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.

May 4, 2017

Among My Souvenirs


Congressman Sam Johnson and Dr. Kay Tracy

 

I am attaching a copy of my "bracelet speech". I belonged to an organization in DC called Capitol Speakers. Women in the public eye, such as ambassadors' wives, as well as TV personalities, etc., joined to take a speech course and then practice speaking at monthly meetings. I wrote this little talk to give to that group. Sam Johnson, Congressman, from Texas, was supposed to attend for the presentation but that was the day when the Capitol was evacuated because of an anthrax (?) scare, so he didn't make it. Subsequently, I, along with George and some friends, went to his office and had the presentation there.

Sam Johnson read the little talk into the Congressional Record. As you will gather, I had his bracelet. I am attaching a picture as well. Sam has a bad arm, suffered as a result of torture while imprisoned in the Hanoi Hilton, where he was John McCain's roommate.


 

I still find the whole thing moving. By the way, a nun had John McCain's bracelet.

Dr. Kay Blythe Tracy
_______________________________

[Congressional Record: December 20, 2001 (Extensions)
Page E2347] From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access  [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:cr20de01pt2-31]


AMONG MY SOUVENIRS

______


HON. SAM JOHNSON
of Texas
in the House of Representatives
Wednesday, December 19, 2001


Mr. SAM JOHNSON of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I submit the following article by Kay Blythe Tracy, Ph.D.:

_______________________

Americans now are inspired and united by every musical note of "God Bless America.'' But back in the sixties, we were a nation in discord, singing many different tunes. Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote songs of Camelot, while Pete Seeger asked, "Where have all the young men gone?''

The story I'm going to tell you today is about what happened to one of those young men. This story began in the sixties, when POW/MIA bracelets were conceived as a way to remember missing or captive American prisoners of war in Southeast Asia. Traditionally, a POW/MIA bracelet is worn until the man named on the bracelet is accounted for, whether it be 30 days or 35 years.

I bought my bracelet in 1970 for $2.50. It has, "Lt. Col. Samuel Johnson, April 16, 1966'' engraved on it. I wore the bracelet faithfully for many years, but eventually took it off and put it away. But every time I opened my jewelry box, I saw it. And every time I saw it, I was saddened, and I thought of Lt. Col. Johnson, and I said a little prayer.

The bracelet led to my first foray into the wonderful world of e-Bay, the on-line auction service, where I listed it for sale. I thought that anyone who would buy it would treasure it and it would be out of my sight, out of my mind. To my surprise, bidding on the bracelet was brisk.

On the seventh, and final, day of the auction, my husband George asked me if I knew what had happened to Col. Johnson.

"No,'' I replied. "I never wanted to know.'' But George went to the Internet, and returned with information. Of the more than twenty-five hundred POWs, and the three to six thousand MIAs, only 591 men returned. My brother, a Marine Lieutenant, did not.

After spending seven years as a prisoner of war, Sam Johnson did.

I was so happy I cried.

When I contacted Congressman Johnson's office, his aide, McCall Cameron, told me that he and Mrs. Johnson were on vacation with their grandchildren.

Grandchildren! More tears.

Congressman Johnson said he would very much like to have his bracelet. So, I cancelled the e-Bay auction, and today I am returning this souvenir. In the words of Randy Sparks, "A million tomorrows will all pass away, ere I forget all the joy that is mine today.''

And in my own words, I say to Sam, finally,

"Welcome home.''

_______________

To Dr. Tracy, I say, "Thank you. We will never forget. God bless you.''

Congressman Sam Johnson



Apr 13, 2017

C-130 and a Very Big Bomb


US Forces dropped a very large bomb on ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan from a C-130 a few days ago. 

         en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BLU-82


The Marines dropped a similar bomb in Vietnam from a C-130. The Air Support Radar Team on top of Hill 327 controlled the mission.  We listened to the count down - 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Standby, Standby, Mark Mark.  We ran outside the van before the end of the countdown to watch the show.

The C-130 moved into a steep climb, then a parachute deployed and pulled the very large bomb out of the 130. The bomb swung wildly, then fell to the jungle below, with an enormous explosion.

         KABOOM !!

The drop was an effort to create an instant Landing Zone by blowing the trees out of the way. But the word came back that the trees were in such disarray the effort failed - there were too many fallen trees in the way for an effective LZ.


Mar 16, 2017

Back in the Old Corps


I have recently learned of your organization and that your name "Devastate Charlie" was in recognition of the Marines at Pt. Mugu who conceived and built the first air support radar/ control for all weather bombing. The original group of four officers and eight enlisted Marines built the gear. 

Once they were approved to take the gear to Korea, they were augmented by other Marines... joined the 1st Marine Division for the Fall Offensive in 1951.... Their radio call sign was Devastate Charlie. Only two of the original group survive today....Robert G. Harris (LtCol Ret) and John Seissinger (LtCol Ret). 

 How do I know all this?....I am Robert Harris, then a 1st Lt....and John Seissinger was a Tech Sgt.. It so happens that tomorrow, March 16th, John and I are going to speak to the Marines of MASS-3. I am now 93 years of age and John is 3 years younger. I have a book as a Kindle E book .."Many Come, Few Are Chosen" in which I write in detail about our project from start to finish. I would be pleased to provide any other info .... incidentally. We did have an "unofficial" patch...a picture of it is in the book.

Semper Fi....


Bob Harris

_______________


Great to hear from you, Bob.

Anything you want to send me I will put on the blog

Marines, you can order the book at:

https://www.amazon.com/Many-Come-Few-Are-Chosen-ebook/dp/B005CQOXPU


Semper Fi


Craig Hullinger



Mar 4, 2017

The Rifleman's Creed - United States Marine Corps

This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.


My rifle is my best friend. It is my life. I must master it as I must master my life.Without me, my rifle is useless. Without my rifle, I am useless. 

I must fire my rifle true. I must shoot straighter than my enemy who is trying to kill me. I must shoot him before he shoots me. I will...My rifle and I know that what counts in war is not the rounds we fire, the noise of our burst, nor the smoke we make. 

We know that it is the hits that count. We will hit...My rifle is human, even as I, because it is my life. Thus, I will learn it as a brother. I will learn its weaknesses, its strength, its parts, its accessories, its sights and its barrel. I will keep my rifle clean and ready, even as I am clean and ready. 

We will become part of each other. We will... Before God, I swear this creed. My rifle and I are the defenders of my country. We are the masters of our enemy. We are the saviors of my life. So be it, until victory is America's and there is no enemy, but peace!


The Rifleman's Creed (also known as My Rifle and The Creed of the United States Marine) is a part of basic United States Marine Corps doctrine. Major General William H. Rupertus wrote it during World War II, probably in late 1941 or early 1942. All enlisted Marines learn the creed at recruit training. Different, more concise versions of the creed have developed since its early days, but those closest to the original version remain the most widely accepted.



The Rifleman's Creed - United States Marine Corps

Jan 27, 2017

Vietnam Casualties

Vietnam War Casualties By Branch of Service


http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwc18.htm

Vietnam War Casualties By Branch of Service



The U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War
USMC FS PhotoThe U.S. Marine Corps provided ground, air, supply, and logistic support in the Vietnam War for over two decades as part of III Marine Amphibious Force. Initially in Vietnam as advisors, the Marines forces grew with the need to protect the key airbase at Da Nang. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, more troops arrived and the Marines began to engage in the counterinsurgency effort with small-scale pacification units. Combined Action Platoons – comprised of U.S. Marines and Vietnamese soldiers – were a novel concept that the Marines brought.
By 1966, there were nearly 70,000 Marines in Vietnam carrying out large scale ground operations against the Viet Cong. In addition to ground combat, the Marines Corps provided air support from helicopter squadrons and fixed-wing aircrafts striking targets in South and North Vietnam. In 1967, the Army leadership in Saigon advocated that the Marines concentrate their efforts on large unit search and destroy operations. The Marines’ mission was split, with fighting against the North Vietnamese Army along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) toward the north, and a counterinsurgency operation waged against the Viet Cong in the villages in the south.
In the north, the Marines engaged in heavy fighting between Khe Sanh in the West and Leatherneck Square in the Eastern DMZ. They also began to create the McNamara line, a series of strong points, sensors and obstacles meant to detect communist forces crossing the DMZ. The North Vietnamese focused much of their firepower on destroying the McNamara line in its early stages, resulting in many conflicts, most notably Con Thien. The McNamara line ultimately failed to materialize, but the Marines were largely successful in stemming the flow of communist forces across the DMZ, although at a large price. 3,461 Marines were killed in action in 1967 and another 25,525 were wounded. Despite the fewer numbers, it was clear that more troops would not guarantee more success.
The year 1968 proved to be a watershed for the Marines in Vietnam. The January 31 Tet Offensive – the massive offensive the North Vietnamese launched against South Vietnam in 105 cities on the Tet Lunar Year – was largely repulsed by U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese forces. This was not the case at Hue, a city where Marines fought for 26 days before expelling the North Vietnamese. The Marines also defended Khe Sanh in a 77 day siege, under fire by as many as 1000 shells per day, until the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division broke the siege. 
After footage of these bloody battles was aired on television and with no clear end in sight by 1969, much of the American public support for the war eroded. President Nixon began to bring troops home. Few Marines units were involved in the U.S. military actions in Cambodia or Laos, and while 1st Marine Division fought in major engagements around Da Nang, 3d Marine Division was heading back to base at Okinawa. By 1971, the 1st Division and 3d Marine Aircraft Wing departed for the United States and Japan.  
Marine advisors, fire support personnel, and air units fought during the 1972 Easter Offensive supporting the Vietnamese Marine Corps. A peace treaty was signed in Paris in January 1973. The U.S. agreed to withdraw all of its forces from Vietnam and in turn the North Vietnamese returned its U.S. prisoners of war, 26 of whom were Marines. In 1975, Marines led Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind to evacuate the American embassies in Phnom Penh and Saigon. Immediately after saving hundreds of American lives in the embassy evacuations, President Ford ordered the Marines to rescue the crew of the USS Mayaguez, which had been taken by the Khmer Rouge. A joint task force completed the mission and recaptured the ship, but not without Marine and U.S. Air Force casualties.
The Vietnam War was costly to the U.S. Marine Corps. From 1965 to 1975, nearly 500,000 Marines served in Southeast Asia. Of these, more than 13,000 were killed and 88,000 wounded, nearly a third of all American causalities sustained during the war.
Source: United States Marine Corps History Division





marzone.com/7thMarines/usmc_cas_stats.pdf


Vietnam War Casualties By Branch of Service


http://www.americanwarlibrary.com/vietnam/vwc18.htm

Vietnam War Casualties By Branch of Service



The U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War
USMC FS PhotoThe U.S. Marine Corps provided ground, air, supply, and logistic support in the Vietnam War for over two decades as part of III Marine Amphibious Force. Initially in Vietnam as advisors, the Marines forces grew with the need to protect the key airbase at Da Nang. After the Gulf of Tonkin incident, more troops arrived and the Marines began to engage in the counterinsurgency effort with small-scale pacification units. Combined Action Platoons – comprised of U.S. Marines and Vietnamese soldiers – were a novel concept that the Marines brought.
By 1966, there were nearly 70,000 Marines in Vietnam carrying out large scale ground operations against the Viet Cong. In addition to ground combat, the Marines Corps provided air support from helicopter squadrons and fixed-wing aircrafts striking targets in South and North Vietnam. In 1967, the Army leadership in Saigon advocated that the Marines concentrate their efforts on large unit search and destroy operations. The Marines’ mission was split, with fighting against the North Vietnamese Army along the demilitarized zone (DMZ) toward the north, and a counterinsurgency operation waged against the Viet Cong in the villages in the south.
In the north, the Marines engaged in heavy fighting between Khe Sanh in the West and Leatherneck Square in the Eastern DMZ. They also began to create the McNamara line, a series of strong points, sensors and obstacles meant to detect communist forces crossing the DMZ. The North Vietnamese focused much of their firepower on destroying the McNamara line in its early stages, resulting in many conflicts, most notably Con Thien. The McNamara line ultimately failed to materialize, but the Marines were largely successful in stemming the flow of communist forces across the DMZ, although at a large price. 3,461 Marines were killed in action in 1967 and another 25,525 were wounded. Despite the fewer numbers, it was clear that more troops would not guarantee more success.
The year 1968 proved to be a watershed for the Marines in Vietnam. The January 31 Tet Offensive – the massive offensive the North Vietnamese launched against South Vietnam in 105 cities on the Tet Lunar Year – was largely repulsed by U.S. Marines and South Vietnamese forces. This was not the case at Hue, a city where Marines fought for 26 days before expelling the North Vietnamese. The Marines also defended Khe Sanh in a 77 day siege, under fire by as many as 1000 shells per day, until the U.S. Army’s 1st Cavalry Division broke the siege. 
After footage of these bloody battles was aired on television and with no clear end in sight by 1969, much of the American public support for the war eroded. President Nixon began to bring troops home. Few Marines units were involved in the U.S. military actions in Cambodia or Laos, and while 1st Marine Division fought in major engagements around Da Nang, 3d Marine Division was heading back to base at Okinawa. By 1971, the 1st Division and 3d Marine Aircraft Wing departed for the United States and Japan.  
Marine advisors, fire support personnel, and air units fought during the 1972 Easter Offensive supporting the Vietnamese Marine Corps. A peace treaty was signed in Paris in January 1973. The U.S. agreed to withdraw all of its forces from Vietnam and in turn the North Vietnamese returned its U.S. prisoners of war, 26 of whom were Marines. In 1975, Marines led Operations Eagle Pull and Frequent Wind to evacuate the American embassies in Phnom Penh and Saigon. Immediately after saving hundreds of American lives in the embassy evacuations, President Ford ordered the Marines to rescue the crew of the USS Mayaguez, which had been taken by the Khmer Rouge. A joint task force completed the mission and recaptured the ship, but not without Marine and U.S. Air Force casualties.
The Vietnam War was costly to the U.S. Marine Corps. From 1965 to 1975, nearly 500,000 Marines served in Southeast Asia. Of these, more than 13,000 were killed and 88,000 wounded, nearly a third of all American causalities sustained during the war.
Source: United States Marine Corps History Division





marzone.com/7thMarines/usmc_cas_stats.pdf