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Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 #1284584
Tue Oct 23 2018 10:25 AM
Tue Oct 23 2018 10:25 AM
John Milliman  Offline OP
Founder/Developer
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,034
St. Mary's Co., MD
God bless you, Brothers You came in peace ...

"Everything good that represents America is in that uniform we wear. We should be the epitome of all things that this country has been built upon."
-- Father Pooch


John

'49 Chevrolet 3804
'70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90
'85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284610
Tue Oct 23 2018 01:27 PM
Tue Oct 23 2018 01:27 PM
V
Volfandt  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,603
Knox County, TN
I remember it well. RIP brothers.
Honoring our fallen
Semper Fidelis
Dave.

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284694
Wed Oct 24 2018 11:54 AM
Wed Oct 24 2018 11:54 AM
John Milliman  Offline OP
Founder/Developer
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,034
St. Mary's Co., MD
A friend of mine, who was in 1/8 at the time and was pulled out of the rubble with career ending injuries, sent me this DOD video -- Eerie to see familiar faces in that video...

The American People have forgotten, but we Marines never will.

My friend is currently in Afghanistan (for the second time ...). I told him, "You never learn, do ya??" wink

Semper Fi,
John


John

'49 Chevrolet 3804
'70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90
'85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284698
Wed Oct 24 2018 01:07 PM
Wed Oct 24 2018 01:07 PM
V
Volfandt  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,603
Knox County, TN
I was 4 yrs out of my 6 yr commitment and a yr into what would be my permanent life when the news of the terrorist bombing hit me. My 1st inclination was to rush to the nearest carreer planner/recruiter and jump back into the fray.
I got very angry and my new bride had never seen this side of me.
I traveled alot in my 4 yrs and met/served with uncountable fellow warriors. Many I "knew" without knowing their full names. I didn't recognize any of the names listed by this terrible attack but it really doesn't matter because they were Marines, Corpsmen and GI's......
Cooler heads prevailed and I retained my PFC ranking but to this day I still have that glancing thought that I should have went reserves and did 20. I mean I still use verbiage and refer to many things with the same terms that was drilled into me during those 4 long yrs LOL. Even have the Mrs using some of the nicer ones.
It never really leaves you and the more our society goes PC the more my "Marine" comes out.
But I digress, Semper Fi to all my brothers and sisters, always remember, we're Nation Wide LOL....
Dave

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284702
Wed Oct 24 2018 02:41 PM
Wed Oct 24 2018 02:41 PM
John Milliman  Offline OP
Founder/Developer
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,034
St. Mary's Co., MD
Amen, Brother. On 23 Oct 83, I was well into my Plebe Year at the Severn River School for Wayward Boys (AKA, "Canoe U"). Everything nearly came to a standstill as the reports came in -- The Brigade was shocked (especially our Marines), as we had been watching the situation there unfold. We were mad, too. We felt helpless, trapped in the classrooms, labs and fields of Annapolis. But the discipline remained and we all attended to our duties. It sure was gratifying later to read about USS New Jersey, representing all of us, when she unleashed her main battery on those (there is no word that adequately expresses my dislike of Muslim extremists) ... pieces of rat excrement. Apparently, in that operation, New Jersey expended nearly 40 percent of the 16-inch rounds in theater. Which was a good start .... It was highly satisfying to read about what those "flying volkswagens" were doing to the landscape there. Not nearly enough payback, but it was a decent start. In July '84, I was assigned to USS Nassau for my "Youngster Cruise" and was assigned to the Gunner's Mates. I spent that cruise working in the 5-inch gun mounts. My General Quarters station was in the ammo rack loading 5-inch rounds onto the feeder tray that sent them up to the breech, which was one deck above us). Nassau had relieved USS Iwo Jima as the support ship for the Beirut peacekeepers after the attack. We were off the beach in '84. We were there doing the final pull out of the Marine Detachment from the embassy. It seemed like we were at General Quarters a lot and none of them were drills. But every 5-inch round I loaded, I hoped would go down range and kill some Hezbollah/Hamas/Islamic Jihad/Whoever sob who had been a part of murdering our brothers. The Beirut I saw in the Summer of '84 didn't look very much like the "Paris of the Med" it once was. Haifa was beautiful. Beirut -- a craphole.

But the Marines I served alongside in '84, the ones who were shuttling back and forth from Nassau to the embassy, dealing with the aftermath of 23 Oct 83, were the finest, most professional men I knew and cemented my decision to take my commission in the Marine Corps 3 years later. But I'm still proud of being a Gunner's Mate - Guns (sort of ... smile ) in the Summer of '84 and doing my own little, teenie part to support the 24 MAU.

And in all of this, we can't forget our friends -- the Italians, the French, and the other members of the Multi-National Peace Keeping Force -- who were there, too, and sacrificed much as well.


John

'49 Chevrolet 3804
'70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90
'85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284728
Wed Oct 24 2018 07:48 PM
Wed Oct 24 2018 07:48 PM
V
Volfandt  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,603
Knox County, TN
Great stuff!
I remember the shelling, BRAVO!!!
I recall when the MARDET and sailors on the Rosey (USS FDR) fired those 5" er's for target practice as we headed on it's last Med Cruise in 76/77. Man they boomed all through the whole carrier and we felt every shot. I'd say I'd be HIGHLY IMPRESSED with those big 16" er's on the New Jersey ...... They say the entire Battleship will move sideways in opposite direction of the firing if they fire all their batteries at once.

I hold the extremist muslim terrorist in the same light. I can think of words to express my feelings towards them but will spare y'all as I know we are a family friendly site LOL....

My last squadron was VMA 231 flying the AV8A Harriers. Thats what we took on the Rosey. Talking about those 5"er's got me to thinking about the bang our little Flying Yard Darts delivered. Enjoy
Semper Fi
Dave

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284746
Wed Oct 24 2018 10:45 PM
Wed Oct 24 2018 10:45 PM
John Milliman  Offline OP
Founder/Developer
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,034
St. Mary's Co., MD
When New Jersey's main battery fired ... holy crap. Well, you couldn't be outside for that because the concussion was severe. So, inside the ship, a huge bang is a huge bang. And despite what it looks like from the outside, the bridge is small and inside the citadel was cramped, even for the bridge crew. So they herded us mids off the another ship in the battle group so we could actually watch the show. I got to see it from the UnRep ship in the group -- USS Wabash (AOR-5). We were 5 miles off and the sound and fury was ... Marine Corps like! Words can not describe it. That was the Summer of 1986 and I can still see and hear that event like it happened yesterday. If you are a "shooting enthusiast/marksman" and appreciate a fine weapon ... well, the 16 in 50 Cal Mk 7 is the ultimate rifle. 9 of them speaking together is almost a worshipful moment. To be a GM-Guns aboard an Iowa was to truly be an elite. And they knew it and carried themselves as such. The crew aboard New Jersey were the epitome of the squared away professional Sailor. Salty, proud, efficient, capable and the absolute best. They were every bit equal to us and it was a thrill to be among them for even a short while. And New Jersey's MarDet?? Well, you probably know that Sea Marines are not too shabby either. I don't know what it took to get assigned to a battleship MarDet, but I would imagine there wasn't a single Pg 11 entry in any of those record books wink They all knew those 4 ladies were the ultimate best and duty aboard them was coveted and hard to get (how I got there, even just for a Midshipman cruise) is anyone's guess. During my rotation through the bridge watch, I even got to drive her. For 15 minutes, I got to be the OOD-Underway. I gave 4 rudder commands (with coaching from the real OOD ...) At 25 knots (slow, but we were dodging drift nets), it was amazing how responsive she was to rudder commands. Even an order for "Right rudder, 5 degrees" gave almost instant response. As soon as the helmsman put the wheel over, she started turning. Like a Ferrari on rails. I'd driven YP's, the Nassau and a Perry-class frigate ... none of them were anything like New Jersey. 4 screws, each with their own rudder ... 25 knots. I heard 30-plus knots was an e-ticket ride.

I almost got shot by one of the MarDet Marines, too. I was just coming off a watch in one of New Jersey's engine rooms (she has 4). The engineering spaces were built to 1940's safety and comfort standards -- it was very LOUD and very HOT down there. I came up the ladder, opened the hatch and stepped out into the athwartship passageway that runs across providing access to all 4 spaces. I was tired and hot. I dogged the hatch behind me and turned to go down the p-way while I was removing my hearing protection -- which had prevented me from hearing two things -- that there was a ship-wide security alert in progress, and the running footsteps behind me of the young hard charger with his drawn M1911 aimed right at the back of my head. I heard the running, whipped around wide eyed to greet the LCPL and his .45 and froze as he screamed by me "Step aside and halt, Sir -- Security Alert in progress!" He saw me removing the ear plugs so he didn't shoot me -- which I am grateful for smile. I stay glued to that bulkhead until the "Secure from Security Alert" was passed about 3o minutes later. I did marvel at the fact that he was wearing Deltas ... Underway ... Gulf of Thailand ... Summer ... not-a-drill security alert, and the MarDet's duty uniform aboard a battleship was Deltas that day ... wow. Like Embassy Duty, I guess. Or stepping back in time to the Old Corps... I'm glad I got one last glimpse before it disappeared.


John

'49 Chevrolet 3804
'70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90
'85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284763
Thu Oct 25 2018 01:45 AM
Thu Oct 25 2018 01:45 AM
V
Volfandt  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,603
Knox County, TN
Imagine firing those 16"er's for days and weeks like they did at Iwo Jima.

The MarDet on the Rosey were no slouches either. They were squared away high and tight Marines. We were salty airdales. To this day I still don't think they thought much of us airdale slimes on board their boat. There was VERY little interaction between us.

While in the Med we scheduled a tackle football game with them when we ported at Catania Sicily. Man was that a tough game. I got a bloody nose from a head on tackle. I was playing middle LB and they ran a dive play directly at me. Me and the running back met smack dab in the middle of the huge hole they blew in our D line. We both lowered our heads, his was lower and my nose tackled him LOL. Dang thing bled for 5 minutes. They made me sit till it stopped. I went back in as a safety/reciever after that. They were up by a TD when the game got out of control and we called it quits before it got too serious. So technically they won but we claimed they walked first LOL....

They also had this huge Sgt that was a heavy weight boxer. He'd put on exhibitions and would challenge the crowd for someone to spar with him. He'd go easy on the sailors but would try to knock out any airdales that were foolish enough to take the challenge. I wish I could remember his name as he was good. His style was alot like Joe Frazers, relentless....

I got assigned TAD to the AIMD 4 shop as there was an agreement that when a Marine squadron deployed aboard a carrier they had to TAD some of us to the ships intermediate aviation repair shops and in my case AIMD 4 was a GSE shop. One of the Chiefs in the shop was one of my instructors back in A school at NAS Millington and remembered me. He assigned me to the flight deck where I'd work 12 on and 12 off. Talk about exciting duty. Life on the flight deck of a carrier is what I call organized mayhem. You've got F4's, A6's, A7's and AV8A's turning up and moving under their own power while tugs were running around starting and towing them. Throw in some Willie Fudds and CODS with their turbo props spinning up and the Angel Helo's and it's a wonder no one got killed during flight ops. No one did on our cruise.
Flight Ops at night was a hole different beast. I still take my hat off to those who could launch and land on a small moving patch of metal in the middle of an ocean at night.
Remember how dark it was at sea? You couldn't see past a foot in front of you but you could see millions upon millions of stars. Seems there were always shooting stars at sea.
One night while we were traversing the Strait of Messina a Liberian freighter cut across our bow and we plowed right into it's amidships.... Dang near cut it in half. To this day I've never heard metal screeching and sparks flying as I saw that night. I was on the flight deck servicing my tugs and saw it happen. Just before impact we sounded the collision alarm. I can still hear it LOL. When we backed off the freighter you could see this huge "V" cut in it's side. It extended below the water line and all the up to the top. It made it to port but I'm sure it took on a lot of water.
The Rosey got a couple slices in the bow and a hole about the size a VW bug could drive through. It was all above the water line so we ported in Naples for 2 weeks while they welded her back up and we got back underway.
Naples has to be the nastiest port we hit. Mankind has been there far too long.....
The area around the wharfs was called The Gut, enough said LOL....
.
Interesting times back then, we were coming of Viet Nam and hadn't got involved in the middle East yet.

Dave.

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284793
Thu Oct 25 2018 10:10 AM
Thu Oct 25 2018 10:10 AM
John Milliman  Offline OP
Founder/Developer
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,034
St. Mary's Co., MD
Man ... you need to come up to Homecoming in April. Bring your cruise book. You, NAPCOMan and I would have a grand time. Although -- As an airdale and a PAO, he (03whatEVER) thinks we're both putzes smile But we could bond by taking turns whaling on the Squid (Hambone) -- always good for a few chuckles.

Boxing and broken noses ... I'll tell you my boxing/football/pugil stick/boxing story sometime ... And why it always sux'd to be the 2nd biggest guy in the platoon ... frown although you probably know why ...

Have a friend here who was a civilian in Naples for three years. Heard there were a few good parts of town ... Only Med ports I've been to are Haifa and Beirut (um, we didn't go pierside there ...). Been to plenty WestPac towns, though. I can't imagine Naples is much worse than Olongapo or Pohang (the backyard of the world's largest steel mill .... and no EPA ...) Most post apocalyptic visions of a gritty, dirty future I see in movies look like a cleaned up Pohang ...

S/F
John


John

'49 Chevrolet 3804
'70 Boston Whaler Sakonnet w/ '84 Evinrude 90
'85 Ford F-350 "The Farm Dawg"

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1284835
Thu Oct 25 2018 05:48 PM
Thu Oct 25 2018 05:48 PM
V
Volfandt  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,603
Knox County, TN
I definitely want to make the next Homecoming. The GMC is getting more and more road worthy, which includes interstate running.
If not the ummmm, F150 will make it LOL......

Man, I've got a few stories about Naples and The Gut I can't share here, one involves a brand new fresh E2 sailor who had just been flown out to us at Naples and assigned to our shop. He wanted to run with the big dogs, I'll leave it there for now LOL.....
Sicily & Northern Italy was real nice.

Never made Olongapo but did I&I's, I mean R&R's in Taipai (great) and Osan Korea (better than Oki).

Them 03's are hard Corps LOL.

Semper Fi
Dave

Re: Semper Fidelis, BLT 1/8 [Re: John Milliman] #1285006
Fri Oct 26 2018 11:09 PM
Fri Oct 26 2018 11:09 PM
Rusty Rod  Offline
Moderator - The Electrical Bay and Rocky Mountain Bolters
Joined: Dec 2002
Posts: 2,840
Loveland, Colorado
That was a sad day indeed. RIP.


Another quality post.


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