3/3 RVN Ass’n  Vol  1  Issue 11  01/01/2008
Issue #11

This is issue #11 of a new newsletter for 3/3 Vietnam era Marines, Corpsmen, Doctors and Chaplains.

We will attempt to publish this newsletter three times a year for the foreseeable future in  January, May, and September.

Please contact us to include or request items of interest.  

All submitted items may be edited for content, and may be included, if of import, at the leisure of the editorial staff.  

This newsletter sponsored by our locator site:
   Pages 1-3

The mailing of this newsletter to our offline alumni is supported by your generosity.
A $10 donation per coin is suggested.  Contact Doc Hoppy for details.

3/3 Coins are numbered.

Combat Action Ribbon
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3/3 Nam Locator site

3/3 RVN REUNION 2008
July 15-20, 2008
Orlando FL


Due to the size of our reunions and the accommodations required, John Mick has relocated the reunion from the planned Melbourne FL locale to Orlando.

The reunion Hotel is the Grosvenor Resort Hotel (a Disney hotel), which hopefully will be large enough to accommodate us all… it has nearly 700 rooms.

The hotel has gone beyond the call to provide us with amenities and gathering spaces.

This reunion will be very affordable.  The only fees will be a $30 regis-tration fee (per adult), and a $40 (per person) banquet cost.  We will be looking into a child’s plate for the banquet at a reduced fee…

That’s just $70 per person (adult)!  The hotel rooms are $89+tax per night for the courtyard rooms and $109+tax per night for the tower rooms (with views).  I believe all rooms have two full beds, so room sharing will be a breeze.

200 rooms are blocked for us initially, and they are already taking reservations (I’ve made mine already).

Be sure and send in your reunion registration with a check to John Mick.

If you need a reunion invitation, contact Doc Hoppy to have it re-sent.
Be sure he has your current address.

See ya in Orlando!

Reunion Agenda

Sign up for the Reunion

Who's signed up

Excellent to Outstanding, Sir!

   We were on a search and destroy mission about a week before Thanksgiving in November 1966.   The troops nicknamed that ill-timed and poorly executed mess Operation TURKEY LOAF and Operation CLUSTER F..K (Phase III).   I now assume that it was part of Prairie II.   Perhaps someone else knows better than I do.
    The 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines rotated to Camp Schwab in Okinawa aboard the USS Henrico in the early fall of 1966 to up Table of Operations. One morning reveille was held about an hour earlier than usual and there was much confusion regarding whether the troops would be green side out or brown side out as far as the uniform of the day was concerned. Then the question as to whether we would wear our raincoats or roll them and affix them to our cartridge belts became the next dilemma. Finally, after much ado, the word came down, "Green side out with the rain-coats affixed". We marched in formation to the base movie theatre as the morning sun was just beginning to cast an auroral glint on the horizon. Almost the instant we had all taken seats there came the notice, "Attention on Deck!" Up the center aisle of the theatre marched Lt. Colonel Earl R. Delong. Up onto the stage he went without missing a step. In the center of the stage he turned to face his troops and called parade rest and "at ease, men". 
    In years since then I have seen George C. Scott's portrayal of General George Patton taking much the same stance in front of the American Flag and this has always reminded me of Delong's address to his troops. In a voice that carried well to the back of the auditorium without amplification the Colonel admonished us that he was giving us a "direct order" that he wanted followed. "You will be out there in the combat zone without C-Rations or cigarettes for days. You'll be wet and up to your butts in mud. If I should come up to you and ask you how things are going, I want one answer and one answer only, "Excellent to Outstanding, Sir!" "Dismissed," he said and the whole affair was over. A few days later we boarded the USS Iwo Jima LPH2 for the Gulf of Tonkin. I'm told now that part of the battalion was aboard the USS Vancouver.   The Henrico APA-45, Bexar APA-237, Roosevelt and Tomaston LSD-28 also hauled some of us about at different times in different years.
    About a month later we found ourselves on an operation during the days around Thanksgiving. Although I think it was officially designated Operation Prairie, we had nicknamed the maneuver "Operation Turkey Loaf" in honor of the rarely encountered C-Ration delicacy and the season. Sure enough, we were wet and muddy. Because there was a low ceiling of cloud cover, we had not been supplied by choppers for several days and our C's had been gone for some time. We were baking mantioc roots in the coals of fires. They were a tuber with a filament that ran through the length of the vegetable. The consistency was that of a wax candle/potato hybrid.   We had these for lunch at the Cu Chi tunnels last year when I toured Vietnam.   I dare say they have not improved in taste, nor texture. The Vietnamese used them for pig fodder and feeding tourists. I remember trying to boil rice we found in my canteen cup. I was bartering cigarettes for the last remnants of "Ham and Muthuhs" not being a smoker. 
We had been marching most of that morning in the misty rain and I spied Col Delong making his way back along the column. When he was adjacent to me, he inquired, "How's it going, Doc?" To which I immediately and dutifully replied in the most military manner I could muster, "Excellent to Outstanding, Sir!" Followed in a soto voco "But this kind of sucks doesn't it Colonel?" To which he grinned and replied, "You got that right, Doc." He continued back along the column.   
    Pappy used to invite his Corpsmen over for a "little sippin' whiskey" at the end of the day.   I don't know that he shared his liquor with anyone else in the battalion beside us squids.   Yeah, we were spoiled, privileged characters.
      If I had been a grunt jarhead, I probably would have been summarily dressed down. We Corpsmen were treated like demigods by the Marines and I guess that gave me dispensation with Lt. Col E.R. Delong that day.   Col Delong went to 2/3 and commanded them at Hill 881s.   I have heard that he passed the word that he would give 20-days R&R to the men who brought him prisoners.   He had three enemy captives at his feet in short order. 
    Pappy Delong and his XO, Major Stanley Wawrzyniak (Major Ski) are both laid to rest in North Carolina I believe, having made their final muster this side of perdition.   I heard somewhere (probably from Bob Kohler) that Pappy Delong taught languages at the University of Pennsylvania after he retired from the Corps.   Major Ski made it to "Light Bird" before he retired.   
Doc Rod Hardin

Hi Doc 
   Pappy came up to me that same day   and ask me the same question and I look at him and said "Sir, do you want the truth or a lie, Sir?"
    I never did say Excellent to outstanding .  He later came up and gave me a cigar, for which I thanked him.  He was a good Marine and he didn't lie to us.
Buzz Heckerman - Apr 30, 2007

Da’ Dump

     A Marine Captain was taking a first-tour gold bar copilot out on his first combat insertion mission in a CH-46.
 The pilot said, "I will do all the flying since this is your "Fam-one".  When we get into the zone, I will tell you to open the ramp, so the grunts can run out the back.  After we lift out of the zone, I will tell you to close the ramp.  That is all you have to do on this mission. Do you understand?  Do you think you can do that?" 
  The gold bar replied, "Yes Sir!" 
  The CH-46 was loaded with grunts, and the pilot took off for the LZ.  Overhead the helicopter started taking automatic weapons fire.  The LZ was hot.  The pilot spiraled down into the zone. As they were flaring, the gunners were firing into the elephant grass; the pilot had his .45 out and was shooting out both cockpit side windows.  
    He shouted, "Lower the Ramp!" He looked over, and the copilot was just sitting there.  He shouted a second time, "Open the G' damn ramp, damnit!"  
The gold bar 2dLt just sat there staring ahead.  The pilot put down his .45 and reached up and hit the ramp toggle switch to open.  The pilot picked back up his .45 and again fired out of the side windows.  

     The gunners were firing max rate. When the last grunt was running off the ramp, the pilot pulled up collective and shouted over the radio, "Close the ramp!"  He looked over to see the copilot still just sitting there looking straight ahead.  
  He laid his .45 in his lap and reached up to close the ramp.  Several minutes later when heading for DaNang the pilot said, "I gave you only two things to do on this insert, and you didn't do either one of them.  I want to know why in the hell you didn't obey my commands back there!" 

     The copilot peered over at the pilot and asked,  ... "Do I bother you when you're taking a dump?"

MIKE ALPHA TWO  (Asleep on Watch)

Mike Alpha Two, Mike Alpha Two, if you are in position and are all secure, key your handset three times


Mike Alpha Two, Mike Alpha Two, if you are in position and are all secure, key your handset three times


Mike Alpha Two, Mike Alpha Two, if you are in position and are all secure, key your handset three times


Mike Alpha Two, Mike Alpha Two, if you are in position and are not secure, key your handset two times


Dammit, Mike Alpha Two, this is Mike Six Actual.  You people better listen up out there !!!
So the Good Doctor here, who was on Mike Alpha One, gave the Captain three squawks.
All that radio traffic was keeping me awake.  I sure hope I don't get into trouble over that. 
Doc Mike Brown