1st MARINE DIVISION ASSOCIATION

DESERT CITIES MITCHELL PAIGE MOH CHAPTER

DECEMBER, 2010 NEWSLETTER

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT                   Quintin Villanueva
 
Good cheer to all of you on the beginning of this 2010 holiday season.  Thanksgiving has just past, Christmas is coming up fast and before you know it 2011 will be here.
Remember to invite your spouse to our December meeting and to bring a toy for Toys for Tots.
Sergeant Major Tanksley, guest speaker at our last meeting, gave such an inspiring talk that most of us would have re-enlisted, if we could.  SgtMajor Tanksley is the epitome of a Marine and our Corps is blessed to have him and other leaders like him. He shared with us a vignette or two of his experiences and gave us his insight on the present day Corps and the future of the Corps.  He also heaped praise on the Blue Diamond Division and opined that it was the outstanding division of the Corps.
The SgtMajor is a strong supporter of our chapter and we were honored to welcome him aboard as a new member.
Lastly, congratulations to all the members who participated in the Golf Cart Parade and the 7th Marines Barbeque.  Both events were outstanding successes thanks to you.  I look forward to seeing you and your wives at our December meeting.
 
Semper Fidelis,   
 
DECEMBER 16TH MEETING
 
‘Tis the time of the year to celebrate Christmas and we will have a Christmas Luncheon with our spouses  Plan to join us on Thursday, December 16th, 1130 at the Desert Falls Country Club.  LCol Clay Tipton, CO, 3/7 will be the guest of honor. Everyone is asked to bring an unwrapped gift which will be donated to Toys for Tots.
 
Space is limited, so make your reservation now  (760) 901-5494 for how many in your party.  This Christmas luncheon is for members only.
 
PALM DESERT GOLF CART PARADE
 
As you know, we had the 29 Palms Marine Band and Color Guard join us this year. We spot lighted our WW II Marines: George Hatzidakis, Sam Huttenhower, Marilyn Paige (recovering from knee replacement surgery), Ray Schum, Elmer Stone and Dorothee Irwin who wore  her original Marine uniform. They rode in an 8 passenger cart donated by Electric Car Distributors for the parade.   Another 20 members walked  El Paseo with the golf cart and experienced a rousing reception of cheers and applause from the 20,000 people there.
 
The Palm Desert Chamber of Commerce showed their appreciation by donating  box lunches for the Marine Band and had them delivered to their bus for their return trip to 29 Palms. 
 
We also set up a pop up tent as a kiosk to sell Marine souvenirs.  Linda Garbarini dressed as “Rosie the Riveter” ran the kiosk.  Linda and Charlie are always the first to volunteer  and make these events successful. They are always generous with both their time and financial support.  We also appreciated  help from Don Tully, Pete Van Vechten and Jimmie Martin for setting up the kiosk early Sunday morning and coming back to tear down after the parade. Thanks Marines!
 
After the parade we all gathered at my home and enjoyed refreshments, appetizers and each other.  Thanks to everyone for donating some wine and appetizers.  And another big thanks to my child bride, Karen, for organizing all of this and  for providing transportation for Marilyn Paige to the parade.
 
CHINA   (PART 2)                                                                     Col Mike Walker, USMC (Ret.)
 
For the Marines embarked on the ships off the city in that cool April of 1927, it was a glimpse at on the most mysterious and exotic port-of-call in the world. Divided into the old Chinese City, the French concession, and the International Settlement with the famed Bund along the Whangpoo River, it was unequalled for excitement and adventure.
 
In 1927, Shanghai could boast of a financial district that could rival London, Tokyo or New York. The well appointed could leave their mansion along a tree lined boulevard, comparable to the toniest of neighborhoods in the West, enjoy an afternoon at the world class racetrack in the center of the Settlement, have a martini at the 110’ long bar in the Shanghai Club and then dance the night away in the ballroom at the Majestic Hotel.  Shanghai was also the entry point for stern and devout Christian missionaries from America and Europe who quietly served in remote areas, living simply, and trying mostly unsuccessfully to convert the Chinese.
 
There was also a darker side to old Shanghai.  For the Marines’ commander, Smedley Butler, it was almost too much to handle.  Old Gimlet Eye was as renowned a fighter (being awarded the Medal of Honor twice in combat) as a teetotaler in Prohibitionist America.  But in 1927 Shanghai, the booze flowed freely and along with it almost any illicit activity known to a sailor along the tough street known as Blood Alley.  The Triads there were every bit as organized and dangerous as the mafia in New York City and provided just as many illegal services.  There were an estimated 700 brothels and even more bars in Shanghai at the time, more than enough to accommodate the troops in the 45 warships now anchored offshore.
 
To the outside world China was chaos in 1927.  The internationally recognized capital was Peking but it was controlled by an unstable warlord army.  Further, in April 1927 the KMT began to splinter with the rightist KMT declaring Nanking and the capital and the leftist KMT declaring Wuhan as the capital.  This also caused mapmakers of the era discomfort for in Chinese a national capital was given the “king” ending.  That is why it is easy to find contemporary references to Peiping and Peking or alternately, Nanching and Nanking, as outsiders struggled to correctly identify the capital city.
 
The campaign plan to bring order and protections for the foreigners was simple and based on nearly 80 years of warring with China.  To make China sue for peace it was necessary to hold Shanghai, the economic center of the nation and occupy or threaten to occupy Peking the capital by taking port city of Tientsin, the gateway to Peking.  Thus it was not surprising to see the 3rd Brigade divided in two with the headquarters and 4th Regiment sent to Shanghai and the 6th Regiment sent to Tientsin.  Finally, on 5 March the Marines went ashore.
 
When the Marines landed in the spring of 1927, they could count five future commandants in their ranks:  Thomas Holcomb (17th) in Peking, Randolph McPate (21st) in Tientsin, along with A. A. Vandergift (18th), Lem Shephard (20th) and David Shoup (22nd) serving in Shanghai.  Two more would come later, Clifton Cates (19th) arrived in 1929 and Wallace Greene (23rd) joined the 4th Marinesin 1937.  China duty would also see the likes of Chesty Puller, Henry “Jim” Crowe, Lew Walt and Lou Diamond.  Victor “Brute” Krulak would watch the Japanese attack the Chinese onboard landing craft that had drop bow ramps in 1937. He would make sketches and apply the ramp design to the Higgins boat, the famed LCVP which became widely used in the history of amphibious warfare.
 
The actual 1927 landings were a bit of a let down.  Once the Chinese Nationalists saw the size and scope of the international armada they stood down and prevented any major incidents.  There was one humorous event for the 4th Regiment.  The 6th Regiment, the famed unit of Belleau Woods, had somehow sailed without enough ammunition but, instead had an over abundance of candy bars and like sknown as “pogey bait” in Marine lexicon.  To get the 6th squared away up in Tientsin, the 4th traded ammunition for pogey bait.  Today, the regiment sometimes is referred to as the “Pogey Bait” 6th Marines.
 
One historic change also took place a few years later:  On 13 February 1930 the Marine Corps changed the name of the 4th Regiment to the 4th Marine Regiment and also allowed the word “Marines” to be used in official correspondence in designating any regiment in the Corps, a tradition that lasts until this day.
 
Although there would be little actual fighting, the Marines landing in 1927 shaped the Corps more than any other intervention during period between the two wars.  China service would continue uninterrupted for the next 14 years. It would not end until November 1941 when the 4th (China) Marines would set sail for a doomed meeting with destiny on the island of Corrigedor.  By then, China service had become touchstone for a generation or more of Marine leaders.
 
CHRISTMAS DONATION FOR THE 7TH MARINES
 
We will donate gift cards to the most needy families of the 7th Marines in December. These gift cards from the Base Exchange will be distributed by the command and family readiness officer.
 
JANUARY MEETING
 
The meeting will held on January 20th at the Officers Club, at 29 Palms at 1130.  SgtMajor Michael Kufchak, 7th Marines will be the speaker.  He has just completed a one year tour in Afghanistan and saw a lot of action.  He is a member of the chapter.  More info will be in the January newsletter.
 
BEST WISHES TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.
 
GOD BLESS AMERICA AND THE MARINE CORPS
 
SEMPER FIDELIS
 
Jim Sullivan, Editor
 
Officers & Directors:
Quintin Villanueva, President         Jim Sullivan, Sec / Treas.     Dick Partee, Director
Henry Sanchez, Director                 George Stettler, Director