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Thread: RIP, Gunny

  1. #11
    Registered Member enigma57's Avatar
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    Thank you for your service as well, Rocketman. And to all the vets here, Thank You! You are right about Marines. I also served 4 years in the Navy and later, as a middle aged Naval Reservist on active duty during Desert Shield/Desert Storm (SeaBees that time). Nonetheless, once a Marine, always a Marine. It defines you for all time.

    My Dad and one of his elder brothers were Marines. They enlisted in April of 1917 days after America came into The Great War (Big War)...... Later came to be called the 1st World War. Dad was only 15 and had to use the birth certificate of an older brother who had died as a young child to convince them he was 17. 15th Company, 6th Machine Gun Battalion......



    http://belleau7.rssing.com/chan-10685959/all_p1.html

    Dad was badly wounded in June of 1918 in the fighting for the Belleau Wood. I have the original telegram from the Marine Corps informing my grandparents that he was WIA in France and that due to the heavy fighting in that area, they had no further information. Dad managed to recover sufficiently to rejoin the fighting. Was awarded bronze star for action at Blanc Mont, St. Etienne a month priour to Armistice. Came home after the war with burns on his chest from mustard gas, a steel plate in his head and a metal pin holding one knee together. Had to have fluid drained off his knee every few weeks for the rest of his life. Very painful. Told my Mom he'd do it all over again if need be. Contacted his old CO shortly after the Japs bombed Pearl Harbour and asked for his assistance in reenlisting, but the Corps would not take him due to his injuries from the previous war. I have Col. Bleasdale's letter from January of 1942 here in response to Dad's request. Dad was nearly 50 when I came along and passed away when I was 3. Mom described him to me as a '2-fisted, barrel chested Irishman' who didn't take guff from anyone.

    My Step-dad served in the Navy and later during the 2nd World War, in the Merchant Marine. Had 1 ship torpedoed by a U-boat off the Irish coast and another bombed and sunk by the Luftwaffe whilst leaving England. Step-dad was a Louisiana man from an old Creole French family. Tough old bird. Spitting image of Humphrey Bogart, built like Charles Bronson. Managed to make it to shore both times.

    2 of my 3 sons served during Desert Shield/Desert Storm, 1 in the Marine Corps, the other in the Navy. Grandson served in the Army in Afghanistan.

    Please give my kind regards and best wishes to Sergeant Bergen and my thanks to you for driving him in the parade. I know it made him proud to honour our nation.



    Were we ever really this young? 19 yrs. old. Just made L/Cpl. 4th from right, standing with AK.
    They wouldn't let us keep 'em as souvenirs, though. My buddy Robert at far right with M14.



    Captured NVA flag. Yes, they are holding it upside down for a reason. My buddy Robert on the right.
    A smile and a joke for every occasion. KIA Con Thien. Think of him every day.



    11 years later, towards end of 2nd hitch...... Didn't fit into civilian life very well, so went back in the service (Navy that time).
    Built this car at the auto hobby shop on base when we were in port. Yes, I'm still wearing jungle boots. Kinda got used to 'em.
    Except for turning and burning long hours keeping the subs patched up and on station, it was pretty laid back at the sub pier.

    Was sent over to 32nd St. Naval Station on TAD orders to work on a pressure vessel in the reactor compartment of a nuke skimmer once
    and the OOD wanted to put me on report for being out of uniform. Had a long beard at the time and was wearing green coveralls and
    jungle boots and a USS Dixon ball cap with my rank insignia on it. Surface fleet was sorta uptight about stuff like that.

    OOD apparently wanted me to report in dress whites with haircut and shave and shoes shined and then change after I reported aboard.
    We didn't have a Navy pickup handy, so I drove the Chevy and parked it on the pier near the brow. He wasn't very happy about that, either.



    When my '65 GTO ragtop was totaled, I built up the engine and swapped it into a '56 Chevy along with the Muncie 4-speed and a '69 Camaro SS396 12-bolt rearend.
    '74 400 Pontiac short block, '68 428 cop car heads, Sig Erson cam, '66 Pontiac iron tri-power intake.
    Note dealer only MOPAR 6-Pak carbs (factory high perf replacements for the production 440 6-Pak carbs) adapted to Pontiac intake.





    Also ran 2-1/2" dual exhaust with MOPAR hemi mufflers and a '76 Cordoba rear sway bar on that car.
    Front sway bar was from a new TransAm Firebird. G-60 15 radials put over 8" of tread on the road at all 4 corners. Handled really well.
    These photos of my '56 were taken in 1979.

    Happy Motoring,

    Harry
    'G-d Bless The U.S.A.'...... Lee Greenwood......

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_5aoptI5j0

  2. #12
    Registered Member BamaNomad's Avatar
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    Great story Harry! and Thank you for your service and dedication as well!~ You've got great stories from your and your father's service to tell your grandchildren!

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