Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Tuesday, November 29, 2011
MPC was used in Vietnam instead of US Dollars.
Thanks to Bernard Puglisi for sharing.
TURNING IN THE MONEY
One of my fun duties in Vietnam MASS-3 in 1970 was to take in and pay out all the old Military Payment Certificates (MPC) with new MPC. We did not use US dollars in Vietnam – instead we used paper dollars, quarters, dimes, and nickels. We were only supposed to use MPC to buy things from military organizations. This was to reduce black market transactions between the US military and civilians.
With no notice all bases would be “locked down”, with no one permitted to leave or depart. The purpose of this was to screw anyone who was involved with the black market - anyone who was off base could not get back on to base to get their money exchanged. We got the word in the middle of the night. The base was locked down and every Marine had to turn in his MPC in to me.
Paper nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollars, covered with junk and waded up, were counted out, and I gave each man a receipt. I had over $20,000 in MPC and I kept it in an old metal ammo box. I took the money to Wing Headquarters, counted it to the Wing disbursing office, received new money in the same denominations, and returned and paid each Marine. No mistakes, as I recall. It took me three long days to collect and pay back all the money to each man.
I had paid everyone except a Private named Riley who was in the brig (jail). I did not know him as he had been in the brig before I joined the unit. I went over to the brig to collect his money. I was shocked to see it was a Marine I actually knew very well - we had served together in 5th LAAMBn in Yuma when I was enlisted. I had told when we troops together that he needed to clean up his act and quit drugs. He did not listen then - hope he has cleaned up his act. He was a smart capable guy, just not willing to go along with the Marine program.
Thanks to Bernard Puglisi for sharing.
EXCERPT FROM ACTUAL REPORT THAT I SENT HOME IN A LETTER
"Personnel on operation observed 2 enemy moving into a cave. Enemy wearing dark shorts and shirts. 2 rifles of unknown type. Engaged enemy with 8-60 mm, 30-81mm, 15-105's and fixed wing strike of 12-1,000 lb. bombs with excellent coverage of target."
The ordinance described in this report is very impressive, big, loud, and lethal, and probably considered as overkill by the two enemy soldiers.
Monday, November 28, 2011
U.S. Marine Sergeant Blake Alvarez, Marine Air Traffic Control Mobile Team air traffic
control communication technician, 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, sets up a phantom
light while creating an austere landing zone at Chabelley Airfield, Djibouti.
(U.S. Army photo by Specialist Michelle C. Lawrence)
Click to Read More
Saturday, November 26, 2011
MARINE AIR SUPPORT SQUADRON 3
Marine Air Control Group 18
1st Marine Aircraft Wing
FPO San Francisco, California 96602
INFORMATION FOR PARENTS AND WIVES
Marine Air Support Squadron 3 (MASS 3), of which your son or husband is now a member, is a unit of the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, which is a component of III Marine Amphibious Force, the U.S. Marine Command in Vietnam. The mission of MASS 3 is to control and direct Marine aircraft in close and direct support of Marine and other friendly ground forces. The squadron accomplishes this mission through its Direct Air Support Centers, Air Support Radar Teams, and Helicopter Direction Centers in various locations throughout Vietnam.
The Squadron base camp is at Danang. The climate is semi-tropical and pleasant. Temperatures range from 50 degrees in the winter to 90 degrees in the summer. Cooling ocean breezes make the nights comfortable. The most notable feature of the climate here is the northeast monsoon season with its frequent and heavy rainfall. All Marines in the Squadron are issued adequate waterproof clothing to protect them from the elements, and although the rains slow down our operations somewhat, we perform our mission regardless of the weather.
The Squadron has detachments at Quang Tri, Birmingham, LZ Baldy, Chu Lai and An Hoa. Danang is the location of the Danang Air Base, and besides MASS 3, a number of Marine, Army and Navy units are garrisoned here. First Marine Division is deployed around the base area.
The Marines of MASS 3 reside in tin-roofed wooden buildings known as "Southeast Asia Huts," and they are designed to keep rain out while admitting a maximum of fresh air. These quarters are, by no means, luxurious, but they are adequate and not uncomfortable.
The pride of MASS 3 is the Squadron Mess, which is considered by many to be the best mess in the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing. Here are served a remarkable variety of tasty, wholesome foods, including such staples as beefsteak, milk, ice cream and fresh salads, in almost unlimited quantities. Most Marines departing the Squadron weigh more than when they joined.
Excellent medical facilities and care are available to the Marines of MASS 3. Navy medical corpsmen operate a dispensary in the Squadron camp and care for routine ailments and minor injuries. Patients suffering from serious ailments or injuries are evacuated in the Squadron's ambulance to a complete Naval hospital located within 20 minutes' drive of the Squadron's camp. Patients requiring the attention of specialists are taken by helicopter or boat to the U.S. Navy hospital ship anchored off Danang.
There is an enlisted men's club and a noncommissioned officer's club where the Marines of the Squadron can go after duty hours for relaxation and refreshments. Touring variety shows often perform in these Squadron clubs, and occasionally Marines of the Squadron can attend performances given by celebrities of the entertainment world in the Freedom Hill Amphitheater.
During his duty in Vietnam, your son or husband will have at least one opportunity to visit Hawaii, Australia, or one of a number of Asian cities during a 5-7 day rest and recreation leave. His transportation to and from the city of his choice will be by a civilian airline aircraft, at no expense to him.
A chaplain is assigned to the Squadron to conduct religious services, to provide counseling when desired, and to serve the spiritual needs of the personnel of the Squadron. Additionally, there are available to the marines of the Squadron, several military and Naval chapels within a short distance of the Squadron camp staffed by chaplains of various faiths.
Considering all the recreation facilities and programs available to the Marine in Vietnam, mail from home is still the most potent morale builder. Your son or husband is encouraged to write to you as often as his duty permits, and it is hoped that you will write frequently to him. His correct mailing address is:
Rank, Name, Service Number
MASS 3, (Section)
MACG 18, 1st MAW
FPO San Francisco, California 96602
In case of a family emergency in which you desire that your son or husband be notified immediately, you should contact the nearest chapter of the American Red Cross and request its assistance in notifying him.
It is hoped that the information contained herein provides you an idea of your son's or husband's organization and duties in Vietnam. Parents and wives are invited to write to the commanding officer when they have questions regarding the Squadron or their sons and husbands.
I held off writing this letter so I could send you my new address. I am now at Marine Air Support Squadron-3. Right now I'm the assistant to another Lieutenant who I'll probably relieve.
MASS-3 is located on top of a 1,000-foot high mountain overlooking Danang Bay, and it's really beautiful. Its mission is to give radar guidance to planes giving the ground troops close air support. The squadron has one Direct Air Support Center and five Air Support Radar Teams. As you can guess, the reason I got this job is because of my enlisted experience. My platoon's job is to provide communications between the DASC and the five ASRT's which are located all through "I" Corps.
I think I'll be here for some time, although it's hard to be sure. The whole Marine Corps is readying to pull back, although it's hard to say what will happen. Twenty three hundred men from the wing will go home (as a result of) the recent cut, and we're preparing for more (cuts) in the future.
Right now it's the same time as in Chicago with a 12-hour difference---explain that to the kids! I'm watching the 6:30 news on TV in my barracks, but this new barracks isn't air-conditioned (war is hell!). They say it stays fairly cool here because of the height-catching sea breezes. I'll send you pictures soon. I can say that this is one of the most beautiful places (views) I've ever seen.
I've taken a book on the Vietnamese language and will study tapes on it. I probably won't learn much, but it will help pass the time. I received your letter and the letters from the church two days ago---glad you enjoyed your trip.
Thursday, November 24, 2011
Thursday, November 17, 2011
MASS-3 UYQ-3 Airborne DASC on Hill 327, Vietnam
A nice place to visit but I would not want to live there.
When the DASC was airborne the C-130 did slow circles over the operation area. This made some of the controllers air sick and unhappy.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
Happy birthday to the Marines. We proudly share this 236th birthday with all Marines and our thoughts go out especially to those serving in the face of danger today who are adding to our rich traditions. You may have listened to this before, but on our birthday it holds special :
236 years of tradition unhampered by progress.
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Thursday, November 3, 2011
A team of Marines from Marine Air Support Squadron 2 and Marine Aerial Refeuler Transport Squadron 152 test the Marine air-ground task force aerial palette system/special airborne response system while mid-flight over Okinawa Oct. 28. MASS-2 is part of Marine Aircraft Control Group 18, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force, and VMGR-152 is part of Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st MAW.
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Marine Air Control Squadron 2's history dates back to 1 April, 1944 when the Squadron was formed as Marine Air Warning Squadron 11 at Cherry Point, North Carolina, and was attached to Marine Air Warning Group 1, 9th Marine Aircraft Wing.