This will be my only post today….a family BBQ….fun, food and family….a great day all around.
Today the nation has a holiday and time to remember those who died in defense of their way of life (or so we are told)……and for the first time in a long while the day is observed on the actual day.
I short historical background on the day….
Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, it marks the beginning of the summer season.
I will spend the day remembering all those from my unit that did not make it home from Vietnam….and my time in country….
My first tour was 1967…..and in the beginning it was culture shock….to go from sock hops, sit-ins and parking trying to get my freak on to heat, rain, mud, bullets and fire fights.
Every US soldier was issued the latest weapon the M-16…a piece of crap…..so after a few months of lugging a useless weapon through the jungle I decided on another weapon….since I already carried a .45 I decided on a relic from the not so distant past….the M3 or as it was called in WW2 the ‘grease gun”……I carried this because that way I had to only carry one type of ammo…it’s rate of fire was slower than the M16 but far more dependable….her name was “Gertty”.
For those too young to remember anything remotely about the Vietnam War and those that gave all we could…..my weapon of choice…..of course if you know anything about me I will have to throw a little history in……
No one ever used the words “graceful” or “elegant” to describe the M3 submachine gun. Instead, those soldiers, sailors and Marines who carried it called the M3 a “plumber’s nightmare” or “the cake decorator.” Its passing resemblance to a mechanic’s lubrication tool, however, led to the weapon’s most common and enduring nickname: “grease gun.”
Designed as an inexpensive replacement for the iconic Thompson submachine gun, this utilitarian firearm overcame early reliability problems to capably serve U.S. forces and their allies for over half a century. Most servicemen who used one in battle admitted the grease gun was an adequate, if not beloved, close-combat weapon, its cheap, ugly appearance notwithstanding.
As early as 1940, officials in the United States Army Ordnance Department began to prepare for the enormous rearmament program their nation would have to undertake if it was to win victory in the approaching world war. Mass production of individual weapons, then, became an industrial priority.
While Ordnance tended to focus its efforts on such shoulder arms as the semiautomatic M1 rifle, certain specialized troops such as paratroopers and vehicle crewmen often required something else: a compact, hard-hitting submachine gun for short-range work. The current-issue Thompson, designed during World War I, met this requirement but had its issues. Put plainly, the Tommy Gun required too much time, steel, and money to manufacture in large numbers. Even a simplified wartime version called the M1A1 cost taxpayers $45.00 per unit ($660.00 in 2021).
The Controversial M3 Grease Gun
A short stroll down memory lane for me…..
Please take a few moments in your day to remember all those that gave all they could for their country.
Be Well….Be Safe….
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”
14 thoughts on “Memorial Day–2022”
I sort of envied Tankers in my younger days, they carried Grease Guns and I always wanted one. Of course, back then all we grunts had was the M16A2, the “long rifle”……well before we all got the more compact M4’s.
I’ll raise a Glencairn glass with a quality SMS as I always do on this day (and, we’ll…..many others), for my fallen friends and those I’ve never met.
And, Welcome Home Brother.
Thanx Jeff…..’Gertty” was heavy slow fire and rust easily….but she was the best in close combat. Have a great day. chuq
First of all, Chuq, “Thank you for your service.” Secondly let me say that I sometimes get a little uptight when I hear some pot-gut in a uniform standing on a podium telling the assembled Memorial Day crowd, “We will never forget….” I feel this way because it always looks to me like people are more than willing to go to a Memorial Day parade, service or picnic, using the occasion as another excuse to get drink or high, with little or no realization of what those departed service people went through while enduring the horrors of war …and once the festivities are over for the year, the nation actually does tend to “Forget.” If this was not true, we would not see the government searching out every opportunity to send more beloved service people to their deaths in useless wars for money and oil … It is like a big meat grinder where every ounce of Soldier, Sailor or Marine or Air Force person flesh has been calculated to have some kind of financial value relevant to the bottom line results desires by the Industrial/Military Complex. I wish our troops were used for the defense of our homeland and not as fodder for foreign enterprises fashioned around a war plan for profits.
I agree and there are some ‘wars’ the public forgets completely…..Korea and then Vietnam will be next….have a great day my friend…..chuq
We were involved in a war in Korea?
Yes, to remember those who sacrificed their lives to protect ours….sadly forgotten by too many on this day.
Well said….have a good day and be safe…..chuq
If you want some insight into how the public “Never Forgets” our service people who have died in service to our country ask a few people to give the names of at least two or three people they know who have sacrificed their lives in the Military.
Good point. That would be the ‘public’ guess….because I can name a few. chuq
Have a great day…..chuq
Great respect to you and all your companions, chuq. I never had to serve in any army, and consider myself fortunate for that.
Best wishes, Pete.
Thanx Pete….and I feel you were fortunate as well…..chuq