Middle Camp Fuji 1956

Middle Camp Fuji 1956

wayne stedman
wayne stedman

June 4th, 2004, 9:07 pm #1

Does anyone out there know what has happened to Kenneth L. Brown, who wrote the play The Brig which was a hit in New York in the early sixties?

I was a reporter for the Triad, a young corporal in the the Marines HandS Co., Third Marines, Third Regiment, Third divsion at Middle Camp Fuji. I had landed at North Camp earlier in the year as an infantryman, and loved it, but wanted to get back into journalism, and i did. I have continued and am now a retired journalist.

I interviewed Ken while he was in the Brig, and we became friends when he got out. He too was in HandHs company, and then we all went on to Dingalen Bay, Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines for Operation Beacon Hill. You may remember that President Ramon Magsaysay was killed in a copter crash while observing our maneuvers, the first u.s. forces operation there since the end of World War Two.

I have been able to get a copy of Kens earlier novel, called The Narrows, about when his New York Life before joining the Marines. He called me the Hick, because i was from a ranch near Yuma, Arizona, which is as close to Mexico as you can get down there. After Beacon Hill, i was posted with the rest of Battalion 3 at Okinawa, and Ken returned stateside and was discharged honorably. He was one of my drivers on Beacon Hill. We did our jobs, and had a lot of fun, too.

I saw the movie they made about from his play The Brig.

If any of you know him, tell him to e mail me.

It was wonderful to have been young and at Fuji for a year. I was just barely 18 when i arrived there. I rice ranched and all the rest. We also helped out the RC orphanage near Gotenba where a lot of our kids were parked. But that is another story.

There is also Eloy Gonzales, from Santa Fe, who used to work in the base legal office, if you know him. He was a mite older than the rest of us. The base journalists shared the legal office, which was right across from the cafeteria, where we all heard Heart Break Hotel for the first time in the spring of 1956......... and yes, we loved to go up the fuji range to qualify on our m1 rifles.....And some of climbed Fuji. Went down to Itami and got sunburned.

I also remember some very bright guys in regimental S1, especially Sergeant Gonkowitz who taught me how to spell a word i had always gotten wrong, spelling bee champ or not. Our Colonel was a World War II hero, Colonel Flake.

But then, our officers all heroes back then. Our division commander was General Victor Krulak, one of those teenagers at Iwo Jima, whose own son went on to become Commandant of the Corps about fifteen years ago.

Regards all around. I have posted some Fuji pictures at classmate coms military section. But no one else has.

WAYNE LEE STEDMAN, EX Sergeant E4, USMC 1955 to 1959
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Dennis Downey
Dennis Downey

June 8th, 2004, 11:14 pm #2

Read your message as I left MCF in Dec 1954 - I also was a Corp assigned to H & S Co. legal office - you might remember a Lt Gilbert he was the legal officer on the regiment level and was very involved in the major "Brig" situation at MCF - I believe a book was written named Valhala with regards to the abuse and treatment of prisoners during that period. I went to Korea Dec 54 and then back to the states Jun 55. Departed the Corps Aug 56. Fuji was a great place - many memories - Gotemba another story altogether!!!

Semper Fi

Dennis Downey
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wayne lee stedman
wayne lee stedman

June 11th, 2004, 5:42 pm #3

was my boss. he was a forty year old Brit guy in the u.s. marines, and a journalist who really taught this 18 year old kid the ropes.

Do you remember f. lee bailey coming up from Tokyo to defend the tough cases? and the time the locked up a sergeant major and his whole staff for some off duty fun in town? I remember sitting at mess for breakfast and seeing them marched in in chains. what a sinking feeling.

In fact, Bailey got his start working for Ken Brown, who wrote the Brig. He was in the office a lot.

Cheers.
and yes, Yo Gotenba.....
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al chin
al chin

July 17th, 2004, 4:03 am #4

Does anyone out there know what has happened to Kenneth L. Brown, who wrote the play The Brig which was a hit in New York in the early sixties?

I was a reporter for the Triad, a young corporal in the the Marines HandS Co., Third Marines, Third Regiment, Third divsion at Middle Camp Fuji. I had landed at North Camp earlier in the year as an infantryman, and loved it, but wanted to get back into journalism, and i did. I have continued and am now a retired journalist.

I interviewed Ken while he was in the Brig, and we became friends when he got out. He too was in HandHs company, and then we all went on to Dingalen Bay, Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines for Operation Beacon Hill. You may remember that President Ramon Magsaysay was killed in a copter crash while observing our maneuvers, the first u.s. forces operation there since the end of World War Two.

I have been able to get a copy of Kens earlier novel, called The Narrows, about when his New York Life before joining the Marines. He called me the Hick, because i was from a ranch near Yuma, Arizona, which is as close to Mexico as you can get down there. After Beacon Hill, i was posted with the rest of Battalion 3 at Okinawa, and Ken returned stateside and was discharged honorably. He was one of my drivers on Beacon Hill. We did our jobs, and had a lot of fun, too.

I saw the movie they made about from his play The Brig.

If any of you know him, tell him to e mail me.

It was wonderful to have been young and at Fuji for a year. I was just barely 18 when i arrived there. I rice ranched and all the rest. We also helped out the RC orphanage near Gotenba where a lot of our kids were parked. But that is another story.

There is also Eloy Gonzales, from Santa Fe, who used to work in the base legal office, if you know him. He was a mite older than the rest of us. The base journalists shared the legal office, which was right across from the cafeteria, where we all heard Heart Break Hotel for the first time in the spring of 1956......... and yes, we loved to go up the fuji range to qualify on our m1 rifles.....And some of climbed Fuji. Went down to Itami and got sunburned.

I also remember some very bright guys in regimental S1, especially Sergeant Gonkowitz who taught me how to spell a word i had always gotten wrong, spelling bee champ or not. Our Colonel was a World War II hero, Colonel Flake.

But then, our officers all heroes back then. Our division commander was General Victor Krulak, one of those teenagers at Iwo Jima, whose own son went on to become Commandant of the Corps about fifteen years ago.

Regards all around. I have posted some Fuji pictures at classmate coms military section. But no one else has.

WAYNE LEE STEDMAN, EX Sergeant E4, USMC 1955 to 1959
Hi Wayne
I was at south camp fuji at the time and
I saw The Brig in NYC. Where you at buddy?
I go to S.E.Asia every winter, mostly Thailand.
Gimme a write. Swap see stories. Yor pal al.


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Ralph G. Brown
Ralph G. Brown

August 10th, 2005, 6:18 pm #5

Does anyone out there know what has happened to Kenneth L. Brown, who wrote the play The Brig which was a hit in New York in the early sixties?

I was a reporter for the Triad, a young corporal in the the Marines HandS Co., Third Marines, Third Regiment, Third divsion at Middle Camp Fuji. I had landed at North Camp earlier in the year as an infantryman, and loved it, but wanted to get back into journalism, and i did. I have continued and am now a retired journalist.

I interviewed Ken while he was in the Brig, and we became friends when he got out. He too was in HandHs company, and then we all went on to Dingalen Bay, Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines for Operation Beacon Hill. You may remember that President Ramon Magsaysay was killed in a copter crash while observing our maneuvers, the first u.s. forces operation there since the end of World War Two.

I have been able to get a copy of Kens earlier novel, called The Narrows, about when his New York Life before joining the Marines. He called me the Hick, because i was from a ranch near Yuma, Arizona, which is as close to Mexico as you can get down there. After Beacon Hill, i was posted with the rest of Battalion 3 at Okinawa, and Ken returned stateside and was discharged honorably. He was one of my drivers on Beacon Hill. We did our jobs, and had a lot of fun, too.

I saw the movie they made about from his play The Brig.

If any of you know him, tell him to e mail me.

It was wonderful to have been young and at Fuji for a year. I was just barely 18 when i arrived there. I rice ranched and all the rest. We also helped out the RC orphanage near Gotenba where a lot of our kids were parked. But that is another story.

There is also Eloy Gonzales, from Santa Fe, who used to work in the base legal office, if you know him. He was a mite older than the rest of us. The base journalists shared the legal office, which was right across from the cafeteria, where we all heard Heart Break Hotel for the first time in the spring of 1956......... and yes, we loved to go up the fuji range to qualify on our m1 rifles.....And some of climbed Fuji. Went down to Itami and got sunburned.

I also remember some very bright guys in regimental S1, especially Sergeant Gonkowitz who taught me how to spell a word i had always gotten wrong, spelling bee champ or not. Our Colonel was a World War II hero, Colonel Flake.

But then, our officers all heroes back then. Our division commander was General Victor Krulak, one of those teenagers at Iwo Jima, whose own son went on to become Commandant of the Corps about fifteen years ago.

Regards all around. I have posted some Fuji pictures at classmate coms military section. But no one else has.

WAYNE LEE STEDMAN, EX Sergeant E4, USMC 1955 to 1959
I was there from sept.55 to nov.56, my barracks was directly across from the brig. G co, 3rd bn. Does anybody remember "skosh" town and all the little bars just outside the gate. No one ever talks about them. I had a girlfriend at the Queen Mary, would like to find out what happened to her, went by name of Moniko, real name Humeko Nakanawa
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Ralph G. Brown
Ralph G. Brown

August 10th, 2005, 6:34 pm #6

Anyone remember skosh town, the little village outside middle camp? no one ever seems to mention it or the fun times in those cozy little bars. I believe the real name of this town was Itashma, but no longer exist on the map? 1955-56 George co. 3rd bn. ,3rd reg. We went back to Iwo in early 56 for a big landing exercise. The first marines to return since the war. my co. commander was Capt. Max Merrit, mustang!!
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Roger
Roger

September 21st, 2005, 1:23 am #7

Does anyone out there know what has happened to Kenneth L. Brown, who wrote the play The Brig which was a hit in New York in the early sixties?

I was a reporter for the Triad, a young corporal in the the Marines HandS Co., Third Marines, Third Regiment, Third divsion at Middle Camp Fuji. I had landed at North Camp earlier in the year as an infantryman, and loved it, but wanted to get back into journalism, and i did. I have continued and am now a retired journalist.

I interviewed Ken while he was in the Brig, and we became friends when he got out. He too was in HandHs company, and then we all went on to Dingalen Bay, Lingayen Gulf, in the Philippines for Operation Beacon Hill. You may remember that President Ramon Magsaysay was killed in a copter crash while observing our maneuvers, the first u.s. forces operation there since the end of World War Two.

I have been able to get a copy of Kens earlier novel, called The Narrows, about when his New York Life before joining the Marines. He called me the Hick, because i was from a ranch near Yuma, Arizona, which is as close to Mexico as you can get down there. After Beacon Hill, i was posted with the rest of Battalion 3 at Okinawa, and Ken returned stateside and was discharged honorably. He was one of my drivers on Beacon Hill. We did our jobs, and had a lot of fun, too.

I saw the movie they made about from his play The Brig.

If any of you know him, tell him to e mail me.

It was wonderful to have been young and at Fuji for a year. I was just barely 18 when i arrived there. I rice ranched and all the rest. We also helped out the RC orphanage near Gotenba where a lot of our kids were parked. But that is another story.

There is also Eloy Gonzales, from Santa Fe, who used to work in the base legal office, if you know him. He was a mite older than the rest of us. The base journalists shared the legal office, which was right across from the cafeteria, where we all heard Heart Break Hotel for the first time in the spring of 1956......... and yes, we loved to go up the fuji range to qualify on our m1 rifles.....And some of climbed Fuji. Went down to Itami and got sunburned.

I also remember some very bright guys in regimental S1, especially Sergeant Gonkowitz who taught me how to spell a word i had always gotten wrong, spelling bee champ or not. Our Colonel was a World War II hero, Colonel Flake.

But then, our officers all heroes back then. Our division commander was General Victor Krulak, one of those teenagers at Iwo Jima, whose own son went on to become Commandant of the Corps about fifteen years ago.

Regards all around. I have posted some Fuji pictures at classmate coms military section. But no one else has.

WAYNE LEE STEDMAN, EX Sergeant E4, USMC 1955 to 1959
Wayne,
I was assigned to the brig at middle camp and shortly after arriving the entire staff was replaced. Punchy (Charles) Thorton and I were the only ones not replaced but we requested reassignment to the regular MP unit and that request was granted. We were considered straight arrows and did not observe any mistreatment but heard the rumors. I recall reading about the play in Life magazine.
Roger
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Ralph Brown
Ralph Brown

October 12th, 2005, 7:44 pm #8

Roger, I read your note re: seeing no mistreatment at the brig... You didn't state the time period you were there. I was housed directly across the st. from the brig ( G co. 3rd btn) from 9/55 to 11/56. They beat the **** out of everybody as soon as they brought them in the door & every day after that. I never could understand how Marines could treat other Marines this way. No wonder a play was written about this ****hole of a brig!!
I know a brig is not a hotel but the things that went on here were unnecessary & unbelieveable cruel. We line co. Marines used to look for those guards on liberty but never ever found out where they hung out. I dont think they ever left the base.
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DENNIS DOWNEY
DENNIS DOWNEY

October 25th, 2005, 11:33 pm #9

Ralph, your right about the brig, I left MCF in 1954 for Korea. In the past couple of years I've corresponded with A Regimental legal officer who at the time of the troubles at the brig blew it wide open and they had a full investigation into the treatment of the prisoners. I know they did hard time and a dishonrable discharge from the corps. A book was written named Valhala of this incident.

Semper Fi

Dennis Downey
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Sam Sharp
Sam Sharp

October 27th, 2005, 3:54 pm #10

Anyone remember skosh town, the little village outside middle camp? no one ever seems to mention it or the fun times in those cozy little bars. I believe the real name of this town was Itashma, but no longer exist on the map? 1955-56 George co. 3rd bn. ,3rd reg. We went back to Iwo in early 56 for a big landing exercise. The first marines to return since the war. my co. commander was Capt. Max Merrit, mustang!!
The name of the village is Itazuma. I spent many fun days & nights there in 1957 with the 9th Marines. We were the last Marines stationed there & moved to Okinawa in October of that year. Middle & South Camps were then turned over to the Japanese Army. There are still Marines at North Camp.........Sam Sharp, H&S Co. 2-9. My CO was Capt. Stanley Wawrzyniak, also mustang. He started as a Private & retired as a Lt. Col. There are some photos of Camp Fuji on the net. I'll send the web address in another message.
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