This page is confined to photos and stories about but one of the old Corps' service periods: 1958 through the early 1960s.
( Left Click images to see a full sized image. Then, Right Click on the full-size photo and "save" it on your computer!!! )
Perhaps you that can still recall a very long Trailways bus trip from where you first raised your hand and gave allegiance to "God, country and the Marine Corps." If not, think back as your read the following:First Step in a Rat Race - written by Ed Shea in 1963
dampness of the April evening air seeped through whatever openings were
available and covered forty-three passengers of a Carolina Trailways
bus with what felt like a wet towel. A fortunate few shared a light
jacket with the person next to them. Most wore little more than light
weight shirts that offered no protection against the penetrating chill.
S MARINE CORPS RECRUIT TRAINING DEPOT
In the three months that were to follow,
each of us was to find himself wishing that what he was living through
was really a nightmare and that it would all end as abruptly as it started.
Those same months, however, were filled with other experiences. Hundreds
of them that molded new personalities, as well as bodies, from the flotsam
that had come through the maingate that one April evening. We were provided
with information invaluable to those considering a military career and
furnished with a measure of discipline we would all find useful for
the rest of our lives.
Some photos to help you remember.
But I can't help but think you've got a few mental images that you'll NEVER forget.
Here are some photos provided by Solant Amity participants that go WAY back to those days on Parris Island when the sand fleas were the Drill Instructors' pets. And "Whoa to you!" if you wish to kill one:
Your General Orders - Should you have forgotten them, its time to refresh your memory:
- To take charge of this post and all government property in view.
- To walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert, and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.
- To report all violations of orders I am instructed to enforce.
- To repeat all calls from posts more distant from the guardhouse than my own.
- To quit my post only when properly relieved.
- To receive, obey, and pass on to the sentry who relieves me all orders from the Commanding Officer, Officer of the Day, officers and non-commisioned officers of the guard only.
- To talk to no one except in the line of duty.
- To give the alarm in case of fire or disorder.
- To call the Corporal of the Guard in any case not covered by instructions.
- To salute all officers, and all colors and standards not cased.
- To be especially watchful at night, and during the time for challenging, to challenge all persons on or near my post and to allow no one to pass without proper authority.
[Now: As your wife or "sweety" lies sleeping, you will stand at bed’s foot and recite them one hundred times...in a whisper.]
But as you know, it wasn't always "fun:"
"Echo"-2-6, Feb '61
“Cold Weather and Mountain Familiarization Practices”
Asheville [Region], NC
At the top...next morning
Still not there but ever "almost."
Rim, Silberg, Shea
"A head of their time."
"King of the head."
On the way to the top.
"Could you take my picture?"
Summit: 16 hours-6684 feet later.
At the top
Topographical Map 1
Rodney "Bird" Parrott ( firstname.lastname@example.org ): I was with Echo Company on Mount Mitchell in North Carolina’s Pisgah National Forest during the [brrrr] cold weather training episode, with an 81 mm Mortar detachment from H&S.
After crossing the river we forced march all the way up. I helped a fellow Marine from Echo's Weapons Platoon to hump his .30 Cal. machine gun for about forty-five minutes. Later, when reaching the top, I was greeted by a high ranking officer who saw me carrying the entire mortar system after having to "tag & bag" my entire squad. They all came down with pneumonia. The rule is you don't leave any part of the mortar behind. Soooo, you can probably imagine how I felt when, with my humping all that gear...pack, cold weather equipment, my personal weapon and the entire mortar system...that "oh-so-proud," smiley-faced officer didn't help in any way but instead held out his warm hand and said "Well done Marine!"
By the way, do you remember the tavern where we fought those lumberjacks? They came in and one boldly announced "I can whoop any two Marines in this place." I can't for the life of me remember his name but one of our platoon sergeants proclaimed "You might try me first." Well, then we all got into it and went so far as to tear the bar out of the floor! Imagine that. And the owner of the bar told the cops that it was the lumberjacks' fault and that he didn't want to press any charges. Then, he added, ""It was one of the greatest fights I've ever seen. And worth it all!!!"
My wife tells me I'm getting old because I'm always bringing up the past.
[Note: Welcome to the club, Rod. There's not one of us, with a "bride" remaining, that hasn't been hearing the same line for at least a decade. OooRah! And keep those memories rollin' on. Semper fi, "Bird;" Ed Shea]
Think for a moment about those places in which we lived, ate and worked. And then there were the "stresses" of liberty in foreign places and "Oooooh, those many vaccinations...."
Lemongelli & Neuman
"THIS is a following rod John."
Neuman, John Hynes, John
Lemongelli, Rocco Minicone,
Emmit Holmes and more, at the
Guantanamo Bay Top Hat Club
See Biography >>>>
Where's the War??? - written by George Bitsoli in 2002
"The only time we again used the [Amtracs] was during the First Independence Day Celebration of Liberia, when we landed with much fanfare, the firing of blanks, the pretense of blood curdling screams and ... 300 yards off the scheduled mark. The Liberian President, his entourage and numerous American representatives stared in awe at the military might of America arrayed before them, as we flung ourselves from the rear of the Amtracs and learned that we had to run south along the beach and then flank left before proceeding, in line, to "attack" the onlookers. We were devastating!"
above comments from the Home Page remind me, I am not sure who else will
recall, of an incident on Viegues when we had a similar misfortune.
How about some more photos of the people, equipment and events of the times?
Three young souls
in the middle of 'Tent City' Camp Garcia, Viegues, Puerto Rico:
Graham County LST-1176
Jack Oaks- Crew Member
NCO Leadership School Certificate
for Stanley Morris 1959
Red Beach, Vieques, PR
Getting better with the .45
Browning Automatic Rifle
(Live Fire Demo)
Lest we forget our Navy brethren:
In part because of a tongue in cheek remark I'd made about George Bitsoli [USMC] still possessing a "72 hour pass," Ron Kellar-USS Vogelgesang Crew Member (RBKellar@aol.com) on Memorial Day weekend of 2011 came clean about his still having his "late sleeper" chit:
He also explained that: ""OC" Division is "Operations, Communications" Division. Being a Signalman, I was in communications and that was lumped under Radioman, Quartermaster...as Operations. Also, the late sleeper chit was given to those that stood the midnight to 0400 watch. It allowed them to sleep until 0700 instead of 0600. Each division had similar chits for their particular division. The cord was so you could wrap it around the aluminum rack one's canvas mat was roped to. These chits were prized items and I don't remember now how I ended up with it...but I got it AND I USE IT!"
[ Editors note: Damn! The things you learn if you live long enough. Think of the times in your life when you could have used a "chit" like Ron's to keep someone from waking you after a night of labor or debauchery.
Oh, and I didn't miss that bit he mentioned about grabbing some extra "zzzzs" after a midnight-to-0400 watch, either. Imagine, if you will: Work 0000-0400, make your way back to a rack on an aircraft carrier...not the short walk Ron may have had on a destroyer, you then get to crap-out and sleep ONE more hour than the rest of the crew, until 7 am, before doing whatever it is the Navy deemed it necessary for you to do. Ohh, yaaaah. The "sailor's, or any service life, for me....!" You betcha. Then again, the Navy always did have access to coffee.
Then on 1/6/13, after Ron received some recipes for both White and Red SOS sauce I'd distributed to the Solant Amity I clan, he sent the following email about his efforts in restoring the Destroyer DD-724 Laffey in the Charleston, SC museum.]
"Ed, Thanks. I am printing these recipes out and will send to other shipmates. We get some SOS when we work in the Destroyer DD-724 Laffey in the Charleston, SC museum. We pay $9 a day to work fixin' up the ship to look like it did when it was lived on, so tourists can see how we lived. They feed us aboard the ship, some authentic Navy chow and some regular chow. We sleep/shower on the ship and on our last night they feed us a grilled out steak dinner. They provide the beer each evening starting at 6:30 when the tourists have to leave. We work hard, take lots of coffee breaks and oh, the sea tales we all can tell. If anyone had told me when I was 19 on the Vogelgesang that, when I retired, I would pay to chip paint, swab decks and work on a tin can I would have told them they were crazy. Retirement is fun, just not enough time and money to do all I would like to do. Thanks again for the recipes. Ron"
Bowman, Fuller, Hiller
Vieques May 1960.
Bright "to the rear" and
Leibenguth - Vieques '60
Unknown to left of Ernfield, TW
catching some rays - May 1960.
Bowman, Huegal, Farrell, Stephens;
Unknown center; Wright & Buhr
Vieques - May '60.
More Tent City,
Vieques, PR - May 1960
Working mule in Dominican
Republic in 1965
Banner Flag taken from Russian
Embassy in Coankry, Guinea
Fuller, Arch_Viegues '60
Stephens, JR_USS Boxer '60
Jones,WC; Bowman,DL; Hiller, R
USS Boxer '60
Bottom: Unknown_Boxer '60
And here are some contributions from Richard Landry.
O'Neal, Landry, Stone, Rodwell,
Davis on fantail of Graham County
And a Few More Shots and Things from Our Capetown Activities:
Demonstration Landing at Woodstock Beach in Capetown, South Africa 14March61 - Photos by Rocco Minocone
In a conversation with Ed Hart [ email@example.com ]...the same former Corporal E4 of the 1st Platoon and later multi-tour Vietnam veteran who, in 1995 at the age of 61, took off on a three plus year circumnavigation of his own on his then 29' sailboat [Hooligan] and spent three months of that time recapturing his experience in Cape Town:
you look to the right of where it says inner harbor, that's where the
Graham County was tied up;" he said. "And, if you
look to the upper left of that harbor, there's a sort of inner, inner
triangle shaped harbor, that's where the yacht club is and where I docked.
To read published articles about Ed Hart's solo-circumnavigation, see the following: 1) Around the World; 2) One storm, two muggings, a collision and circumnavigation. And, for no particular reason, I thought I'd let you know he loves his "Wawa Coffee."
|This is a story about one of those insane liberty experiences of Solant Amity I, when things were slow, the liquer flowing and someone came up with what seemed like an absolutely "brilliant" idea. Read, enjoy and remember when....|
Amphibious Landing...by Helicopter! - written by George Bitsoli in 2002
3rd Squad of our 3rd Platoon may have the distinction of being the only
Squad in the History of the Marine Corps to make an amphibious landing....by
helicopter. Too bad camcorders weren't around then. Or, maybe, good thing.
During our visit to Cape Town, South Africa a demonstration landing was
planned for. Those that recall it remember that the landing came off super.
Demolition charges set off at the beach right on-time. While the Navy
ships were firing off blanks, the UDT personnel swam in to clear the landing
beach areas, the amphibious tractors [amtracs] rolled in with troops assaulting.
There were copters overhead, smoke and weapons firing everywhere. John
Wayne productions couldn't have done it better.
How about those "Get out, get out, GET OUT!" standbys: Read all about it!
Then there was shipboard life:
|Do you remember the "sleeping accommodations" on these things? And having to climb down those cargo nets, where a wave slapping the LSVP against the side of the ship could get you killed, should the net...with you on it...drop between the boat and the ship?|
Do you recall the interiors of those APA's? The hot and crowded LSTs and LSDs?
Space for Rent - written by Ed Shea in 1963
interior of an old troop transport ship was an incredible sight. The dimly
lit, hot, crowded and poorly ventilated compartments would tax the mind
of Dante for a truly accurate description.
There were no mattresses,
no sheets, no pillows. In tiers several high, the racks were nothing more
than metal frames, little more than six feet long and two and one half
feet wide, with canvas strips tied to them in a fashion not unlike that
used by trappers to stretch and dry animal pelts.
Finally, there was the "Circle," from which all roads led to a Nirvana not to be found on base:
Weekend Effort - written by Ed Shea in 1963
afternoons everywhere are pretty much the same. The day's work completed,
welders lay down their torches, clerks close their drawers and students
put their books aside for the weekend, all of them entertaining ideas
of how they will use the next three nights and two days to their fullest
enjoyment. It was this feeling of anxiety that possessed several thousand
men, myself included, to leave Marine Corps Base, Camp Lejeune, North
Carolina, on a particularly cold and rainy day in mid-November of 1961.
Been Wondering about your Medal eligibility, given your service in units assigned as part of the mount-out responses for the Beirut, Lebanon Blue Bat Operation in July-October 1958, the Congo 14Jul60-1Sep62 and the Cuban Crisis in October [18-29] 1962?
Medals for which members of G-2-6 are eligible, if their service extended from early 1958 through late 1962:
USMC Good Conduct
Three years of straight arrow. Republic of
Congo via SolantAmity
Being all but there during the Vietnam Era Lebanon 1958/
Cuba Crisis 1962
The USMC Expeditionary Medal may be worn only in lieu of the AFEM for service in the Congo. Thus, those entering the Corps as early as ‘58 and landing in Lebanon and assigned to units taking part in operations as late as the Cuban Crisis mount-out may be eligible for up to two Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, one each for Lebanon and Cuba, and one USMC Expeditionary Medal for the Congo episode in 1961. For a more complete explanation of eligibility please read the attached 933kb Acrobat file: AF and USMC Expeditionary Medals. It has proven a real burden trying to sort out the truth from the so many conflicting documents dealing with the criteria and eligibility for these medals.
The one that all logic would suggest you are eligible for, the United Nations' Medal, has not been nor will it likely ever be issued for our humanitarian efforts to feed, clothe and safeguard the people of the Congo's Matadi region and the evacuation of wounded and disease plagued Guinean troops. A full explanation of why this is so is available HERE. Give it a mouse click.
But then, little of worth has ever been expected from the United Nations.
Nor are those involved in capturing the Portuguese liner Santa Maria likely to ever receive official recognition for their successful efforts to free the 1500 passengers and crew, when political "terrorist" Henrique Galvao and his cohorts pirated the ship to extort political change in Portugal and Spain, killing a member of the crew in the process.
However, those for which you ARE eligible would...absent a Good Conduct Medal...be displayed as follows:
Then to, if one had been a “Good” Marine he would have been additionally entitled to the “Good Conduct” medal/ribbon and the array would look as follows...and surprisingly rates a higher place of distinction within an array than the USMC Expeditionary and our various other service medals:
And when our stint with the "Crotch' was over, what did we do with all that talent?
to Massachusetts rumors, one of our lot took to training a group of
gun moles for the Boston "Mafia."
|So, when your next in "Baaastan," be careful about whom you're drinking with.|
questions or can add anything to enhance this page, please contact the site
To Home page. Meet the 1st Platoon; 2nd Platoon; 3rd Platoon; Headquarters and H&S Personnel;or, Weapons Platoon. See Solant Amity Cruise or Santa Maria "Piracy" Incident related photographs. Read the Comments of visitors to the site or a tribute to the Marines aboard the Hermitage or of the Corp's Discipline Problems in the 1970s. Or, perhaps you would just like to see some recent photos of the Corps' Parris Island Training Center or an array of Links and Things.