The 8th & I Reunion Association

An organization of Marines
who served at
Marine Barracks
8th & I Streets, S.E.,
Washington D.C.





Memories of the 1950's
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  • One of the funniest events of the 1950's was the effort by Col. Chapman to rid the Barracks of the "salty" ceremonial appearance of the uniforms worn by the troops. To view the problem, Col. Chapman's solution, and its lasting effectiveness, click here.

  • 1958 was the banner year for great trips! In August the 1st Platoon went to Edinburgh, Scotland and Brussels for the World's Fair. The Edinburgh trip is featured on the "Historical - the 1950's" and "Photos - The 1950 's" pages. Another collection of photos on the Edinburgh trip, emphasizes that part of the trip to Brussels, Belgium for participation in the 1958 World's Fair, click here.

  • In June, the Second Platoon boarded a newly commissioned aircraft carrier for a tour of South America. To see the South American trip, click here.

  • For Ron Burton's interesting, and often hilarious recount of his days in CGC between 1955-59, click here.

  • For Denny Harris' highly amusing story about "Officers and Swagger Sticks", click here.

  • Denny's story prompted another swagger stick story by Joe Larkin, which can be viewed by clicking here.

  • For Jim Sottile's account of his first "re-visit" to Newport, RI since accompanying President Eisenhower there in 1957, click here.

  • For Dan Grady's "Sunset Parade" program for 19 August 1954, click here.

  • For Steve Evans' Evening Parade program for August 16, 1957, click here.

  • For Del Bunker's published "Island Veteran Shares Memories - Once a Marine, Always a Marine" article, click here.

  • For an excellent group of photos of the late 1950's era submitted by Dave Melchior, click here.

  • For Steve Trimble's amusing 1958 story of the eagle-eyed bird that overlooked its own nest, click here.

  • For an excellent 1959 Evening Star article on a Sunset Parade submitted by Tom Holstein, click here.

  • To view the 1953 M1 Manual Of Arms which was submitted by Drew Graham, MCI Company, 1954-1957 ... Source: Guidebook For Marines, Third Revised Edition, First Printing, July 1, 1953, published by The Leatherneck Association, Inc., Washington, DC ... click here.






    Ordered to 8th & I !

    The original orders transferring Russ Curtis, Bill Rogers, George Collier,
    Don Picard, and John Novosel from Camp LeJune (ITR) to 8th and I:



    (Submitted by Russ Curtis)




    The 1950's in Perspective - A View Down 8th Street



    Urban transit at its best!

    (Submitted by Bob Rowe)





    The Old Corps" - Vintage 1950


    Cpl Nick Nickerson at the Main Gate in 1950
    (Note the blue cover on the Barracks Hat)


    The view past the Main Gate - 1950


    the 8th & I basketball team in March of 1951.
    (L - R:: Cpl Don Nickerson, 18, of Warren MA; Cpl Don Hann, 21 Mechanicsburg PA;
    Pfc Dick Weand, 22, Phil. PA; and Pfc James Murray, 18, of Holidaysburg PA.

    (Submitted by Nick Nickerson)







    This photo of Wayne Pilny was taken during the winter of '52-53, to show the then-new Drill Team Jacket, which was fashioned by the post tailor (thus the jacket was introduced several years prior to the earliest ones yet reported). The photo was taken near a horse barn in a nearby park, where Wayne, Joe Qualtier, Joe Maglione, Patterson and a few others had stayed overnight and decided to start cracking a 10-foot long bull-whip. The Park Police responded to several reports of gunfire in the area. They hadn't anticipated a bull-whip, and left after they saw the Marines having a good time.
    (Item submitted by Wayne Pilny)






    In 1956, Col Chapman (later Commandant) had a Barracks-wide track meet.
    Pictured here are the members of the 2nd plt, CGC, receiving their trophies
    from Col Chapman.



    1956 - PFCs Juneau and Thompson at the Main Gate.

    (Items submitted by Ben Juneau)






    Rich Shanoskie at Camp David - 1957

    (Submitted by Rich Shanoskie)







    John Hershiser in dress blues.






    George Ryan with "Chesty I" prior to this debut during the 1957 parade season. At that time, Chesty followed the handler from the ship's bell to a position beside the CO of troops, did an about face, and stood at parade rest for the remainder of the parade.


    The Silent Drill Team's trip to Endicott, NY (the home of IBM) during the summer of 1956.



    George Ryan receiving the CO's trophy from Col. Leonard F. Chapman for the Barracks-wide weight-lifting competition .

    (Items submitted by George Ryan)







    Joe & Lil Larkin were married on May 5, 1956 in the Chapel at the Naval Receiving Station, Anacostia, MD. From rear to front, the Sgts. with the swords are (left side) Bud Belanger, Hank Kammen and Dick Cirka. On the right side are Dick Blakeslee, Dick Stroup and Buzz Sawyer.

    (Item submitted by Joe Larkin)






    1954 honor guard for Glenn Lambert's wedding.
    (Front row l - r): Don Manley, Blaine Singer, Chet Gnatt, unidentified.
    (Back row l - r): Joe Storm, ? Olson, unidentified, ? Oldson.



    Don Manley in 1954 (Barracks Detachment)

    (Submitted by Don Manley)







    3rd Plt, CGC in 1955
    Lt Coulter was plt. ldr., and S/Sgt Sherman was plt. sgt.
    Dwight Price (former USN) is 4th man in 1st rank, and ____ Hestor is 9th man, 1st rank
    Gene Smallwood is 4th man, 2nd rank.

    (Photo sbumitted by Richie DelVecchio
    identifications by Gene Smallwood)





    The Do's and Don't's When Reporting to 8th & I - 1956





    (Submitted by Joe Ruszkowski)







    USMC Birthday Cake - November, 1958

    (Item submitted by Jim Harris)






    Joe Westner being questioned by Commandant Randolph McCall Pate
    (Col. Leonard F. Chapman is behind General Pate,
    and in the foreground is Sgt Juneau)

    (Item submitted by Ed Croghan)







    The 4th plt. being inspected by a foreign Admiral in gym at 8th&I. Lt.Stewart is the officer at far left. Next officer is Commandant Pate, then Capt. Richard Hatch, Fred Sheeder over the Admiral's left shoulder, then unknown, Madix, & MacMichael.



    The 4th plt.performing drill at Newport,R.I. for President Eisenhower in 1958. The Sgt standing alone with his back to camera is Sgt Ron Burton.

    (Items submitted by Ralph MacMichael)







    Marine Band in 1956, led by CWO Dale Harpham



    SSgt Bob Capeci and Sgt Ron Burton in May, 1957



    Pfc. Vic Usin, Sgt Ron Burton and Cpl Ralph Reimers



    Sgt. Ron Burton as artist - Cpl. Denny Harris as subject



    1st Sq; 4th Plt. in May 1957 at the Barracks. L-r; Pvt Gwinn, Pvt. Gene Ledford, Pfc Perry and Pfc Cuffe.



    3rd CGC Silent Drill Platoon Passing in Review during a Sunset Parade in 1956. The Platoon Leader is 1st Lt. Frank Mitchell, the Platoon Sgt. is SSgt. SSgt Sherman, Sgt. Bill Keller (left) and Sgt. Bob Capeci (right), Pvt. Van J. Potter (deceased 2000) (3rd Marine in the rear rank), Pfc. Warren Roseland (4th Marine Rear Rank), Pfc. Ralph Reimers (9th Marine rear rank), and Pvt. Dave Almer (6th Marine, front rank).



    Cpl. Ralph Reimers being questioned by HRH Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and Captain General, Royal Marines. Col. L.F. Chapman standing at the right and to the rear of the Prince, and Commandant R. McCall Pate standing behind the Prince. October, 1957.



    Parade through Edinburgh, Scotland in connection with Edinburgh Tattoo in 1958. The last Marine to the right, in front of the Navy Corpsman, is Sgt. Ralph Reimers

    (Above items submitted by Ralph Reimers)






    Cpl Jim Meskan, with Piper Dave Boyle of the Black Watch,
    taken in "The Castle on the Rock" prior to the Edinburgh Tattoo.


    John Hopkins, of MCI Company in front of the Arcade.

    (Items Submitted by Jim Meskan)






    1st Plt. CGC at Anacostia Naval Air Station - 1956
    Prior to trip to Lynchburg, Virginia
    (Item submitted by Jack Badyna)









    Bob Moroni at the front gate
    (Items submitted by Bob Moroni)







    Bob Moroni and Joe Rodino dressed in their finest "civvies"
    ready to "hit the town" in 1959.

    (Item submitted by Ralph Reimers)






    Pepper, Gannon and Eaton


    Dick Doyle (dressed)


    Dick Doyle (undressed)


    Walt Petersen, Orin Howard, George Harriett, Pat Rochford and Art Gannon


    Harold Sushansky and Seymour "Pattie" Ginsberg


    Bob Rubachko
    (items above submitted by Dick Doyle)












    1952 1st plt. (Drill Team) in front of CMC House.


    Drill Team parades through Miami before its 1953 Orange Bowl appearance



    1952 CGC pistol team - "Gallery League"


    Lt. Earl Roth (1st Plt.) dancing with Gov. Earl Warren's daughter
    (Eisenhower Inaugural Ball)


    Jim Brunner relaxing on second deck next to gym


    Jim Brunner on duty at main gate


    Awaiting inspection of guard (long before today's blue overcoat)


    Duty in the guardshack.

    (Items above submitted by Jim Brunner)





    Drill Team Squares away for ceremony
    Ft Henry, Canada - 1952
    Submitted by Jaime Layhew (Drill Team 2003 -2004)
    Platoon Historian





    Sunset parade honoring Commandant Randolph Mc. Pate.

    (Item submitted by Bob Rowe)




    The 1954-55 Silent Drill Team led by 1st Lt. Love


    Bob Doster being inspected by 1st Lt. Francis X. Quinn - 1955

    (Items submitted by Bob Doster)



     
    The sottille twins (Jim and Vincent)
    in Beirut, Lebanon - July, 1958
    (submitted by Jim Sottille)








    Third Platoon CGC - 1956-57
    (Photos submitted by Joe Mryncza)





    H&S Co. First Sgt. John Greer and Gy Sgt. Joe Larkin






    1957 Guidebook for Marines featuring 1st Platoon, CGC






    Evening Parade program form 26 June 1959.
    (Submitted by Bill Hanley)







    The Old Cannon





    CHARLIE HUHA'S & WHITEY LEINES' 1959 MEMORIES


    Larry Hess and I were at ITR together from P.I.. We went home on leave Christmas Eve 1958 and departed for Quantico on January 1st. We took the long way down Route 1 along with Lefty Keegan and someone else I can't remember, unless it was the Carroll brothers, arriving at Quantico on the 2nd, our reporting day and time. We were greeted by John T. Evans, Bill Blumberg, and Jim Robinson and felt as though I was back at P. I.. We then met then Sgt. Burton and Sgt. Croghan and at some point then Lt. Stewart. We went through a grueling 3 months of training, but, it was terrific. It was a wonderful experience especially working with the caliber of Marines conducting our training. Then Lt. Stewart was our Platoon Leader, Sgt. Burton was our Platoon Sergeant, Sgt. Croghan was our right guide, Cpl. Robinson was the 1st Squad Leader, Cpl. John Evans was the 2nd Squad Leader, and Cpl. Bill Blumberg was the 3rd Squad Leader. I think I have all the ranks and positions correct.

    We arrived at the Barracks and only stayed there a month when we were shipped out to Building 58 at the Naval Gun Factory because the Barracks was too crowded. At that time a one Platoon Drill Team was established for which I was honored to be selected and to serve as the 3rd squad Leader. This required additional extensive training outside and at the National Guard Armory. We always joked how we could sleep well that night because the National Guard was awake or so the signs in the armory indicated. I don't believe we ever saw a Guardsman, I guess they were sleeping so they could be up during the night. I can't respond to everyone as my email sent book won't let me. I don't have Col. Stewart's email address. Some of my fondest memories are of the time at Quantico and, of course, at 8th & I. The fondest are of some of the finest Marines I ever served with and for and they are:

    Arthur L. Stewart
    Ron Burton
    Ed Croghan
    John Evans
    Bill Blumberg
    Jim Robinson
    Semper Fi to all.

    Charlie
    8th & I Marine CHARLIE HUHA, Ceremonial Guard Company, Silent Drill Platoon, 1958-1961, Pompton Lakes, NJ

    John - You can add to Charlie's notes the fact that when we arrived in DC., one of the first duties we received was the graveyard shift for John Foster Dulles at Wash. Cath.; guarding a casket in the catacombs. One of my memories of Lt. Stewart was the hike at Camp David where he made the platoon put chewing tobacco in their mouths and keep up with his long legs. Only two people didn't get sick

    Regards, Semper Fi

    Whitey
    8th & I Marine EGIL "WHITEY" LEINES, Color Guard, 1958-1961, Alpharetta,GA





    The above letter, dated June 21, 1957, was written by the widow (Jean) of U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy ... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_McCarthy ... and was sent to 8th & I Marine Cornelius "Nick" Bailey, 1957-1958, Greenwich, CT. The 4th Platoon participated at Sen. Joe McCarthy's funeral in Washington and I believe that everyone got one.






    7-30-10 ... Joe Westner ....super picture of Ernest "Dick" Savoy. I arrived at the barracks in January 1957 and was assigned to the newly formed 4th Platoon. Lt. Savoy was my platoon leader. Fair, quiet and articulate...looked like a Marine officer and acted like one. I saw him mad or perhaps better said, upset...once. The platoon was at Camp David in early spring of 1957 and I had met a young, good-looking gal that lived in Gettysburg. I borrowed one of my platoon mates (Bob Moroni) new Chevrolet and decided to go see her see her one evening. Ron Gaydosh went with me to meet one of her friends. After a wild evening and a snout full of beer, we headed back to Camp David and on that long lonesome drive I fell asleep at the wheel, turned over the car and completely destroyed it....luckily both of us never got a scratch. The state police arrested me and offered jail or a $25.00 fine. I was flat broke and said if you will drive me back to Camp David, I will get it from Lt. Savoy. The Trooper was a former Marine and said, lets go. I arrived at the gate about 0300 and walked up to the door of Lt. Savoy's hut (we all lived in separate little huts in 1957) and knocked on the door. Lt. Savoy came to the door in his shorts and I explained my problem to a very p--ssed off Marine Corps Lieutenant. He gave me the $25.00. The next morning walking down to the big house for chow....he walked down with me and put his hand on my shoulder and with a big smile, said "just pay me back when you get in". I never heard another word about it....what a wonderful gesture that I sorely needed that cold morning at Camp David.

    As I worked my way through my own military career, I tried to emulate men like Dick Savoy, Richard Hatch, Bob Capeci, Ron Burton and even old 1Sgt Alsop. At the tender age of 19, I was quite fortunate to have had such a fine bunch of mentors.

    Sorry for the windy note, but the picture brought back some very pleasant memories,

    Semper fi....Denny Harris, CGC, 1957-58






    Joe Ruszkowski guarding president Eisenhower at Newport RI. 1957





    I am Michael H. Olejarz (1554372) and I was fresh out of Parris Island via Camp Geiger and 8th &I was my first duty post. Briefly, I was assigned to the Second Platoon, MCI and bunked in the infamous "10 Room". I met you and Bernie McKonnis as the latter was the senior NCO in charge of 10 room while I was there. He use to refer to you as "Butch". Also I remember Sgt Brown "Brownie" who ran the supply window adjacent to 10 room. While at the Barracks, the guys referred to me as "Olie" which was short for the last name of Olejarz. I hung around with Bob Michaels who was from Wheeling, West Virginia. I have fond memories of the fun and the misery of those summer Moonlight Parades in our starched whites and heavy blues-the sweat just poured off the body. I believe what kept me from passing out, like some of the other guys, was the fact that myself and a bunch of us that drank about six qts of beer right before the parade-we were hydrated. Gunny Gamm was our company gunny. I worked in Supply with Sgt.Tatara and remember Sgt. Ferrante; and the officers which I still remember were Lieut. O'Toole, there was Lieut Lapham from CGC, and Captain Hatch also from CGC. I also remember Lieut Wallace M. Green III. Colonel Jonas M. Platt had just taken over when I arrived replacing Colonel Chapman. We had a lot of laughs hitting all the joints on 8th street and I wonder now how we escaped with our lives as we went into places owned and frequented by the "brothers" such as the "Red Robin", and who could forget the the toughest bar on 8th Street, "Guy's". I also remember J&J's grill, buying a meal ticket which was punched for each meal you bought. I remained at 8th & I until January 1960 when I made the cut for MSG School. Upon finishing, I was assigned to the MSG detachment in Montevideo,Uruguay. I remained there two years, married my wife and we are celebrating 50 yrs next March. She was a secretary assigned to the embassy. Fifty years later, two children, two grandchildren is the final score card. I was discharged in 62 and went to George Washington University and then went to work for the Federal Government which I retired from after 36 yrs;however, I still continue to do contract work, serving in all the war zones.

    8th & I Marine MICHAEL OLEJARZ, Marine Corps Institute Co., 2nd Plt., 1958-1960, Haymarket, VA






    1-21-12 ... Great reminiscing----thanks for bringing back a lot of forgotten memories. Not really forgotten, but safely tucked away in our memory banks and not released again until someone like you brings them up "front and center".

    I remember coming into the Bks and buying gas from the gas pumps that were right outside the mess hall, along side the arcade. My platoon helped unload the saluting batteries that someone "found" in New England some where----at the Sub. base at New London I believe.---

    A Gy Sgt from MCI ( a cannon cocker) was delegated to teach the crews of the batteries proper saluting technique but someone did not recall that he would usually stop at "Fleets Inn" before reporting to the barracks for battery duty ( and he also stuttered quite a bit) so the first volleys that were test fired, ( no one knew how much powder to use with the blank rounds), did some considerable damage to the windows in the Commandant's house at the far end of the parade deck( much to the amusement of the Marines that were watching this fiasco).

    Some of us from that 50's period may recall Gy Bunce's call over the P A system for the -----Plt to fall out for the MAN-U-RAY detail. There were many questions as to why there were so many shovels in the bed of the truck that took the troops out to Lt Col Roy J. Batterton's (NOTE: We honor him on our website's Hall of Valor, http://8thandi.com/valor.html ) horse ranch in nearby VA. It became clear when they realized that the Lt Col had sold another load of horse manure to the Bks. to be shoveled over the parade deck to preserve the grass during the winter time.----MEMORIES-----

    Joe "Mustang" Larkin, Ceremonial Guard Company, 1955-1959 / USMC 1948-1971, San Diego, CA










    I was selected to attend the one of the early classes of the Marine Drill Instructor School along with four other Pfc.'s. from Parris Island Recruit Depot upon completion of boot camp training in the Fall of 1952.

    (Submitted by David Titus, Barracks Detachment, 1953-1955, Simpsonville, SC)





    RALPH SHERMAN'S 1950'S MEMORIES OF "SGT. RECKLESS," THE KOREAN WAR HORSE AND NATIONAL HERO

    7-25-13 ... I served in Korea from Feb. 1952 to Apr.1953. I was a Sgt with a recoilless rifle squad and served under Lt. Eric Pedersen, who bought Reckless and brought her to our company. In a book written by Colonel Andrew Geer, "Reckless, Pride of the Marines" published in 1955, I am mentioned in Reckless' first mission on pages 144 to 147. On those pages he wrote: " Wham-whoosh!" the hills bellowed and rocketed with the roar. Behind the weapon spurted a flume of dust. Though weighted down with six shells, Reckless left the ground with all four feet....her eyes went white". She soon became accustomed to the sound of the gun. While Plt.Sgt. Latham trained her, I believe it was PFC. Monroe Coleman who cared for her. We were indeed "the horse Marines" and proud of it. And yes, the enemy did keep a watchful eye out to try get Reckless whenever the opportunity presented itself. I am proud to have served with Reckless and the other Marines of our company. A unique bit of history from the Korean War that even today, at 80 yrs of age, I will always remember.

    8th & I Marine Ralph Sherman, Barracks Detachment/Ceremonial Guard Company, 3rd Platoon, 1955-1957, Korean War veteran, Joliet, IL

    NOTE: "Sgt. Reckless" joined the Corps in 1952, fought in the Korean War (received two Purple Hearts), and passed away in 1968.
    Click on this link for more information, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sgt_Reckless





    Post Mascot “Chesty” of 8th and I By David F. Felmet

    While serving in the Marines, I was stationed in Washington, DC. “Chesty” was the Post Mascot of 8th and I. In November of 1959, Chesty and I were invited by the Washington Bulldog Club to the Washington Bulldog Clubs gathering in Chevy Chase, MD. Chesty and “Jiggs”, Quantico's mascot, were both invited guests. This picture shows Chesty after having been given 2 tranquilizer shots by his veterinarian, given to him due to the fact that he had led a very sheltered life as a mascot, and had not been exposed to other dogs. At this time at 8th and I, I was in a Special Services Company. In addition to caring for Chesty, I was also Cannon Cocker on Gun No. 1 of the Saluting Battery. I started in CGC in November of 1957 and was in Third Platoon for 1 year. My days at 8th and I will always be near and dear to my heart.

    The pictures are of Me with Chesty and the back of the photo for dating and photographer information. The other is a cardboard placard that was from the Washington Bulldog Club that told people who he was being that he was just up on the stage and on the other side of the stage was Jiggs.







    8th & I Marine David F. Felmet, Member 3rd. Platoon 1958
    After my tour with CGC I went to H &S Company/Special Services. My job was to look after Cpl Chesty. Based on what I can read he was #1.





    I was stationed at 8th & Eye 1953 - 1955. In those days, the permanent "Company" at Camp David were Navy personnel and a few civilians. As a "fresh" 2nd Lt. it was my regular (pleasant) assignment to be at Camp David - Guard Duty when we learned that Ike was going to be there. An interesting sidelite: Ike had kept with him, the driver that he had used during WW II in France. This individual had a reputation for being a fast driver. On more than one occasion, Ike would be driven to Camp David leaving the support vehicles in the dust.

    Security, of course, was "tight" partcularly during those days. Our orders were to protect the Camp and not to be seen. On one occasion Ike had the first ever meeting of the White House staff, Dept. Secretaries, etc. at the Camp. Media personnel were transported to the proper location - on board a bus. It was my misfortune to be "spotted" by the media people who wnated me tostop and talk with them. I disappeared into the woods!

    One of the special pleasures while on duty at the Camp was the service and food that was served at the "Mess Hall". One could order (almost) whatever he wanted - steak & eggs for breakfast - and receive an outstanding meal.

    Sumbitted by Bernie Oakes, 8th and I Marine, 1953-1955





    2-13-15 --- BILL WAYLAND'S EARLY 1950'S MEMORIES OF 8TH & I

    John--seeing the pictures of "ike" reminded me of an incident that happened at an ike inaugural ball at the statler hotel @ 16th & k streets, nw in early 1957 at which i was part of the military honor guard. There were a number of inaugural balls around town as no one place was large enough to host all of those interested in attending one. So the newly elected president (2nd term) would go from ball to ball to make his appearance. One piece of background info. Someone at marine barracks had brought in a dance teacher to teach the rumba and i took her lessons. So, at the ball i asked one of the female singers with the band to dance. As we were dancing, i asked her if the band would play a rumba so i could try out my new steps with her. She said something like "...i don't know, let's go ask him..." the band playing was guy lombardo so we went up to the band stand. As he leaned over she said, "...the sgt. Would like to know if you would play a rumba for him..."or words to that effect. Lombardo responded with, "... We don't play rumbas, we leave them to xavier cugat..." needless to say, i was crushed. From that moment on, i had a dislike for lombardo but still liked his music. About five minutes later i was still dancing with the young lady when lombardo got on the microphone and said something like, "...we have a request from president eisenhower for a rumba..." well, my take was that lombardo was trying to save face since ike had already come and gone to some other ball .

    Submitted by Bill Wayland, 8th & I, MCI Detachment and H & S Company, 1954-1957, The Villages, FL





    Captain Tom Ryan's Late-1950's memories of the 3rd Platoon, Ceremonial Guard Company

    1-29-17 - I just spent some time reading a couple of the history stories at the Building #58 Barracks Gang and their tale from their point of view. As Commissioned Officers at the Barracks there were just a few commissioned officers that served in ceremonies in command of troops as well as guarding the Commander in Chief. The varied backgrounds and skills of all Marines both enlisted and commissioned was to say the least, fantastic. When I was assigned to the 3rd Platoon of Guard Company, I had just transferred from the USS Intrepid CVA 11 as the Executive Officer of the US Marine Detachment after 2 years aboard with her. She was a beauty, every Marine in the Detachment were great Marines and my 2 years aboard her remains very memorable. I was shocked and burst with pride when I studied each and every background file on every Marine in the Guard Platoon that I now was in charge. I met the platoon at Camp David in October of 1959. I rehearsed and re-rehearsed by myself for the ceremonial parade that I was going to be in when the unit would return from its assignment at Camp David. When I was Executive Officer of the first rifle Company in the 3rd Marine Division, I coached the company fast ball team. We won the Pacific Championship. I believed in teamwork concepts and told the 3rd Platoon that I needed them as they needed me for us to perform successfully as a unit. I had not seen a parade at the Barracks and the schedule says that I was going to be in a parade before I was going to see one. Not only was I going to be in a parade at the Barracks but I was also going to be in a parade at the Iwo Jima Monument on November 10th. To put a little topping on the parades, my unit was selected for the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown on Veterans Day the 11th of November. Thank God I had participated in many ceremonies aboard the USS Intrepid. It allowed me to be attentive to instructions and flexible in leadership. Oh and by the way, I had my first date with my wife Sue to attend the Commandants Birthday Ball at the Sheraton on November 10, 1959. My wife was a New York Conover Model who was the Princess at the ball. She was stunning in all respects and I was her proud escort who took every opportunity to make her time the most meaningful date of her life. It worked because we just celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary.
    As for the 3rd Platoon and all that faced us following the parade at Iwo Jima on the birthday of the Corps, I last saw them after the parade at Building 58. Sue and I were invited for their Birthday brunch at the Enlisted Club. It was icing on the cake of the day and kept the excitement of events rolling on the “class act” level. For this short story I will keep with the 3rd Platoon events and simply state that I stayed up all night and concluded at my office in Building 58 at 6.30 am on the 11th of November to get ready for the Tomb of the Unknown Wreath Laying ceremony. I went up to the sleeping quarters for the 3rd Platoon and found no one around. In fact, none of the racks had been even bothered or slept in all night. Liberty is up at 7 am and I could hear activity arriving through the lower level main hatchway. I moved quickly in the shadows to my office. I sat and prayed a tad and then leaned back and sipped on a fresh brew of coffee. I watched from my window that was above the street where the platoon was to form for inspection. “Hey Mr. Flexible…what in the hell can you do if someone is screwed up and not ready? Unless it was so dramatic that they had to be dismissed, not really anything. In their state of mind, they are mechanical and respondent to their training and I am utterly confident they are totally ready. Somewhat blind yes, but totally ready!!” As I looked out the window, I could see the ranks weaving at attention. My Platoon Sergeant informed me the platoon was ready for inspection and I replied, “Load the bus Sergeant.” He looked at me with sort of a smirky smile and had everybody load the bus. If you ever participated in a joint ceremony, you realize the Army runs the ceremony and high ranking officers run around like crazy. We formed up prior to the ceremony at the base of the 48 steps up to the tomb. Mind you, I have not slept the whole night as well. Guess what? An Army Major comes up to me and says, “Follow me Lieutenant, I have some changes to show you.” He talks all the way up the 48 stairs and back down. He then asks me if I have any questions. I say, “No Sir!” My Platoon Sergeant asks me if I have any changes to give him. I say,”Nope!” Just as we get the orders to move out, the Major comes running to me and says, “Forget all the changes, do it as you rehearsed!” I replied,' Aye aye sir.”

    Submitted by Thomas J. Ryan, Commander of the 3rd Platoon, Ceremonial Guard Company and CO of MCI Company, 10-4-59 through 2-28-63, Columbus, OH





    ROBERT WAYNE'S 8TH & I MEMORIES ... 1956-1957 ERA

    Greetings from a Salty Ol' Marine in dairy farm country, located in the "Finger Lakes" region of central New York, 300 miles northwest of New York City. I was raised on a dairy farm here at the northern end of Cayuga Lake, near the very small village of Cayuga on New York's very scenic route 90. We have one blinker light in the center of town. Forty miles to the south and on the southern end of the lake is the city of Ithaca, N.Y., home of Cornell University, and the alma mater of several family members.

    Farming was a physically demanding venture back in the depression era, and continued on through the WW II years. My folks were pretty good family planners, producing five boys and one girl, just enough to handle the workload, . Every one of us learned the 'work ethic' at a very young age. My Dad passed away at age 52, just after the war ended, which meant that all of us had to grow up pretty fast. A farm with lots of animals is a 365 days a year job. As time passed, my brothers and I all served our country. Three of us were Marines and two were in the Army. In 1951, my second oldest brother, Marty, was a student at Cornell when he was drafted. He served in the Korean war as a helicopter mechanic. During one of Bob Hope's holiday visits, he was accompanied by Ms. Marilyn Monroe; brother Marty and his crew had the distinct pleasure of flying the Hope entourage around for performances at the various troop encampments. He came away from that assignment with some great pictures (all were on slides), Marilyn of course, was featured in many of them. Whoa... all of a sudden, many decades have passed; I've lost three of my brothers (1 Marine & 2 Army). There are now just two Marines left, my 88 year old brother, Del and me. My beloved 83 year old sister is now battling kidney and bladder problems (cancer). She and her husband just celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary.

    Well... I've probably bloviated long enough, being tethered to a machine keeps me from getting out and about. I bought a new car two and half years ago and the odometer has only hit 8,000 mile mark. These "On Golden Pond" years are not going quite as planned. I lost my wife many years ago. My two daughters live a couple hundred miles east, one daughter and husband in the "Lake George" area of the Adirondack Mountains, the other near Pittsfield MA.

    I graduated from boot camp in December, 1955; then it was off to Camp Lejeune (Geiger). One day before heading out on a field training exercise, an unfamiliar Marine 1st Lt. ,and a Staff Sgt. were on site and began putting us through a wide range of close order drills. After a few short minutes, I was tapped on the shoulder and asked to fall out of ranks, I thought "oh-oh", I must've screwed up. I had no idea what was happening, a short time later I found that the tap on the shoulder meant that my limited time in the Corps was about to take on a whole new dimension. I was soon to be moving out to my first duty station... Marine Barracks at 8th & I in Washington, D.C. In late summer of '56, my brother Buzz, who was in 2nd Motor Transport at Lejeune, drove up to visit me. He and his 2 buddies that were with him were quite impressed. My brother asked, "how did you ever pull off a deal like this? Wow.... tables with white tablecloths and waiters bringing serving dishes of food right to your table." I answered him with as much of a straight face as I could muster, well... you just have to be squared away and you'll pretty-much get to where you want to be! Of course there were a few snide chuckles intended to deflate any excess ego that might be lurking in my head.

    I reported in at 8th & I in latter part of January '56, it was a very proud moment. I enjoyed many great times during my time in D.C.. Over the years I was in Washington many times on business, finally I had the opportunity to visit the Post a couple of times in the early and late 90's. Couldn't believe the degree of change that had taken place. I was surprised with the annex on the south side of the Post (I st was gone), also the was new expressway near by. By any chance, do you happen to remember "Lou's Golden Rule", the dry cleaners just to the south of I ,St which used to be there until it was swallowed up by the annex.. Lou's shop did a lot of 'customising' of our uniforms. Almost next door to the cleaners was the shoe repair shop, where we got all of our triple soles and metal cleats installed on our shoes. How about "Guy's Place", the bar about a block north and on the other side of 8th street. Then there were other extracurricular activities that were only a 15 cent trolley ride from 8th St. to 14th St.downtown and Benny's place, or just a little further up the street to, "The Hay Loft".

    I'd better wrap this up, just wanted to give you a little background on the "Wayne Boys" from the quiet farm country of upstate New York. I was pleasantly surprised with the well-wishing email I received through your posting of my message that I sent you few days ago....thank you for your thoughtfulness, in deed, very much appreciated!

    John, can't tell you how much I've enjoyed your ecards and all of your email with so many great links to historical websites and pictures. You'll see that I've attached a copy of the 8th & I Ol' Timers that sent me well wishes. Well, time to sign off for now.... hopefully, my rambling didn't lose you after the first paragraph. Semper Fi

    Submitted by Robert C.(Bob) Wayne, 8th & I, Barracks Detachment, 1st Platoon / Drill Team, 1956-1957




    DENNY HARRIS' MID-1950'S 8TH & I MEMORIES

    Your recent note to John really brought back some great memories. I arrived at Parris Island in August 1956 and 13 weeks later off to Camp Geiger and ITR. While at Geiger we were told to check the Company Bulletin board every day and on a cold day in January 1957, I read "try outs for 8th and I this Saturday"....hmmm? I asked a sergeant standing beside me, what was 8th and I? He looked at me and said, "Private you would have no more chance than a snowball in hell (or something similar) of being selected for 8th and I". So, come Saturday off I head to the parade ground with spit shined shoes, a shiny M-1, freshly pressed uniform, bill of my gord pulled low and wow I see several hundred equally squared away marines milling about. I notice 2 or 3 really squared away NCO's yelling instructions....I soon got to know them as Sgt Burton and SSgt McKenzie. We marched and did the manual of arms all day Saturday and Sunday and our numbers slowly dwindled until late Sunday and there was about 30 still standing and I was one of them. The next morning at the bulletin board with the same Sergeant standing there and reading the list of 8th and I selectees, you could not have gotten the smile off my face with a ball peen hammer.

    I arrived at 8th and I in February 1957 with the newly formed 4th Platoon of Ceremonial Guard Company. Shortly thereafter I ended up as the Guard Company clerk working with 1Sgt Alsop, got promoted to Corporal and the fun was on! What a place Guys was.....toward the end of the month when we were out of money ($78.00 per month did not last very long) we went to Guys and could always find some queer to buy us beer (the place was full of queers). I bought my Drill Team jacket at Lou's and I am proud to say, I still have mine and it is now hanging in my closet about 10 feet away as I type this missive. Remember the little restaurant/bar across the street from Lou's.....had the best BLT sandwich ever! Right across from the front gate was a lively little honky tonk and I cannot remember the name, but a swinging joint. Had a wild little gal hanging in there called Fifi who basically fired on every young Marine that came through the front door. Now that I think of it....the name of the place could have been Bandbox...not sure!

    At the age of 80, these great memories become more important and meaningful with each passing year and your letter to John really hit home,

    Submitted by ... Denny "Mustang" Harris, Ceremonial Guard Company, 4th Platoon, 1957-1958 / served 30 years in the U.S. Army Reserves - retired colonel, Lexington, KY




    IKE RUCKER'S 8TH & I MEMORIES OF THE 1949-1951 ERA

    To all from Ike Rucker 49-51 Drill team/MCI. More good ole days memories.
    During my 2 years plus at the old barracks - my squad bay looked down on the Commandants garden. I was transferred there from Camp Pendleton in June '49, after having spent a few months on base guard duty (walking post one night around the supply warehouses and it snowed -at Camp Pendleton) just about froze in the wee hours of morning. Since I fired high score in my platoon at PI in Oct '48, was selected to join the 1st Div rifle team. Fired at Camp Pendleton range about 4 weeks then went TDY to Camp Matthews for 6 weeks until Western Div Matches. Back to Pendleton and to 30 days mess duty.

    Just after being relieved of my scullery duty, I was informed that I was being transferred to Wash. D.C. to 8th & I. I had worked one year for the FBI (in Wash) prior to enlisting and the MCI civilian in Investigation Section (former FBI employee) requested me as an instructor. After about 3 or 4 weeks, I was asked by S/Sgt Jones, NCOIC of Drill Team, if I wanted to join the team. Couldn't pass up the opportunity so I began to practice.

    During those years, a Marine could not have wished for a better duty station. Arlington Farms, a number of barracks buildings like we had at PI and Pendleton, were full of single women working for the government. They were from all over the country. The Identification (fingerprint files) bldg had a typing room that covered half a city block, the largest typing room in the country at that time - full of single women.

    D.C. was a great place then and I still had friends from the FBI who were working and going to school. The Drill Team was also the Honor Guard Platoon - going around to special events with President Truman. Liberty was great, especially Sat nites at the "Y", where we would go dancing. Women were lined around the dance floor waiting to be asked to dance. Shortage of men!!

    The Band Box was located across the street from the main gate. A lot of good stories originated there. The Drill team/Ceremonial Platoon accompanied the D&B Corps to most of the Arlington funeral details. A lot of our burial details involved the Iwo Jima Marine casualties - removing them from their Iwo burial plots and re-interring them at Arlington. We were at Arlington several times each week for stretches of time. Participated in only one State Funeral - that of USAF Gen Hap Arnold - in Dec and it snowed all the way from the Capitol Bldg to the grave site in Arlington. Those heavy green overcoats sure were welcomed that day!!

    Those were, in fact, the good ole days and it would have been sort of nice to have done it all over again.

    Submitted by ... Isaac (Ike) Rucker, MCI Company, 1949-1951, Smithville, NJ




    Bill Wayland's 8TH & I Memories of the Mid-1950'S

    Joe (Joe "Mustang" Larkin, 8th & I, 1955-1959)--well, 87 & counting, eh? I'm not that far behind you. I'll be 83 come a week from tomorrow--i.e. on Oct 2nd. If I knew when I was younger that I was going to live this long, I'd have taken better care of myself.

    Seems just like yesterday I arrived at Marine Barracks & reported in on a day when all of the guys in MCI were packing their gear to go to Camp David to guard Ike.

    By the way, one other email Reim sent re: Chapman & his "squaring away" the troops to regulation style uniforms reminded me of the following incident. Don't know if you had reported aboard before or after this experience. Time has a way of fading memories somewhat.

    As you may or may not remember, every morning we got up and went to the head to shower/shave, etc. I was billeted in the last squad bay right next to the brown baggers room so there was one other squad bay between my squad bay and the head. We were the last squad bay just to the left of the Commandant's house if looking from the rear of the Commandant's house onto the parade ground. We often joked that we "slept closer to the Commandant's wife then he did" as we could look out our widows on the parade side almost directly into the Commandant's house.

    As i walked through the door into the hallway in front of the head/showers, etc., I saw this Bird Colonel standing just to the side of one of the doorways into the head with his swagger stick held behind him. This went on for a couple of days and all he did was watch, said nothing. No one seemed to know who he was or what he was doing there. Well, the following Monday we found out why he was doing what he did. Oh, one other thing. The Barracks were over crowded so many of the Staff NCO's were living off post.

    So, bright and early on the first Monday after we had seen this Bird Colonel in the hallway, all of a sudden the Staff NCO's who were living off post came through the squad bays with a bugler blowing REVEILLE. The NCO's were banging on the bunks and hollering at us just like they did at PI. We were told to fall out for roll call on 9th Street behind the Barracks. We were so shell shocked that most fell out without lacing up their boondockers, tucking in their jackets or wearing their fatigue caps.

    Each morning we would see the same Colonel standing outside behind the Barracks watching what was going on. So, over the next few days this scene was repeated and each following day more instructions came down from the top. You will lace up your boondockers; tuck in your jackets; wear your caps, etc., etc. so it took about a week or so before we were looking like Marines again.

    Once in formation, the head count was taken & each platoon sergeant would respond with the appropriate ALL PRESENT AND ACCOUNTED FOR SIR, or report anyone who was missing, etc. Wow, talk about culture shock.

    After all of the years since then, I cannot remember exactly what time Reveille was but it went something like this. Revile @ 5:15 AM; Roll Call @ 5:20 AM; PT @ 5:25 AM; Chow at Mess Hall @ 5:30 AM. The actual times may have been slightly different but you get the drift of what was expected of us.

    All this was just a precursor to the cement walkway being installed on the parade ground. Once built, we fell out there for morning roll call. Oh, almost forgot. We also did a little PT on sidewalk on the back side of the barracks. You know, jumping jacks, etc. Bet those who lived across from the Barracks really enjoyed that since we had to call out the count as we did them.

    Additionally, we were told no straggling to chow, if we were so inclined. If you wanted chow, we had to go as a unit and stand in line to go into the mess hall. Little by little things were "straightened out" to the Colonel's satisfaction. Well, guess who the Colonel was? None other than our own Colonel Leonard Chapman--affectionally referred to as "CHAPPIE".

    There was one thing that the troops really hated and that was the lengthening of the trousers to include the "break" in front and the requirement of the trousers come down to the middle of the shoe between the top of the shoe and where the heel started. Why, you might ask? Well, for starters it did not look sharp and it got worse when it rained because the back of the trousers would suck up water when you were standing in water at a funeral or some other function and you would have nice ring of water on the back side of your trousers. To us, that was an embarrass- ment,

    Joe, guess this is enough 'nostalgia' for one day. Hope it brings back pleasant memories of your tour at 8th & I Streets, SE, D.C. And also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY YOU OLD "FART"--as one OLD FART TO ANOTHER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    P.S. Also remember helping you move your personal belongings and/or furniture into your apartment near HQ Marine Corps in Arlington just before you and Lil were married. Fond memories they are. Know you and Lil had a great marriage as I did with my first wife who passed away in 2007. Leaves a hole in your heart but the great memories buffer the pain of losing them.

    Semper Fidelis,
    Submitted by ... Bill Wayland, 8th & I, MCI Detachment and H & S Company, 1954-57 / USMC 1953-61, The Villages, FL




    10-18-17 ... IKE RUCKER'S 8TH & I MEMORIES OF THE 1949-1951 ERA

    To Richard Jacques:

    I can supply a bit about the early history of the Drill Team, as follows:
    I was transferred to 8th & I as an MCI Instructor around mid 1949. S/Sgt. Jones, NCOIC of the Drill Team and the original organizer of the Drill Team, I was told, invited me to become a member shortly after my arrival. I remained at 8th & I until my discharge in Sept 1951. My height at the time was 5ft-10in and I was one of the three shortest Marines in the team, my assigned position was at the end of the first squad. When I was discharged, S/Sgt. Jones was still the NCOIC of the team. He was a very sharp, squared away Marine. My squad bay for approx half of my time there was on the second floor, directly overlooking the Commandants garden.

    Our summer parades on the compound were conducted in the afternoon (Sunset Parades), finishing up between 4 and 5 PM as I recall.

    I know it got plenty hot out on that parade field at that time of the day. The humidity was terrible. When we came off the parade field, we got out of those dress blues and hit the showers. To help us bear the heat, our windows were always open in the summertime as we had no air conditioning in the old barracks.

    During those years, the Drill Team was also the Honor Guard Platoon which performed many funeral details at Arlington Cemetery each week and also accompanied President Truman at his important State Affairs/events. We did one State Funeral, that being for Gen. Hap Arnold. It was in December, as I recall, and it snowed for the entire three mile (+) hike from the Capitol building to the grave site at Arlington. I recall that very cold event very vividly. That was the only time that heavy green overcoat really was appreciated. Quite a few of our burial details involved burying Marines who had been taken from their temporary graves on Iwo Jima and reburied at Arlington. Others consisted of burying Marines who were killed during the battles of the Korean War. I recall some of the main events we supported: To the Airport (National, in those years) when Pres Truman met the Shaw of Iran when he was deposed of power and came to the US for Asylum (?); When Pres Truman gave Gen. Eisenhower a Presidential send-off at the airport on the occasion of Gen. Eisenhower leaving for Europe to assume command of the NATO forces; When Gen. MacArthur was relieved of command of allied forces in Korea - when he addressed the joint houses of Congress and then motored up Pennsylvania Avenue to a stage set up in the street at the corner of 14th Street, where he gave a rather long speech. On the stage were many of the Generals and Admirals of WW11. Our Drill team was positioned about 15 ft from the stage (centered). It was a hot day and my collar got wet with sweat and began to shrink (that old horse blanket type of wool material) and I almost passed out. We were standing at parade Rest before MacArthur began to speak in the Capitol (speakers were set up on the Washington Monument grounds so we could hear his speech). We were still standing while the party ate in the Capitol after the speech and motored down to the stage, then during his second speech. Approx 10 years ago, I visited the museum at the Gun Factory and saw a page of newspaper with photo, showing largest crowd ever to assemble on the Washington Monument grounds - during that event.

    I didn't mean to get too technical and long winded, but, when you are 88 yrs you like to think on such memories. Semper Fi

    Submitted by 8th & I Marine Isaac "Ike" Rucker, MCI Company, 1949-1951, Smithville, NJ




    10-19-17 ... TOM RYAN'S 8TH & I MEMORIES, LATE-1950'S / EARLY-1960'S

    Hi Richard Jacques,
    I joined the Ceremonial Guard Company as the 3rd Platoon Commander in fall of 1959. Just before I was assigned to the 3rd Platoon, the Company Commander, Richard Hatch and the Barracks Commander Colonel Platt agreed to stop all 3 of the Ceremonial units from doing silent drill. Up until that decision all 3 platoon units were assigned the task of taking the silent drill performance at parades etc. It was the 1st Platoon that received the honors as the Drill Platoon. The Platoon leader was Ron Lethin and the Platoon Sgt was Gunnery Sgt Benjamin Smith. Ron Lethin and I were both 1st Lieutenants in the Corps and shared the same office. All of the enlisted US Marines in the Guard Company were extremely select Marines to be assigned to this Company. They were first interviewed, detail background check for White House duty, specific height measurements and a referral by their current unit leaders. Some came right from advanced infantry training but most were experienced in the field. With this select group you could call upon them to perform almost any military infantry task with excellence. Like any other US Marine unit, they are and remain a Marine for their lifetime. I share this with you because almost all of the performance characteristics of the “Drill Platoon” were a capability of the entire Ceremonial Guard Unit. Thus the name, “Ceremonial” Guard Unit. At the time I was assigned to the 3rd Platoon, most of the Marines in the Guard Company could and had been in public performances as simply a part of the Company. When they made the change, it opened the door for the Drill Platoon to accept many invitations that were previously difficult for all of the units to accept. The many active assignments for the other Ceremonial Guard Platoon units versus the Drill Platoon was the duties as security at Camp David, funerals at Arlington Cemetery, arrivals for the Secretary of State, Parades and then on call for the needs of the President of the US and the Commandant of the US Marine Corps. During my 4 years at 8th and I Barracks, those duties were still in place as I defined. The Drill Platoon refined it's demonstration to the Public and continue to perform with excellence. I believe I am giving you a brief summary of the beginnings of the Drill Platoon that is now called the US Marine Corps Drill Team. Semper Fi

    Submitted by Tom Ryan, 8th & I, Ceremonial Guard Company, 3rd Platoon Commander and CO of MCI Company, 1959-1963, Columbus, OH




    10-19-17 ... CHARLIE HUHA'S 1959-1961 MEMORIES OF THE SILENT DRILL PLATOON

    Richard Jacques,

    I believe I can tell you a little bit more. I and others were selected for duty at 8th & I from ITR, Infantry Training Regiment at Camp Geiger, a subset of Camp Lejeune. The recruiters at ITR were Lt. Arthur L.Stewart and Sgt. Ron Burton. Two of the most squared away and professional Marines I had thus far encountered. We arrived at Quantico for 4 months of training on 01/02/1959. Upon completion of training we deployed to the 8th & I Barracks where we were billeted for one month. Early-mid 1959, the Ceremonial Guard Company, including the Silent Drill Platoon, moved from "The Barracks" to Building 58 at the Naval Gun Factory (Washington Navy Yard). It was during that time the decision was made to have one Drill Team as outlined by then Lt. Ryan, who I remember well. They took the best of the best from the Ceremonial Guard Company Platoons and those of us who just completed training. I was fortunate to be selected. John Reim also was selected and eventually became the rifle inspector. The first rifle inspector of the new Drill Team was Doug Stevens. The first Platoon Leader was Lt. Arthur L. Stewart and the first Platoon Sgt. was Sgt. Ron Burton. The Squad Leaders were the same ones we had during training at Quantico, namely Corporal Robinson, Corporal Blumberg and Corporal Evans. I believe the Right Guide was Corporal Croghan. Although he may have been a Sgt. He also was with us during training at Quantico. After some time, maybe several months, Sgt. Burton was transferred to another duty station. Corporal Croghan was promoted to SGT. and became our Platoon Sgt. Maybe six to twelve months later, Lt. Stewart and Sgt. Croghan were transferred and reassigned to other duty stations. Lt. Ron Lethin was assigned as the Platoon Leader and GySgt Benjamin Smith was assigned as the Platoon Sgt. In 1961, Lt. Lethin and GySgt Smith were transferred to other duty stations. The new Platoon Sgt. assigned was SSgt E.R. Davenport and the new Platoon Leader was Lt. Ken McNutt. Since I was scheduled to get discharged in May, I decided to transfer from the Drill Team and go into the Guard Section for the remainder of my time. I didn't think it would be fair to take someone's place that should be there training for the new season when I only had several months to go.

    Richard, I remember your Dad well. He was a great guy and Marine, well liked and very squared away. I know his passing left a very big hole in his family and I extend my deepest sorrow for your loss. Semper Fi

    Submitted by 8th & I Marine Charlie Huha, Ceremonial Guard Company, Silent Drill Platoon, 1959-1961, Pompton Lakes, NJ




    11-4-17 ... Frank McCarthy's Late-1950's Drill Team / Rifle Inspector Memories

    Included in the 1959 Leatherneck story, 1959 Leatherneck PDF , is a photograph of the long-line inspection. The individual doing the inspection is Frank McCarthy, Third Platoon, Ceremonial Guard Company 1958-59-60. I used to toss the rifle up and over my head catching it behind my back on its way down. The photo shows me, just as I caught the rifle. During drill practice one day, I attempted to toss the rifle up from behind my back and catch it in front of my body. I missed! The bayonet pinned my fight foot to the ground. It pierced my boot, foot and boot-sole pinning my foot. I spent a few days at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I am certain I was the second individual to ever do the inspection routine during the long-line. I do not remember the name of the first. A funny story, the Doctor at the hospital refused to believe how it happened. He would rather believe that I was playing chicken with another Marine. He just flat out refused to believe the truth. I retired as a mustang Major having gone through the Warrant Officer program and then receiving a commission as a second Lt. I served three tours in Vietnam and other Southeast Asian locations... Platoon Commander 3/26 Khe Sanh...Company Commander, Hotel 2/7 LZ Baldy and the Que San Mountains, followed by a Combined Action Company Commander, south of Hue city. My final tour was with the Joint Casualty Resolution Center in Thailand, searching for MIAs and POWs. My CO at the Barracks was Capt. Richard Hatch, KIA Vietnam as a Lt. Col. The finest Marine I ever served with. Plt Commander, Lt. Lapham. Plt. Sgt. SSgt William Keller who was also a mustang officer.

    Respectfully!
    Submitted by State Representative, Frank McCarthy, 8th & I, Ceremonial Guard Company, 3rd Platoon / Drill Team, 1958-1960, "Mustang," Vietnam veteran, Hall of Valor, Conway, New Hampshire




    Click here to read the memories of the Body Bearer's of the 1950's Body Bearers

    Click here to read the memories of SgtMaj Blackie (mascot) SgtMaj Blackie

    For David Melchior's memories of the 1950's,  Click here.




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