Stewart Shotwell
Stewart Shotwell

October 22nd, 2005, 4:52 pm #101

Joined the Marines in April 1945.
Went to Paris Island, was met by Lou Diamond, which I understand was rare, since he was there only a short time, then went to Lejune.
Lucky that I was a really little ****, because he only knocked down the big guys, but I was scare ****less.
After boot camp went to Philly for radio operator school, then to Quanitico, then the war ended.
A queer thing happened then, which may never have happened before or after.
They put us communicators on a private railway car, actually there were two cars, big empty things, and sent us from Quantico to Pendelton to get aboard this troop ship to go to China.
We got a real grand ride across country on that train, cooking our own food, with those big train car doors open for us to watch the countryside as we chug-a-luged.
Do not recall who was in charge.
One of our buddies was killed at Pendelton, believe they said he was hit by a car while walking down the road. He was a real swell fella.
As I recall, we were really stacked on that troop ship, in hammocks, hung about 6 or 8 high, with the hammock above ya almost touching your nose.
I am not sure where we anchored in China, but the name Tangu seems to ring a bell.
They took all day to unload all of us, so we did not eat all day.
It was really cold, so we kept on all are cloths and boots.
We were assigned to quonsets, I believe, with two bunkers. I had a top bunk, we just laid fully clothed on the pads to sleep.
It was already dark, but before we could sleep, they called us out for chow. We went to some huge building, which was set up as the mess hall.
After finishing eating, we all went back to get some sleep, it was a long day, but they called us all out again, and took us to that same mess hall, and fed us again....because the rules said we had to have 3 meals a day, guess we must have had breakfast on the ship.
The next morning we were loaded on a train and headed South, I guess it was South, because I ended up at the French Arsenal.
We were all kind of excited on the train because we had Marine train guards with loaded weapons, and were told that we could be attacked at any time.
We were never given any ammo though.
I do recall tald about the Tangu ammo dump, and how the Chinese would raid it all the time, and how the Marines on guard there had to walk their posts under full lights, and were always easy targets for the raiders.
There was a small town outside the Arsenal, and a few bars with girls...of course.
A few of us would go to Tientsen for liberty once in awhile, which was a few miles away. I believe that there always had to be at least 4 of us going, and we always carried loaded carbines because the Reds liked to take us out if we could, probably thugs too.
The jeep always went to the Tientsen YMCA, and we would take off from there. Very dark and deserted streets, as I recall. We had to get back to the YMCA at a certain time to all drive back to the Arsenal.
I used to always go to this huge building, called the French Bizzare, I think. The outside was solid stone wall, but inside was circular, empty in the center, with all the shops along the outside.
I used to go to this one shop on about the 5th or 6th floor and try to dicker for these ivory balls, one carved inside another. Could never get them down to my price.
I recall hearing that one marine had tried to walk back to his unit, which was just on the outskirts of town, along some railroad track, and they found him the next day, garroted with his private parts stuffed in his mouth.
I would never have been that stupid.
The worse was the guard duty in the middle of winter, and especially the rifle range, which was outside the Arsenal.
I got stuck with walking from about the 500 yd line to the pits, man was that scary.
All bundled up in a parka, with big mitts on, and with the hood on, one could no see anything, and the wind was howling, I mean late at night. Every bush look like a chinaman. Always kept a round in the chamber (which you are not supposed to do) and my bayonet on.
It was really the guys in the pits that had all the trouble, since the villages were after the wood from the targets. Recall one guard was attacked, and when roving patol got their, they found a meat hook in the back of his parka, did not go thru though, but that really scared us.
Never got so drunk in my life at 17, on that Chines cheap whiskey and beer in the club.
Think we were all drunk most of the time, and screwed anything we could catch.
That's why Mame Ike said that all China Marines should be sent to a rehab center before being allowed with the American public.
Went from the Arsenal to Tsingtao, and stayed there until we pulled out of China.
One of the jerks that worked with me in the Comm center was one of the guys that took a jeep way up into red commie land and got held as hostage.
Oh yeah one of my buddies at Tsingtao, shot and killed a CHinese guy while on guard duty at this motor pool. He was kinda a hero then, but sure am glad now that it was not me who killed the poor beggar for nothing.
At Tsingtao, I always liked to go to the dock area bars and challenge the swabbies.
They used to come ashore in groups, looking for a Marine to beat up, They like to wear those big rings, so they coud mark a guy up, which three did to me one night, but a small chinese boy in the bar, a good buddy of mine called the MP's before a lot of major damage could be down.
Had lots of Chinese friends there, especially the rickshaw boys, whom I always greeted and gave out goodies whenever I drove out the back gate to pick up watch officers.
Never was that good a Marine though,
Oh yeah went to Honolulu Marine camp to go to a crypto school, and we almost got mugged by the Marines at that post because they didn't like outsiders, but one of our guys was a little tougher than their leader, LOL
Wait, wait, I did spend some time on Guam, that was where we went from the French Arsenal, almost forgot, and I volunteered to go back to China, which was Tsingtao.
Man, did we drink the beer on Guam.
Drink all night, and when they announced 10 minutes to closing, we all bought a few more case.
Geesh do I have the stories, but gotta quit here.
Me too -- I was working in the message center MAB 1 French Aarsonel. Pulled train Duty three times General Sanderson took me flying so I could get flight pay. Also learned to fly piper as you may remember there was O Y 1 based there at the Arsonal. "Wish I could remember the Top SGt that took me under his wing. He would have been shot for letting me take the stick" The village next the Arsonal was Tong Gusa. I bought Pearls for $18.oo at the French Bazarr. Sold them in the states for over $500,as my steady gave me notice at discharge. Hope your health is well --They call me "Shot"
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Joined: March 24th, 2006, 9:47 pm

March 24th, 2006, 9:50 pm #102

I WAS ATTACHED TO VMF115(JOE'S JOKERS)--JAN.'46 TILL '47 WHEN WE WERE ORDERED OUT BECAUSE OF THE COMMIES. I WAS A FLIGHT LINE MECHANIC KEEPING THE CORSAIR IN THE AIR. AT THE SAME FIELD WAS THE CHINESE NATIONALIST AIR FORCCE.
Any chance you knew my Dad? Leonard R, Hofmann Sr.

I know he was there in 1945 Peiping.

Len
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Joined: June 10th, 2008, 9:32 pm

June 10th, 2008, 9:41 pm #103

Lyle, Iwas at West Field in Peiping from October `45 until sometime in `46 and was transferred to South Field until July of `46. I was in SMS12 MAG12 1st MAW in Zamboanga Mindenao and went up to Taku on USS Sheridan in October `45. Came back to the States on USS Gen. J.C. Breckenridge in July `46. Rode a troop train from Dago to Lejeune and discharged 10 August `46. My home address is 1856 Hunter Ave., Mobile, Ala.36606-1331.
Semper Fi.
PS Are you member of the China Marine Association? Just costs $10 a year.
My father, Lt. Dean Bagley, was also in Zamboanga in the 1st MAW, MAG-12, SMS-12 the approximate time you were there.
He also left on the Sheridan the same date as you.
He also went to Peking China, arriving there 23rd Nov 1945.
He left China on the Seminole arriving San Franciso 5 Mar 1946.

Did you know him?

Also what does SMS-12 stand for...meaning?

Dean Bagley, jr.

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Joined: July 13th, 2009, 2:43 am

July 13th, 2009, 3:43 am #104

I was located in the American Barracks in Tientsin about 7 1/2 months,late 1945/early 1946.Our outfit was a LFASCU attached to the 3rd Amphib. Corps. Are there any of that bunch still around ???
Appreciate your providing this web site.thanks.
I know my fathr wss a dog trainer in the US Marine Corp and was sent to China where he was put in charge of keeping track of some kind of food supplies and I don't know what else. He married my mother in Tienstin June 1946 and they returned to the US where they were in business together in MN until his death in 1995.

Somehow, as much as he talked of the time in marines, I don't remember much detail ever being given. He is dead, I have no sibs to help remember and I don't know why a dog trainer would have been sent to China and then gotten the job he did there. It seems strange an enlisted man would have had such responsibilities and managed to marry a Russian girl when the US was apparently trying to keep GI's from doing that. I'm told he slipped the permission papers in another pile of papers for the General to signed off on the marriage, only later to ask how in the blazes he got permission. I know he kept refusing commissions and I can't figure that out either. I know he was refused by the other three services secondary to health concerns and was a 29 yr old marine who pulled every string he could figure, to get into the service after helping on the AlCan Highway. His name was Maruice S. Feigal and from Pine Island, MN.

For a good while I know his buddies contacted him about reunions and a group even came to Thomsonite Beach on Lake Superior to see him when he was too sick to attend. I don't know the history of why the US Marine Corp was doing in China. The only name I know of one of his buddies was Joe MConnell from Bardstown, KY but I last tried to find him years ago and was unsuccessful.So many of the phone conversations and time at home were involved helping in regards to health concerns that the stories of what and how seem scarce to none. I've not found records of his Division. I've found his Selective Service card, but it is so deteriorated I don't find anything but the date of mailing on 11/29/46. That makes sense as a discharge date??
I've got pictures of him and his dogs in front of barracks, but only a couple pictures from China and no text or real information.

I'm sending this to you simply because you itentify yourself for being there at the same time I know he had to be, so you may be able to tell me a bit about how you guys ended up beign sent there and your role at the time.
Tonight's search was prompted by me arguing with another younger veteran today. He was trying to tell me the US Marines were not in China in the 1940's. I really want to find references to their role in China at that time, and if possible in Tiensin.
Thank you for your patience and forgive me if I've broken protocol through ignorance. Anything you can tell me is appreciated.
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Joined: February 11th, 2011, 1:20 am

February 11th, 2011, 1:28 am #105

Lyle, Iwas at West Field in Peiping from October `45 until sometime in `46 and was transferred to South Field until July of `46. I was in SMS12 MAG12 1st MAW in Zamboanga Mindenao and went up to Taku on USS Sheridan in October `45. Came back to the States on USS Gen. J.C. Breckenridge in July `46. Rode a troop train from Dago to Lejeune and discharged 10 August `46. My home address is 1856 Hunter Ave., Mobile, Ala.36606-1331.
Semper Fi.
PS Are you member of the China Marine Association? Just costs $10 a year.
My father Harold "Dick" Clark served in Chana and the Phillipines with the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, MAG 12, SMS 12. He never talked to much about the war, but he was proud to have been a Marine. He left the Corps in 1946 as a SSgt. He died in 2005. If anyone remembers him, let me know as we like to learn more about him.

Thanks ---Steve Clark
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Joined: February 11th, 2011, 1:20 am

February 24th, 2011, 9:05 pm #106

Lyle, Iwas at West Field in Peiping from October `45 until sometime in `46 and was transferred to South Field until July of `46. I was in SMS12 MAG12 1st MAW in Zamboanga Mindenao and went up to Taku on USS Sheridan in October `45. Came back to the States on USS Gen. J.C. Breckenridge in July `46. Rode a troop train from Dago to Lejeune and discharged 10 August `46. My home address is 1856 Hunter Ave., Mobile, Ala.36606-1331.
Semper Fi.
PS Are you member of the China Marine Association? Just costs $10 a year.
My father, SSGT Harold R. "Dick" Clark,was with the Ist Aircraft Wing, MAG 12, SMS 12 (electrican) stationed at Zamboanga PI in May 1945. He was tranported on the USS Hugh L Scott fom San Francisc in May 1945 to Manus , Admiralty Island and then to Zamboanga P.I. His unit was transferred to China via the USS Sheridan in October 1945 where he stationed at the west air field in Peiping until April 1946. He died in 2005. I am trying to learn as much as I about his unit as Ican for our family. Can you help?

Regards,

Steve Clark
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Joined: November 5th, 2011, 5:11 pm

November 5th, 2011, 5:19 pm #107

Joined the Marines in April 1945.
Went to Paris Island, was met by Lou Diamond, which I understand was rare, since he was there only a short time, then went to Lejune.
Lucky that I was a really little ****, because he only knocked down the big guys, but I was scare ****less.
After boot camp went to Philly for radio operator school, then to Quanitico, then the war ended.
A queer thing happened then, which may never have happened before or after.
They put us communicators on a private railway car, actually there were two cars, big empty things, and sent us from Quantico to Pendelton to get aboard this troop ship to go to China.
We got a real grand ride across country on that train, cooking our own food, with those big train car doors open for us to watch the countryside as we chug-a-luged.
Do not recall who was in charge.
One of our buddies was killed at Pendelton, believe they said he was hit by a car while walking down the road. He was a real swell fella.
As I recall, we were really stacked on that troop ship, in hammocks, hung about 6 or 8 high, with the hammock above ya almost touching your nose.
I am not sure where we anchored in China, but the name Tangu seems to ring a bell.
They took all day to unload all of us, so we did not eat all day.
It was really cold, so we kept on all are cloths and boots.
We were assigned to quonsets, I believe, with two bunkers. I had a top bunk, we just laid fully clothed on the pads to sleep.
It was already dark, but before we could sleep, they called us out for chow. We went to some huge building, which was set up as the mess hall.
After finishing eating, we all went back to get some sleep, it was a long day, but they called us all out again, and took us to that same mess hall, and fed us again....because the rules said we had to have 3 meals a day, guess we must have had breakfast on the ship.
The next morning we were loaded on a train and headed South, I guess it was South, because I ended up at the French Arsenal.
We were all kind of excited on the train because we had Marine train guards with loaded weapons, and were told that we could be attacked at any time.
We were never given any ammo though.
I do recall tald about the Tangu ammo dump, and how the Chinese would raid it all the time, and how the Marines on guard there had to walk their posts under full lights, and were always easy targets for the raiders.
There was a small town outside the Arsenal, and a few bars with girls...of course.
A few of us would go to Tientsen for liberty once in awhile, which was a few miles away. I believe that there always had to be at least 4 of us going, and we always carried loaded carbines because the Reds liked to take us out if we could, probably thugs too.
The jeep always went to the Tientsen YMCA, and we would take off from there. Very dark and deserted streets, as I recall. We had to get back to the YMCA at a certain time to all drive back to the Arsenal.
I used to always go to this huge building, called the French Bizzare, I think. The outside was solid stone wall, but inside was circular, empty in the center, with all the shops along the outside.
I used to go to this one shop on about the 5th or 6th floor and try to dicker for these ivory balls, one carved inside another. Could never get them down to my price.
I recall hearing that one marine had tried to walk back to his unit, which was just on the outskirts of town, along some railroad track, and they found him the next day, garroted with his private parts stuffed in his mouth.
I would never have been that stupid.
The worse was the guard duty in the middle of winter, and especially the rifle range, which was outside the Arsenal.
I got stuck with walking from about the 500 yd line to the pits, man was that scary.
All bundled up in a parka, with big mitts on, and with the hood on, one could no see anything, and the wind was howling, I mean late at night. Every bush look like a chinaman. Always kept a round in the chamber (which you are not supposed to do) and my bayonet on.
It was really the guys in the pits that had all the trouble, since the villages were after the wood from the targets. Recall one guard was attacked, and when roving patol got their, they found a meat hook in the back of his parka, did not go thru though, but that really scared us.
Never got so drunk in my life at 17, on that Chines cheap whiskey and beer in the club.
Think we were all drunk most of the time, and screwed anything we could catch.
That's why Mame Ike said that all China Marines should be sent to a rehab center before being allowed with the American public.
Went from the Arsenal to Tsingtao, and stayed there until we pulled out of China.
One of the jerks that worked with me in the Comm center was one of the guys that took a jeep way up into red commie land and got held as hostage.
Oh yeah one of my buddies at Tsingtao, shot and killed a CHinese guy while on guard duty at this motor pool. He was kinda a hero then, but sure am glad now that it was not me who killed the poor beggar for nothing.
At Tsingtao, I always liked to go to the dock area bars and challenge the swabbies.
They used to come ashore in groups, looking for a Marine to beat up, They like to wear those big rings, so they coud mark a guy up, which three did to me one night, but a small chinese boy in the bar, a good buddy of mine called the MP's before a lot of major damage could be down.
Had lots of Chinese friends there, especially the rickshaw boys, whom I always greeted and gave out goodies whenever I drove out the back gate to pick up watch officers.
Never was that good a Marine though,
Oh yeah went to Honolulu Marine camp to go to a crypto school, and we almost got mugged by the Marines at that post because they didn't like outsiders, but one of our guys was a little tougher than their leader, LOL
Wait, wait, I did spend some time on Guam, that was where we went from the French Arsenal, almost forgot, and I volunteered to go back to China, which was Tsingtao.
Man, did we drink the beer on Guam.
Drink all night, and when they announced 10 minutes to closing, we all bought a few more case.
Geesh do I have the stories, but gotta quit here.
My dad was in China and I have pictures of Peiping and a coupon book of discounts at stores, a hotel slip and a few other things. He was MAWS7. In the islands and all over the place, so in China twice, I think. He died Jan 4th 2011, but I kept his ribbons and patches, Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima, the other Island were in the Palau group. One day I saw the Gate pictured in one of his photos on World at War.

I was shocked when I saw that Wikipedia had nothing on the MAWS7. They had 6 and 8. Time for you men to be heard. Please help me out with that.

Interesting stuff. If anyone knows more about Francis Critchlow, I hope you will share it with me.

Thank you. Semper Fi!
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Joined: February 14th, 2012, 6:11 pm

February 14th, 2012, 6:35 pm #108

stationed in Tangku, Hopei Province, North China from 2/46 to 7/47, then to Guam....part of lst Bn, 5th Marines.....we lost 6 KIA and 16 WIA at HsinHo Ammo Dump on April 6, 1947....May the good Lord bless and keep our fallen comrades....
Was a member of Charlie Co during the attack on the Ammo dump on the 4th and 5th of April 1947. Would be interested in checking facts about that night. M.E.Pollard
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Joined: September 15th, 2017, 1:56 pm

September 15th, 2017, 2:37 pm #109

Been sitting on the side listening to you jarheads chat. I was stationed at Tangu with 1st Bn. 5th Marines. We had train guard also and also guarded the Division Ammunition Supply Point. I fell in lust and married a German girl who ran a restaurant in Tangu. Her name was Ursula and her brother was Walter. If you want, you can see myself, bride and buddies at
WWW.artwiegand.com I guess we were all skinny in those
days. I joined CMA at one time but have let it lapse, someone send me an application please. Semper Fi, Chuck Hauer
I was responsible as petty officer in charge of dock operation in tangu

from 1946 thru 1947 moving supplies onto your trains bound to first marines

in tiensin, 5th Marines and us 5Army in peiping

our unit was forced out due to the movement of the "balu" (eigth) army

under maosetung. Our unit took over Deitring Castle in Tiensen until late 1947,

shipped to tsintao and to states. The Marine recon company in Tangku also went to

Tiensin.
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