1st MARINE DIVISION ASSOCIATION

DESERT CITIES MITCHELL PAIGE MOH CHAPTER

June, 2012 NEWSLETTER

TUN TAVERN TEAM

Wes Ahlgren Mac Dube Dean Hunter Bob Shepard
Mike Bales David Franklin Dick Partee George Stettler
Carl Brooks Charlie Garbarini Henry Sanchez Jim Sullivan
Harry Covert George Hatzidakis* Ray Schum Quint Villanueva
Michael Walker Jimmie Martin Sam Huttenower Jim Olson
Jack Rabinowitz Dale Turner Bill Ross Paul Ehline
Myrl Wallace Linn Wiley Carl Lewke Marilyn Paige
Gene McClendon Franz Jevene Paul Hoffmam Sandy Sandoval

RIP*

Tun Tavern Team members who renewed for 2012 are in bold.  Join or renew your membership for 2012.  Annual dues are $100.


THE GENERAL’S ARE COMING IN JUNE AND JULY!

JUNE 21ST MEETING
Meeting scheduled for Thursday, June 21st at Desert Falls Country Club 1130.  Scheduled speaker is BGen William Smith, Commanding General of the 29 Palms Combat Center.
 
JULY 19TH MEETING
Major General Mel Spiese will be the honored guest and speaker. MGen Spiese is the Commanding General of 1st Marine Expeditionary Brigade, Camp Pendleton.  Thanks to George Stettler for helping arrange his appearance.
 
TAPS
Jimmy Wheeler died suddenly on May 21st at the age of 75 years old.  Jimmy was an associate member for two years.  Jimmy had wanted to help Wounded Warriors and had volunteered to be a mentor to help a Marine facing a medical discharge to transition into civilian life.
 
A memorial service was held on May 29th at Desert Falls Country Club to celebrate his life.  In lieu of flowers, Marilyn Paige requested a memorial fund be set up by the Chapter and that donations collected be given to the Wounded Warrior Detachment, 29 Palms. If you would like to donate, mark your check “Jimmy Wheeler Memorial Fund”.
 
MARINE JROTC AWARDS CEREMONY
Dick Partee  presented the 2012 Chapter SEMPER FI  Award to Cadet Tyler Wright for his outstanding academic and athletic achievements.  Wright is a member of their outstanding color guard.  He has enlisted in the Army and after graduation will report for basic training.
 
WOUNDED WARRIOR BARBEQUE
We hosted a group of these Marines for 9 holes of golf and a barbecue at Monterey Country Club on May 7th.   There were over 40 members, Marines and guests there.   After a round of golf in the morning and a putting contest we enjoyed a barbecue on the patio with the Marines.
 
Thanks to Dick Partee for organizing this event along with fellow golfer’s Dean Hunter, Gene McClendon and several club members who played with the Marines.  And thanks to Joe Daily, Charlie Garbarini, Dick Kussman, JJ Jessen, Jim Larsh, Carl Lewke, Jack Rabinowitz, Bill Ross, Bob Shepard, George Stettler, Pete Van Vechten, Quint Villanueva and Jimmy Wheeler for supporting the barbecue by hosting a Marine.
 
LIVING HISTORY DAY
We were invited to participate in this special event at Noli Indian School, Soboba Indian Reservation in San Jacinto. They dedicated Friday morning, May 18th for this event.  Joe Daily, Pete Van Vechten and Mike Walker volunteered to speak,  We received the following thank you letter from the organizers at the school:
 
   “I want to thank you and all of the men who volunteered their time. The kids and staff
  have given Living History Day rave reviews.  Your guys did a great job presenting
  and everyone learned something new.  Please thank Pete, Joe and Michael for me.
  I believe that Living History Day will now be a yearly occasion.  I am pleased with
  the outcome.”
                     Thank You and God Bless.
                     Scott E. Casto
 
MEMORIAL DAY SERVICES
I attended the one at the Desert Memorial Park, along with Marilyn Paige, George Stettler, Quint Villanueva and Doc Gillette.  Col George Aucoin, Chief of Staff, 29 Palms Combat Center was the Honored Speaker.  We met and talked and he accepted
our invitation to speak at our October 18th meeting. He confirmed again on May 30th.
 
USO PALM SPRINGS
SgtMaj Ray Schum, USMC (Ret.) volunteered a couple of months ago to help at the local USO.  They recognized his vast experience and appointed him an Ambassador.
Ray schedules his time to be there during their peak activity hours.  He sits in the dining room and enjoys conversation with the Marines.  He wears his uniform and draws quite a bit of attention from the young Marines passing through.
 
Ray enjoys this very much and the recognition that he gets from the Marines and other volunteers working shifts there.
 
MAGAZINES NEEDED
Our Ambassador to the V A Hospitals, Doc Gillette, needs our help.  He has informed me that the V A Hospitals and clinics need more magazines.
 
Let’s collect our old magazines and bring them to the June meeting to support the great work Doc does to support veterans at VA hospitals and clinics.
 
 
NAVY CROSS AWARDED
On May 18th, Sgt. Clifford M. Wooldridge, 3/7 was awarded the Navy Cross for his heroism in Afghanistan.  Under Secretary of the Navy Robert Work presented the Navy Cross Award.  Wooldridge was a Corporal in 2010 in Afghanistan when his patrol came under heavy fire,  He led a fire team to flank the enemy and wounded and killed 8 of them before he provided security as the fire team withdrew.  He encountered 3 of them and killed two with his M249 SAW.  Out of ammo, he saw the barrel of an enemy machine gun  grabbed it and used the weapon to kill the bad guy with  blows to the head.
 
Dick Partee presented Sgt Wooldridge a Chapter Challenge Coin after the ceremony. Bill and Marilyn Ross and Jim Sullivan represented the Chapter at the ceremony.  Col Austin Renforth, CO of the 7th Marine Regiment, was there on crutches.  He claimed to have  suffered a knee injury on the basketball court.
 
MAILING LIST
Thanks to those members who have stepped forward and given the Chapter a list of names to be added to our mailing list.  We need to remind those that haven’t that we do need your cooperation since the expanded mailing list will help us to communicate with more people and inform them on what we are doing to help the Marines at 29 Palms.
 
HISTORY OF AMPHIBIOUS WARFARE  (Part 1)         by Col Mike Walker (Ret.)
Mike Walker gave this presentation at our May 17th meeting.  Here is a brief summary:  
 
Early on 14 June 1898, in the opening weeks of the Spanish-American War, two companies from LtCol Robert Huntington’s Marine battalion, along with a small contingent of Cuban insurgents, made their way along the hilly coast near Guantanamo Bay and came unready Spanish fire.  Off the coast cruised the USS Dolphin, assigned with the mission of providing naval gunfire support for the Marine and Cuban advance.  Realizing that the Dolphin could not detect the Marines’ location, Sergeant John Quick ran to a hilltop and, under withering enemy fire, calmly signaled the Dolphin in code with a makeshift flag directing the ship’s gun on the enemy.  By early afternoon, the Marines and Cubans had prevailed, securing for the U.S. Navy as safe harbor.
 
Sgt Quick was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions and the history of the Marine Corps was changed forever. The seizure of the anchorage was vital if the U.S. Fleet was to fulfill its missions of both blockading Cuba from Spanish reinforcements and protecting the ships carrying U.S. Army forces to Cuba.  As Alfred Thayer Mahan had predicted, in time of war the fleet “needed…secure ports…to serve as secondary, or contingent bases” and the Marines obliged by taking the Guantanamo harbor.  From that point forward the siezure and defense of advanced bases, a mission that would evolve into amphibious warfare, became a primary focus of the Marine Corps.
 
The subsequent development of amphibious warfare that culminated in the writing of the Tentative Manual in 1934 was not foreordained.  Statutorily, the position of the Corps was tenuous as it was based entirely on one piece of legislation, the Act for Establishing the Marine Corps, from the time President John Adams signed it into law in 1798 until President Truman signed the National Defense Act of 1947. The catchall used to justify landing operations was Section Six of the Act:
 
    That the Marine Corps, established by this act, shall, at any time, be liable to do duty,
     In the forts and garrisons of the United States, on the seacoast, or any duty on shore, as
     The President, at his discretion, shall direct.
 
This gave the President wide latitude in employing the Marines, but its vagueness hampered their ability to identify a mission, such as the conduct of a landing operation.
 
After the Spanish-American War, the Corps found it impossible to move forward by simply doing what it always done.  The years after the war were a time of change in the armed services as they moved towards a professional military.  This was driven in part by some poor wartime performances, especially by the War Department.   1903 saw the Army adopt a general staff system with coincided with the appointment of its first Chief of Staff along with the establishment of the Joint Army Navy Board, a precursor to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  The Marines were not exempt from criticism.  Their chief adversary at this time was Capt William Fullam, USN, who advocated removing the Marines from Navy ships.  Many Marines saw this as tantamount to dissolving the Corps. Fortunately, the Marine Corps emerged from the war with a reputation for competence.  Admiral Dewey, the hero of the Battle of Manila Bay, later stated, “If there had been 5000 Marines under my command, the city would have surrendered to me May 1, 1898, and their would have no insurrection.”  While the Marines’ performance was not in doubt, their mission was unclear.
 
 
 
GOD BLESS OUR CORPS
 
 
SEMPER FIDELIS,
 
 
 
 
Jim Sullivan, Editor