Mike Company               

Third Battalion, Fifth Marines

RVN, 1966 -1971
Home Up Bios A-H Bios I-W


H&S Biographies (Short and Long) Entries from A through H


Jim Blankenheim (adapted from his guestbook entry on India 's site)

Like everyone else I'm looking for guys I served with. I was a Forward Air controller attached to India in late 68 to early 69. You guys nicknamed me Napoleon the time we were pinned down on that plateau west of An Hoa in November of 68. We watched a Special Forces unit down in the valley getting the stuffing kicked out of them. I joined you after operation Sussex Bay when the CP got wiped out. (Editor note: Jim was with Mike Company for most of the first half of his tour).

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Jimmy Bramlage

My MOS was 2533.  I was at one time or another attached to all the line companies of 3/5 as FAC.  Served in country from August 66 to September 67.  I also was Col Eslingers and Maj Pipers RO for a period of time.  Was wounded on Op Union I and was on the USS Repose.  My permanent assignment was with Comm Plt.  I would like to make contact with Gunny Burton.  Semper Fi.

Bob Burroughs

NAME SGT. Bob Burroughs TOUR 1969 PLT. MP's MOS 0311 Comments Also with 2/1 POW COMPOUND-----Here's my story---- I was a POW MP with 1st& 3rd Div. I always like to make it perfectly clear I had nothing to do with detaining my Brothers just V.C. POWs and I always enjoyed that especially turning them over to the R.O.K. interrogators ooorah Get Some. We were squad size and would attach to different Co's. I was with 3/5 for a while during Pipestone Canyon received my C.A.R. thanks, to which ever Plt. Leader wrote me up. We had a nasty Fire Fight we walked over the top of them they popped up out of Spider Traps wasted about 4 or 5 of us and disappeared into tunnels and along a river. We only got 1 good VC and 1 prisoner. Anybody remember loading up before dawn into 46s with barb wire surrounding villages checking Ids. We only relocated and torched two due to enemy fire and supply storage. I got my Heart with 2/1 during one of those village sweeps barely a scratch but a hell of a scar from the infection, dirty place wasn't it. Upon my return I was a troop handler for 2nd ITR and was assigned as a Presidential guard for Nixon only saw him once, the spit and polish and procedure and BULL SHIT were more than I joined up for so I took my Honorable Discharge as a Sgt. E5 and hauled ass to the red woods in northern Calif. where I hid for a while. Oh well enough I do love my Corp. and with Gods blessings and all of you I would do it all again.-------------Semper Fi drop me a line bvburro@mciworld.com

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Gene Bowers

Gene W. Bowers, Lt.Col., USMC, (Ret.). I was the S-3 (Operations Officer) of 3/5, Then a Captain (Major Selectee) under Lt. Col. Bill Rockey, Jr., from early November 1967 until mid-July 1968. Previously, I had been the CO of Co. H, 2/5. We participated in Operations Auburn, Hastings, Allenbrook, Mameluke Thrust, and the Tet Offensive of 1968. I retired in 1986, live in Tallahasse, and now work for the state of Florida as a strategic planner in the substance abuse program.

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Norm Bailey

I graduated from parris island dec65 after a very short time with hotel 2/2, airborne school I was transferred to vietnam. My first assignment was with bravo 1/7 (april66) 0331, participated on several operation was twice wounded. transferred to h&s co. 3/5 in dec66. Assigned to the comm platoon. Captain John Ayers (who was later kia'd was the co). participated in operations Union l and ll. was attached to Kilo co and Mike co as the FAC. Returned stateside in July67. Transferred back to vietnam to 1st force recon.spent another 18 months in country. After the marine corps I joined the army special forces where I remained until I retired in 1996. Being a former marine in the army they always expected 110% from you, I tried not to disappoint them. I was asked once why the marine corps. basic training was so hard. I told them "Its that way so one does not embarrass those who went before us". Although I'm not married anymore I do have two wonderful children and live by the ocean in Middletown, Rhode Island....Semper Fi.......Norm
(Editor note:  Norm was awarded a Bronze Star w/Combat V while with 1/7 and a Navy Cross while with Force Recon....he also has two purple hearts)

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Buddy Bradley

I am looking for the family of CPL. John David Rogers from Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am also looking for an Italian friend by the name of "Anzalone" from the Bronx, NYC, and Santos Bonilla from Kansas City. My tour of duty in Vietnam was 1966-67 (Hill 35). Came home in July, '67, discharged from the Corp in 1968. (Editor note:  Santos Bonilla has been found!)

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Ron Chalmers

I was the CommO for 3/5 from the battalion's formation in Camp Pendleton until December 1966, when I was transferred to 1st Div Comm Co. Retired in 1982. Was referred to this web site by Hans Haupt, CO H&S Company in 1966. One point of interest: I designed the 3/5 logo at the top of the home page. LtCol. Bronars ran a design contest while we were in pre-Nam training on Okinawa, and I was lucky enough to win. It's been changed a little since then. The original colors were red and black, and the banner at the bottom read "Combat Ready" rather than "Get Some." But the "3" and "5" and the "fleur de lis/Belleau Wood" and "bamboo/Vietnam" along with the top banner remain as in my original design. Makes me proud to have that connection still. Congratulations on this fine effort. Semper Fi! 

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Rob Charnell

I was a Sgt with 1st Radio Bn, 1 Platoon. We were part of SigInt and I was working with South Vietnamese Intelligence as a Crypto-linguist. I spent a year at the Presidio of Monterey in California learning North Vietnamese. Being part of a Naval Security Group outfit associated with the NSA and DIA, I didn't get a chance to muck it up with too many Americans outside my small intel-group. It got to be very lonely when I was in the field. Fortunately, I didn't have to go on patrols and sweeps. I participated in Operation Durham Peak in the summer of '69, then spent time at An Hoa, Hill 37 and 327, and IIIMAF in DaNang. There were only 10 Marines doing what I did in all of I Corps. We were spread pretty thin and didn't get a chance for much rest (although no one else seemed to get much either). I remember my R&R to Australia was canceled twice cause they didn't have anyone to cover for me.

During March and April 1970, myself and 2 others provided good intel to 3/5
S2 at An Hoa, and we were able help setup quite a few ambushes for NVA
excursions into our area looking for rice from outlying hamlets. It felt
good to put the bruising on them. During that winter, alot of Chieu Hoi's
or families were coming out of the Que Son Mountains due to severe food
shortage, some of which we contributed to.

Yes, I would certainly like to be added to the roster. I felt I spent most
of my time with the 3/5 (7 months at least) when in Country.

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M.E. (Chris) Christians


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Mike Carey

I joined I/3/5 at Camp Pendleton as a 2nd Lt in late '65/early '66 and was assigned to the 3rd Plt. We trained together in Okinawa, Camp Fuji, and the Philippines before entering Vietnam as the Special Landing Force battalion in Spring '66, where we did Deckhouse I, Nathan Hale, Deckhouse II and Hastings before being off loaded in Chu Lai. I stayed with India until the end of '66, when I was reassigned as CO, H&S/3/5 for the balance of my tour. I left in April '67.

I had been "in-country" once before, as a sgt with a detachment from 3rd Recon Bn in late '64, and I went back the third (and final) time as a capt, serving as a field advisor with the RVN Marines in '69 and '70.

I retired in Nov '79 as a maj and now serve as a priest in Guam's prison system.

Blessings and Semper Fi,

Mike Carey

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Lee Clubb

I was the battalion's telephone/teletype technician as part of  the Comms company. I was in H&S 3/5 from time of forming at Camp Margarita  to Sept 1966.  I was on operation Deckhouse 1/Nathan Hale, Deckhouse 2/Hastings and a final operation (don't know the name) in Tam Key Province (not sure of the spelling the province's name).  During these operations I served in the wire section as a wireman under a Sgt. Dorcy (not sure of the spelling of his name but an excellent Marine).  The NCO in charge of the Comms shop look on me as a sh*tbird (I may have been) and put me in the wire section. As a consequence I left the Princeton with the battalion CP to string wire. My fellow Marines of Comms 3/5 gave me the nickname "Thumper" after thumper rabbit. I was a Corporal (E4) in Vietnam but was given Sgt. (E5) prior to mustering out in San Diego in Oct 1966.  

In Honolulu went back into the Marine Reserves in the 70s as part of 4th Force Recn for a few months but later change to the Coast Guard Reserve.  Had to give up my military activities in 1977 when I moved to Asia to teach. Have now lived in Asia for over 26 years, First in Hong Kong and now in Thailand.  Will be returning to Hong Kong in Sept. after a 2 year contract here.  

Time has robbed me of the names of the Marines that lived, drank, fought with and loved as brothers.  I wish to be put on your roster.


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Terrence Cummings

I got to Viet Nam on 29Dec69 and was intitially assigned to HQ 26th Marines in Da Nang. In March 70 26th prepared to go stateside I didn't have enough time to go. I was transferred to 3/5 Forward at Hill 65, I was there until the end of july in the Message Center, (teletype). Same Bunker with techs, Sgt Gary Spees was ncoic tech and I as corporal was ncoic of message ctr. My two troops were David L. Debban and David L. Beglau both Lance Corporals. Comm officer was Capt. J. J. Marshall. In late July I was replaced by Lcpl Stuhlberg and I went  to HQ Comm Ctr, 5th Marine Regt. as a watch supervisor.This was on Hill 37 at that time. I came back stateside in Oct70. Was released from active duty 23Nov70. I also served 6 months Marine Corps Reserve from Dec70 to June70 and 18 1/2 years with the Army National Guard retiring at the rank of Sergeant First Class (E-7) equivalent to Gunnery Sergeant in 1994. I never forgot the lessons in leadership the Marine Corps taught me and they served me well. My uniform may have been that of a soldier, but my mind was always a Marine, Semper Fi. 

I've been a cop for over 18 years. 2 years as Deputy Sheriff, over 16 as Conservation Officer (some folks call us game wardens) for state of West Virginia. Though when I was in the Corps, my home of record was Texas.

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Jim Denney

My MOS was 1391, Bulk Fuel Specialist. I was sent to Okinawa with 9 months left on active duty. I managed to upset a SgtMaj when I chose not to ship over so he put me in 3/5. This was in early 1966 when they first deployed. Anyway, I participated in several operations (Hastings is the one I will never forget). I think I was in H&S CO. Anyway, I left the unit in Sept 66, got dumped off in Chu Lai, went back to the world and stayed drunk for a year. I then went back in the Corps as a L/Cpl and stuck around until I
retired in May 1982. I am currently a Business Process Engineer with a
computer consulting firm in Dayton, Ohio.

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Mark DeSciscio

I was with H & S 3/5 from Nov. 69 till April 70. Motor transport. Came to 3/5 from 2/26. While with 3/5, was at An Hoa, hill 65 and Liberty Bridge. Trucked to hills 37, 55, 52 and 25.

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Robert Farmer (from his guestbook entry)

I went to Vietnam in Nov 69 after a year of Vietnamese language school in DC.  I was assigned to the 5th Marines HQ (S-5) working in PSYOPS, until transfered to 3/5 (S-5) on Hill 65. I was with 3/5 in the big move to LZ Baldy and a few weeks later to LZ Ross in the Quesons. Anyone remember the gate at LZ Ross - I was the GySgt who ran the S-5. Remember LtCol Johnson? I extended twice and transfered to Mike 3/1 when 3/5 stood down. Mike 3/1 was a CUPP unit on hill 65 and later we moved to hill 190, north of Da Nang. I still speak good Vietnamese and if anyone has any citations in Vietnamese who would like translation, I would be more than happy to do it.

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Ronnie Garner


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Keith Hansford

Saw the site , went through every name and didn't recognize any. I was there 69-70 rear was an hoa. Was wounded by shrapnel from a chi com 30 days in country,ops;Ganoi island,muskeegee meadows,arizona,pipestone canyon. Was at Liberty bridge often.Malaria got me medivaced to 1st.med for a couple weeks,then back at it. spent last 2weeks on bunker #7 in an hoa,we were hit by estimated div o nva 3 nights before rotate. They were through the wire in front of #7 and hit a trip wire. I opened up with my 60 till it jammed, kneeled down to clear it and was knocked unconscious by a direct hit on the bunker by a b40.Came to to find guys running to help me. Comm. was behind us so we knew they meant to overrun us. they killed 4 new guys on bunker 8 , overtook bunker at end of air strip which had a 50 in it and had our reiforcements blocked with a clear field of fire so i radioed 155,s who were up next to them and they pulled down enough sand bags to lower there barrel and blew them away! Fighting went on til dawn when we went out for a body count . Plenty blood, one body in front of #7.Turned out to be my confirmed, too many holes to deny, got caught in the wire while they were tryin to drag away. A butter bar tried to jump me for~revealing our fire superiority~ too soon, didn't work, first and gunny did! Made it home ,58,000+ didn't.still see, remember, haunt. VA. meds but doesn't help. No real people out here any more. Miss camaraderie. Looking for Richard Tanner(M79) miss you watchin my back, If You're out there, contact me, (keith)  (manofpsalms@msn.com) SEMPER FI ! 

Ed Harper

Graduated P. I. , 18 November 69, Platoon 1046, High Steeping 1st Bn.
Camp Le Jeune. 
Home for Christmas and New Year's Day then on a Bird to Camp Pendleton.
After Pendleton sometime in February I was on another Commercial Bird to the RVN. We made stops in Hawaii, Guam and Okinawa, at this point I knew I was getting close to the mix. I saw my first SR 71 take off from Kadena AFB. Reality was starting to kick in.
Toward the end of February 1970 I was on another Commercial Bird headed for Da Nang. With the landing gear down we broke through the clouds and Reality let us all on board know that it was definitely in charge. An F-4 Phantom went by us so close I almost shit. He dropped some napalm too close to Da Nang A.B. as far as I was concerned. The stewardesses were as white as sheets and tried to put forward a friendly face but It wasn't working. They wanted us off the plane so they could get the hell out of there. Some of their last words were: "See you on the return trip." Some of us would, some of us would not.
I spent a couple of days in Da Nang, and then on to An Hoa by chopper, then on to Hill 65 by truck. I remember crossing a bridge and being sniped at enroute to Hill 65, Reality Check. Only one truck was allowed on the bridge at a time. Upon my arrival at 65, I was directed to the 81's Plt., Brother Ed, hold onto your seat, I replaced a neighbor of mine from the world Cpl James Windom. He earned his Heart just prior to my arrival. He wound up staying in country and transferred to MP's in Da Nang. Reality Check.
At 65 I ran a few road sweeps and honed my skills as assistant gunner, eventually gunner, then squad leader. We rotated between 65 and 52, also during this time I completed my F. O. course. I remember a big Op in the Arizona, I was on 65 at the time and I was watching the whole thing with a pair of binocs the units took the hit. They had just completed crossing the river and all hell broke loose. I watched a rocket incinerate an APC, Brother Ed, I cried like a baby for my Brothers out there. There was nothing we could do for them except try and get them disengaged and back across the river.
On to Hill 37 and from there to L-Z Baldy and FSB Ross, and the Que Sons.
Brother Ed, remember the chopper pilots who had the Purple Fox painted on their Birds. If you needed an emergency extract they always came whether the L-Z was hot or cold.

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Hans S. Haupt

Was the H&S Company Commander, March '66 - April '67. Now retired and living in Napa, California.

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Arthur Hicks (from his guestbook entry)

Assigned to H&S Co 3/5 during early June 69, as 2531 field radio operator. Lt Wilder was plt comdr (he looked a lot like David Niven and was a class guy er officer) a bit of a tight ass though. Top Obie was top NCO. spent about 3 months with Bn, and then assigned to India as forward air controller. Replaced a guy named Farnsworth. Was trained by Lt Ben Yorkoff, back seater in an F-4. Located him last Summer, he is an MD in Towson, MD. We spoke briefly on phone, but he didn't seem too interested in memories. Also spoke at length with then LT Thomas Mahlum who was Bn S-2 and used to wrestle with Yorkoff at night. Both got their asses reamed by LtCol Terry Bn Cmdr for their conduct. Lt Mahlum was eventually CO of Lima or Mike, can't remember which. He enjoys reliving the old days. I think I knew Underwood/dog in the picture. There was a 2531 with that name in the Plt when I was there. Worked with a guy named Bruce (Butch) Glowa from Chicago. Ran into him at Lejeune after returning to world. Last duty at MarBarracks Brooklyn, NY. Left service, was graduated from Hofstra University (NY) in 1975, with BBA in public accounting. Worked for Hertz, Hertz-Penske and currently work as accountant for multi-line auto dealer in upstate SC. Married/divorced one son who I haven't been able to bravo sierra into a Summer vacation at a lovely island off the coast of the great state of SC. Your web site is outstanding, well done! As always, semper fidelis.

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Dave Heafner

Grew up in USAF. Last two years pre-USMC were in Savannah, Georgia. Was a cub, boy and Explorer scout. Joined on delay program during Senior year at Robert W. Groves High School. Boot camp at Parris Island, SC, September 1965.

After ITS at Camp Geiger, I was flown to Camp Pendleton and attached to 1st MP Battalion, just activated for the RVN Conflict. Received OJT as a 3051, later (possibly because I could read) 3041, and worked in the 'supply office.'

I worked hard, both on the job and off. In the barracks I shined shoes, did laundry, and stood duty for other guys for a few extra bucks a month to support a female habit I developed with a Carlsbad cutie I met at the Oceanside skating rink my first week in town.

The Battalion had a contest to design the Unit Crest, and the winner was to be given a 96 hour pass. I'm still waiting on that liberty chit!

Got in a lot of fights at that age, both on base, off base, and in Tijuana. There seemed to be a chip on my shoulder, apparent to all but myself. My mustanger CO, Capt. Leonard Knapp tolerated it (God only knows why), as I stood before him at least three times that I can recall, the last on the day we departed for RVN. We sailed on the MSTS (now MSC) ship, USNS Upshur (later used at the end of the war to exchange our POW's with the North Vietnamese). A L/Cpl friend (although 'military acquaintance might better describe our relationship), Barry Cannily and I got into a fight over something 'stupid' and I made his head swell so badly he almost got medevac'd. I was sure the CO was going to bust me and take my proud PFC Chevron away! Instead, he threatened to send me straight to North Viet Nam when we landed if I didn't "square away." But I was nineteen, and the warning didn't score a 'bull's eye.'

In DaNang harbor, I was the second Marine to debark and the Unit's first casualty. Jacob's ladder broke and I fell 35 ft. onto a 3/4 ton truck canvass. There's more pain today than I thought at the time, but I spent my first six weeks in the DaNang June 'oven' taped from neck to abdomen.

H&S 1st MP's was located on the airstrip at DaNang. We were a reaction company, and I worked a regular job during the day, rotating guard, ambush, or sweeps at night. Guard, became my most hated of all duties, except burning the 'crappers' or filling those never-ending sandbags. Later, I worked as a bartender in the Staff & Officer's Club, which I was tasked to help build, by Sergeant Major Edgar Huff.

I first worked in Battalion Supply, later in H&S Company Supply, with additional duties as Embark NCO, Ammo Tech, Police Sergeant, Prisoner Chaser and Platoon Sergeant for the reaction platoon. We decided to develop a 'cruise book' for the unit and I was assigned to do most of the work on it. Did a lot of the preliminary work, but went home on basket leave when I extended, and the new Sergeant Major had to complete it. The crest I designed adorns the front cover.

My extension kept my Dad from having to come incountry from Clark, AFB. My only other adult male relative, an uncle, was the ship's boatswain on the USS Enterprise, while she was on the 'Yankee' line.

In July 1967, DaNang was hit with the worst rocket attack of the war to that time. I was injured (blown thru the air) when an ammo dump went up. Ripped the ligaments in left ankle and lived with a cast for six weeks! In the fall I was sent to Okinawa for Embark School, my first 'formal' training in the Corps. As a Corporal, I applied for a change of MOS to 0431.

Upon return to the States (1/1/68) I was assigned to MCSC Albany, GA for two and a half years, before returning to RVN. There were no billets in the T/O for an 0431, so I had a series of jobs: office work (dull, hated being a Sergeant that did nothing all day but make coffee, sweep up, and go make copies of things for civilians), warehouse work (I really enjoyed this), finally drafted into the Base Band (a former friend told the Band Master I had played a trumpet in school).

While at Albany I discovered I wasn't that bad at football, and played on the Company team. I still hold the distinction of being the only defensive end from Headquarters Company to ever intercept a right pitchout, run it to the end zone, and score, while unconscious. Yes, unconscious. You see, I kept looking behind me to see if one of those fast guys was about to tackle me, and ran into the goal post. Went out like a light!

3/5 Connection (8/70 - 3/71):

As a Sergeant with an 0431 MOS, I was sent to H & S 3/5, to be the Battalion Embark NCO by 1st Marine Division Embark Officer. However, when I arrived in August 1970 (hill 57), a Corporal 0431 was running embark, so I ended up in Battalion Supply (secondary MOS's were 3051/3041).

Next month, we made the move to LZ Baldy, and several weeks later moved deeper into the territory to FSB Ross, to provide the ground security for an Army artillery battery fire support in the area.

Late in the year (October/November) we failed the Division Embarkation inspection with a "Total Unseat" score. The Battalion Commander fired the Cpl., reassigned me to the S-4 as Ban. Embark NCO, and gave me orders to pass the reinspection after the first of the year. I told him I could do it, but would need lots of support. He gave me an open ticket to use 'whatever resources I could gather' to get the job done, including a brand new - fresh from Okinawa Embark School Lieutenant, John Walsh (a very decent person). We worked in the S-4 for Maj. M.O. Fletcher.

With the assistance of many good Marines who either volunteered or were assigned as working parties, and some Vietnamese we hired from the local village, I rebuilt the entire Battalion's mount out capability. To do this, we (unofficially) used 'captured' weapons as trading material in Da Nang to get the wood, paint, barrier paper, etceteras, that were required for the job. I also built a 'kiln' there at Ross, which consisted of two GP tents sewn together with emmersion heaters in both ends. With this device, we kiln dried all the wet lumber I got in DaNang, so the mount out boxes could be painted and tac marked.

In January 1971 when reinspected, Third Battalion, 5th Marines received the only 'Noteworthy' Embark Inspection mark of the Viet Nam conflict.

In February, I discovered why the importance of the inspection: we were given 'stand down' orders around that time, and, after a month on a hill nearer DaNang (I think hill 10, but don't recall for sure) I loaded the unit on ship to go home.

I was elated I was going home early. But it was short lived!

After the last pallet of unit equipment was loaded on the ship, I grabbed my seabag and headed aboard. The S-4 officer greeted me with a set of orders, and I was reassigned to Force Logistic Command (FLC).

Between March and my departure in July, on the last official plane load of Marine Corps unit members, we had loaded 26 ships of supplies, equipment and personnel back to either Okinawa or the States.

Orders took me to Camp LeJeune, NC for a job at Division Embark. Went to Air Transportability School at Ft. Eustis, VA. Once designed the loading plans and loaded a RLT on C-5a's and C-141's for a trip to Latin America that never transpired.

Loaded lots of ships out on Med and Carib cruises, and was the 6th MAB Embarkation Chief for Operation 'Strong Express.' For the backload, Col. Skinner (the Wing Detachment CO) took my helo and flew into a mountain top. I'm glad he bumped me off the chopper, as the recovered parts were few and far between.

Opened a fish market on LeJeune Boulevard (next to the 'Driftwood Lounge') which my partner (and fellow S/Sgt, Darrel Goodwin) and I named 'Fish-O-Rama.' Our wives ran it when we worked, went to the field, or on NATO cruises! Sold the business to partner in 1973, when I volunteered to go to DI School.

Didn't make it to DI School, as the Camp LeJeune screening board Doctor said I had an "internal propensity to maltreat" people to teach them the hard facts of life. I don't know where that came from. After my last year at LeJeune (as Embark NCO for 2nd Shore Party Battalion) I got orders to Recruiter's School, at MCRD San Diego. I left all fingernails on Camp LeJeune's Main Gate!

RECRUITER SCHOOL: Graduated #2 in my class and still didn't get my choice of duty. Ended up in Muskogee, Oklahoma (Merle Haggard speaks with a forked tongue) for my first tour as a recruiter. I loved the community. Made lots of friends, and after getting off to a slow start (result of a negatively charged co-worker, NCOIC and OIC), I became 'Recruiter of the Year,' which earned me a Meritorious Promotion to Gunnery Sergeant just prior to my tenth year in the Corps. I was a month away from a repeat performance of that award, when I got orders to go to Recruiter's School as an Instructor.

While in Oklahoma I learned the value of community service. I became active in the Disabled American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Scottish Rite, Shriners and my church. I also completed an Associates Degree while there, and consider this tour of duty the hilight and turning point of my career.

The tour of duty at Recruiter School was supposed to be three years. I was there for seven. About the three year mark, the Corps decided to test a 'pilot' program for recruiting: a career force of recruiters, with the MOS 8412 as a primary. I volunteered to be a guine pig, for the return promise of never having to be transferred again (not that it was a lie, but neither was 'free medical for life'), and became one of the first 8412's in the Corps.

In San Diego, I became very active in the community, completed a Bachelor's Degree, operated a part time financial services business, and took some acting training. When a project came to the school to develop a series of about 30 refresher training videos for the field, I ended up on the team. After the first tape was produced, no one wanted the job, so I inherited it. It was as this project began that I was promoted to Master Sergeant.

When it was time to leave Recruiter School, I accepted an offer as NCOIC of the least productive Recruiting Sub Station in San Diego -- RSS El Cajon. Within a few months I assimilated the 'College Grove Shopping Center Office' into the Sub-Station, and went on to become the NCOIC of the year. Began college graduate program, and was once again on track for a repeat performance as NCOIC of the year. However, I decided to retire early and challenge the civilian world. Prior to my departure, I recommended two of my recruiters (for their production, efforts and loyalty) for meritorious promotion to Gunnery Sergeant, and both made it. I retired in March, 1985.

After testing the waters (during my first year of retirement) in several financial venues, and going thru a lengthy and brutal divorce, I began my business. I was quite capable of teaching, so I developed a financial seminar on "The Five Reasons People Fail Financially." Initially I offered insurance, annuities, and income tax service, having since expanded to add a full portfolio of financial and consulting services, and operate from coast to coast. A web site is under construction at www.heafner.org.

I have assisted a number of former Marines in starting a business over the years and am always willing to assist someone in this effort, within the limits of my capabilities.


It's a weird animal that one loves to hate! My twenty year tour was filled with many more wonderful experiences than not, and I am thankful for having been offered the opportunity to 'grow up' there. Like any 'organism,' our Corps consists of many 'things:' myriad personalities, with diverse backgrounds, attitudes and abilities. I ran into a lot of these in my time. A few stand out as those who placed trust in me and provided me with the greatest opportunities for positive challenge: Leonard Knapp, Ray Ney, Steve Martin, Edgar Huff, King Dixon, Bob Robichaud, Gary Johnson, and John Atkinson, from each of whom I gleaned at least one valuable lesson. Many more met their own challenges to get their jobs done. Some went out of their way to create opportunities for negative influence. I have difficulty finding words to describe some others.

Someday you will be able to read about all of them in my book.

Until then, you might wonder, "Will I be there?"

Semper Fi,

Dave Heafner

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Victor Hobbs

I served as the Air Officer under Col. Paul Graham (sp) and then James B. Ord from approximately July 1968 to my departure at the end of February 1969. The 5ths Sgt. Maj. was Henry Bean (sp) who eventually went to Kansas City and then was the 3rd MAW Sgt. Maj. Sgt.Bean was pulled out of one of the Battalions. As I recall he joined us around the fall of 1969. However, I don't know which one. They were on the slope at the far west end of the Arizona Area. The Battalion had been socked in, and had to walk down. We couldn't get any helicopters into the high ground.