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Thread: USGI sea stories

  1. #161
    Boolit Master
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    How many of you remember Olongapo city outside Clark AFB in the P.I.?. Remember all those bars?. Was sitting in one and this big lizard drops down to the floor and next thing was that a bunch of guys whip out their butterfly knives and start chasing it. Finally caught it and killed it. Guess what?,dinner tonight. Frank

  2. #162
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    Thanks again for everyone reading this thread and those contributing to it and making it as successful as it has become.

    On another, rather obscure forum in the 90's one of our esteemed members was Mike Clausen.
    To my knowledge, he was the only enlisted person in Marine Aviation during the War in Viet Nam
    to receive The Medal Of Honor and live to tell the tale.

    I emailed some with him. I never met him in person, but served with a few guys that knew and flew with him.
    Like some other Marines in our nation's history, he is a legend of the Corps.

    One of his favorite Sea Stories was when he was a CH-46 Crew Chief in Viet Nam.
    When a new pilot came aboard, some right out of Flight School,
    for their first few combat mission flights they flew as the Co-Pilot with the CO.

    On one of these first flights, the Commanding Officer told the new pilot,
    "We're taking a group of Grunts here.. The only thing I want you to do is lower the ramp when I tell you,
    and close it when I tell you, because the Crew Chief can't.
    His controls for it in the back have been shot away, and not fixed yet".

    As they came into the landing zone, holes started popping into the plane, and the Grunts were shooting out of the windows.
    The .50cal. Browning door guns were chugging away right behind the pilot's seats.
    He told the Co-Pilot to lower the ramp.
    The guy froze, and the CO reached over and triggered the switch-
    before he started shooting a 1911 across the Co-Pilots face under his nose, and out the left side window.

    They hit the ground and about 1/4 of a second later the Grunts were off and they were lifting out of the zone.
    A little ways off the ground, he told the Lt. to raise the ramp.
    The kid didn't move.
    Then the CO reached over, flipped the switch, and raised it.

    A little later, he started in on the new Lt.
    "I gave you the two simplest things to do on this mission, and you screwed them up".

    The new Lt., white as a sheet, looked over and told his Commanding Officer,
    "I don't bother you when you're taking a ****".


    We folded Mike's flag a few years ago.
    Hopefully, his favorite Sea Story will live on.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-23-2020 at 11:23 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  3. #163
    Boolit Bub
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    I'd like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed these stories, especially the last. Thanks all, definitely staying subscribed to this thread.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-J120AZ using Tapatalk

  4. #164
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by oneofsix View Post
    I'd like to say that I have thoroughly enjoyed these stories, especially the last. Thanks all, definitely staying subscribed to this thread.
    Thanks bro.
    Speaking for myself--- that alone makes it more than worth while.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  5. #165
    Boolit Master


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    Thank you.

  6. #166
    Boolit Master
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    I'd like to thank all the vets who posted their stories. Some of them are truly funny. I probably have a few more in me. Frank

  7. #167
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    Okay, I'll tell one. I was in Viet Nam in the summer of 1970. I had been in country a few months and was toting an M-60 in a rifle platoon. The 60 broke. No parts available and no spare guns available. It went like that for a week or so, me with a straight pull bolt action M-60. We weren't issued handguns at that time. When we got back to a firebase, I decided I needed to find a handgun on my own. I put out the word. Soon a friend who knew "a guy" showed up. "This guy" says he's got a gun, but it would only be good for "close range." He pulls out a little Italian made .25 ACP and 7 or 8 shells for it. So I want to test fire it. We go over to a place on the berm and put up a wooden ammo crate against it. At about 9 or 10 feet I take careful aim and fire. We don't see any hole in the crate or in the dirt of the berm. We're searching all over for the bullet when I think to look at the gun. There is the bullet, sticking about half way out of the muzzle. I hold the gun up for "the guy" to see. "The guy" says, quick as ever, "Well I said it was for close range." And no, I didn't buy it.
    AKA "Old Vic"
    "I am a great believer in powder-burning".
    --Theodore Roosevelt, Hunting Trips of a Ranchman

  8. #168
    Boolit Master

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    I've got one or two good ones remaining, but have told them in the past on other threads. So, to keep this one going, I'll re-tell one and hope not to bore you.

    As I mentioned in an earlier post, in the very early 1960s I was stationed at Ledward Barracks in Schweinfurt, Germany. It was the last modern kaserne built by the Nazis prior to WW II, and was previously called Adolf Hitler Kaserne. There were four 3-story barracks on either side of a HQ building, also 3 stories in height that was oriented between them like llll -- llll. Across from the HQ building was a 1-story PX, and behind that a large blacktop surfaced parade ground. Perhaps four times a year there would be a huge formation and parade in which the various units would pass in review as observed by Battalion and Division level brass. It was impressive, with lots of spit and shine, as there were about 2,000 troops on post. On the occasion of this incident the event coincided with an I.G. inspection, so all of the various vehicles were parked along the edges of the parade ground as well.

    Some of the displayed vehicles were jeeps outfitted with SS-10 and SS-11 wire guided anti-tank missiles. I'll wager that there are very few members of the forum who know what they were or have ever seen one. They were something that the French developed, and which missiles they convinced NATO would be indispensable. They were fat, stubby missiles mounted on racks, 4 per jeep if I recall correctly, and attached by a thin, flexible wire to one of two large spools of wire also mounted on the rear of the jeep. When fired, the missiles departed forward over the jeep's windshield. They would periodically taken to one of several dedicated maneuver areas for practice firing, and I remember seeing a huge area that had been used for that purpose for a number of years, just totally strewn and clogged with wire remaining from the practice sessions. I still wonder if and by whom it was ever cleaned up. It was absolutely impossible to walk through the practice area. Also mounted on the jeep was a radio box near which the guy who fired the missiles sat with a headset on and from which device the missiles received electronic signals via the wire to direct them to the target. Normally, like most ordnance, they were painted OD, but when in garrison they were replaced with warheads that were painted bright blue.

    Well, now that the scene has been set, on the occasion of this review and I.G. Inspection there were four of these jeeps with their blue missiles parked along the edge of the parade ground just behind the PX. Although the wires were supposed to be disconnected from the missiles, somehow one of them fired. Exactly how or why I never learned, but off it went, over the roof of the PX and through the window of one of the Deputy Battalion C.O.s (there were two battalions and support units stationed there, so two deputy C.O.s) on the 3rd floor of the HQ building, exited out a window on the opposite side of the building, and disappeared over heavily populated Schweifurt.

    It wasn't long and the telephone started ringing. The expended missile eventually terminated its flight in one German citizen's garage. He called and said, "I thought the war was over!" The NCO in charge of the SS-10 missile section was a SFC (E-6), but a few days later was observed to be wearing PFC stripes. The remains of the missile were easy to locate-- they just followed the wire.

    DG

  9. #169
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    I was in the Navy during the Korean war but I never went there. After the service I wnt to work for the phone company. We went on strike in Oct of 63. We were out five months. I walked a picket line everyday with a man who had gone ashore in the invasion of Normandy. He said before they hit the beach there was the biggest fire works display he had ever seen. He made it ashore but was wounded three times in the fighting that followed. He said one day he fired his M1 so much he burned out the barrel. The Germans had a hand grenade they called panzerfaust. He said he and others were takeing cover in some trees when a German threw a grenade at them,, a piece of it hit his trigger finger. He had to shoot with the middle finger for quite a while afterward. His worst wound came when they were trying to advance thru some forrest. The Germans were fireing their 88MM into the tree tops so the shells would explode and shower the Americans with schrapnel. He caught a piece in his right shoulder. He was put in an ambulance and while the ambulance was diving away a shell cleared all the trees and blew the rear door of. You would think they would have sent him home but they didn't. After a short hospital stay he was back in the fray. I asked to see the wound so he pulled his shirt down and showed me a big scar running from his shoulder down his chest. He finished the war guarding a dairy in Czechoslovkia. I asked if I could see his medals. The next day he brought in a sackful including a purple heart with some oak leaf clusters. His name was Hank Fox and he lived to a ripe old age. He was from East Tn. A finer man never lived.
    Last edited by GOPHER SLAYER; 03-24-2020 at 06:05 PM.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  10. #170
    Boolit Master

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    Speaking of missiles-
    Back in the late 50's missiles, and electronics were just coming of age.

    Heard this on the radio years ago when the show was talking about communication, and interpretation of different things.
    A guy called in and told a story of something he'd witnessed.

    At Ft. Bliss, near El Paso, Texas they had a bunch of missiles, for doing different things,
    and a big school for the new generation ground based radar.

    One day, about 20 of the radar units were training.
    On another part of the base, they were test firing a missile with a concrete slug in place of the war head.
    Neither knew what the other group was doing on different areas of the range.

    As the missile went across, and above the part of the range where the radar units were looking up,
    all the signals were combined and zapped its guidance system.
    The missile went off course, and came down in the 'red light' district of Juarez, Mexico.

    Plain and simple.... A US Army missile landing in the city of a foreign country is an act of war.

    It wasn't interpreted that way.
    The dust hadn't even settled when the Mayor of Juarez, Mexico was on the phone to the Commanding General of Ft. Bliss.

    He was UPSET,,,, and telling the General,
    'I don't know what problems your troops have had with the 'working girls', but I'll fix it.
    Just don't shoot any more missiles'.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-24-2020 at 09:35 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  11. #171
    Boolit Master

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    One of the guys on the old Marine forum from the late 90's told a couple of his sea stories from when he was in Viet Nam,
    and his Platoon Commander was 'Lt. Rob.', President LBJ's son in law.

    One of them was:
    As a Christmas present, Lady Bird Johnson baked a bunch of cookies herself in the White House kitchen,
    and sent them to him, 'for the troops'.

    He handed them out to all his guys.
    However; by the time they got to Viet Nam, they were so hard ya couldn't eat them.

    But they didn't go to waste.
    The troops used that green military issue duct tape,
    and put them on the front of claymore mines when they went out at night to set up an ambush.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-24-2020 at 10:39 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  12. #172
    Boolit Master

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    Another of his was when one of his buddies got a Monopoly game that Christmas.

    One day, mama-san came into the base camp selling stuff.
    She had real, American Cokes---- for $1. each.

    One kid gave her a $20 in monopoly money, and told her it was the new 'script' that they were being paid with.
    She took it, and gave him $19. back in regular US 'green backs'.

    A couple hours later---- she's back...……..Madder than a captured Jap.

    Lt. Rob called the Platoon out so mama-san could identify the perpetrator.... and get justice.

    Between the guys moving around like the pea under the shell game, the Lt. not stopping them,
    the guilty party hiding out somewhere, and since all Americans look alike---
    she finally gave up and left, never to return.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-24-2020 at 10:28 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  13. #173
    Boolit Master

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    When I was on Okinawa in a helicopter outfit, I brought with me a USN issue 'Explosive Handlers License' that I had to get
    while in jets to be working on their ejection seats, and the explosive spreader guns for some of their parachutes.

    I had to keep it current for the cartridges that could cut steel cargo winch cables in a emergency for the helos.
    When it came time to draw several thousand rounds of .50cal ammo for door gunner qualifications-
    I was the only one in the squadron with a license to handle and draw it from the armory.

    My Officer in Charge, one of the pilots, who hung out in the shop a lot rather than being stuck in the Ready Room
    had to sign the request for it, and other important things a NCO couldn't.

    One day, in a rush, I grabbed him and said, "Here Lt., sign this".
    As he did, he asked what it was. I told him I had to run, and would tell him later..... then promptly forgot about it.

    A few days later:
    The birds doing the gun runs would take off before the armory opened, so I drew all the ammo the afternoon before.
    Our little shop was inside the hanger, and it was so tight in there, rotor blades hung over the ceiling if they weren't folded.
    I had 20mm ammo cans of linked .50BMG packed & stacked everywhere.

    My Lt. came in, sat around, tried to kick a couple out of the way to get comfortable,,, and asked, "What's all this"?
    I told him, and he went all goofy.
    'Do you know the storage requirements for this? I've gotten you out of a couple tights spots,
    but you're going to jail over this one, and there's nothing I can do'...….. and so on, and so on.....

    When he'd finally run out of steam, I told him,
    "Sir, it's OK,,,,,,you signed for it,,,,,,,, but I'll put in a good word for ya with the Colonel".

    All the blood ran out of his face,,,,, as he had a vision and saw his career evaporate...……...
    Then he left, and didn't talk to me for about a week.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-28-2020 at 11:11 PM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  14. #174
    Boolit Master

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    The coffee thread reminded me of the last time I made coffee back in 1978.
    I've had about 3-4 cups my whole life, and none of them after about age 12.
    Not only do I not drink it, but I'm not allowed to make it either.

    While on the Marine One crew at Quantico,
    all the NCOs & troopers took turns coming in early every morning and making it for a week at a time.
    The morning brew was in this big giant urn that might have come off the back of a tanker truck.
    It was big, and lasted until 10:30, when they fired up a second one next to it.

    When it came around to my turn, I told the Maintenance Chief,
    "Top, I don't drink coffee, and I don't think I should have to come in early and make it either".

    This was a guy who had raised profanity to an art form.
    To save about 2 pages of writing this story, I won't quote any of it.

    It was basically, blah, blah blah, yeah you will.
    "Top, I don't know how to make coffee".
    So, he explained it: 'Take the lid off, take the basket out, fill the tank with water, fill the basket with coffee, and put it in.
    Put the lid back on, and plug it in. How hard can that be?
    For the actual quote, this would take more than a page of flowery profanity.

    The pot got unplugged and left Friday afternoon.
    I came in Monday morning and did just what he said.
    I filled the tank back up the other 1/2 way, there was some oil looking something floating in there, but what the heck..
    The basket had this gray and green hair growing on the grounds left from Friday,
    but I poured in as much new grounds as would fit on top of it. And just like I was told--- I plugged it in.

    It stunk so bad, you could smell it out in the street.
    But the guys would interrupt with another 1/2 page of profanity complaining about it as they forced it down.

    Then the Commanding Officer came into the office, and drew some in his favorite old Squadron souviner coffee cup.
    Took a sip, and spit it out on the deck. Some even hit the trash can.
    The first, and only time I ever heard him cuss, as he looked around and asked, "Who made this ****"?

    The Maint. Chief looked at me with that 'I hope you like counting penguins at the South Pole' stare
    and said, "Sgt. H.. did Sir".

    This is why the Marine Corps doesn't just hand out Lt. Colonel collar insignias like a early chow pass:

    The CO looked at me, then cast his gaze on the Maintenance Chief,
    then looked around at the other Staff NCOs and Officers in the room,,,,,,, and said,

    "Let me tell you people something. If anyone ever orders Sgt. H... to make coffee again, I will have you shot".

    I guess its one of those things you'd had to have been there to afterwards see the humor in it.
    Like my Lt. and the .50BMG ammo, I've been laughing about those 'moments in life' ever since.
    Last edited by Winger Ed.; 03-29-2020 at 12:28 AM.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  15. #175
    Boolit Master
    LUBEDUDE's Avatar
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    Great stories.

    I not only hate coffee, I hate the smell as well. It makes me nauseous, thus I absolutely refuse to make it. Probably why I’m not married anymore.
    TEAM HOLLYWOOD

    NRA- LIFE TSRA-LIFE SASS-LIFE

  16. #176
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by LUBEDUDE View Post
    I absolutely refuse to make it.
    That dove tails in with my theory: 'What you do well, you will do often'.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  17. #177
    Boolit Master

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    Do "sea stories" have to be humorous? I guess there's humor to be found in what follows, if you can imagine the look on the German father's face when he answered the door, and the dilemma the M.P.s who responded were faced with.

    A few facts: Germany has some of the most beautiful young women on Earth, usually buxom blondes, and we'll let the description end there. It also has some, if not the best beer on Earth. The alcohol content is quite high--one German beer was usually considered the equal of three American beers. As for the German fathers of the 1960s, many of them had fought for the Reich in WW II, and were embittered by their defeat. They did not look kindly on their daughters dating G.I.s. And then, there's the M48 Tank, now a relic of the past. It's main gun (cannon) had a flash suppressor on the end of the muzzle which gave it a "T" appearance. In WW II the city of Schweinfurt was largely bombed level by the 8th Air Force because it was a ball bearing manufacturing center. It wasn't too effective, because the ball bearing production had been moved underground, but it resulted in a postwar urban renewal project. Many of the new neighborhoods didn't look too different from an American suburb, with paved streets, curbs, sidewalks, and paths leading to front doors.

    Well, our Hero, a young enlisted G.I., had experienced rejection by a beautiful fraulien at the insistence of her father, who did not want his daughter dating a lowly Americanish Soldat. He brooded on the forbidden love over quite a few biers, and decided to take action. He fired up an M48 tank and drove it out the gate of the Armored Kaserne (really--who was going to stop him?) and three kilometers into Schweinfurt. He arrived at his ex-girlfriend's house and proceeded over the curb and up the path with the muzzle of the cannon a few feet from the door. He got out and knocked. The girl's father answered, and with a look of horror on his face slammed the door shut.

    The tanker returned to the M48 and drove it forward, ramming the muzzle through the door of the house. He backed up, and the flash hider caught in the door and pulled it down. Then, somewhat inexplicably, the soldier buttoned up the hatches and waited for the inevitable arrival of the M.P.s. They weren't long in coming.

    A standoff ensued, with the M.P.s demanding that the G.I. exit the tank and surrender; while the soldier told them to come in and get him. After about 2 1/2 hours of negotiations it came down to a demand by the soldier that he wanted to "go home". He was assured by the M.P.s. that this request would be honored, and when he exited the tank he was escorted to the stockade awaiting disposition of the matter. When we heard about the incident we all thought that he wouldn't be going home for quite awhile, but after about 6 months were surprised to hear that he had been shipped stateside with a General Discharge.

    Ain't love grand?

  18. #178
    Boolit Master

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    Quote Originally Posted by Der Gebirgsjager View Post
    Do "sea stories" have to be humorous?
    Of course not.
    I just started the thread to pass on stories from and about everyday GIs that we will never see in a history book.

    And thank you for your contributions to it, and helping to make it so long lived, and as successful as it has become.
    I am honored by them.
    It wasn't playing the blame game, finding fault, and complaining about every little thing that made America great.
    It was God, guns, and guts.


    Never pick a fight with old people.
    If they don't think they can win it: They'll just kill you.

  19. #179
    Boolit Master


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    Thank you all for the stories. I look forward to them.

  20. #180
    Boolit Master
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    Coffee time in any of the engineering spaces I stood watches in was like a religious experience. When empty the the pot was washed with cold water, wiped down to remove any stuff still in the pot and basket. Fill it with fresh ground coffee and plug it in. No milk but we had either cow in the can or creamora. our CPO insisted he get a fresh pot every watch in the morning when he stopped in the engine room and woe betide the engine room messenger who didn't have a pot waiting for him. We did learn after awhile to put one or two salt tablets in each cup to take away the bitterness. Frank

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check