A Fair Trade with the Marines

In My Humble Opinion
When Considering All Relevant Facts

By Gerald F. Mazur

I was at the Dong Ha Combat Base in 1969. I had taken B Battery’s FDC 3/4 truck to another battery as the truck had been returned to us from one of the guns that morning. Unknown to me, the gas gauge was broken. Mechanically the truck was okay, but the gas had been run way down, and had never been refilled. As I was leaving, it stopped. (It must have chugged, a little, and I figured it was just out-of-gas.)

“No problem,” I thought as I went to add gas from my jerry can. However, it was empty, too!!! Those dastardly gun bunnies!!! - from our battery at that. Sitting next to me was a Marine Jeep. To keep from their Jeep from being "borrowed" the Marines had welded a short piece of chain to the gear-shift. Another short piece of chain had been fastened to the dash with a brass lock between them. To my great delight I noticed that the Marine Jeep had a jerry can on it which, in their abundance of caution, they had neglected to secure in a similar fashion. I checked the can, and discovered that it was full. Because Army and Marine OD colors were similar since both vehicles were covered with dust, I quickly put my empty can on the Marine Jeep, fastened it, and poured the contents of the full Marine can into my 3/4. I hurriedly went back to my area.

Some might complain about the Army taking Marine gas. However, consider it this way:

1. It was only gas;

2. The Marines likely would not need to use the extra gas;

3. We previously had trained new Marines on firing the new 175’s that they had received;

4. During the previous times the news media always gave the Marines credit for the abundance of damage inflicted on the enemy by our 175s;

5. With the trade the Marines no doubt got a better gas can; and

6. Finally, it made me feel good that the Army could be re-compensated in a fashion for training the Marines and killing the enemy for them.

Gerald F. Mazur
B Battery 68-69