Tales of Yore
The Continuing Tales of the Boys and Girls from HQMC

A Reenlistment Interview

About mid-August 1949 I was ordered to report to the H&SCo lstSgt, Sidney A. UPCHURCH, a "Top" we troops held in high regard. I reported as ordered and was told that I was to see the Top for a reenlistment interview. I entered his office and he said, "Well DeBoever, are you going to reenlist or get to hell out and starve to death!" I reenlisted. That was the most effective reenlistment interview I ever had.

V. DeBoever


I had a date with a, lets just call him a serviceman who was about to go overseas and who had access to an automobile. Obviously he considered the occasion a sort of "last chance" before putting his life on the line for his country. After an enjoyable evening he decided to park and play "octopus " because I swore he had at least eight hands.

At that time I was, as anyone who knew me could vouch for, extremely slender and so felt the need to augment my feminine charms with a pair of upper body enhancers. When grabbing didn't work he began praising the objects of his desire. Finally I gave in to his requests and taking them out of my bra I handed them to him and said, "If you like them so much here they are. You can take them back to the barracks and cuddle them all night long."

Mary (Cookson) Zingg

Hog Tied

At one point late in my Marine Corps career I was in charge of the Mail Room in the Navy Annex. We processed all the mail addressed to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. Working with me were three civilian ladies and four Marines, two men and two women. One of the men was a short-timer, prone to dope off at every opportunity. He spent more time in the snack bar or holding up the scuttlebutt or looking for friends in the hallways than working in the Mail Room.

My superior, in my opinion an old civilian witch, took me to task for this situation on a couple of occasions and finally directed me to take some immediate action to correct his behavior. Since words had been of no avail I got about 20 feet of rope and, catching him seated in a swivel chair, I looped the rope around him and then quickly spun the chair which pretty well secured his butt. He didn't resist because he thought I was just joking. I left him tied to that chair for four hours and that cured the problem.

Mary (Cookson) Zingg

General "Hap Arnold's Funeral"

Remember Headquarters Marine Corps in January? Ice, snow and bitter cold were the watchwords of the day. But who cared? We made a fast beeline from Henderson Hall to the Navy Annex and never really got all that cold! Until January 1950...when General "Hap" Arnold died.

That's when all that good clean Christian living caught up with me, and I was one of the lucky ones "chosen" to march in his funeral procession. Somehow it didn't make a difference how the company office chose the parade participants, I managed to be chosen for all of them. Services were held at the National Cathedral in downtown Washington, D.C., followed by burial in Arlington National Cemetery.

In keeping with the military policy of rush-and-wait, several hundred of us, Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps, were there LONG before needed, doing everything we could think of to keep from getting frostbite! We wondered what the civilians passing by thought of the strange movements we were going through!

It came to pass though, the services were over and we began the march to Arlington - over the infamous Arlington Memorial Bridge, the roadbed at that time was surfaced with cobblestones! Iced cobblestones gave a whole new meaning to slip and slide! I don' remember anyone falling down, but a lot of the marchers sure looked like they'd been tippling!

Despite the cold and frozen toes and nose and fingers, everyone I talked to really was moved by the honor of being in this procession. General Arnold was a true hero of WWII, and the war was not that far away in our memories.

Peggy (McCormack) Campbell

"The Other Left Damnit"

I think I volunteered for the color guard at the annual Congress-Senate ball game, held every summer before the start of a regular Washington Senators game. (Yes, boys and girls, Washington did have a major league franchise at one time.) They only played a couple innings, but it was a big event and the stadium was always filled to capacity to see the congressmen and senators have at it!

The Maine Corps Band entertained before the game so it followed that the color guard would be Marines. Why Henderson Hall was chosen to furnish the personnel instead of the Marine Barracks at Eighth and Eye, I don't know. I can only tell you that the experience was one I'll never forget, and I'm willing to bet a lot of people still remember it to this day. at least they remember me.

It was of course hotter than the hinges of Hades, and we practiced until we dropped and were letter perfect! My recollection was that you could wring a gallon of water (minimum) from our uniforms after the practice. We were cheered by the knowledge that even though the practice was in the heat of the day, the ball game was being played in the evening and hopefully, it would be a tidge cooler. And, thanks to all that practice, we were ready!

That evening we marched in, looking magnificent, the women in dress whites, the men in dress blues. We had lots of flags and the Marine Corps Band had everyone on their feet cheering. It was an awesome sight! We stopped, held our position to give the crowd a chance to look us over, and then came the command: Left face! As one person, the color guard turned left to face the crowd - except me! I made a right face! now my back was to the packed stadium!

I quickly did an about face, hoping that at least one of the 50,000 or so people there that night somehow did not see what I did! It was too much to hope that the sergeant in charge of the color guard missed my goof. He had a sense of humor though, and told me he hoped I'd volunteer again, I sure made things interesting! I've no doubt that I was the spirited topic of conversation that evening while the guys were having a cold beer. And probably a lot of other evenings too!

Peggy (McCormack) Campbell

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