Gunny G’s Old Salt Marines Tavern Weblog: The Old Gunny Sez…..

Oceanside Pier, in Oceanside, California.

Oceanside Pier, in Oceanside, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The page title above is just something from my memories of many years ago, and since a webpage probably needs a title of one kind or another, it seems to me appropriate for this one.

Back in the late 1940s/early 1950s, there was a radio program called Marines In Review. It was a half-hour show and it was broadcast on Sunday afternoons, and as I had an interest in the Marine Corps at that time, I would regularly listen to it. My favorite uncle had joined the Marines as soon as he was seventeen in the months after Pearl Harbor, and he became a member of the 18th Marines of the Second Marine Division, and saw service at Guadalcanal, Tarawa, and Saipan/Tinian.

One segment of this show was The Old Gunny Sez, in which the resident old gunny would be queried each Sunday regarding questions that arose regarding the Corps. This venerable old Marine never failed to come up with the information sought by the questioner, due no doubt to his knowledge which was a result of his long and varied service and experience as a Marine. This must have made an impression upon me as I still recall it vividly these fifty-plus years later.

A few years later, about September of 1952, I myself, as a 17 year-old Marine PFC fresh out of Parris Island, reported in to my first duty station at Marine Barracks, Camp Joseph H. Pendleton, Oceanside, California (yes, that’s how the orders read then–no zip code, either). There was no ITR in those days (in case you’re wondering), though there was a T&R Command (Training and Replacement) which may now be seen roughly the equivalent of ITR, but just for those w/orders for Korea, and 17 year-olds were not eligible for Korea at that time.

A few days later, I decided to go to the 12 Area flik one night–each area had its own theatre and PX, etc. To my surprise, I found that the Marines In Review radio show was being recorded there that night just prior to the showing of the nightly movie–“transcribed,” I believe is the word they used for the recording of radio shows in those days. I was also surprised to see that when it came time for The Old Gunny Sez segment, that the Old Gunny’s lines were being read into the microphone by a young Pfc or corporal who, strangely enough, sounded exactly like the Old Gunny I had heard so many times years before over the airwaves back in Rhode Island.

In the coming weeks and months…..


via Gunny G’s Old Salt Marines Tavern Weblog: The Old Gunny Sez…...

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About Gunny G

GnySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952--'72 PC: History, Poly-Tiks, Military, Stories, Controversial, Unusual, Humorous, etc.... "Simplify...y'know!"
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