A while back I posted a commencement address by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Each month in a local paper, our daughter Kathryn posts an article on Population Health. When I read the article, I got all chest puffy and proud of my daughter’s material as well as learning that a family Sunday Night gathering was remembered. I feel Admiral McRaven and my daughters post kind of go hand in hand.
In case you didn’t see my McRaven post, here is that excerpt. Here is a part of the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014 by Admiral William H. McRaven.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack — that’s Navy talk for bed.
It was a simple task — mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs, but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
And, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
So, I grew up in Connecticut, one of three children of a State Trooper and a nurse. One of my best memories was of Sunday nights. My dad would work on preparing for the week. My dad would get out his badge, his belt buckle, and his rank. He would then ask us all to get our shoes lined up. We only got one pair of shoes at the beginning of the school year, and they were usually leather.
My mom would get her white uniforms out. He would lay all his uniform parts out on the floor. He would get out the ironing board, take out his brass cleaning kit, his leather kit and proceed to wax, polish, and iron. He would shine his brass until it glistened, polish our leather shoes until we could see ourselves in the toes, and then iron his uniforms and my mom’s.
Sometimes he would teach us how to do it, other times we just sat and talked with him about our day. It was a labor of love, and also pride for himself and our family. When I joined the Air Force, I continued that ritual, polishing my boots, ironing my uniform…. Today, I still polish my shoes and iron my clothes, preparing for my week.
We are all so busy. We move throughout our weeks driven by kids, family, jobs, community commitments, friends, and so much more. We rarely get a minute to breathe. What I have found, is this simple act of taking time to prepare makes a difference and allows some of life’s chaos to turn into calm. Taking a break to plan can have a positive impact on our well-being. It gives us time to pause and look ahead.
What if all we were able to take a pause, one day a week and prepare? What could we accomplish? We could plan a few lunches or dinner meals at home, avoiding fast food drive-throughs for a day. We could plan time to talk a walk, exercise at the gym, ride a bike, maybe spend time with family or friends. We could even make time to plan for our health. We could schedule an annual physical, a mammogram, flu shot, or much-needed colonoscopy if we need one? What about a few minutes to check any prescriptions and make sure they aren’t about to run out?
Think of how much money we could save, the stress we could lower, health we could improve. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan.” What would it hurt, to stop wishing for life to slow down, and instead, plan for it? Maybe try it this week, stop for 15 minutes and write down one thing you plan to do for yourself, then DO IT. Let me know how it goes!
Once again the Rooster is ever grateful for another family member making my Blogging easy. I share with you the most recent Blog of grandaughter,, Captain Samantha Berthiaume-Davies, USAF. Thanks Sammy.
20 years ago due to an airplane malfunction 20 Washington State Air
National Guardsmen lost their lives on Geilenkirchen Air Base.
I had great plans to write this post on Monday night. Then on
Tuesday I planned to write it, but from a very different angle. Today, I
finally have some time to sit down and try to do this post justice.
I was asked to help with the execution of the memorial service. This
being my first event of any scale I was on edge. 75 people had flown
from the US to honor their comrades and family members lost on Jan 13,
1999. There was a 20 minute ceremony and a lunch that I was responsible
for. Though the weather didn’t cooperate, the entire day went off
without a hitch.
I didn’t realize how much of myself I had invested into the event
until Tuesday morning. We forgot Ana’s book bag at the house (thanks to
Zed for running home to grab it), forgot my cell phone at home (a whole
day without a cell phone is hard), after my shower from the gym I
realized I hadn’t brought boot socks or an uniform shirt, oh and I left
my hat in my car so I got to do that walk of shame.
As I walked out the of gym in a smelly uniform shirt, with no hat on,
and ankle socks I saw the school bus pull up. At that moment I just
needed a hug from my girls. I got two amazing hugs before they headed
off to school with their pony tails wagging behind them and went back to
my car to figure out what had just happened.
Why was I in tears at 830am over such trivial things? It was then I
realized how much effort I had put into this event to ensure the family
and friends of ESSO 77 had a memorable time. For some of them this was
the first time they had ever been to GK and for others the first time
they had been back since their squadron mates had passed away.
It was also then that I remembered the importance of hugging those
you love and making sure they know how you feel. And finally, it was
when a new friend tapped on my window to ask if I was ok and gave me a
So to ESSO 77, thank you for your service to not just the nation, but
serving with NATO means you’ve provided service to the world.
Yesterday we found ourselves at daughter Kathryn’s house for an early dinner of Chili. We also got a free meal the previous night and played some single deck Pinochle. Jeff and the Rooster were partners and we got our butts kicked two games to one. One of our losses was by more than 100 points, 120 is game, ouch!
This blog is not about Chili, Pinochle or eating at the daughtersthough, it’s about something fishy. With Jeff off to work in our nations capitol for a few days we extended an invite to Kathryn and granddaughter Abigail & cousin Rachael for dinner tonight. We do that a lot when Jeff’s out of town and traveling.
So, Kathryn asks, “what’s for dinner Granny?” Me wife says, Cod Fish. Kathryn asks why do we put fish after the Cod? “Well, it could be Cod Cakes I say”. We also put fish after, Cat, I mean, would you ask someone to come to your house for cat? We put the fish after Tuna, Sword and Gefilte, don’t we? This led me to realize we put Brazilian & Sea prior to Bass. Should you be eating Drum, it’s color coded, Black or Red? Eldest daughter comes out with some strange thought provoking stuff now and then. Do I have you thinking? Are these prefix and suffix foods?
Tomorrow morning I’m having Bacon Pig with my eggs for breakfast, chicken eggs of course. What are you having for dinner tonight? Are these prefix and suffix foods I ask?
As long as we have the La carte de vins the girls will be happy, bon appétit.
4 cod filets, about 1-inch thick
Freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for baking dish
1 c. cherry tomatoes
1 lemon, sliced, plus more for garnish
2 garlic cloves, smashed but not peeled
2 sprigs thyme
2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400° and pat cod filets with a paper towel until dry. Season all over with salt and pepper.
In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, cherry tomatoes, lemon slices, garlic, and thyme.
Brush a baking dish with olive oil. Pour tomato-oil mixture into dish, then nestle in cod.
Bake until fish is opaque and flakes easily with a fork, about 15 minutes.
Serve garnished with parsley, more lemon juice, and pan sauce.
When the wife and I say we want to go home, the place we always refer to is, Connecticut. We especially loved Connecticut in the fall. We would go to football games in Storrs on a Saturday and watch Uconn back in it’s Yankee conference days. They’ve gone big time today playing D-1 athletics in a big stadium in East Hartford. They happen to be loosing a lot lately also.
We loved watching the tree’s turn colors. Our old neighbor’s, the Anderson’s, had a giant Maple that would turn the most beautiful shades of oranges and reds.
Not the same tree, but it could be a twin.
Neighbors would bond while splitting firewood to burn in our stoves through the coming fall and winter. The smell of smoke would permeate in the air from those stoves. Ghosts and goblins would run through the local cemetary dating back to the 1600’s. On All-Hallow’s-Eve, back in the day when the children were young, this was a place which holds memories for a lifetime. With the coming of darkness, thoughts ran wild for those sitting on the stones, while stories were told. At times even the adults were taken aback with the frightful image of a translucent ghost moving among the headstones in the rear of the cemetary. Yes Vi Cordner, you pulled a good one on us that year.
Bamforth Rd. cemetary, Vernon, CT
I helped coach a midget football team back in the day, the late 70’s. We always had a travel game to Portland, CT. On the return home from the game we would stop at the old cider mill in the town of Glastonbury. We would walk among the trees. we could smell the apples on the ground, and the Buzzing of the Bees that never bit you in that time of the year. All those adventures are rekindled in my memory as I write this post. A few gallons of the finest Apple Cider would be purchased that day, along with a half basket of apples. Once back home, a tasty apple pie would not be far behind. Take a deep breath in from your nose, can you smell it baking in the oven?
Glastonbury today has many farms and agricultural resources, just click on the site below to view them.
Connecticut is also home for the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S.
From their web site, I cut and paste to you, Clyde’s Cider Mill:
Welcome to B.F. Clyde’s Cider Mill, WHERE TRADITION IS VERY IMPORTANT
Clyde’s Cider Mill is located in the small village of Old Mystic, CT. B.F. Clyde’s started making Hard Cider in 1881.
The apples for our Hard Ciders and Apple Wines come from local orchards and are pressed into juice here at our Mill. The juice is then pumped directly into oak casks in the Mill’s cellar, where it is fermented and ages for up to 3 years. Our Ciders and Apple Wines are still, in keeping with the tradition of cider makers of long ago.
Tradition is very important to us here at Clyde’s. In 1898, Frank and Abby Clyde built the Victorian style building and purchased the machinery still in use today.
We are the last steam powered cider mill in the U.S. today. In 1994, Clyde’s was designated a National Historic Landmark.
We are open from September thru late December. With our cider press operating in the Fall.
Take a StepBACK IN TIME
A visit to Clyde’s Cider Mill is like stepping back in time. Come see the only steam powered cider mill in the U.S..
We start our season in September with our hard ciders and apple wines, jams, jellies, local honey, maple syrup, fudge, and what many people call “The best sweet cider on Earth”! Also available in the Fall are apples, apple pies, pumpkin bread, gourds, Indian corn, pumpkins, candy apples, kettle corn and apple cider donuts.
So take a break from the ordinary and come visit a National Historic Landmark and see the 6th generation of Clyde family making cider just like B.F. Clyde did in 1881.
Yesterday, daughter Sarah called early to ask my take on Hurricane Florence. During part of my Marine Corps life my MOS was 6811 back in the day. The below gives an overview of the career field from https://www.thebalancecareers.com/
The METOC OccFld is the only earth science related OccFld in the Marine Corps. The METOC service OccFld is responsible for collecting, assessing and disseminating METOC intelligence relevant to friendly and enemy force strengths and vulnerabilities for the planning and execution of operations necessary to characterize the battlespace. This includes atmospheric, space, climatic and hydrologic intelligence for use in the production of Tactical Decision Aids (TDA) and METOC effects matrices. The METOC OccFld is comprised of MOS 6821, MOS METOC Observer, MOS 6842, METOC Forecaster, and MOS 6852, METOC Impacts Analyst, and is progressive in nature.
Marines entering the 6800 OccFld will complete formal training and receive MOS 6800, Basic METOC Marine and will participate in routine METOC service function while training for a designated MOS within the OccFld. As their skill enhancing training progresses, they become eligible to attend further formal MOS instruction. Billets include assignment to MEF, MEU, Intel Battalion, METOC Support Team (MST) , Marine Wing, Support Squadron, Marine Corps Air Station and Facility, TECOM, CBIRF, NMOPDC and instructor duty at MARDET Keesler AFB, MS.
Many of us in the Blogging World have hobbies, of course writing is the paramount one. We have Train, Food, Travel, Religion, Health and Beauty, and countless others. I guess, for the past fifty years Weather could be called one of my hobbies. I do not make it the quintesential topic of my Blog however. I am quite happy that on Thursday late and Friday I will be some 400 miles to the north of where Florence is projected to hit.
So, back to daughter Sarah who is really into weather. We will chat often during pending storms, a lot of the conversation surrounds the – What if’s? In years passed, we’ve had family pools as to where something will make landfall. Where will Florence land?
It is now 10:25 AM, September, 11, 2018, a new forecast and conditions upgrade will come out in thirty minutes. If you are in that Cone of Doom, take heed and prepare. I wish for you a safe riding out of the storm, don’t forget to check on the elderly.
Sarah came by for a visit this morning and we chatted about the storm. I can not help to think back to seventeen years ago. I was heading home from the dentist and Sarah called me, “Poppy, a plane just crashed into the World Trade Center”. So much has changed in the world since that day. We remember 9/11!
If you haven’t been out to the Roaring Springs Ranch, or really this part of Oregon, you need to find a way to make it out here. Each time we come out I am reminded of the beauty of it. This trip out was a little more relaxed than normal because I have no ties to anyone but my family right now. We have out-processed from Tinker and have yet to in-process to our temporary duty at Maxwell AFB.
We began this leg of our trip with a much needed nap. The kids played with all of PaPa and Grandmas toys while Zed and I enjoyed some sleep. After waking up we had a date with 11 bulls. After getting them loaded in a trailer we drove 3.5 hours and dropped them at a ranch who would be leasing them for the summer. Along the way we stopped at Dairy Queen (more popular than McDonald’s out there) for dinner and ice cream. You’ll see that ice cream is a common thread for this trip. Once dropping the bulls we headed back towards the ranch and spent the night in the apartment over the office in Burns. On top of running the ranch Stacy also runs a co-op of ranchers who make up Country Natural Beef. They supply beef to places like Whole Foods, Blue Apron, and Burgerville. The next day we woke early, picked up kid horses and finished the drive to the ranch.
The kids enjoyed riding horses, helping PaPa work cows (it’s AI season currently), and riding toys. Zed and I are storing our four wheelers at the ranch while we’re in Germany and they bought 2 little motorcycles for the kids. Mia mastered the one without training wheels while Ana claimed the one with the extra help. Zed taught the kids how to climb rocks (I missed the photo op). It was great to see him in his element and sharing that with the kids. While we were there the ranch was hosting an AI school. Those who take part in the school learn something new and Stacy gets a few more hands to help out. Ana also adopted a calf and it was her responsibility to feed it each day.
One of the most fun days was when we enjoyed a trip to Fields for burgers and shakes. The kids (Jonah and Dallen (brother #3) had made it out and joined us) climbed trees and played in the mud while we waited for our food. This is another most stop when you come to visit the ranch. We then headed out on four wheelers and motorcycles to enjoy the reservoir.
While there Zed found a nest, where two of the eggs were beginning to hatch. The kids insisted we stay until they were out, but we explained we couldn’t wait that long and had to go see Sadie.
On the drive back, 3/5 kiddos fell asleep and we met up with Wes (brother #2) and Sadie. That night the couples went into town and enjoyed a benefit dinner for the boys’ high school English teacher.
The final day on the ranch we took a Steen’s Mountain tour and truly enjoyed the south eastern Oregon landscape.
One of the many gorges along the Steen’s. There should be some snow still visible on the peaks, but it wasn’t a great snow year.
This looks out over the historic Riddle Ranch.
Mia and Ana attempting to throw rocks into Wild Horse Lake. The angle of the picture deceives the eyes. Ana’s right foot is hanging over a sheer face that drops a “couple” feet.
Behind Zed and me is the Alvord Desert.
We concluded the tour with a stop at the Frenchglen Mercantile for some ice cream. The ability to easily come to the ranch for a break is going to be missed while we’re in Germany. It will be an amazing treat to be welcomed back to.
As many of you are aware, I’m an old retired Trooper from the state of Connecticut. At one time in the late 70’s I was assigned to the Traffic Division, our duties involved the enforcement of Motor Vehicle Laws on the highways of the state. We were mostly assigned to the limited access roads in the state such as Interstate highways, Parkways and the like. On some days we concentrated on Commercial Vehicle Enforcement, mostly trucks, tractor trailers and buses. Other days were spent doing radar enforcement of speed limits. We worked out of marked cruisers as well as many different undercover cars and trucks.
On this day that I’m writing about, we were doing speed enforcement on Route 2, which runs NW to SE from East Hartford, CT to the CT/RI line near Westerly, RI. My partner on this day was Dave Gibbs and he was the Radar Operator. I was the Trooper pulling over the speeding motorist in a marked cruiser and issuing the Traffic Citation to the motorist operating the vehicle.
We were working in the town of Glastonbury, set up in the NW travel lane, Trooper Gibbs was on the left shoulder of the divided highway in an unmarked nondescript car with hood up that looked like a disabled vehicle. After clocking a vehicle he could visual see them as they rounded a curve toward my location on the right shoulder. He would call out via radio the description of the vehicle to me, such as “ Red Ford, left lane, rounding the bend now, 84 MPH. The posted speed limit on this stretch of road was 55 MPH.
To further paint a picture of this specific event I must add one thing. At the top of this long hill where we were working, almost a mile to the S/E was a crossover for official use only. At the time of this specific stop there happened to be a Trooper in a marked cruiser sitting in the crossover eating lunch and doing paperwork. This Trooper was not assigned to the Traffic Division, he was on routine patrol from the Colchester Barracks, Troop K. The acknowledgement of his location was all over the CB radio waves which we also monitored. “ Breaker – Breaker 1-9, Smoky in the cross over top of the hill by mile marker such and such.”
Dave calls out the speed and description of the offending vehicle. I exit my marked 1978 Ford Crown Victoria, point to the offending vehicle approaching me and motion for the driver to pull over, which he does. As is common practice I say something to the likes of “ Good morning sir, I pulled you over for speeding, you were clocked on radar at 84 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. I would then ask for the operators driver’s license and registration.
I must take a moment to talk about glove compartments and center consoles. It never ceased to amaze me the disorganization of these compartments. Many twelve-year-old vehicles would have each and every registration that was ever issued as well as insurance papers dating back to the crusades. Old sandwiches, jars of oozing peanut butter, dripping lipstick, (summer only) and everything imaginable or unimaginablecould be found in some compartments. A road Trooper has seen it all at one time or another.
The operator in this case, Mr Smith, says, “Oh No, I knew that car was there, it was all over the CB radio and I was doing exactly 55 miles per hour when I passed him.” I question him as to where this was and he tells me it was at the crossover a mile or so back and described the maroon Ford of the Troop K officer eating his lunch at this location. We did some checking up after the stop, knowing this one was going to court, I documented this information with the i’s dotted and the T’s crossed.
Without going into a whole lot of detail with Mr. Smith I explained to him this was not the officer who clocked him on radar. As was always my custom, I, yes Sir and no Sir’d him to death during the encounter as he arrogantly berated myself, the State of Connecticut and the Connecticut State Police as nothing but revenue collectors. I was informed he was from New York and he would see me in court. Of course I was still awaiting the extraction of the registration from the glove compartment. Eventually this document was located and presented to me and a citation for speeding was issued. Mr Smith would drive off while still berating me, my department and the State of Connecticut.
As is the custom and protocol in a speeding ticket, I filled in the explanation of this stop in the appropriate location on my copy of the ticket which would then go to the court. In this case should it go to court, it would be in the town of Manchester. It is the operator’s prerogative to mail in the fine or appear in court to contest the citation. BINGO, about six weeks later Trooper Gibbs and me are summoned to court in Manchester for State of Connecticut vs. Mr Smith. On the day of the trial Trooper Gibbs would testify first that he was the Radar Operator and was in a 1976 Plymouth Satellite, 2 door, silver, parked on the side of the road at a specific location with the hood raised and for all intent and purposes that car looked like a disabled vehicle. He stated he clocked the offending vehicle at 84 MPH in a posted 55 MPH zone and that the radar was calibrated and checked according to law and department procedures. There was no rebuttal by the accused, Mr. Smith.
I would testify next. I was asked if I recognized the accused Mr. Smith. In this case I certainly did and pointed to him sitting alone at a table to my front. Knowing he was innocent, Mr. Smith would represent himself. I then proceeded, using my notes on the citation and additional notes in my field notebook to paint a vivid picture of the entire incident in great detail which included his glove compartment contents. States Attorney Arnold Markle said in a class I once took, “Document, Document, Document, if it’s not written down, it never happened.” I never did forget that one class, and I always documented. Even today I document and keep a daily journal.
After my testimony Mr. Smith was sworn in and began testifying in his own behalf. He would mention the Trooper eating lunch at the crossover, the chit-chat on the CB radio and the fact he never saw Trooper Gibbs car. “Of course he didn’t, he was going 84 MPH.”
He went on to describe me and the fact I belittled him and was nothing but a revenue collector. He stated that the Trooper always used the words “yes sir, no sir” and when stating he would see me in court the Trooper said, “That is your right sir and have a good day”.
The Judge, after a long pause, asked Mr. Smith, “ and what was belittling about the way the Trooper spoke to you? Mr. Smith said, “I just knew he didn’t mean it when he said all those yes sirs and no sirs”.
The Judge would pound his gavel once, say the word “Guilty” and set the fine, court cost, and direct Mr. Smith where to pay the clerk.
“Troopers, your dismissed.”
It pays to document! Thank you sir for a day of overtime, my family appreciated the extra income.
Should you find yourself down in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia outside of Roanoke and happen by the Virginia Mountain Winery, stop in and say hello to retired Trooper Gibbs. Make sure you tell him, The Rooster sent you.
Editors note: Mr Smith is not the name of the operator of the offending vehicle in this case. All events are to the best of this writers recollection and I thank David Gibbs for being my wing man for a number of years while assigned together. Cheers Dave and thanks for looking over the rough of this one stop of many in our careers.
During the BIG BLOW (Storm Quinn) last week, March 2nd to be exact, we were stuck here on the peninsula for a brief time. The winds were far in excess of what was safe for vehicles to cross the bridges off the peninsula. Pictured above is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge from Kent Island to Annapolis. Pictured below is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel that connects the southern tip of Delmarva to Virginia Beach.
So what’s going on today, March 7, 2018? Storm Riley is this one’s name. I just happen to be in the Nutmeg State of Connecticut hanging with the son’s family for a few days. And what does the National Weather Service have to say?
URGENT – WINTER WEATHER MESSAGE
National Weather Service Taunton MA
415 PM EST Wed Mar 7 2018
Hartford CT-Tolland CT-Windham CT-Eastern Hampshire MA-
Eastern Hampden MA-Northwest Providence RI-
Including the cities of Hartford, Windsor Locks, Union, Vernon,
Putnam, Willimantic, Amherst, Northampton, Springfield, Foster,
415 PM EST Wed Mar 7 2018
…WINTER STORM WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 7 AM EST THURSDAY…
* WHAT…Heavy snow. Total snow accumulations of 8 to 15 inches,
heaviest in the higher terrain in northern Connecticut and
* WHERE…Portions of northern Connecticut, western
Massachusetts and northern Rhode Island.
* WHEN…Until 7 AM EST Thursday.
* ADDITIONAL DETAILS…Travel will be very difficult if not
impossible. Tree branches and wires could fall. Snowfall rates
of 1 to 3 inches during the height of the storm with
A Winter Storm Warning for snow means severe winter weather
conditions will make travel very hazardous or impossible. If you
must travel, keep an extra flashlight, food and water in your
vehicle in case of an emergency.
A Red Pot Recipe
So what does the Mrs. do on that miserable day last week, she makes, without a doubt, the finest Beef Stew of our fifty-two years of marriage in her big red pot.
Vegetable oil, for searing
2 1/2 pounds beef chuck, cut into 2-inch cubes after searing whole.
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, cut into 6ths
1 1/4 pounds medium potatoes, quartered
4 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
4 medium Parsnips, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 can, Cream of Celery Soup
1 can French Onion Soup
1 can of Red Wine (Cab)
Pre-heat oven to 300 dgrees. Add vegetable oil to bottom of pot on high heat on stove burner, salt and pepper meat to taste, insert roast into pot when oil is hot, sear for one to two minutes on each side. Remove beef, cut into 2 inch squares, return to pot. Add all other ingredients, stir and place in oven for four hours, remove and serve.
Fifty years ago I was a Marine Sergeant assigned to MAG-15 and a resident of MCAS Iwakuni, Japan. A bit of history of the unit: Marine Aircraft Group 15 (MAG-15) was a United States Marine Corps aviation group established during World War II. MAG-15, a transport and photo-reconnaissance training group, was commissioned on 1 March 1942, headquartered at Camp Kearny, San Diego. In addition to radio and photographic training, the Group also conducted a navigation school. Additional roles included West Coast aircraft acceptance and transport service for the Marine Corps.
Marine Aircraft Group 15 was commissioned on 1 March 1942 at Camp Kearny, San Diego, California. For the next two years the group remained there as the transportation, observation and photo reconnaissance training group. They trained pilots and crews to serve in the South Pacific Combat Air Transport Command (SCAT). From its commission in 1942 until 1944, MAG-15 trained and dispatched the following unit for overseas deployment: VMD-154 and VMD-254; VMO-151 and VMO-155; and VMJ-152, VMJ-153, VMJ-353, VMJ-952, and VMJ-953.
MAG-15 shipped out from Camp Kearny to the South Pacific on 2 March 1944. They arrived in Apamama on 1 April and operated from there as part of the Transport Air Group until October 1944. In October they were ordered to establish the Air Transport Group (ATG) in order to provide transportation services to units in the Marshall and Gilbert Islands. ATG was redesignated the Troop Carrier Group (TCG) in November 1944. MAG-15 then became part of Task Unit 96.1 which was disbanded shortly thereafter on 25 March 1945 as its responsibilities were assumed by the
Headquarters Squadron 15 was sent to Marine Corps Air Station Ewa, Hawaii in April 1945 and was quickly joined by VMR-953 and VMR-352. They stayed there through the end of the war becoming part of the TAG again and controlling the transportation units for the Marines throughout the Pacific.
In January 1947 the group became dual role when they also had fighter squadrons attach and in May 1947 they became all fighter squadrons. In March 1949 they returned to the United States and were based at Marine Corps Air Station Edenton, North Carolina.
MAG-15 moved to Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni in July 1966 and included VMCJ-1, VMA(AW)-533, VMFA-334 and VMFA-232.
On 31 December 1988, MAG-15 stood down after 46 years of service.
50 Years Ago Today
February 7, 1968
Shortly after midnight, the Battle of Khe Sanh and the Vietnam War took a new turn as the North Vietnamese Army attacked with tanks and other armored vehicles for the first time.The 304th Division of the North Vietnamese Army overran the U.S. Army Special Forces camp at Lang Vei with 11 Soviet PT-76 tanks. In all, 316 defenders of the camp would be killed; all but seven of them were Montagnards fighting for South Vietnam and members of the Royal Laotian Army.
“It became necessary to destroy the town to save it” became one of the most famous quotes arising out of the Vietnam War, as a news story by Associated Press war correspondent Peter Arnett was published worldwide about the death and destruction caused by American forces during the retaking of the South Vietnamese coastal city of Ben Tre. At least 1,000 civilians had died and 45 percent of Ben Tre’s buildings were destroyed in the bombardment by American airplanes and shelling by U.S Navy ships, a measure taken as a last resort after 2,500 Viet Cong had taken control of the city. The quote (often restated as “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”) was attributed by Arnett to “a U.S. major”; later in the story, Arnett referred to his interview with U.S. Air Force Major Chester L. Brown, who had directed the bombing. The phrase, however, was actually coined by the reporter; Arnett asked the question, “So you had to destroy the village in order to save it?” and then attributed the words to Major Brown.
He is in Ho Chi Min City of course, and things have changed drastically in fifty years. Fifty years ago this was Saigon, the capital of South Viet Nam and deeply involved along with the United States and it’s allies in a war with North Viet Nam. Today, so much has changed.
Jeff made the below post today on Facebook.
Took a cooking class in Ho Chi Min Vietnam thru a company called Grain. Our menu was the following; Pumpkin flower stuffed with prawn, Chicken Salad with cabbage and jelly fish. Steamed Sea Bass with Galangal, Turmeric, Lemon grass, and Banana Leaf, Coconut & Cream Caramel.