"Salty Marines"
by
Easy Ed Flynn
The epitome was the marine with one stripe up and a hash mark down, waring a
china occupation.
We spent endless hours with Brasso and steel wool rubbing ever so carefully the
black enamel from the emblem, shining belt tips and buckles.  Going to a local tailor
to have the center cloth cut out of the garrison cap and spit polishing boondockers.
During the period of 48-49 they issued the cheapest, non-descript utilities, not the
herringbone of yesteryear.  We would press on the globe and the anchor and
USMC on the left pocket and also the utility cap.  You just had to look "Salty".

We left San Diego aboard the USS Montrose.  The USS Montrose was a troop
transport from WWII or WWI, whichever came first.  This ship was a Communist
secret weapon.  There were so many Marines aboard that you would stand in the
chow line for breakfast.  After breakfast you would get back in the same line for
lunch, then repeat the process for dinner.  The cooks delighted in serving green pea
soup at all meals.  Seasickness started with some of the guys before we left San
Diego Harbor.  Your know what followed after they looked at the green pea soup.

We heard from rumor control that if you left clothes in salt water they would really
look "Salty".  So Floyd Finch, myself and a few others took our ugly utilities, tied a
line around them and had them drag behind the ship.  Obviously we left them in the
water too long because when we retrieved them all that were left were the seams,
belt loops and the waist bands.  Oh well!!!  

After 24 days we finally landed at Kobe, Japan.  Our feelings were, let's get to
Korea because it couldn't be worse than life on the Montrose.  Little did we know.
Troops 50's