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MARINES, MEDALS AND VIETNAM
When Bill Myers sent me a 2-inch-thick stack of typed paper, I wondered if it was the rough draft of his new book “Marines, Medals and Vietnam.” I’m delighted that it was indeed the case.
This book may be even more interesting, and certainly more sustaining, than other books of this genre because Myers has selected several specific combat operations in Vietnam and provided a detailed overview of each. Many readers instantly will recognize Operations Starlite, Orange, Dodge City and Buffalo, and certainly Khe Sanh and several other significant battles that were spontaneous and therefore didn’t have official names, but were indeed full-conflict situations.
In every battle covered in the book, the details are so focused with names, ranks and unit designations that a reader will find himself feeling as if he was back in the battle. The Marine ground/air teamwork is addressed in great detail, and our aviation warriors are featured as well as the ground forces.
However, this is not just a book relating the details of each combat mission in a history-book type of overview. This book gets personal! In every battle, Myers includes names and ranks of Marines and corpsmen and includes their individual backgrounds, the nature of the missions and the moment-to-moment events of the Marines’ operational experience.
The reader will find himself wanting to thumb back to an index to examine the details of the mission, the Marine, his unit and the chain of command. Fortunately, the author has anticipated that. Every chapter contains a detailed listing: name, rank, serial number, unit, age and hometown of each warrior named.
In addition to the name listings, there is a “Medals” chapter, which contains the names of each Marine/corpsman who was awarded one of the top three medals—the Medal of Honor, the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. Again, the name, hometown, serial number, unit, date of award, age and hometown of every warrior is cited in the “Award Index.” You will be surprised at how often you refer back to a name, an award or an event or battle.
As some may know, I’ve reviewed many books for the Marine Corps Gazette and Leatherneck magazines and I’ve enjoyed every one of them. This book, though, is different, in a positive way. It’s unique. The thorough research of the intricate details involved in close combat, whether ground or air, captures the reader, regenerating the personal memories of events, people, situations and emotions.
I am convinced that if you are a Vietnam veteran, you will recognize many of those heroes you know or knew, stimulating those memories that are special.
Col Kenneth D. Jordan, USMC (Ret)
Editor’s note: Col Ken Jordan, a combat-decorated and wounded infantry officer, was commissioned in 1961. He commanded a Force Reconnaissance detachment in Vietnam and served in various staff and command positions in a 28-year career. On retirement, he was a director of human resources for a major bank for 10 years and a career transition counselor for six years. He has served on the board of directors of the United States Olympic Committee and on multiple veteran-related boards, including the Marine Corps Association.
MARINES, MEDALS AND VIETNAM
By William L. Myers.
Published by Redoubt Press. 392 pages. Softcover.
$22.50 MCA Members. $25 Regular Price.
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- BLACK APRIL: The Fall of South Vietnam, 1973–1975 (Book Review)
- Matterhorn (Book Review)
- The Gung-Ho Ethic Applied (Article)
- Moore’s Marauders: Finding a Few Good Men and Women (Article)
- THE LAST STAND OF FOX COMPANY: A True Story of U.S. Marines in Combat. (Book Review)
Today in USMC History
1853 - Maj Jacob Zeilin (in charge of Marines) arrived with Commodore Matthew C. Perry’s squadron at Okinawa.
Related Article: Rescuing The Mighty Conqueror By Gerald G. Weland Leatherneck Magazine (Nov 1986)
Historic Leatherneck Magazine Covers
Leatherneck Staff Artist, Technical Sergeant Robert Fleischauer, felt that our July cover should be commemorative of the Fourth of July. Since the members of the missile units are probably the Corps' best rocketeers, he picked them to perform a standard Fourth of July action. Whether or not the "Honest Johnny" is useful as a combat piece is a matter for debate, but you can't beat it for morale." [July 1957.]
“The Join Up on the Nick” by Major Alex Durr, USMCR, a member of the History Division, Marine Corps University, Quantico, Va.
Hospitalman Daniel T. Bobic, assigned to Headquarters and Service Company, 3d Battalion, Second Marine Regiment, rappelled at the Jungle Warfare Training Center in Okinawa, Japan, in late April, 2002.
The oldest post of the Marine Corps, Washington, DC, is celebrating 200 years of excellence. Posed near the Barracks main gate were members of the official Color Guard of the United States Marine Corps (left to right): LCpl Joseph N. Keough, rifleman; Sgt Blake L. Richardson, Color Sergeant of the Marine Corps; Cpl Gerardo A. Guajardo, organizational color bearer; and LCpl Gregory A. Serwo, rifleman.
GySgt Verlando Frazier, East Coast Food Service Management Team, looked ready to dig into some of the new items included in MREs.
This photo by Sgt Earnie Grafton of Marines from Fox Co., 2/4 shows varied emotions as they greeted the coalition forces outside Kuwait city.
A fleet of trucks was needed to transport Dr. Felix de Weldon’s original model of the Iwo Jima flag-raising statue from the sculptor’s home in Newport, R.I., to the grounds of the Marine Military Academy at Harlingen, Texas. After the statue’s arrival, a nearly around-the-clock effort by skilled workmen was required in order to have the memorial reassembled and ready for dedication ceremonies on April 16, 1982.
In April this year (1981), two squadrons of AV-8A “Harriers” sailed for the Mediterranean aboard the amphibious assault ship USS Nassau. Purpose of the cruise was to demonstrate the Navy/Marine Corps team’s capability to augment naval forces in any area of the World on short notice and to provide at-sea training for Marine Harrier pilots.
The cover of Leatherneck’s Bicentennial issue is an oil painting by the late Colonel Donald L. Dickson, USMCR. The painting depicts General George Washington’s Colonial troops at Gadsby’s Tavern in Alexandria, Va., during the French and Indian War.
Sightseeing tours for the men of the Marine Barracks, San Juan, Puerto Rico, include a trip to the El Morro Fortress. San Juan is now retired as a Post of the Corps.
The Marines in Vietnam have found that the programs which work best are those which operate close to the people. Our July cover is a mixed media (acrylic and charcoal) by Art Editor James L. Hopewell. It catches the spirit of Marines who enjoy their relationship with the Vietnamese around them.
In Naples, Italy, Marines are responsible for the internal security of the Headquarters of NATO’s Southern European Command, while the elite Carabinieri Corpa provides external security. PFC Robert M. Mallard’s NATO shield was admired by a Carabiniere as the two men prepared to take up their side-by-side posts at the entrance of the imposing NATO Headquarters, which appears in the background of this cover.
"We've Fought In Every Clime And Place": Stamping out the Caco Insurrection in the Republic d' Haiti.
January 2002: The Marines engraved another mark in the rich history of the Corps when they came from more than 400 miles offshore to establish a forward operating base south of Kandahar in the war on terrorism. The Marine CH-46 helicopter on the cover, photographed by PH1(AW/SW) Greg Messier, USN, fought in the desert sand to land and resupply Marines such as the ones (inset) photographed by Sgt Joseph R. Chenelly.
January 2001: This firefight during the Frozen Chosin Reservoir Campaign of 1950 was painted by “Chosin Few” veteran Jack Cannon, who served with Company B, 1st Battalion, Seventh Marine Regiment and resides in the warmer climes of New Mexico. The cover was part of Leatherneck’s 50th anniversary salute to the Korean War veterans.
January 1992: This cover photograph of runners during Marine Corps Marathon XVI in Washington, D.C., was photographed by Sgt Deirdre Hallett.
January 1991: This month’s cover by Ross Simpson captures the Marines’ waiting-but-ready posture in the Middle East.
January 1982: Participants in the Sixth Annual Marine Corps Marathon presented a colorful spectacle as they began the 26-mile, 385-yard run in Washington, D.C., November 1, 1981. The cover photo, by Tom Bartlett, was taken from a bridge overlooking Highway 50 about a half-mile from the starting line.
January 1981: Nearly 7,800 runners participated in the Fifth Annual Marine Corps Marathon held in northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. The oldest finisher was 78; the youngest was 10. Leatherneck staffer Ron Lunn pre-positioned himself near the Nation’s Capitol to photograph runners during their 14th mile of the 26-mile, 385-yard course.
January 1972: This month’s cover, by Marine Combat Artist Peter Gish, shows members of the New Corps sightseeing in the Old World. While on liberty in Athens, Greece, the 3d Bn, Eighth Marines, were able to tour the Erektheon Porch and Cariatides. The water color is from the U.S. Marine Corps Combat Art collection.
Originally Published December 1983 -- Something tells us that we could date the cover without knowing when it was published.
Originally Published December 1972 -- We're not sure what's more interesting, Santa or the old style gas pump.
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This November 1992 article in the Marine Corps Gazette looked at the uniform regulations of 1859 and the attempt to standardize uniforms within the Corps. Read the story and see more pics.
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