Saturday, July 12, 2014

More from the "Hill"; A Sgt. Remembers

Don, I was an engineer and arrived in country in the middle of November 68 and assigned to MASS 3 at the Da Nang ASRT. At that time the ASRT was on Hill 200 (Some say 220) it was moved to 327 in April 69. On the night of Feb 22-23 we were on alert with extra people on the line and Division had sent a few to help with manpower. About 0100 hours I was playing back alley bridge with 3 others in a hootch near the road at the north part of our area. We heard a M-16 fired on full auto from the two man bunker across the road from us and grabbed our gear and ran for the lines. I was assigned to the .50 cal so I ran to the ammo bunker to get it and the tripod. After getting it set up it became quiet and word was passed that 3 sappers had tried to go through our wire west of the hootch where we had been playing cards. One of the extra guys that had been sent up had seen movement through a Starlight scope and fired getting two of them. A short time later the third sapper jumped up and made a run for it while many opened up on him. He disappeared into the darkness but I believe we got him since a body was found later in that area. It became quiet again until shortly after 0200 (if memory is right), when a large explosion happened at the bunker that was built against a large granite boulder west of the ASRT antenna. After the explosion I began to see people running from the boulder to the antenna. I was told to hold fire since the identity was unknown until a NVA flag was raised at the boulder. At that time I began firing at the boulder and the AK machine gun that was firing from there. After what seemed an hour, word was passed to hold fire due to a reaction force that was working its way to that area. The NVA apparently pulled back after blowing the antenna and with the approach of the reaction force. Later when it began to get light, gunships arrived and patrolled the hill and valley below us.
I don't remember if it was that night or the next that "Puff" came over and fired up the hillside and valley for us. We also used "Shadow" one night that week.
The next morning after the attack, we found two dead sappers in the wire where the first shots were fired and located the one that jumped and ran. Lt. Morgan speculated that they were intended to be a diversion by attacking the hootch area. The three had been carrying an AK-47, a basket of Chi-Com grenades, a B-40 rocket launcher with three(?)rockets and a satchel charge. Later that morning I was able to get up to the boulder where the bunker had been blown.
It was not a pretty sight and there is some confusion as to who had been in it. I had thought all these years that it had been three guys from the Division band since that was where the division's portion of the line began. After reading some of the comments I am beginning to doubt my memory. One person commented that he had found a NVA that had been blown up by his own satchel charge in or near the bunker, which may have been one of those I saw.
I had thought that it was the Division band that was
next to us on the line, so seeing the comments about 327 confused me. I have found the scuttlebutt that went around afterwards also was not very accurate after corresponding with a couple others that were with MASS 3 that night in different locations.
It would be great if anyone could find and had access to the 'after action reports'.
I stayed at the Da Nang ASRT until the end of March and then was assigned to the An Hoa ASRT before the Da Nang ASRT moved to 327.
I wish my memory was better on a lot of the particulars, but it has been many years. Many of the photos I had were water damaged, but I am going to search to see if some may have survived. I drew a map of our area (attached) as near as I could remember it, sure would like someone with a better memory to make any corrections.
Sgt. Terry Hammontree USMC 66-70
Thank you Sgt. Hammontree for sending me this great story maybe it will jog some minds. Semper fi

Monday, October 7, 2013

Marine Corps 194 years

Get out of Jail Free card

Remember these, I could have used a pass out of that place.

Well I know it has been a long time but I found some more memories to add to the blog.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Well deserved, Semper fi

The Army's Buffalo Soldiers and the Air Force's Tuskegee Airmen, or Red Tails, have had their day of recognition. Today the Montford Point Marines had theirs, as the Marine Corps and Congress honored 400 of the first black Marines by giving them the Congressional Gold Medal, the nation's highest civilian honor.

"This is something we didn't think we'd see in our lifetime," said 1st Sgt. William McDowell, as he received the medals on behalf of the group. He started to cry, remembering those pioneering Marines, who are no longer alive to receive this honor. He then caught himself and laughed, "My commander would have said "suck it up, Marine."

Seventy years ago when these black Marines enlisted, there were still Jim Crow laws in the South. It was 1942 and the height of World War II. President Franklin Roosevelt had ordered the military to enlist blacks the year before. The Marines were the last service to do so.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Navajo Code Talker Frank Chee Willeto

Another member of American Indian and United States history is gone.
On June 23, the Navajo Nation and Indian country received the news that Frank Chee Willeto, 87, former Navajo Nation vice president and Navajo Code Talker walked on at his home in Pueblo Pintado, New Mexico.
Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly requested the Nation flag to fly at half staff from June 25 to sundown June 28.

“I am saddened that we lost Frank Chee Willeto. He served his country and returned home and served his people in many ways. His life is an example of how to help people continuously until his last days. The Navajo Nation’s prayers and condolences are with the family of Mr. Willeto,” Shelly said in a Navajo Nation press release.

Willeto was born on June 6, 1925 in Crownpoint, New Mexico and enlisted in the U.S. Marines 6th Division in 1944. After completing Code Talker training Willeto served in the Pacific Theater in Saipan and Okinawa. Following World War II, he returned to the Navajo Nation where he worked with the Bureau of Indian Affairs roads department from 1946 to 1974 according to the release.

He was then elected as a tribal councilman in 1974,
Willeto received the Congressional Silver Medal in 2001 for his service as a Navajo Code Talker.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Title

It cannot be inherited
Nor can it be purchased.
You and no one alive
can buy it for any price.
It is impossible to rent
and it cannot be lent.
You alone and our own
have earned it with
our sweat, blood and lives.
You own it forever.

The Title
United States Marine

'Civilians cannot and will not understand us because they are not one of us.
The Corps-we love it, live it and shall die for it.
If you have never been in it, you shall never understand it."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I promise

I have had so many new emails and contacts about this blog recently. I will be back in NY April/May and hope to get more stories and pictures posted and if you have something to offer that you would like posted please send it.
Semper fi


Monday, October 24, 2011

New pictures, Thanks Sgt. Shelhamer

Shel, sent me these two years ago I misplaced them and finally got them scanned.
 Bruce Didier
Getting ready for a little work detail on the "hill", left to right, Rich Bouzek, Chicago, next to him Jack Denahy, Centerville, Mass. and L/cpl. Guiterezz (spelling)
center back to camera no cover Roger Hawes, Tyler, Texas
Show Time, headed to the hill to work.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Monday, May 30, 2011

This Memorial Day........

I want to take time to remember those who served, are serving and those who gave all God Bless America.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank you for your service

A friend sent me this in an email, I had to share it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day to all Vets past and present, Thank you

This is the day in 2004 when my son Aaron returned from Iraq

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Happy 235th Anniversary of the United States Marine Corps

Semper fi brothers
L/Cpl Don Cooper 0331
1st Marine Division Da nang Viet Nam 1969-70

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Thanks Joe

Thanks to Joe Chmiko, 2174386,(5534) served with 1st Marine Division Band from Oct, '66 to June '68, for sharing the above cartoon.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Some new pictures

I am sorry, someone, possibly Ruben, sent me these awhile back and when we moved they got shuffled, I don't think I posted them before. I also have three more to scan that I found sent to me by Shel.

Cpl. John P. Ziegler (wearing shades) KIA.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veterans Day

to everyone who served and a special thanks to my dad, love you and miss you dad.
My dad is back row right side.

Also because I so was busy yesterday and had trouble getting on line a belated Happy Birthday to the Marines

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

And now back to Vietnam

Marine on left unknown, Willie Freeman from Atlanta, GA on the right.
Also Rich Bouzek matched some names with pictures that I will be adding to the various posts.
Thanks Rich

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A salute to a Vietnam vet

Eighteen of my 26 years in law enforcement were spent with the Washington County Sheriff's Department. One of my Sergeants during that time was Sgt. Jack Williams. I knew Jack had been in different branches but I never learned what unit he was in during his Marine days if anyone knows let me know.

GRANVILLE -- John Arthur Williams, 74, of Granville passed away on Saturday, Aug. 8, 2009, at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, N. Y., following a long illness.He was born on March 30, 1935, in South Granville, the son of Floyd "Peanuts" and Jennie (Monroe) Williams.Jack graduated from Granville High School. Later in life, he attended Adirondack Community College, graduating with an associate degree with his daughter as the first father/daughter to graduate at the same time.He was united in marriage to Judith Caruso and recently celebrated their 48th wedding anniversary.
Jack enlisted into the military serving in all four branches of service in the Korean War and Vietnam retiring as master sergeant in the U.S. Air Force.
After returning to Granville, Jack was employed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy and retiring as a sergeant.
Photo and write-up from Glens Falls Post Star.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Adirondack Leathernecks Sgt. Eddie Ryan Poker Run

The guest of honor Marine Sniper Sgt. Eddie Ryan arriving with his parents, father Chris and mother Angie.
I was so honored to meet and shake the hand of this hero, I had to fight back tears as I told Eddie how much I appreciated his service for his country, and he said to me in a commanding voice, "And I would do it again!".

I salute you Eddie and Semper Fi!

Check the Help Eddie Ryan website here;

Getting ready to rock and roll

One hundred and eight bikes getting ready to roll out from Memorial Detachment #2 Marine Corps League on Rte 4 in the Adirondack-Lake George Chapter Leathernecks MC Poker Run to benefit wounded Sgt. Eddie Ryan.