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Author Topic: My Tour of Duty, Interview & 'Soundtrack'  (Read 50714 times)
Koen
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« Reply #40 on: 12 July 2009, 11:21:32 »
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FACman,

what did you carry around as weapons when you operated as FACman.

I suppose only sidearms due to the heavy load you had to carry?
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« Reply #41 on: 12 July 2009, 14:58:23 »
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Koen sez:
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what did you carry around as weapons when you operated as FACman.
I suppose only sidearms due to the heavy load you had to carry?



As an RTO, I was authorized to carry a .45 cal pistol, some RTOs carried rifles any way, I personally opted for the lighter load. Though the term lighter is a relative term in this case. A couple of months after Operation Purple Martin, when I had recovered from my psychotic frame of mind, while in the rear between patrols, someone stole my .45. Had that occurred whilst still in my berserker mentality, I surely would have gotten a replacement. However, in my new Zen like state of mind, I was determined to get off the karmic wheel and instead of drawing a new weapon, I spent the rest of my tour unarmed. Since I was in the company CP it was unlikely I would be called upon to defend myself unless we were going to hell in a handbasket at which time, I figured finding a weapon would be the least of my problems. I had started on a pacifists path, which would eventually, upon my return to 'The World', involve me in some of the large anti-war marches in the S.F. Bay Area.




Video note:
*at 2:06 you will see a guy on radio watch (2 handsets on two different nets), I spent many hours in this mode.

In the pic at the start of this vid the second man back is an RTO, that pack frame is the kind I started out with once I picked up a radio. At the top you can see the radio mounted and on the back of the radio you can see a yellow smoke grenade (Banana/Lemon when ID'd by pilots coming into your LZ). This backpack is configured for a patrol as his haversack is not attached under the radio making it much lighter, ~ 30 lbs (14kgs) instead of 60-70 lbs (27-32kgs).
« Last Edit: 7 December 2009, 16:36:50 by FACman » Logged

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FACman
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« Reply #42 on: 15 July 2009, 06:13:18 »
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The beach boys -good vibrations



sound of silence
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Koen
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« Reply #43 on: 27 September 2009, 15:00:13 »
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FacMan:
where did you get your training, first to become a soldier and afterwards to become a FACman?

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Military career:
Enlisted in USMC Feb 1968 - Jan 1970  MOS...0311 (Rifleman), 2531 (RTO)  was unmarried
Served a 10 month tour of duty in South Vietnam (tour ended with Nixon's 2nd troop reduction (Oct 1969)). The remainder of my WestPac tour, was spent on the 'Rock' (Okinawa). In Jan 1970, upon rotation home, I was granted an early release due to my only having 5 months remaining in my enlistment (I was no longer deployable due to being 'short'). Left the active duty component as a L/Cpl (E-3).

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« Reply #44 on: 27 September 2009, 16:30:28 »
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where did you get your training, first to become a soldier and afterwards to become a FACman?


My 'Boot Camp' was at USMCRD San Diego (USMC Recruit Depot).  That would make me, what other Marines humorously call, a "Hollywood Marine'. Those who do their 'Boot Camp' at Parris Island in South Carolina are humorously called 'Real Marines' but make no mistake, we are all Marines. My follow up training for my primary MOS (Rifleman/0311) was done at Camp Pendleton, nestled in the coastal mountains of southern California. In all, my training lasted about 6 months. My FAC training was done while in Vietnam, via OJT (On the Job) training. I was taught the skills by the outgoing FACman which took about a month.

By the way, I was not a soldier, I was a Marine. It may not seem like much of a distinction to the layman, but you will never hear a Marine call himself a soldier. It has everything to do with the 'Esprit de Corps'!
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« Reply #45 on: 27 September 2009, 16:42:23 »
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when I refer to soldier I ment that you didn't have a grade yet so in theory you were a soldier but since you were in the Marines you were a marine...no matter what grade you had...correct?

riflemen is the overall name for infantrymen? (marines or not)

ps: feel free to add all the abbreviations and specific names and locations to the glossary topic so I can add them.
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« Reply #46 on: 27 September 2009, 19:02:10 »
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when I refer to soldier I ment that you didn't have a grade yet so in theory you were a soldier but since you were in the Marines you were a marine...no matter what grade you had...correct?


I understood your question, but felt it my duty to 'square you away' regarding what you call a Marine. Soldiers are in the Army. As for my grade, yes I had a grade when I entered, I was a Private, and as the drill instructors always reminded us, we were lower than whale s--t. One example of our lowly status was, through the entire Boot Camp, until the day we graduated, we were not allowed to spit, as that was reserved for Marines.


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riflemen is the overall name for infantrymen? (marines or not)


Yes, that is correct. However, in the Corps, ALL Marines are riflemen first. It doesn't matter if your a cook, a mechanic or a clerk, we all received the same training in basic infantry combat skills (maneuver, fire discipline, etc.) after Boot Camp at ITR (Infantry Training Regiment). Only after completing this training, do you go on to your duty MOS.

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« Reply #47 on: 28 September 2009, 14:50:44 »
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what always wondered me is the 'goal' of the US having the Marines?

has it changed through history?
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« Reply #48 on: 29 September 2009, 02:03:38 »
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what always wondered me is the 'goal' of the US having the Marines?


The original US Marines, were copied from the British Marines of the day. They were shipborne riflemen who would snipe at the enemy from the rigging. They also provided security aboard ship and landing parties if needed.

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has it changed through history?


Yes, it has changed significantly, though on capitol ships they still provide security and run the brigs. Their role has expanded in that security for all US embassies are provided by the Corps. And if US citizens need rescue, they can legally enter a foreign country to evacuate Americans, without being considered as an 'Act of War'. Though even that is changing in these weird times, with use of Delta Force, Navy Seals etc, for this kind of mission.. They have also expanded into a rapid deployment force as there is usually a battalion 'Afloat' in the Atlantic/Med and the Pacific/Indian Oceans.
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« Reply #49 on: 29 September 2009, 10:05:09 »
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So their state of readiness is always 1 or 2 steps higher then the Army?

In WWII we always get the idea that they were everywhere in the Pacific doing ALL the important battles, is that so or is that the media?

And can we compare the use of the Marines in WWII with the Waffen-SS? Meaning, operating together with the Army but used as a spearhead or as a force to send to where the Army can't achive their goals?
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« Reply #50 on: 29 September 2009, 18:50:44 »
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So their state of readiness is always 1 or 2 steps higher then the Army?



I wouldn't say they're at a higher readiness, it is due to it being subordinate to the Dept of the Navy. As a part of the US Navy, they are easily mobilized and moved with the Navy vessels at their disposal. The Marines are amphib/helo deployable Light Infantry. The US Army's 82nd Airborne has USAF transport aircraft available for an even faster deployment. . To mobilize Heavy Mechanized Army Brigades requires utilizing the Merchant Marine to transport them as they have a lot more equipment. The time required to assemble for deployment is commensurately longer.

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In WWII we always get the idea that they were everywhere in the Pacific doing ALL the important battles, is that so or is that the media?



While the Marines did show up just about everywhere in the Pacific (see story below), The Army presence in the Pacific was extensive since by its very nature, the Marine Corps is a very small service and would not have been able to retake the whole Pacific without doubling or tripling it's size.


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A few Marines in the Philippines Campaign
On 20 October, four Army divisions made landings on the east coast of Leyte. Following them in on the next day (21 October) was the Marine V Amphibious Corps (VAC) Artillery. This anomaly occurred because the normal heavy artillery of the Army's XXIV Corps had been detached to support the Marine assault in the Mariana Islands. Once there, they were not available in time for the Leyte landings, and so the Marines' big guns had been sent from Pearl Harbor to support the Army infantry in the Philippines. Thus, Brigadier General Thomas E. Bourke led ashore the 1,500 Marines of the 11th 155mm Gun Battalion, the 5th 155mm Howitzer Battalion, and the Corps Artillery Headquarters Battalion. Moving quickly into action, the cannoneers initially fired in support of the Army's XXIV Corps from positions near the beach head.
{excerpt from Marines in World War II Commemorative Series by Captain John C. Chapin, USMCR (Ret)
http://www.nps.gov/archive/wapa/indepth/extContent/usmc/pcn-190-003140-01/sec8.htm}


 

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And can we compare the use of the Marines in WWII with the Waffen-SS? Meaning, operating together with the Army but used as a spearhead or as a force to send to where the Army can't achive their goals?



I would be hard pressed to defend a position saying  the US Army couldn't do things that the Corps could.  I would rather say, that due to their extensive training in amphibious deployments, one would expect to see the Marines, play a prominent role in an island hopping campaign.

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« Reply #51 on: 29 September 2009, 20:54:34 »
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ok, thx

Indeed, in most WWII movies and docus in and around the Pacific the Marines are the ones shown so the viewer starts thinking that they did it on their own.

Is it so then that a big part of the Marines is always 'on the road'?

What about the Gulf Wars? Since you stated that the speciality is amphibious landings....not much water in the desert  hihi
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« Reply #52 on: 29 September 2009, 23:07:39 »
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Is it so then that a big part of the Marines is always 'on the road'?


In time of war, yes. In peacetime, only a couple of battalions will be afloat. Usually one in the Med and one in WestPac.


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What about the Gulf Wars? Since you stated that the speciality is amphibious landings....not much water in the desert


As Light Infantry, the Corps is extremely flexible. There weren't a lot of Amphib operations in Vietnam either, but plenty of Helo operations. Remember the Amphib landing or the Helo insertion was just the opening movement of operations, once on the ground I spent most of my tour riding around on my LPCs (Leather Personel Carriers(boots to the dim)) as do most Light Infantry.
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« Reply #53 on: 16 November 2009, 12:00:52 »
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and now a break for a zippy little tune, since there aren't very many questions coming in from the audience...

Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers (with Lyric)
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« Reply #54 on: 20 November 2009, 13:47:48 »
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To me this is a quintessential sound from my tour of duty and representative of the San Francisco sound of the era.
With that being said I present to you...'Gold & Silver' by Quicksilver (one of my all time favorite pieces)

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Gold and Silver


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« Reply #55 on: 21 November 2009, 23:38:55 »
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thx for Quicksilver....didn't know them yet...
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« Reply #56 on: 7 December 2009, 16:13:07 »
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This song was a favorite with the GIs because of the subject...

The Box Tops, 'The Letter'

The Box Tops - The Letter


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« Reply #57 on: 7 December 2009, 22:02:02 »
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To me this is a quintessential sound from my tour of duty and representative of the San Francisco sound of the era.
With that being said I present to you...'Gold & Silver' by Quicksilver (one of my all time favorite pieces)

Quicksilver Messenger Service - Gold and Silver

Did not know them yet, strangely familiar sounds, and (w/o any disrespect intended): Isn´t this a bit "Take 5", modernized (for that time frame), IMHO at least the base line is a clear copy?

Rattler

The Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five (1961)
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« Reply #58 on: 18 December 2009, 16:39:50 »
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Wow.  Is all I can say.  Thanks for linking this thread for me FACman,  truly educational.

Do you see that girl in the video in your link #31 (the little naked girl running, it's a rather famous picture),  well she came to our church when I was living in British Columbia to do a speech some years back.  It's a small world huh?

It's interesting that you were only 19 when in serving in Vietnam,  they say that the average age of the American soldier that served in Vietnam was 19.  Like the song states:  'you're old enough to kill, but too young to vote'.  How crazy is that?  

Yes, I liked that film with Reese and Phoenix - 'walk the line',  a true love story,  and how they overcame.  

Just one question,  looking back how do you feel about the Vietnamese people now?  The one's you fought against?  It was such a crazy war wasn't it?  I feel really bad for the young soldiers who served there,  it seems they just dumped them there and forgotten.

Amazing music on this thread.
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« Reply #59 on: 18 December 2009, 17:46:13 »
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Just one question,  looking back how do you feel about the Vietnamese people now?  The one's you fought against?


I hold no animosity for the Vietnamese people. I have the utmost respect for the Warriors that we fought against, able and capable adversaries they were.

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It was such a crazy war wasn't it?


I feel the craziness comes from the lies that got us into it, much like the war in Irak.

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I feel really bad for the young soldiers who served there,  it seems they just dumped them there and forgotten.


After forty years of struggle, I am only now beginning to understand why I act and feel the way I do. Unlike today, they did not treat us for our psychic wounds, and did in fact forget and abandon us.

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Amazing music on this thread.


Yes, it is the soundtrack of my life as well as my tour.
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