This blog is for Communication among Marines and people interested in the Marines. The 10 is for Communications. The Photo above is Marble Mountain, Danang, Vietnam.

Nov 29, 2013

Thanksgiving with Marines


Happy Thanksgiving to all.

We are goofing off in Spain, having a great time. As Thanksgiving approached we decided to stop by at the Moron Air Base for an American Thanksgiving Dinner.

Great dinner in the chow hall - we were surprised to see that almost everyone there were Marines in their green cammies. Officers and Staff NCO's were serving the food and cleaning up the mess hall.

I enjoyed watching the officers working in the chow hall since I own the record for days of mess duty in the Marine Corps. I had 100 days of mess duty, the last 30 days for punishment. Glad to see officers learning the ropes.

Fun talking to these Marines. They are not talking of course, but they have been put here to deal with things like the unfortunate Libyan killing of the US Ambassador. Marines were always used for that from Embassy Security 

and a Battalion afloat, but these guys should be able to get there a little faster - C-130's and Ospreys.

They look so young. And they are.

We went to the club Thanksgiving evening. These clubs are now all hands - few bases have enough people to have separate clubs for officers, NCO's and troops.

Most of the troops in the bar were young first term troops. We bought the bar a couple of rounds for Thanksgiving. It was fun. I spent a lot of time talking to a Cpl and Lance Corporal swapping stories about boot camp and the Marine Corps.

They make a lot more money than when we were troops. One guy is getting out to go to college. The other guy is going for 20 or 30 years.

Boot camp and infantry training are roughly twice as long as we spent back in the day. We made up the difference in on the job training.

Great young Marines, the age of our grand children, if we were old enough to have them. And of course these young men thought we were older than dirt. And we are.  Although I regaled them with some stories about my WWII father who is still going strong.

SP-MAGTF Crisis Response is a rotational force of Marines and sailors sourced from a variety of units from II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune, N.C., temporarily positioned on Moron Air Base, Spain, capable of decisive action across a range of military operations.
“The reason we are here is to provide a scalable force to respond to unexpected crisis,” said Major Zane Crawford, the SP-MAGTF Crisis Response operations officer. “We can rapidly deploy to support missions, such as embassy reinforcement, tactical recovery of aircraft, and personnel and non-combatant evacuation operations.”
A Marine Air-Ground Task Force is a balanced, expeditionary force with built-in command, ground, aviation and logistics elements and, while this is nothing new for the Marine Corps, a SP-MAGTF is organized, trained and equipped to accomplish a specific mission, according to Crawford.
The SP-MAGTF CR gives U.S. Africa Command and U.S. Marine Corps Forces Africa a broad range of military capabilities to respond to crises in its area-of-responsibility including conducting non-combatant evacuation, humanitarian assistance, disaster relief, and support to U.S. embassies, and other operations, missions and activities as directed by national and command leadership.


You should mention that Spanish Marines who guard the two bases we lease in Spain are the oldest Marine Corps in the world.  The Spanish Marine Corps (Infanteria de Marina) was founded on 27 Feb 1537 by King Charles I.  They celebrate their birthday every year on this date.  Miguel de Cervantes who authored “Don Quixote de la Mancha” was a Spanish Marine and a prisoner of the Barbary pirates.  

Bob Dart


More photos at

Nov 28, 2013

WW II and the Great Lakes

World War II and the Great Lakes

The Great Lakes provided vital support for the war effort in WWII, from building 28 fleet subs in Manitowoc, Wisconsin to providing the bulk of US industrial output, we could not have won the war if not for the benefits of the Great Lakes and their related industry. However there was another benefit of the lakes that is often overlooked. Japan quickly lost the war because, among many other things, its navy could not replace its carrier pilot losses. We could.

How did we train so many pilots in both comfort (calm seas) and safety (no enemy subs)

We took two old side-wheel Great Lakes passenger steamers and turned them into training carriers on Lake Michigan! Virtually every carrier pilot trained in the war got his landing training on these amazing ships! Sadly nothing but these great photos and the wrecks of the aircraft that ditched alongside them remain to tell their fascinating story! Check this out! USS Sable and USS Wolverine.

During World War II merchant ships were converted to aircraft carriers to train Navy pilots. The USS Sable (IX-81) was a training ship of the United States Navy during World War II. Originally built as the 'Greater Buffalo', a sidewheel excursion steamer, she was converted in 1942 to a freshwater aircraft carrier to be used on the Great Lakes. She was used for advanced training for naval aviators in carrier takeoffs and landings. One aviator that trained upon the Sable was future president George H. W. Bush. Following World War II, Sable was decommissioned on 7 November 1945. She was sold for scrapping on 7 July 1948.


The steamship 'Greater Buffalo' before it was converted to the USS Sable (IX-81).


Overhead view of the training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) underway on Lake Michigan with an FM Wildcat making a deck launch from the flattop 1945


The USS Sable (IX-81) lies at anchor in Lake Michigan 1943


training aircraft carrier Sable (IX 81) moored alongside a pier on the shore of Lake Michigan during a break in training operations.

Click below for many more great photos and the rest of the story.

Pilot crashes while attempting a landing on the USS Wolverine. The plane is an SNJ, the Navy version of the USAAF's T-6 trainer.

Nov 10, 2013

Goodbye to the Vietnam Era UH-1N Huey

Vietnam War-era Huey completes final Marine Corps deployment

The last UH-1N Huey ever to deploy with Marines recently conducted its final flight Nov. 5, ending a storied era of Marine aviation.
The two-bladed version of the Huey recently deployed with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 266 (Reinforced) out of Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., in support of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit. The 26th MEU recently returned from a float in the 5th and 6th Fleet areas of operation.
The two bladed UH-1N variant has now been replaced by the heavier-hitting four-bladed UH-1Y.
The specific UH-1N that was the last to deploy was also among the oldest in the service’s inventory. It was built before the end of the Vietnam war.
“Aircraft 30 was built in August 1970,” said Capt. Andrew Kingsbury, UH-1N Huey pilot assigned to VMM-266, referring to his helicopter in a Marine Corps news release. “There were one or two that were older, but they were stricken from the record about 15 years ago. This aircraft has seen every major conflict the Marine Corps has been involved in since the 1970s.”

Helo / Explosion / Ghost Marine

I took this photo in 1970 from Hill 327 near Danang. 

I don't know how the ghost Marine got in the shot.

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