Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association

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Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
                                  MAGAZINE OF THE MARINES
JUNE 2021


               ★   SALUTE TO NAVY CORPSMEN★

            Eternal Fraternity:
              Marines Share
              A Sacred Bond
             With their “Docs”
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
e a r n it
e ver y d ay .
The Marine that will be successful at MARSOC is            maturity, initiative, and determination that qualify
a self-starter, initiative-driven; always seeking to       them to perform special operations. MARSOC
improve himself, find his weaknesses and make              training is designed to take those baseline
them his strengths; someone who learns from                attributes and develop Marine Raiders who are
everyone and seeks others’ knowledge to make               tactically proficient across the full spectrum of
it his own and make him a better warrior.                  special operations, and who understand the
Marines selected for MARSOC have demonstrated              strategic importance of their tactical actions.
attributes such as effective intelligence, adaptability,   See how you qualify at marsoc.com.
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
                                        LEATHERNECK—MAGAZINE OF THE MARINES
                                                                                                                      J U N E 2021
                                                                                                               VO L . 10 4, N o. 6
16     Liberated Artillery: The Long and Winding                   36 “Eternal Fraternity”: Throughout History, Marines,
Journey of an M1 Pack Howitzer By Jonathan Bernstein               “Docs” Share Unique, Indescribable Bond
One of the responsibilities of the National Museum of the          By Sara W. Bock For one Navy corpsman embedded with
Marine Corps is recording and maintaining the history              2/9 in Vietnam, a reunion decades later with the Marines he
associated with artifacts. Such is the case with an M1 pack        served alongside—including the first patient he treated on the
howitzer in the museum’s collection.                               battlefield—affirmed the bond that has defined the Marine-
                                                                   corpsman relationship since the inception of the U.S. Navy
22     General Charles C. Krulak: A Marine Corps                   Hospital Corps in 1898. As today’s corpsmen train for the
Great—the Rest of the Story                                        future fight, they also strive to uphold the legacy of those who
By SgtMaj Daniel N. Heider, USMC This first-place winning           came before.
article in the 2021 Leatherneck Writing Contest tells how
Gen Krulak’s contribution to the advancement of the Marine         46    Navy Corpsmen: The Unsung Heroes of the Marine
Corps warfighting adeptness made an impact on the Marine            Corps Compiled by Patricia Everett The bond between Fleet
Corps. Gen Krulak established an innovative spirit that            Marine Force corpsmen and Marines has only strengthened
fundamentally changed the institution and cemented a legacy        over the years as “Docs” are often the difference between life
of excellence.                                                     and death on the battlefield. In honor of the 122nd birthday of
                                                                   the U.S. Navy Hospital Corps on June 17, we are featuring per-
28    History of the 3rd Marine Division                           sonal accounts of those who answered the call “Corpsman Up!”
By Joel D. Thacker This is the third in a series from the
Leatherneck archives about the Corps’ Divisions during             58 Hey, Dude, Semper Fi!: Camp Pendleton’s Surfing
World War II. Prepared by what was then known as the               History Told in Newly Released Book
Historical Division of the Marine Corps, this article traces the   By David Matuszak Anyone stationed at MCB Camp
3rd Marine Division’s activities in the Pacific.                    Pendleton is familiar with the prominence of surfing along its
                                                                   famous beach, San Onofre. A new book chronicles the history
                                                                   and cultural context of those who have been riding the waves
                                                                   off Camp Pendleton since the 1960s.

16                                                                                             Departments
                                                                                           2 Sound Off
                                                                                          10 In Every Clime and Place
                                                                                          26 Leatherneck Laffs
                                                                                          54 We—the Marines
                                                                                          57 Crazy Caption
                                                                                          64 Passing the Word
                                                                                          66 In Memoriam
                                                                                          70 Reader Assistance
                                                                                          72 Saved Round

COVER: Top left: With the aid of candlelight, a Navy corpsman starts an IV on a wounded leatherneck in Vietnam, 1968. USMC
photo. Top right: Cpl Brandon Rumbaugh pins the Silver Star on HM3 Class Todd Angell, a corpsman with 1st Bn, 8th Marines,
2ndMarDiv on April 27, 2012. Photo by SSgt Neil A. Sevelius, USMC. Bottom: HM3 Kevin Pollock, a corpsman with “Delta” Co,
3rd LAR Bn, 1stMarDiv (forward) hands a bag of hygiene supplies to an Afghan boy on Jan. 19, 2011. Photo by Cpl Ned Johnson,
USMC. Copies of the cover may be obtained by sending $2 (for mailing costs) to Leatherneck Magazine, P.O. Box 1775, Quantico,
VA 22134-0775.

                  LEATHERNECK AND MCA MEMBERSHIP PRICES: 1 year $42; 2 years $79; 3 years $119
                              Toll-free (866) 622-1775 • Email mca@mca-marines.org
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
Sound Off                                                                       Compiled by Patricia Everett

Letter of the Month                           times of my service and unfortunately           Corps. We kept in touch by phone, and as
  (Leatherneck will pay $25 for a “Sound      everyone came to the same conclusion, the       his dementia started to progress in earnest,
Off Letter of the Month” submitted by         Marine Corps is embarrassed. I don’t get        I started calling him monthly. His wife,
an MCA member or provide a one-year           it. I contacted a sergeant major at MCRD        Florence, told me that he was admitted to
courtesy subscription to a non-member         San Diego who said that he certainly            a home for care, and unfortunately, I lost
whose letter is selected.)                    wasn’t embarrassed by us and that they          contact with her.
                                              don’t, but should, make mention of us to           On behalf of the battalion, I ordered
  I enjoy reading the letters sent into       recruits. We all know that Vietnam was          a brick for John from the Marine Corps
the Sound Off section of Leatherneck          a cluster. I have read elsewhere that the       Heritage Foundation in May 2020. Re-
magazine. They cover a multitude of           history of the Vietnam War is not being         cently I received a letter that his engraved
various topics and I would like to touch      taught anywhere in the Marine Corps.            brick, number 36535, has been placed in
on one; that being the pride of being a       Does anyone really know why not?                Semper Fi Memorial Park.
Marine. When I’m telling someone about            I sent a letter to the Commandant,             I would like to give Mary Vargo the
my life, that’s not too often, but I tell     General David H. Berger on July 25,             brick information plus photos of her uncle
them that the proudest moment of my           2020. I didn’t expect a reply and didn’t        if you can put me in touch with her.
entire life was when I became a United        get one either. I doubt that I will read this              Col Malcolm E. “Doc” Smith Jr.
States Marine. It’s all about Marine pride    in Leatherneck magazine, but I got it off                                    USMC (Ret)
starting with my graduating from boot         my chest.                                                             Daniel Island, S.C.
camp back in 1966. It’s about earning                                    Thomas J. Burke
the right to so proudly wear that coveted                                 Florissant, Mo.        • Thank you, Colonel, for honoring your
eagle, globe and anchor. Then off to our                                                      “adj” in such a meaningful way. We’ve
war—the Vietnam War.                             • As someone who has done a few tours        passed your contact information along
  My father was a World War II Marine         in various schools in the Training and          to Ms. Vargo and we’re happy to report
with 6th Marine Division who spent time       Education Command, I know that the              to our readers that you two have been in
on Okinawa. He was all the inspiration I      number of required subjects is consider-        touch.—Editor
needed to try to follow his lead and become   able and there is often the expectation
a Marine. I served as an 0311/0351 with       that Marines will learn more about our          “Full Metal Jacket” Comments
“Echo” Co, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines         battles when assigned to their units and        Revisited
from August 1966 through September            in follow-on schools. I attended several           This is in response to the Sound Off
1967 in Vietnam. We operated in and           schools during my time on active duty           letters, “Parris Island, 1968,” by Sergeant
around Khe Sanh and Con Thien, the area       including the Marine Corps War College          Daniel C. Hodge and Cpl Carl R. Withey, in
known as “The Trace” or “Leatherneck          and Command and Staff College and the           the April issue. First of all, I have watched
Square.” I was proud of my service in         Vietnam War was a common topic through-         the classic movie, “Full Metal Jacket,”
the Corps just as most Marines that I         out both academic years. There are              perhaps 40 times. That is, I watch the first
know are. It’s a pretty common question       electives on the war at various schools         half with admiration and joy. That first
asked when one Marine happens to meet         throughout the Training and Education           half of the classic movie is exactly how
another, “When were you in? Who were          Command including the courses at the            my boot camp experience was in the fall
you with?”                                    staff academy. The Marine Corps Associa-        of 1966 with the exception of the murder
  A while back a young man came to            tion provides opportunities for additional      of the drill instructor. My Senior DI (name
our home for a repair of some sort. The       education on the Vietnam War and the            withheld to protect the guilty) was the
front of our home is adorned with the         rest of our history through our battle          USMC bantamweight boxing champion
American flag and the Marine Corps flag.        studies, archives, podcasts and, of course,     and he used his fists to very effectively
The young man gave me an “oorah” and I        in the pages of Gazette and Leatherneck.        get his recruits’ undivided attention and
replied with “Semper Fi.” Through usual       Marines are briefed on the support we           to correct our slovenly ways. Our other
conversation of when and where, he said       provide early in their enlistments.—Editor      two DIs were not quite as physical, but
that his time was spent at Camp Pendleton                                                     they did not “spare the rod.”
and in Norway. He said that he had never      “My Adj”                                           I have polled an estimated 250 U.S.
heard of the places that I have mentioned        In reading Mary Vargo’s letter, “Marine      Marine veterans from the Vietnam War-
above.                                        Steps Up in Time of Need,” in the               era, and they agree that their own boot
  I asked a relative who had recently         February Sound Off, I was surprised to          camp experience was so similar to the
graduated from boot camp at MCRD San          see she was writing about her deceased          movie that they could have been filmed
Diego if while in your training and being     uncle, Major John C. Hoogerwerff, USMC          with R. Lee Ermey—may he rest in peace.
taught the history of the Marine Corps,       (Ret). John was my Adjutant in 2nd Bn,          Perhaps that is the difference between
did they make any mention of Vietnam.         4th Marines and Battalion Landing Team          the real U.S. Marine recruit training at
He said no. They talked about WW II and       2/4 in Okinawa in 1980 to 1981. John and        MCRD San Diego and where Sgt Hodge
Korea, about Chesty Puller and the Cold       I became both professional and personal         attended his basic training in Parris Island.
War but never made mention of Vietnam.        friends.                                        Over the years, Marines argue nonstop
I wonder why not?                                After I retired, John and I attended the     about which boot camp is harder. I have
  I discussed this with several other         4th Marines reunions in 2009 and in 2014        to repeat that from what I can gather, and
Marines that were with me at different        at the National Museum of the Marine            from what Sgt Hodge and Cpl Withey
2   LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                                  www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
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Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
Leatherneck                                              indicate in their letters that they had it a    or collectively, we were rewarded with a
                MAGAZINE OF THE MARINES                              lot easier in Parris Island.                    smile from our DIs (the other being Sgt
                                                                       Just to let the readers know and under-       Charles Herringer) which was better than
               Marine Corps Association                              stand, in addition to having a similar          a Christmas present.
           LtGen W. Mark Faulkner, USMC (Ret)                        experience in boot camp to the boot camp           Yes, they were stern, tough and de-
                  Vice President/COO,                                depicted in “Full Metal Jacket,” I was          manding but I wouldn’t have had it any
               Marine Corps Association
             Col Daniel P. O’Brien, USMC (Ret)
                                                                     inside of a U.S. Marine tank embroiled          other way. My brother went through boot
                                                                     in the fighting in Hue City during the           camp in 1951 and experienced similar
 Publisher: Col Christopher Woodbridge, USMC (Ret)
                                                                     Tet Offensive. I can truthfully say with        treatment. I’m not sure that Cpl Withey
        Editor: Col Mary H. Reinwald, USMC (Ret)
                                                                     a rather extensive amount of fi rsthand          knows the meaning of the word sadistic.
            Senior Editor: Nancy S. Lichtman
                                                                     knowledge that the second half of the           Being a DI is tough duty and mine were
              Copy Editor: Jessica B. Brown                          movie is horrible and does not portray          dedicated to turning out the best Marines
                 Staff Writer: Sara W. Bock                          anything like the real battle that we fought.   possible. Sadistic? Hardly. They epito-
           Editorial/Production Coordinator                                                     Sgt John Wear        mized what a Marine should be, and I will
                     Patricia Everett
                                                                                              USMC, 1966-1969        always hold them in the highest esteem.
                Art Director: Jason Monroe                                                          Elbert, Co.      Their example and my experiences in boot
               ADVERTISING QUERIES:                                                                                  camp made me into a better man, and I
       Defense Related Industries/Business:
               Contact: LeeAnn Mitchell                                 • While I appreciate you taking the time     don’t regret one minute of it.
     advertising@mca-marines.org 703-640-0169                        to provide your comparison of your boot                                 Cpl R.E. Westlake
           All Other Advertising Contact:                            camp experience to that depicted in the                                 USMC, 1958-1962
                James G. Elliott Co. Inc.
               New York: (212) 588-9200                              movie “Full Metal Jacket,” I’m pretty                               Spokane Valley, Wash.
                Chicago: (312) 236-4900                              sure that our Parris Island Marines will
              Los Angeles: (213) 624-0900
                                                                     take issue with your assumption that               I enlisted in the Marine Corps back
                EDITORIAL OFFICES                                    recruit training on the East Coast was          in 1964 fresh out of high school, in an
           Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134
          Phone: (703) 640-6161, Ext. 115                            easier—but then, the debate of which            effort to escape my brutally hostile and
             Toll-Free: (800) 336-0291                               coast provides better recruit training has      dangerous Bronx, N.Y., neighborhood.
                 Fax: (703) 630-9147
       Email: leatherneck@mca-marines.org
                                                                     been going on for years!—Editor                 From the moment I got off the bus at Parris
    Web page: www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck                                                                        Island, I was shocked and immediately
               TELEPHONE EXTENSIONS                                     Having just finished reading two letters      discovered that my life was about to
        Editorial Offices: 115 • Business Office: 121                about R. Lee Ermey and his depiction of         change dramatically. I had senior Marines
                  MEMBER SERVICES                                    Gunnery Sergeant Hartman in “Full Metal         barking at me relentlessly while being
              Phone: toll-free (866) 622-1775                        Jacket,” I felt the need to respond. I went     provided with gear. I was regretting that
              Email: mca@mca-marines.org
                                                                     through boot camp in 1958 at San Diego          I had enlisted.
      1 year $42; 2 years $79; 3 years $119                          and my experiences differed sharply from           Once I arrived at the barracks and
Leatherneck also is available in digital format at www
                                                                     those of the letter writers. Gunny Ermey        assigned a rack, I got to meet my three
.mca-marines.org/leatherneck.                                        was, in fact, a real Marine drill instructor    drill instructors. One was a staff sergeant,
All overseas and foreign addresses add $16 postage for               (DI) and he played the part absolutely          the other a sergeant, and the youngest of
each year’s membership except APO and FPO military                   realistically. I failed to see any of the       the three was a corporal. Little did I know
addresses. Periodicals postage paid at Quantico, Va.,
USPS #308-080, and additional mailing offices.
                                                                     sadist in Ermey’s portrayal as described        that the sergeant was going to torment us
                                                                     by Corporal Carl R. Withey in his letter.       and physically abuse us during our entire
                  CHANGE OF ADDRESS
Please send your new address six weeks before the date               My Senior DI was Staff Sergeant Guy             training period.
of issue with which it is to take effect, if possible. Include old   DeWolf (who was seriously wounded at               While reading Sound Off in the April
address with new, enclosing your address label if conven-
ient. Send to: Leatherneck Magazine, Box 1775, Quantico, VA
                                                                     the Frozen Chosin) and he was at least as       issue, one veteran Marine wrote, “I do not
22134 or email to: mca@mca-marines.org.                              tough on us as was Sgt Hartman. Dur-            recall a single time any of my DIs ever laid
                   POSTMASTER                                        ing a footlocker inspection I made the          a hand on any of us during the time I spent
    Send address changes to: Leatherneck Magazine,                   cardinal mistake of leaving my sewing           at Parris Island.” Interestingly, I am sure
            Box 1775, Quantico, VA 22134.
                                                                     kit untied. I was backhanded clear across       most Marines feel the same way and can
                                                                     the squad bay and my sewing kit flung in         attest to what this one Marine wrote but a
                                                                     all directions. To this day, I have never       few of us did suffer gross abuse like me.
                                                                     left a sewing kit untied.                          When I get up in the morning to shave
Leatherneck (ISSN 0023-981X) is published monthly by
the Marine Corps Association, Bldg. #715, MCB, Quantico,                We had seven non-qualifiers in our            and I look in the mirror, I can’t help but
VA 22134. Copyright 2021 by MCA.                                     platoon on the rifle range and following         notice a 1-inch scar between my eyes that
  All rights reserved. Stories, features, pictures and other         our return from Camp Mathews (where             I’ve had since going through boot camp. It
material from Leatherneck may be reproduced if they are              we qualified), each one of those recruits        happened when my abusive DI (sergeant)
not restricted by law or military regulations, provided
proper credit is given and specific prior permission has             was taken into the DI hut and was               asked to see my M14 during an inspection.
been granted for each item to be reproduced.                         shown the error of his ways manually.           After he inspected the weapon, he threw
  Opinions of authors whose articles appear in Leather-
neck do not necessarily express the attitude of the
                                                                     Another unfortunate recruit failed to           it at me and struck me in the face causing
Navy Department or Headquarters, U.S. Marine Corps.                  shave properly one morning and needed           me to bleed profusely. He immediately
“Marines” and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor are trade-                 to correct this problem by dry shaving          stated, “Remember, you tripped and fell
marks of the U.S. Marine Corps, used with permission.
When mailed, manuscripts, art or photographs should                  with a bucket over his head while running       over your footlocker and hurt yourself.”
be accompanied by self-addressed envelopes and return                in place. I could go on and on, but I think     I immediately yelled out, “Yes, Sir!”
postage. Query first on all submissions. The publisher               you get the point. Nobody in our platoon        and was taken to sickbay to get patched
assumes no responsibility for return of unsolicited man-
uscripts, drawings or photographs.                                   ever once complained of his treatment but       up. After that one incident the sergeant
  Publication of advertisements does not constitute en-              considered it part of becoming a Marine         stopped abusing me. He discovered I had
dorsement by MCA except for such products or services
clearly offered under MCA’s name. The publisher reserves
                                                                     and learning to endure hardship without         the brand of cigarettes he smoked in my
the right to accept or reject any advertising order at his           complaint. When we did well individually        footlocker and asked me to provide him
absolute discretion.
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
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with one to two packs of cigarettes per      on the 5th floor. Just six months prior to       Rations” email is to provide our readers
day right through graduation day.            the bombing Paul had run the Marine             with even more great stories from the
   The other two DIs were less abusive but   Corps Marathon.                                 Leatherneck archives. We posted a special
did punch us real hard in our guts every       That was a sad day in our history. Let’s      video of the impact of the bombing on the
so often for “eyeballing” them as they       hope that an attack like that by a domestic     Marine Corps Association social media
walked past us. I guess it was their way     American terrorist never happens again.         accounts on April 19. It can be found on
of teaching us discipline and toughening                                   Mike Allen        the Marine Corps Association’s channel
us to become real Marines.                                          Long Beach, Wash.        on YouTube.
   After graduation I was shipped to the
Far East and experienced the best four         Having worked for months on the               Recognition for Heroic Actions
years of my life as a Marine. It was a       Oklahoma City bombing as an FBI                   I am married to a humble Marine who
positive learning experience that I will     counter-terrorism agent, Sara Bock’s            has not been recognized for his heroic
never forget. As a matter of fact, my        descriptive account brought back so many        actions when participating in three
dress greens are hanging on the wall in      memories, all bad, of this very sad day         horrible battles during World War II, the
my home office. So, please don’t let this     in our nation’s history. Even Timothy           Korean War and Vietnam War. Thomas
letter fool you into thinking bad about      McVeigh’s execution was incapable of            Kalus has received several medals for his
the Marine Corps. My experience as a         bringing closure to survivors and those         bravery and action under fire. However,
Marine was all good and I am proud to        who had to sift through the rubble. Once        he earned three combat medals that were
say, Semper Fi.                              again, my thanks to Sara Bock for sharing       never received.
                     Sgt Joe Garcia Parisi   her exceptional talent with all of us.            In 1944, Tom Kalus participated in the
                       USMC, 1964-1968       Another great article by Sara Bock.             invasion of Iwo Jima. I do not know what
                             Pelham, N.Y.                                Ed Armento          he endured after landing on Red Beach. At
                                                                     USMC, 1965-1968         the time we were told not to ask questions
Beirut Bombing                                                          Prospect, Ky.        and the real heroes never talked about
  Thanks for the article, “Terrorism in                                                      their experiences. Years later he told me
Oklahoma City: 20 Years Later Marine           • Editor’s note: The Oklahoma City            that under fi re with heavy casualties,
Survivor Shares His Story,” about Captain    bombing article was originally run in the       he led his team of 22 men to a strategic
Norfleet. Another Marine who died that        April 2015 issue of Leatherneck on the          position on the beach and consequently
day in the Murrah Building was Paul          20th anniversary of that horrible day. The      this was the only team that all members
Douglas Ice. Paul was a former Marine        article was recently included in “Extra         survived and were able to make their way
captain who became a senior special agent    Rations” an email sent to our members           off the beach. Tom turned 18 years old on
and investigator in the U.S. Customs office   in early April. Our goal with the “Extra        that God-forsaken rock.
6   LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                                  www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
Leatherneck - Eternal Fraternity: Marines Share A Sacred Bond With their "Docs" - Marine Corps Association
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In 1950, Tom received orders to Korea.                                        Thrash and was a valuable resource to        published on the Awards Branch a few
After helping to liberate Seoul and being                                        the general. Tom told me that because of     years ago that might help you understand
trapped at Chosin Reservoir, he returned                                         his service Gen Thrash had slated him        the complexity of trying to get medals
home. Twenty years later I noticed a scar                                        for colonel and the promotion would          issued decades after service. https://mca-
on his leg while caring for him after a                                          happen when they got home but somehow        marines.org/wp-content/uploads/Awards-
cancer operation resulting from radiation                                        it didn’t happen. Tom retired in 1970 a      Branch.pdf
exposure when he was part of the occupy-                                         lieutenant colonel.                             As far as Gen Thrash slating your
ing forces on Hiroshima and Agent Orange                                            Today LtCol Kalus is bedridden but        husband for promotion to colonel, I’m
in Vietnam. When I questioned him, it                                            still mentally sharp. This is written with   afraid the general may have misspoke.
was only then that he told me after being                                        the hope that my husband will be             Generals do not have the authority in the
trapped on the Chosin Reservoir he                                               recognized and receive what was promised     Marine Corps to promote officers—the
sustained an injury from a grenade on his                                        him for his bravery, courage and sacrifice    authority resides with the Secretary of the
right leg just above his boot top. Putting                                       in WW II, Korea and Vietnam.                 Navy who convenes a board each year to
on a tourniquet he trudged up the 2-mile                                                                Dr. Janet M. Kalus    select officers for promotion.
hill with a full pack on his back and com-                                                                    Aiea, Hawaii       Please thank your husband for his
munications gear on his shoulder to the                                                                                       service on our behalf and thank you for
top where he overheard Colonel Murray                                               • Editor’s note: Your husband sounds      the sacrifices you made throughout his
say, “That’s a Purple Heart and a Silver                                         like an outstanding Marine and like many     career.—Editor
Star for Kalus.” Tom refused to go to the                                        others, his exceptional performance was
aid station because the Red Cross would                                          not always recognized.                       Puzzling Question
have informed me of his injuries. At the                                            From what I learned in your letter           I am writing in regard to a letter from
time we had four young children, the                                             and based on my experience, I think it       Staff Sergeant Robert D. Minton in the
youngest a baby in arms, and he was sure                                         will be challenging for your husband to      April issue of Leatherneck. He seems to
I would have a breakdown with the news.                                          receive additional medals primarily for      have a question concerning the Personnel
Consequently, no medical reference exists.                                       two reasons: it appears that no award        Protective Security Unit (PPSU). I believe
Those who could speak of this occurrence                                         recommendations were submitted at the        that it still exists. I have observed that
have passed on. I believe it’s never too                                         time and as importantly, there is no one     when a general officer attends an event,
late to recognize the bravery, courage and                                       who can verify his valor. Sad to say, this   either as a guest or a feature speaker, his
sacrifice made on the battlefield.                                                 does happen. I recommend you contact         driver is usually a young man in civilian
   In 1969, he served in Vietnam with the                                        the experts at the Awards Branch at Head-    clothes, normally a dark suit, white shirt
1st Marine Air Wing on General Thrash’s                                          quarters Marine Corps to see if they can     and nice tie. The giveaway is the haircut
staff. He flew many missions with Gen                                             assist you. Here’s a link to an article we                     [continued on page 68]

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8      LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                                                              www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
In Every Clime and Place
                                                                                                     Compiled by Sara W. Bock

OKINAWA, JAPAN AND GUAM                       from 3rd Landing Support Battalion,          load procedures and ensures the Marines
CLR-3 Marines Put “Fight Now”                 3rd Transportation Support Battalion,        have the training and the proficiency
Concept to the Test                           Combat Logistics Battalion 4 and Combat      needed should we have an operation where
  During Exercise Hagatna Fury 21, Ma­        Logistics Battalion 3, to include Marine     Maritime Prepositioning Force assets will
rines and Sailors with Combat Logistics       air­ground task force enablers across        be required to execute their mission,” said
Regiment 3 honed expeditionary advanced       Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa.                    Captain John Bub, USN, Maritime Pre­
base operations (EABO) and distributed           The operation began with the deploy­      positioning Ships Squadron 3 commodore.
maritime operations capabilities across       ment of a composite task force of 3rd           While CLR-3 executed offload oper-
U.S. Indo-Pacific Command with ele-           MLG, 3rdMarDiv and 1st MAW logistics         ations and command and control from
ments of 3rd Marine Division and 1st          enablers, led by CLR­3, to Naval Base        Guam, simultaneous operations occurred
Marine Aircraft Wing, Feb. 18­March 1.        Guam for a Maritime Prepositioning Force     across various remote island locations
  The overall operation was designed to       offload of the Bob Hope­class vehicle        around Okinawa. Marines from 3rd Bat­
test CLR­3’s ability to conduct distributed   cargo ship USNS Pililaau (T­AKR­304)         talion, 8th Marine Regiment and 3rd
command and control of forces providing       alongside Sailors with Navy Cargo Hand­      Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment executed
EABO sustainment across INDOPACOM             ling Battalion One and Navy Beach Group      aerial assaults on Ukibaru Island and Ie
via a robust communications network,          One. This offload demonstrated the ability   Shima via MV­22 Ospreys and CH­53E
while executing various mission profiles      to project combat power ashore to push       Super Stallions in order to seize key
in support of III Marine Expeditionary        forward to key maritime terrain across       maritime terrain. In doing so, they dem­
Force “Fight Now” concepts. During the        the Indo-Pacific.                            onstrated the capability to seize and de­
exercise, CLR­3 simultaneously con­              “[This training] allows Marines to        fend remote island terrain and existing
ducted command and control of forces          execute a full mission rehearsal and off­    airfields in support of follow-on operations.

                                                                                                                                            LCPL MOISES RODRIGUEZ, USMC

Marines with CLR-3, 3rd MLG backload USNS Pililaau during Hagatna Fury 21 at Naval Base Guam, Feb. 24. Based in Okinawa,
Japan, 3rd MLG is a forward-deployed unit that serves as III MEF’s comprehensive logistics and combat service support backbone
for operations across the Indo-Pacific.
10    LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                             www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
During Hagatna Fury 21, Marines with
                                                                                                                      CLR-3, 3rd MLG conduct an advanced
                                                                                                                      motor vehicle operations course on
                                                                                                                      Camp Schwab, Okinawa, Japan, Feb. 19.

                                                                                                                      erate and maintain expeditionary advance
                                                                                                                      bases in support of naval forces by inte­
                                                                                                                      grating all elements of the MAGTF,” said
                                                                                                                      Major Sean Day, operations officer for
                                                                                                                      CLR­3. “Training to these types of dis­
                                                                                                                      tributed operations with multi­functional
                                                                                                                      logistics detachments enables us to ex­
                                                                                                                      periment with and improve our ‘Fight
                                                                                                                      Now’ force while also determining how
                                                                                                                      to best sustain forces from rear areas to

                                                                                           CPL SARAH MARSHALL, USMC
                                                                                                                      forward areas.”
                                                                                                                         Throughout the execution of the exer­
                                                                                                                      cise, elements of CLR­3, 3rdMarDiv and
                                                                                                                      1st MAW also executed a variety of ad­
                                                                                                                      ditional real­world operations and training
                                                                                                                      events, to include integration with Naval
                                                                                                                      Beach Detachment Sailors to conduct
                                                                                                                      vertical replenishment operations in sup­
                                                                                                                      port of USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN­
                                                                                                                      71). Live-fire ranges, helicopter support
                                                                                                                      team lifts of bulk fuel and heavy equip­
                                                                                                                      ment, aerial delivery of sustainment and
                                                                                                                      personnel jumps, and motor transportation
                                                                                                                      skills courses in training areas on Oki­
                                                                                                                      nawa were also conducted, ensuring that
                                                                                                                      proficiency and lethality as a combat
                                                                                                                      logistics unit was maintained.
                                                                                                                         With command and control split between
                                                                                                                      CLR­3’s headquarters on Camp Foster and
                                                                                                                      their forward combat operations center in
                                                                                                                      Guam, the regiment’s leaders used the
                                                                                                                      exercise as an opportunity to practice
                                                                                                                      what real­world dispersed operations
                                                                                                                      would look like in the dynamic area of
                                                                                                                      operations that is the Indo-Pacific.
                                                                                                                         “Hagatna Fury enabled us to continue to
                                                                                                                      build on the MAGTF and joint integration
                                                                                                                      and training we started in previous home­
                                                                                                                      grown exercises. This type of training,
                                                                                                                      allowing us to experiment with truly
                                                                                           CPL SARAH MARSHALL, USMC

                                                                                                                      distributed operations, is key to ensuring
                                                                                                                      that we build and continuously test the
                                                                                                                      ‘Fight Now’ force in III MEF,” said Col­
                                                                                                                      onel Travis Gaines, the commanding
                                                                                                                      officer of CLR-3. “I am proud of what
                                                                                                                      these Marines and Sailors accomplished
                                                                                                                      because it demonstrates our ability to
Marines with 3rd Landing Support Bn, CLR-3 work with Marines from HMH-465 to
                                                                                                                      support the build­up of key capability
conduct a helicopter support team aerial lift of a U.S. Navy skid steer from Naval
                                                                                                                      sets in the rear logistics support area
Mobile Construction Battalion 4 during Hagatna Fury 21 at Kin Blue, Okinawa, Japan,
                                                                                                                      while simultaneously establishing and
Feb. 24.
                                                                                                                      sustaining expeditionary advance bases in
                                                                                                                      support of 7th Fleet sea denial operations.”
  With the seizure of Ie Shima and            the feasibility of bringing landing forces                                 3rd MLG, based on Camp Kinser,
Ukibaru complete, Marines with 3rd LSB,       ashore for future operations. On Ie Shima,                              Marine Corps Base Camp Smedley D.
3rd TSB, Marine Air Control Squadron 4        the combat logistics detachment and                                     Butler, Okinawa, Japan, is a forward­
and Marine Wing Support Squadron 172          support squadron additionally conducted                                 deployed combat unit that serves as
quickly established forward arming and        aerial delivery operations to establish a                               III MEF’s comprehensive logistics and
refueling points to support 1st MAW flight    second FARP and sustained the force with                                combat service support backbone for
operations for attack and assault support     their water purification capability.                                    operations throughout the Indo-Pacific
aircraft. On Ukibaru, Marines also exe­         “Our actions on Ukibaru and Ie Shima                                  area of responsibility.
cuted a beach landing site survey to assess   demonstrate our ability to establish, op­                                          1stLt Jonathan Coronel, USMC
www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck                                                                                                     JUNE 2021 / LEATHERNECK   11
Below: U.S. Marine Cpl Louis Newton
                                                                                           familiarizes a Dutch Marine with the
                                                                                           M40A6 sniper rifle on Range G-21, MCB
                                                                                           Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 8. Newton
                                                                                           and his fellow 2nd Recon Bn Marines
                                                                                           used the range to conduct sniper train-
                                                                                           ing alongside Dutch Marines with 32nd
                                                                                           Raiding Squadron during Exercise Carib-
                                                                                           bean Urban Warrior. (Photo by LCpl
                                                                                           Jacqueline Parsons, USMC)

                                                                                              “The 32nd RAQN has different task-
A Dutch Marine with 32nd Raiding Squadron, left, and SSgt Brady Parks, a main-             ings than full-kinetic squadrons back
tenance chief with 2nd Recon Bn, right, discuss a scheme of maneuver during                in the Netherlands,” said Dutch Marine
Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior at MCB Camp Lejeune, N.C., March 23. (Photo by            Captain Mark Brouwer, a foreign ex-
LCpl Jacqueline Parsons, USMC)                                                             change officer with 2nd Recon. “We sup­
                                                                                           port humanitarian efforts in the Dutch
CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C.                           Terrain (MOUT) facilities, squad to com-      Kingdom every year during hurricane
Caribbean Urban Warrior:                     pany sized teams rehearsed clearing and       season. At the drop of a hat, we must be
U.S., Dutch Marines Continue                 securing areas, taking notional enemy         ready to face looters and criminals.”
Vital Partnership                            contact and treating and evacuating              As the exercise came to a close, plans
   In a continuation of their longstanding   notional “casualties.”                        for 2nd Recon to travel to Aruba in the
partnership, the United States and the          In the final stage of the exercise, the    coming months were being finalized. In
Netherlands have maintained relations        Marines of 2nd Recon conducted high-          Aruba, the units planned to work together
through thick and thin, including during     altitude, low-opening parachute inserts       again in open water and dive training for
the COVID-19 pandemic. Both countries        with CH-53E Super Stallion helicopters        Exercise Coastal Caribbean Warrior.
have been quick to adapt their military      to infiltrate objectives for reconnaissance      “Both exercises serve as a way to
training procedures to uphold health         and surveillance operations. With the         exchange knowledge, TTPs [tactics,
guidelines while maintaining a high level    information from 2nd Recon, the Dutch         techniques and procedures], and increase
of mission readiness and combat effective-   were able to maneuver efficiently through     cooperation between both units,” said
ness. In March, 2nd Reconnaissance Bat-      the woods and swamps of Camp Lejeune          Brouwer.
talion, 2nd Marine Division hosted the       to conduct raids and deliberate attacks on       Both Exercise Caribbean Urban War-
Aruba-based 32nd Raiding Squadron            the objective.                                rior and Coastal Caribbean Warrior in-
(RSQN), Netherlands Marine Corps for            “This all simulates the environments       tegrate the participating units to increase
Exercise Caribbean Urban Warrior at          our unit has to work in,” said Netherlands    interoperability and lethality in diverse
Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C.         Marine Corps Corporal Marvin Sahetapy,        environments. The training fulfills their
   To prepare for operations on urban ter-   a deputy section commander with the           shared goals of safety, mission readiness,
rain and increase interoperability between   32nd RSQN. “From the foot patrols to          increased proficiency in several categories,
the Dutch Marines and 2nd Recon Bn           dominating the information environment        and a heightened ability to switch from
Marines, the exercise utilized Camp          and urban warfare operations. Enablers,       non-kinetic to kinetic operations.
Lejeune’s expansive training areas, ad-      like close air support, are not available        “We train, shoulder to shoulder, with
vanced facilities and available assets,      for us in Aruba.”                             several assets under the II Marine Ex-
allowing the units to refine a myriad of        From the Netherlands Marine Corps          peditionary Force, bringing us closer and
skills. On a sniper range, teams tested      base in Savaneta, Aruba, the 32nd RSQN        stronger every iteration,” said Brouwer.
their skills with long-range weapons at      protects the Dutch Antilles, conducts            Working together, both units enhanced
known- and unknown-distance targets.         counter-illicit trafficking operations,       the skillsets needed to deploy across the
In the Infantry Immersion Trainer and        supports local authorities and provides       globe to defeat tomorrow’s enemies.
numerous Military Operations on Urban        humanitarian aid when needed.                           LCpl Jacqueline Parsons, USMC
12   LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                              www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
Marines Take to the Arctic,
Develop Expeditionary Advance
Basing Concepts
   Marines and Sailors with Marine Ro­
tational Force­Europe 21.1 (MRF­E)
enhanced their warfighting ability above
the Arctic Circle during Exercise Arctic
Littoral Strike in Northern Norway,
March 11­31.
   “This exercise demonstrated the battal­
ion’s capability to operate inside actively
contested maritime spaces, in this case
arctic littoral spaces, and to provide

                                                                                                                                          CPL PATRICK KING, USMC
support to joint fleet operations,” said
Lieutenant Colonel Ryan Gordinier,
the MRF­E battalion commander. “The
Marine Corps has demonstrated an in­
terest in developing expeditionary ad­
vance basing capabilities in the Pacific,
                                              A Marine with MRF-E communicates with Marines downrange during a company live-
and we took advantage of the opportunity
                                              fire attack as part of Exercise Arctic Littoral Strike in Blatind, Norway, March 30. The
to exercise those concepts in the Arctic.”
                                              exercise improved MRF-E’s ability to confront the challenges of anti-access area denial
   Exercise Arctic Littoral Strike enabled
                                              capabilities posted by a notional peer adversary in a contested littoral environment.
elements from MRF­E 21.1 to experiment
with emerging defense concepts and to         tions in arctic littoral terrain.              complex operations and strengthen the
confront the challenges of anti­access,          “I’m satisfied that our allies have         collective defense of NATO.”
area­denial capabilities posed by a no­       achieved success on their training while         Joint naval integration was the first
tional peer adversary. The Camp Lejeune­      in Norway,” said Major General Lars            focus of the four­stage exercise. Exercise
based Marines and Sailors of 3rd Bat­         Lervik, chief of the Norwegian Army. “A        Arctic Littoral Strike enhanced sea­denial
talion, 6th Marine Regiment conducted         complex exercise like this, including other    capabilities by pairing mobile MRF­E
experimentation of the future force by        Norwegian branches as well, will always        elements with Norwegian naval forces
supporting simulated sea­denial opera­        increase the alliance’s ability to implement   in the Arctic fjords.

www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck                                                                           JUNE 2021 / LEATHERNECK   13
Marines with LAR Co, MRF-E conduct a submarine
                                                                                overwatch as part of Exercise Arctic Littoral Strike
                                                                                near Lavangsfjorden, Norway, March 11.

                                                                                                                                                CPL JESSE CARTER-POWELL, USMC
Right: During a company live-fire attack,
Marines with MRF-E buddy rush down-
range in Blatind, Norway, March 28.
Exercise Littoral Strike allowed MRF-E to
demonstrate the ability to support joint
fleet operations by providing overwatch
to a Norwegian submarine and destroy-
ing a notional adversary’s integrated air
defense system.

   MRF-E’s Light-Armored Reconnais-
sance (LAR) Company received a training
mission that required the unit to “secure
the bridge” by observing along routes that
could be used by an adversary and then
reporting their observations to allow a
Norwegian submarine the ability to move
without being impeded by notional enemy
                                                                                                                                                CPL PATRICK KING, USMC

forces. The company conducted integrated
training with the Norwegian Submarine
Command Course that enhanced their
interoperability with combined naval
   “Because of the terrain, the tactical
scenario placed the Norwegian submarine          will ultimately enable us to integrate di-     system. Both day and night, the Marine
in a position of vulnerability,” said Captain    rectly with naval assets as we have done       contingent exercised a combined-arms
Joe Tortorici, USMC, LAR company                 in this exercise with the Norwegian            approach, integrating Javelin antitank
commander. “Our efforts to conduct ef-           submarine and support larger naval             missiles, tube-launched optically tracked
fective overwatch were critical to the           campaigns.”                                    wire-guided missiles, artillery, explosive
survival of not only our Marines, but also          The exercise culminated with a second       ordnance and heavy machine guns with
to the joint force’s ability to operate within   focus: company reinforced live-fire attacks     maneuver elements.
the adversary’s weapons engagement               simulating the isolation and destruction of      “Lima” Company commander, Capt
zones. Our ability to do that in the future      a notional adversary integrated air defense    John McNamara, explained how this
14    LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                                 www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
exercise demonstrated the battalion’s          They are truly among the best in the world     deployed Reaper, which supported daily
commitment to training in “any clime           in arctic cold weather training. This op-      combat operations for Task Force South-
or place.”                                     portunity to continue to build relation-       west in Afghanistan before its end of
   “A combat-credible force is a company       ships with our allies has been exceptional.”   mission, and later 5th Fleet in the Arabian
that can conduct a company-reinforced,           MRF-E focuses on regional engage-            Gulf.
non-illuminated live-fire attack anywhere      ments throughout Europe by conducting            The Marine Corps acquired the MQ-9A
they are deployed,” said McNamara.             various exercises, arctic cold weather and     in September 2018.
   The battalion’s strategic location in       mountain warfare training, and military-         “The Reaper has proven operationally
the U.S. European Command area of re-          to-military engagements, which enhance         effective in the Central Command region.
sponsibility, especially along Northern        overall interoperability of the U.S. Marine    Not only does that further CENTCOM
Norway’s arctic coastline, offers unique       Corps with allies and partners.                objectives, it also clears a key pathway to
opportunities for the Marine contingent                        2ndLt Kayla Olsen, USMC        achieving the Commandant’s vision for
to apply concepts from the Commandant                                                         the Marine Corps in the Indo-Pacific,”
of the Marine Corps’ Force Design, which       UNDISCLOSED LOCATION                           said First Lieutenant Kyle Daugherty, an
2nd Marine Division’s training objectives      Unmanned Aerial System                         intelligence officer and MQ-9 lead for
support.                                       Hits Milestone, Remains Key to                 Marine Corps Forces, Central Command
   “Our ability to conduct this training       Force Modernization                            (MARCENT).
has shown not just 2nd Marine Division,          On March 31, the Marine Corps’ first           MARCENT has utilized the Marine
but the Marine Corps writ large, that we       MQ-9A Unmanned Aerial System achieved          Corps’ first MQ-9 assets to evolve the
can fight and win in any clime and place,”     10,000 total flight hours in the Central       service as a force, capable of further
McNamara added.                                Command area of responsibility, a major        integration of operations in naval, ground,
   Exercise Arctic Littoral Strike followed    milestone for the modernization of the         air and cyber domains. As the Marine
a sequence of arctic cold weather training     force.                                         Corps transitions to government-owned,
events led by Norwegian instructors. The         The MQ-9A Reaper is a Remote Split           government-operated employment of
Marine contingent spent weeks leading          Operations (RSO) product from General          the MQ-9, this force design presents
up to the exercise honing their ability to     Atomics Aeronautical Systems Incor-            opportunities for similar implementation
live, thrive and fight in the Arctic.          porated. The RSO capability revolution-        in the Indo-Pacific region.
   “We appreciate the graciousness of the      izes military operations by allowing the         The Commandant of the Marine Corps’
Kingdom of Norway in allowing us access        system operator to be thousands of miles       Force Design 2030 articulates his pri-
to the training facilities,” said Gordinier.   away from both the launching site and          orities and desired state for the services
“The battalion benefited greatly from the      airspace covered by the aircraft. Marine       as it seeks to modernize and align all
instruction of our Norwegian Armed             Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Squadron               efforts to the National Defense Strategy.
Forces instructors and this exercise would     (VMU) 1, based at Marine Corps Air                            1stLt John Coppola, USMC
not have been a success without them.          Station Yuma, Ariz., pilots the forward-

                                                                                                                                            1STLT JOHN COPPOLA, USMC

An MQ-9A Reaper sits on the flight line at an undisclosed location in the Central Command area of responsibility, March 31. The
unmanned aerial system reached a milestone 10,000 flight hours in support of Marine Corps Forces, Central Command operations.
www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck                                                                            JUNE 2021 / LEATHERNECK   15
Liberated Artillery:
  The Long and Winding
  Journey of an
  M1 Pack Howitzer
        By Jonathan Bernstein                  bottom of a convergence of valleys. As

                                               the Vietnamese fought to push out French
         ne of the great responsibilities      colonial rule, the base was surrounded and
         of the National Museum of the         put under siege for nearly three months,
         Marine Corps is recording and         from March through May of 1954. The
maintaining the history associated with        Vietminh, under General Vo Nguyen Giap,
our artifacts. An artifact on exhibit          hauled 75 mm and 105 mm howitzers and
without its associated story becomes           a number of antiaircraft guns to the tops
just another “thing,” instead of bringing      of the reverse slopes surrounding the base
to life the vibrant experiences of the         and dug them through the mountain tops,
people associated with that object. Those      enabling them to fire from concealed
associated histories often come with a         positions on the other side. This made
mix of emotions—excitement, elation or         them nearly impervious to counterbattery
sorrow, to name a few. Through those           fire but able to effectively place rounds
personal stories, we are better able to        anywhere within the compound or its
convey the individual Marine experience,       adjacent airfield.
and the presence of the artifact is tangible      A significant amount of the Vietminh
evidence of that experience. In the case       artillery used at Dien Bien Phu was former
of the museum’s M1 pack howitzer, it           lend-lease equipment given to China
profoundly affected many Marines at            during WW II and passed on to the
Camp Carroll in 1968 and had wider-            Vietminh in their efforts to push France
ranging impacts as a result.                   out of the country. Additionally, some
  The M1 pack howitzer was designed in         pieces were captured from French stocks,
the early 1920s as a lightweight artillery     the majority of which were U.S.-provided
piece that could be broken down into           weapons. It is unclear if any of the 68
seven loads and transported via pack           pack howitzers supplied to France were
mule. The gun fired high explosive rounds      used in Vietnam. Those guns supplied to
over 9,600 yards and significantly in­         the French were mounted on M8 carriages
creased the U.S. Army’s mobile artillery       with pneumatic tires, unlike those sup-
capabilities. The howitzer went into full      plied to the Chinese, which had the earlier
production in the late 1930s. The museum’s     wooden wheels.
gun, serial number 358, was built in 1941         After the French surrender, the Geneva
and sent overseas as part of the lend-lease    Accords of 1954 partitioned Vietnam
program supporting American Allies.            along the 17th parallel, establishing the
While original M1 guns were being sup-         People’s Republic of Vietnam in the North
plied overseas, the M1A1 variant with an       under Ho Chi Minh, and the Republic of        Vietnamese attempts to unify the two
upgraded carriage and pneumatic tires          Vietnam in the South under Emperor Bao        countries under communist rule. The num-
entered service with U.S. Army Airborne        Dai. Those artillery pieces remained in       ber of U.S. servicemen on the ground in
forces and Marine artillery. The type          what became North Vietnam and would           country filling combat support roles
would see combat in every theater of war       be used as the North began its war on         steadily increased until President Johnson
during World War II and was used widely        South Vietnam.                                committed combat troops after the Gulf
in the postwar years as well.                     Although the American involvement in       of Tonkin Resolution in 1964. The first
  The 1954 French defeat at Dien Bien          Vietnam began with support to the French      known American reference to North Viet-
Phu was due in no small part to the artil-     and covert CIA involvement in the early       namese/Viet Cong use of the M1 pack
lery arrayed around the besieged base.         1950s, the first military advisors deployed   howitzer came in a 1964 CIA intelligence
Located nearly 300 miles west of the           to assist the Army of the Republic of Viet-   summary of NVA/VC activity in South
North Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, the         nam in 1959. The Army of the Republic         Vietnam. The U.S. knew that the North
remote French outpost was situated at the      of Vietnam (ARVN) resisted the North          had pack howitzers, but until the South
16    LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                              www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
The museum’s gun, serial number 358, was built in 1941 and sent overseas
                    as part of the lend-lease program supporting American Allies.

Vietnamese Navy intercepted a sampan       Combat Operations                           LtCol Joseph Como, right, was the com­
near Can Tho carrying 100 rounds of 75        The U.S. formally entered the war on     manding officer of 3rd Battalion, 12th
mm pack howitzer ammunition, there had     March 8, 1965, when U.S. Marines came       Marines at Camp Carroll during 1968.
been no evidence that any had been moved   ashore at Da Nang. The next several years   The battalion provided supporting fires
south across the demilitarized zone sep­   would see a significant increase in U.S.    to Co I, 3/3 during the recovery of the
arating the two nations. The ammunition    combat power on the ground and in the air   pack howitzers. (Photo courtesy of
discovered was all in its original 1942    over South Vietnam. The Marines were        National Museum of the Marine Corps)
packing crates with U.S. ordnance codes.   situated in the northernmost portion of
In addition to the U.S. markings, there    South Vietnam, in what came to be known       Camp James J. Carroll was established
were also Chinese stencils. It was clear   as the I Corps Tactical Zone (CTZ). From    on the Marine Corps birthday in 1966,
that if the North was operating pack       1965 through 1975, more than 450,000        west of Dong Ha just south of Route 9,
howitzers, they most likely came from      Marines served in South Vietnam, the        which paralleled the Cua Viet River from
former Chinese lend­lease stocks.          overwhelming majority in the I CTZ.         the western portion of the DMZ to the
www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck                                                                    JUNE 2021 / LEATHERNECK   17
Using those lessons learned from Dien Bien Phu, a pair of former Chinese lend-lease
        M1 pack howitzers were brought up the mountain at Dong Ha and dug into carefully
         hidden firing emplacements that allowed for a clear field of fire at Camp Carroll.

      Gun 2 location
                                                LZ Buzzard
         Bunker with
      Gun 1 barrel and
     26 rounds of 75 mm
                                         Gun 1 location





                                                                                                                                                   COURTESY OF USMC HISTORY DIVISION
                                                                                    Camp James J. Carroll

Gulf of Tonkin. Route 9 was the northern-        DMZ and eliminate North Vietnamese               Using those lessons learned from Dien
most east-west route in South Vietnam,           artillery positions that had previously       Bien Phu, a pair of former Chinese lend-
and it was a crucial logistical artery needed    been untouchable.                             lease M1 pack howitzers were brought
to support the U.S. military installations          The Marine experience in Vietnam           up the mountain at Dong Ha and dug into
that had been built along the DMZ. Camp          varied widely by year and region, but it      carefully hidden firing emplacements that
Carroll was named for Marine Captain             can be argued that 1968 was the most          allowed for both a clear field of fi re at
James J. Carroll, commander of “Kilo”            pivotal year of the war. The Tet Offensive,   Camp Carroll in the valley below and
Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Reg-          launched to coincide with the 1968 Viet-      enough space to carefully conceal them
iment, who had posthumously been                 namese lunar New Year, was a massive          when not firing.
awarded the Navy Cross for actions during        country-wide operation involving almost          The guns were ready to fi re on the
Operation Prairie earlier in the year. Camp      all of the available North Vietnamese and     morning of Jan. 20.
Carroll’s location was ideal for providing       Viet Cong forces. General Giap, com-             Beginning at 4:20 a.m., 35 rounds of
artillery support and security for almost        mander of Vietminh forces at Dien Bien        122 mm rockets and 75 mm artillery
the entirety of Route 9, as well as the          Phu, was the commander of the People’s        slammed into Camp Carroll within the
DMZ, and was able to engage any enemy            Army of Vietnam (PAVN), the North             1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment’s
artillery on the other side. Strategically,      Viet namese Army. Building on his pre-        area. While Carroll had been subject to
Camp Carroll was the keystone for                vious successes, Giap was able to infiltrate   harassment fire previously, this marked
defending the I CTZ from a potential             artillery into and across the DMZ in prep-    a significant increase in enemy fires
invasion by the North. 155 mm and 8-inch         aration for his well-planned and executed     directed at the installation. According
howitzers were the main Marine heavy             nationwide assault on South Vietnam.          to the battalion’s command chronology
guns at Camp Carroll. By 1968, they were         Artillery was brought south along the Ho      compiled at the end of the month, “The
additionally supported by a battery of           Chi Minh trail in Laos and Cambodia and       artillery was identified as 75 mm and
Army self-propelled M107 175mm long-             infiltrated into South Vietnam in support      represents the first evidence of such
range guns that could reach across the           of the offensive.                             caliber being employed against Camp
18     LEATHERNECK / JUNE 2021                                                                                   www.mca-marines.org/leatherneck
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