Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2003, 6:24 am #31

nm
As I have noted previously, A couple years or so back I attempted to contact McKeon--at that time, I received several e-mails from Marines indicating that McKeon had passed away, which I have assumed to be correct.

The following e-mail from my files is likely old information, buy I am posting it here for the record anyway.
DickG
~~~~~~~~
--- Oliver Pettit <oap3@charter.net> wrote:

---------------------------------
I read that you felt that Sgt McKeon is no long
alive. When did he pass?I am sure you have his
home address and phone number?
178 Maple St
West Boylston MA
508-835-4351
Ralph Hollenbeck was the Sgt that was told to
throw away all the transcriptsfrom the
court-martial
of Sgt Mckeon. Ralph lives in CO. I think at all
the transcripts are nota Quantico.
Oliver A Pettit
www.geocities.com/platoon233
Last edited by Dick Gaines on October 28th, 2003, 11:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2003, 7:00 am #32

nm
It occurs to me that you few surviving Plt #71 Marines may not be aware of the interest by Marines in general for the so-called Ribbon Creek Incident, Plt #71, SSgt McKeon, etc.

Because I have Site Meter on most of my sites (Gunny G's...)--over 100+ sites--I can see that of the 1,000--2,000 hits per day that all my sites receive, that the pages on plt #71 get a fair share-- I do not have the stats exactly for this, but I can see just from browsing my Site Meter that this is so.

The numbers that are visible to you on Site Meter are not the number of hits, but rather the number of different Visitors per day/time period. For instance, the Site Meter today indicates about 51,000+ (that is Visitors not hits) when I click on my site meter it indicates close to 200,000 Hits for those 51,000 Visitors--these numbers since May 21st this year.

Over the years, about 7 years, I have had numerous counters on some of my pages, and/or no counters at all. A conservative estimate, based on my observations during this period, would seem to be, again, a conservative estimate--about 3+ million Hits during those 7 years.

Anyway, I wanted to emphasize to you of plt #71, that there is an interest among Marines as to your experience at PISC in April of 1956. As far as I know, I am the only Marines Website who has ever made any effort to contact Marines of Plt #71, and/or to encourage you to post here. Indeed, only a couple of you have done so--I am not aware of any others out there, although it seems there must be others still around. Perhaps, others of Plt #71 have perused these pages but have declined to post here. I wish I had had the insight to have made this effort several years earlier when SSgt McKeon was still about, and might have responded here.

One of the constant topics for Marines (active-discharged-retired-reserves, etc.) is old corps vs. new corps. Ribbon Creek is often cited by Marines and professional writers alike as a turning point for the old corps. Of course, just what constitutes the "Old Corps" really is a debatable subject in itself. For me, the old corps has always been those Marines from WW II and prior--many of whom were still serving during my 20 year cruise w/the Corps.

Many old time Marines tend to claim Old Corps status, but most always concede that today's Marines are just as good. It is on this point that I, personally, take exception--and up front, I am not a combat Marine (that point will always come up in any argument/discussion that ensues)hell, I am not even a field Marine.

The Marines of the 30s, 40s, and 50s came from an America that was very much different from the America of the late 60s, and even more different from the America of recent years. Many of these people are the offspring of the hippy/yuppy generations, etc. Just visit any Marines messageboards and observe the ignorant, braggart, and arrogant "discussions" going on there. Hopefully, they are Not representative of today's Marines in general.

So, the question of the new corps being as good, or even better (as one Marine general recently stated) is not a valid question, since old and new Marines came to the Corps from two different Americas, in my opinion--hell, today's public/state school systems do not even teach the American history that we learned in our time--the socialistic/socialization of America has long been in progress.

Just some thoughts.

Semper Fidelis
Dick Gaines
Last edited by Dick Gaines on October 25th, 2003, 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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will poole
will poole

October 24th, 2003, 4:24 pm #33

Gunny;
i took sgt. Mckeon's phone # off your message this morning. and bingo he was there and very much alive. he does have cancer and says hes on the way out. it was so great to talk to him after almost 50 years. we talked about 20 minutes about the old days. he started to get tired so i told him semper fi and good bye. you know he was a decorated machine gunner in korea didn't you. again thanks for his #. he still remember me after all these years. he told me i wasn't the biggest guy in the plt. and told me where i was in the grad. picture. quite a memory hun.
thank you sir for your time.
semper fi
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 24th, 2003, 6:06 pm #34

I thank you for your response and for calling SSgt McKeon!!!

I should have known better than to take the word of anyone that he was deceased, but I heard it from several reliable Marines and....

I hope you have also e-mail Gene about this.

Best Dick Gaines
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will poole
will poole

October 24th, 2003, 8:48 pm #35

Hey there....I remember you, Poole. I was the Right Guide. It's been a while, but I can remember your name adn I have a foggy recollection of how you looked. Do you remember John Sapp from Savannah? I think he was in our platoon...or maybe I met him in ITR.
Get back in touch if you get this.
Gene Ervin
Semper Fidelis
hey gene
thought i drop a line and let you know i just talked to sgt. mckeon this morning. he remembered me and the plt. his wife said he was just diagnosed with throat cancer and she said it is terminal. if you want to call i'm enclosing his phone #. 1-508-835-4351. he lives in mass. thank you and semper fi
will poole
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 26th, 2003, 12:04 pm #36

Gunny;
i took sgt. Mckeon's phone # off your message this morning. and bingo he was there and very much alive. he does have cancer and says hes on the way out. it was so great to talk to him after almost 50 years. we talked about 20 minutes about the old days. he started to get tired so i told him semper fi and good bye. you know he was a decorated machine gunner in korea didn't you. again thanks for his #. he still remember me after all these years. he told me i wasn't the biggest guy in the plt. and told me where i was in the grad. picture. quite a memory hun.
thank you sir for your time.
semper fi
I don't specifically recall that Mckeon was a MGr in Korea--but I do remember from the news accounts of the time, that he had previously served an enlistment in the Navy before joining the Corps--seems like he came into the Corps just prior to or about the time of Korea, 1950.

Dick
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will poole
will poole

October 27th, 2003, 4:35 pm #37

Gunny,
you know i'm not quite sure where i read that sgt mckeon was a machine plt leader in korea, but i believe it was in one of the books i read concerning his trial at parris island. i didn't want to keep him on the phone when i called him and i didn't want it to sound like a interragation. he sounded tired and mine was just a call from one marine concerned about the other . but i'm sure he wouldn't mind you calling. thank you for your time
semper fi will
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frank fernandez
frank fernandez

October 27th, 2003, 7:25 pm #38

will,i know of an ex navy guy who claimed he was in the navy aboard the same ship with mckeon.it was in the late forties.i thought it was a lot of bull,but im not so sure now.the man passed away last summer.if you find out let me know.
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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 27th, 2003, 7:31 pm #39

Gunny,
you know i'm not quite sure where i read that sgt mckeon was a machine plt leader in korea, but i believe it was in one of the books i read concerning his trial at parris island. i didn't want to keep him on the phone when i called him and i didn't want it to sound like a interragation. he sounded tired and mine was just a call from one marine concerned about the other . but i'm sure he wouldn't mind you calling. thank you for your time
semper fi will
...you talked me into it--when I read your post here I just picked up the phone and called Mac--talked to his wife, Elizabeth, first, and then Mac. He remembered me from when we were both in MAG-24 at Cherry Pt (58-59) Exchanged Semper Fis, and talked for a bit. He was happy that you had called him the other day. When I mentioned Gene's name, he immediately responded that he remembered him too.

I'm glad you suggested I call him--I usually don't do things like that. Funny thing, I reenlisted and came back into the Corps in March 1956 (same time frame you were going to PI), after going out after my first cruise, (I was a buck sergeant) and they ran me through ITR as a trainee at Geiger. At that time I had a trainee in my platoon who used to say that his big brother was a naval officer, and he was going to be either CNO or governor of Georgia in the next few years. Always was trying to get me to swoop to Ga w/him on weekends.

Years later, his brother did become governor, and still later, president of the US. That Marine's name from ITR was Billy Carter.

When Billy was dying, I was prodded by my wife to call him, and I kept putting it off--until it was too late. It's not good to put things like this off. I'm hoping Gene gets the word on this soon, and that he will also call Matt--I'm sure it would make his day.

Best
Dick



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Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

October 27th, 2003, 7:34 pm #40

will,i know of an ex navy guy who claimed he was in the navy aboard the same ship with mckeon.it was in the late forties.i thought it was a lot of bull,but im not so sure now.the man passed away last summer.if you find out let me know.
...I know that McKeon had served in the Navy prior to joining the Corps. So your friend was likely correct.
Best
DickG
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