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Then and Now

Things you remember.

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.

MAG 15 Patch

History:

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

Viet Nam conflict ribbon

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.[43]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.[44] 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.[45]

“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.[46] 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.[47]

There is an in-depth story told on Historynet.com. should you wish to learn more about Khe Sanh. Check it out @:         Battle of Khe Sanh: Recounting the Battle’s Casualties

Where in the world is Jeff Berthiaume?

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.
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Image may contain: food

 

 

 

 

 

jeff Nam cooking class

Chef Jeff, coming soon to “Chopped.”

 

        Credits: http://www.seaforces.org/usmcair/MAG/Marine-Aircraft-Group-15.htm,               http://pinterest.com/, Wiki, Google Images, thekitchen.com, Historynet.com & Facebook

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to check on the elderly.   elderly couple

 

A Friend Has a Reunion

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While herself and I were up in Canada, a good friend was traveling in Italy with a group of old friends from Kansas. Yes Dorothy, that Kansas. While I was busy posting our Canadian adventure she was posting her Italian adventure. I asked if it was OK to share her postings and she said yes. Thank you Nancy.

On 4 September, 2016 she posted:

Good morning.

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Our flight over went well, although no sleep for the gals.  We arrived in Rome, took a cab to our hotel, dropped off bags and hit the streets running.
Our hotel is very nice, rooms big, we took over one section of the building.  Changed our clothes and headed to the open market.  What fun. Found a curb side restaurant-free percheco while awaiting our table.    Delicious pizza.  And sat next to couple where hubby works for state department.  Got lots of inside scoop re mother Teresa canonization.  Then walked to Vatican to meet our guide Valerie.  What an experienced docent.  Got us by the long lines and our education began.  What a wealth of info and art work.

Came back to the hotel and 4 went out to dinner.  Some of us stayed in the hotel for dinner of choc chip cookies.

Had a good nights sleep and will meet Valerie again.  Hitting the coliseum, forum, Trevi fountain, Bernini fountain of the 4 rivers.

We have filled our days full and will be ready to rest when we take our train tomorrow to Florence.

Cia

View from hotel, St. Peter’s,  A special group coming into service.  I vote nurse nuns

Hi, another great day in this beautiful city.  A 7 hour walking tour including the forum, the coliseum, the Spanish steps, trevi fountain, the Jewish city and may other locations.
Gilato for an afternoon snack.   Happy hour in our room.  Then out for a fabulous pasta dinner.   Our carafes of house wine were delicious.
We train to Florence tomorrow where we meet up with Ann, the 7th of our group.


We left from Monterosso and walked to Vernazza.  My 60 year old friends and I are in good shape and it was a bear for sure.
We are at cinque terra on the Mediterranean. Quite the entrepreneur we encountered on the trail, gloves and all.

We took an in villa cooking class that resulted in 3 course meal-delicious.   We are all going to take naps now

Needless to say, Nance and the girls had a great trip and reunion. Once again thank you for sharing. Your’s is my 101st post on Word Presss Nancy.