

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Wednesday, 5 December 2001
#154 Something I Wrote...by Ronald Paul Richoux

REPRINTED HERE WITH PERMISSION OF AUTHOR

From: Ronald Paul Richoux reshoe@datasync.com GunnyG@hotmail.com 

Subject: Something I wrote.
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 19:30:48 -0600
The United States Marine Corps Motto is Semper Fidelis (always faithful) The Marines Always Say Semper Fi
 My wife, Becky, who teaches nursing, recently
invited me to
one of her classes? graduation ceremonies. After the
ceremony, she
introduced me to one of her favorite students. Her student
in turn
introduced me to her husband. To my surprise, she introduced
me to him
as a former Marine. He introduced himself as a sergeant on
active duty,
whose name is Sylvester Gordon . To my astonishment, he
greeted me with
a full hug and said, ?Semper-Fi, brother, Semper-Fi?. I
backed away a
couple of steps, and for the first time, looked into his
eyes. He
appeared to have just stepped out of a Marine Corps
recruiting poster.
We made small talk for a few minutes, and then he asked me
when and
where I had served in the Corps. I informed him that I had
been in the
long forgotten police action of Korea, with the First Marine
Division.
He looked at me with a surprised look and said, ?Sir, in no
way have you
or the Korean War been forgotten. I know you have not been
forgotten in
places that matter. Sir, you and Korea have not been
forgotten in the
Marine Corps. I know all about Inchon and the other great
battles.? He
then looked at me and said something I could not believe. He
said, ?Sir,
you honor me with your presence.? This was one of the few
times in my
life I felt as though a thank you was totally inadequate and
probably
sounded stupid.
We talked for a while, and I then asked him a question. I
told him
that most of my adult life, people had asked me, ?What does
Semper Fi
mean?? To tell them it means ?always faithful? leaves out
more than it
explains. He said, ?All I can do with that question is to
quote what
is perhaps an overused phrase. To those who know, no
explanation is
necessary, and to those who do not, no amount of explanation
is enough.
However, to me, it means Marines will never return to safety
without
their wounded and dead comrades. Sir, that, to me, is Semper
Fi?. I
could not answer him.
I told him that I was writing a book on the genealogy of my
family and
that some day I hoped to be able to write what Semper Fi
meant to me.
He gave me that same great smile and said, ?Sir, just think
about it, and in time, I am certain you will do just that.?
> >I do not profess to be a poet, or a writer, but today, for
reasons that
I will never explain to anyone as long as I live, I have
written my
definition of ?Semper Fi.?
I have written this in honor of every Marine of the First
Marine
Division who never returned from Korea. I have written this
in memory
of you
because:
©
 {You Define Semper Fi}
You were all so young when you died
and with all my honesty, to this day I never knew why.
All of my life I have been haunted as to why it was you and
not I.
As God is my witness you define Semper Fi.
I saw some of you this very morning at 2:00 a.m.
You awakened me from my sleep screaming for help,
but as hard as I try I can never reach you.
Perhaps it?s because you look down from your place so high.
I know you are seated at the right hand of God,
You define Semper Fi.
From my same dream I saw an old man in the mirror of life
I questioned him carefully through a nervous cry
Why were they all so young when they died? Why was it them
and not I?
I recognized the old man as myself, and was shocked with his
reply.
Oh you fool, do you not know why?
They were so much greater than you and I.
They were picked by God to define Semper Fi.
There are those who tell me that because of war, I am cursed.
I tell them, I saw some give it all up only a few years after
their
birth.
Those who tell me I must forget, I just ignore.
Do you not see? I must live with their memory all the days
of my life
because out of it all they were the ones who made the supreme
sacrifice
I was fortunate enough to have known them in their strife.
They were heroes enough to have been picked by God,to define
Semper Fi.
I now know that in the twilight of my fall
I can live with it all, because once upon a time, in the
prime of my
youth
I knew a few good men who in honor stood tall.
They are the few and proud that I have known,
who made the sacrifice and answered the call.
As long as I live I will always have their picture in my
mental file
because it is them alone who were picked by God, to define
Semper Fi.
Written June -1998
Copyright-1998 ©
Sgt. Ronald Paul Richoux, Sr. 1182623 reshoe@datasync.com



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