The 8th & I Reunion Association

An organization of Marines
who served at
Marine Barracks
8th & I Streets, S.E.,
Washington D.C.





Memories of the 1970's

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A special tribute to honor the memory of Mike Haskell, who served as a Barracks Officer from 1978 to 1981
after 6 years outstanding service as an enlisted man, and was KIA in the 1983 terrorist bombing of the
Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon can be found here.





A Unique Chapter in Barracks History! In 1969 and 1970, the entire drill team was composed of Marines who had served in Vietnam.  Pete Heiss has a great collection of photos taken during 1969 and 1970, which may be viewed by clicking here.




Bob Baird 1969-71

(Submitted by Bob Baird)






One of those who served in the "Vietnam Vets" Flag Show was Sgt George Bubenheim, CGC, 2nd Platoon. The Flag Show was put on for schools and various civic groups in the area. These shows were performed on the Marines' off-duty time.


A meritorious Mast for Sgt Bubenheim arose by virtue of an unusual detail he headed, namely guiding a group of handicapped ladies during their week-long visit to Washington. Pictured with him are the five other members of the detail: Cpl Fred Herring; Sgt Peter Lang; LCpl Frederick Murock, Sgt David Simmerly and Cpl George Ratajczak. The details of their performance were highly unusual, and resulted in its being listed in the Congressional Record, which can be reviewed by clicking here, and the details of their service are spelled out in the Meritorious Mast document, which can be reviewed by clicking here.



George Bubenheim - Christmas 1971

George found a full-page article on the Barracks and its Evening Parade which appeared in Time Magazine in August of 1971. To see it, click here.

(Items submitted by George Bubenheim)






Barracks Softball Champs - 1973
Barracks CO Col. C.S. Cooper at center of the first row center, with Dennis Lynch to his left.and Steve Honto (standing in center with glasses)
Second row (L-R): Barracks XO Lt. Col. Duncan, H&S Co. 1st Sgt (the pitcher), Sgt. Mike Puhr,
Sgt. Jim Cowley, Sgt.Gardner and Capt. Rhodes and Tom Godwin (bottom right, kneeling).

(Submitted by Dennis Lynch)






CGC Commanding Officer (later Commandant) James Jones awards PFC stripe to Bryan Miller in January of 1973. Up until this ceremony, Bryan was the only member of the Silent Drill Team without stripes.







2nd Platoon getting ready to leave for a Flag Pagent, 1974. (L - R): Front row: Frye and Jio;
2nd row: McClain, Burton, and Grant; Third Row: Renwick, Shanel (deceased), "Kid" Winters, Owens,
Jacobs, and Bean, Top Row: Dietland and Snyder.


Ready for another Flag Pagent 1974 - (L - R); Burton, Grant, Dietland and Snyder.


Lunchtime SOP in the 2nd Platoon squadbay, 1974. Sitting with back to camera is "Kid" Winters.
Playing to his left is Dietland and (moving clockwise) Bean, Grant, Renwick and Fender.




2nd Plt, CGC in 1974
Front Row (l-r) 1st Lt Routson, Sgt Herring, Sgt Jacobs, Cpl Peters, Cpl Fender, L/Cpl Snyder, L/Cpl Flory, L/Cpl Carter, Cpl Jio, Sgt Mayo, Sgt Nummer, S/Sgt Coles
2nd Row (l-r) Pfc Jernigan, L/Cpl Grankie, Cpl McClain, L/Cpl Owens, Cpl Patera, L/Cpl Wilson, L/Cpl Tomlin, L/Cpl Tronguard
Back Row (l-r) L/Cpl Frye, Cpl Shenal, L/Cpl Winters, Cpl Turner, Pfc Gilbert, L/Cpl LeViegne, Cpl Walsh, Pfc Lanier, Pfc Covington


To the victors go the spoils - 1974

The innards of Building #58, Naval Gun Factory
(home of Ceremonial Guard Company since early 1959)



The basement hallway leading to the steam room. (We pressed our own uniforms then!)


Pictured is the business end of the mess hall


The Laundry room

(Photos submitted by Kent Snyder)






A member of the US Army Reserve serving in Iraq. (Steve Shenk, CGC 1973-1974)



Steve Shenk in Afghanistan, 2008

(Submitted by Jim Matthews and Steve Shenk)







SCP sendoff in 1970



Sgt. Don Romaine - 1970



Sgt. Pete Heiss - 1970



Bill Coleman receiving award from Col. Paul Graham

(Above items collected by {Pete Heiss and Bill Coleman)






The 1972 Barracks Naval District of Washington Championship team.
Front row left is Capt. James L. Jones, later to be Commandant, next to him is Sgt. Juan Escobar,
and in the back row is Lt. "Sandy" Alderson, later to become Chief Operating Officer for Major League Baseball.


The awards ceremony photo for the basketball team. Sgt. Juan Escobar, center front,
holds two trophies (one for being most valuable player).

(Items submitted by Juan Escobar)







This pic was from July 1972 inspections before friday night parade.



1st Sgt Dallas Richter, 2nd plt Sgt. Louis Bird, myself, lt. col. Duncan and Capt. James Jones.
Taken Oct. 13th, 1972, my day of discharge.

Items submitted by Sgt Lewis Combs, 8th and I, Ceremonial Guard Company, 1971-1972







Picture of Bob Stanton and I ( Melvin Baker ) we were both at 8th and I Marine Barracks and Camp David. We served at 8th and I then both of us were assigned to Camp David.

(Items submitted by Melvin Baker, 8th & I)




DAVID "DB" WRIGHT'S EARLY 1970'S TRIP TO ENGLAND
TO PICKUP THE U.S. MARINE BAND'S NEW MACE

1-26-13 ... Is this guy a giant ????? How tall do you think the Assistant Drum Major really is? He's in front of the Band wearing a baldric but white cover! He really towers over everyone else around him doesn't he? He almost looks as tall as the Drum Major and his bearskin cover.



The Mace the Drum Major is carrying was made for the Band by Bosey and Hawkes in England. Either 1972 or 1973, I got to go over there for 10 days TAD to pick it up and bring it back. While I was there I slipped down to what was then the Royal Marines boot camp between Dover and Canterbury. That was a great experience to see them training. The Adjutant wore jodpurs, tall riding boots with spurs and rode a horse everywhere on the base. It had been arranged for us to bring the Mace through customs at Baltimore's BWI Airport, but for some reason they insisted we go through customs at the new terminal at JFK airport in NYC. The mace was in a custom made metal case painted black with white lettering, "UNITED STATES MARINE BAND, "THE PRESIDENT'S OWN". The damn custom's agent insisted I had to pay duty on it. Even after I explained I was traveling under orders and showed him my orders and all. He didn't give a damn that the Government actually owned it so I finally got good and pissed off and blew up and told him to take the damn thing and stick it up his ass because I was going to pay a single penny for it and I wanted his name to report to the White House when they asked where the new mace was! I raised such a scene everyone in the terminal was looking and it drew over a senior Custom's Agent, a Major I think. After I explained it all to him, showed him my orders and opened up the box and showed him the mace explaining all the detail in it as it had been designed by the Band and he called Baltimore's BWI and they confirmed they were expecting me and the mace and had the authority to wave fee's via the White House so he let me go with it. Later it was funny as hell but at the time I was one really pissed off Marine!

When Jim Donovan was Drum Major he didn't like the having to remove and shine the brass plate and chain on the bearskin. The plate was the insignia of the Marine Band complete with the Eagle Globe and Anchor in the center of it and the chain hung down in the front from brass buttons on each side of the bear skin. The frame work inside the bearskin is made out of bamboo or Malacca wood. Anyway Donovan got Col Schoepper to let him do away with the plate and I thought it was a real loss as it simply looked like the Army and Navy Band's bearskins then.Boosey

........................ The Royal Marine Boot Camp was then located down at Deale on the southern coast of England. I had met the Director of the Royal Marine Band the previous year when they had toured the US and visited at the Barracks. He had wanted to see Gettysburg battlefield so I got a staff car and driver and we drove up and I gave him a tour of the battle field and then we stopped by Antietam on the way back for a bonus. I also took him up to Ft. Steven's (I may have the name wrong) up near the old Walter Reed Army Medical Center where President Lincoln came up to watch the Union forces repel (at least he was hoping they would) the Confederate forces which were attacking. It was there that someone (I think it was Captain Oliver Windell Holmes, later a Supreme Court Justice) who hollered at Lincoln to get down as he was attacking fire, which of course Lincoln did taking no offense.

Well because of that trip when the Director of the Royal Marine Band found out I was coming over to pick up the Mace he insisted that I come down and visit him. Took a train down accompanied by a Sgt who worked at the Band as well. We were met by a Color Sgt and a Staff Sgt of the Band and set up in their SNCO's quarters and then over to meet the then LtCol Band Commander. That afternoon he had the Base Commander a Col, the XO a LtCol, the Adjutant and the Regimental SgtMaj (RSM) in for tea and to meet us. We managed to get through this without disgracing ourselves or our Corps! Then we were turned back over to the Color Sgt and Staff Sgt Bandsmen. The Staff Sgt was an Irishman with the first name of Paddy (for real). We were informed that that evening the RSM was having a formal NCO evening in the club. The Sgt who was accompanying me was from Arkansas and had come to the Barracks and then was assigned to the Band from bootcamp so he had never been anywhere other than Arkansas, SC and DC so this was really a great experience for him. I clued him in to expect the Brits to drink us till we passed out. Now I am probably the only Marine in history who gets sick on the smell of beer and simply can't drink it. So I ordered a gin and tonic. Then I asked for ice when it came without any. The bartender put a single cube in it looking like I was crazy. I finally managed to get him to serve my drinks with 3 cubes of ice along with some muttering about bloody Yanks! Not long after the evening started there was a loud knock at the door to the club and by now all the NCO's were formally arranged around the room standing and we were to the right of a podium on which a regal chair rested with the RSM sitting there as if he were the King himself. The NCO by the door opened it slightly, spoke with someone on the other side, then closed it, marched to the center of the room facing the RSM and "slammed" to attention. In a parade ground voice he announced that the Colonel and his officers were requesting the freedom of the Club. The RSM considered it a moment and then announced that it was granted. The NCO marched back to the door opened it and announced Sergeant's the Colonel and Officers at which all the NCO's "Slammed" to attention while the RSM rose from his throne. The Colonel marched into the room with his officers following him by rank and seniority and formed up in front of the "throne" and RSM. The Colonel thanked the RSM for granting them the freedom of the club and the RSM welcomed the Colonel and his officers after which the RSM and the Colonel marched over together to the Bar and were each given a beer and they drank to each other. Then everyone got a drink and a toast was offered to the Queen, then another one to the Royal Marines and a few more I forget. I had managed to wedge myself between a column and the bar in case my legs got wobbly. It all reminded me of the movies of the 30's and 40's of the British Army in India. At one point I was asked by a group if I had seen the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace in London and I said that I had. I was asked what I had thought of it. I honestly said that I had been disappointed as when they formed up in formation there was a big bow to the front of the line and the RSM when he dressed them took the bow out and put it back in to the rear of the line. At that one of the Royal Marine senior NCO's drew himself up, tugged on his mustache (no kidding he really did do that) and said in that haute voice that only the British can manage, "Well after all what can you expect, they ARE ONLY ARMY after all!" I nearly busted out laughing but quickly caught myself when I saw he was deadly serious. I barely managed to walk back to my quarters that evening accompanied by my escorts and my barely alive Sgt. We dumped him into his cot and I hit the rack in my room. I listened till it was all quiet and then snuck down to the head and made my offering to the commode and went back to my room and slept like a baby. The next morning I awoke to my alarm a 1/2 hour early, took my shower and got squared away and then went down to the Irish SSgt's Room and pounded on the door while loudly announcing, "Time to get up Paddy my Bucko!" Finally I head some muttering about damn bloody Yanks and I went and got my Sgt up which was a job. The Color Sgt was married and had gone home. When the 3 of us got to the mess hall, Paddy made a bee line for the coffee urn while I continued to chat away happy as a lark, though it was killing me to put on this cheery show, but I had the honor of our Corps to hold up. We did a grand tour of their boot camp training and every where we went Paddy and my Sgt headed immediately to the coffee and aspirin bottle while I kept up my very painful cheery self. At one point we were in a building that served as an indoor parade deck. The Royal Marine Master of Drill was a Hugh Irish Color Sergeant complete with red hair and a red handle bar mustache who had come over from Canada. He looked like an NFL Defensive linebacker with a very narrow waist. While I was talking with him he spied something he didn't' like and roared our for "YOU PRIVATE, COME HERE INSTANT!" A private double timed over and slammed to attention saying "SIR!" The Master of Drill then read him the Queen's riot act correcting his slovenly drill and demanding perfection from then on and then told him to get back to his position. He turned and stated to speak with me as the poor Private started to march back when all of a sudden the Master of Drill whirled around roaring, "WHEN I SAY GET BACK YOU BLOODY WELL BETTER MOVE AT THE DOUBLE PRIVATE!" and at the same time he takes several steps and dropped kicked the private in the ass so hard the poor kid's feet went air born, but he came down at the double time! I was really amazed he had kicked him and I asked if that was permitted. He replied, "Oh yes, we have corporal punishment in the Royal Marines, don't you Yanks?" I mumbled a little and found a reason to move on.

All in all it was a great experience. They also took us over to see Dover Castle which was awesome to see and then to Canterbury Cathedral. I was struck when we walked through the doorway at a plaque that proclaimed the Christian Religion had been celebrated within these walls for a thousand and some years! They showed us the spot where Saint Thomas Becket was slain by Henry II's men. The Black Prince was laid out in his black armor in a glass case behind the alter. Because the Royal Marines often provide music for services they were able to take us down into some chapels below ground level and even up onto the ramparts of the roof.

When we went to the Boosey & Hawks factory because of a recent screw up over obtaining a new bearskin hat and instead had gotten a barracks cover the Band Director LtCol Harpham had called over and had spoken with Sir Jeffrey Hawkes and informed him that he was sending me over for the mace and I had his authority to decline acceptance of it if it was incorrect. LtCol Harpham had met Sir Jeffrey previously and they were friends. So when we arrived at the factory the rolled out the red carpet so to speak. We had lunch with the Board of Directors in their Boardroom and it was a little strained until I inspected the mace and was blown away by it's beauty and attention to detail. I accepted it and we made arrangements for it to be brought to the airport when we departed. Sir Jeffrey's chauffeur, Ernie then drove us back to our hotel in Sir Jeffrey's Bentley limo. He made arrangements for us to see a show on the west end that evening and another one the following evening of the "Mouse Trap" which was then London't longest running show. The following morning Ernie picked us up at the hotel and took us up to Windsor Castle where he had arranged a special tour for us which was really impressive. The Gurka's were the guards and we watched them Change the Guard. Ernie informed us that they also were guarding St. Jame's Castle and the locals had quickly learned not to tease them like they were used to doing with the Guards, because the "bloody little buggers take it very seriously and will come at you with the bayonet!" After Windsor on the way back to London we stopped at Hurley on Thames at the Old Bell Inn which we were informed was the 2nd oldest in England. We had drinks and a fabulous stead dinner that was cooked to perfection with the same color gray in the center as on the outside.

All in all it was a great trip and we got to see a lot of history. I was blown away at the dates of when things were built and how ancient they were while wondering how they raised up those huge stones so high and so forth with the technology they had back then.

Semper Fi

8th & I Marine David "DB" Wright, Drum & Bugle Corps and U.S. Marine Band, 1965-1974, Alpharetta, GA




1970'S MEMORIES OF BODY BEARERS

2-14-13 ... My name is Brad Van Hazel, I was a body bearer from 1977 -1980. I was the Body Bearer Section Leader (Sgt.) from 1979 - 1980. When I arrived at 8th & I in February 1977 the Body Bearers were a part of the Old Ceremonial Guard Company. Captain Biddle was our Company Commander. I actually tried out and was selected for the Silent Drill Team for the 1977 Parade Season. In 1978 Company A & B was formed. The Body Bearers were assigned to 1st Platoon, B Company with the Color Guard. Captain Natonski was our Company Commander. Captain Natonski retired as a Lt. General and the most decorated active duty Marine in 2010. I still stay in contact with Lt. General Natonski who resides there in Virginia. Colonels Rice and Monahan were our Barracks Commanders during my time there at 8th & I.

I have a scrap book with many of the funerals we performed at Arlington Cemetery. Some of the saddest funerals were the KIA's from Viet Nam.

During my service there, each Body Bearer had to be able to Bench Press 315 Lbs. and Curl 150 Lbs. Cpl. Tom Creekmore was the strongest Body Bearer. He could Bench Press 405 Lbs. (Four plates) five times. We called Tom “no neck” because he had a 20” neck. He looked massive in his Dress Blues. We also had to maintain a 1st Class PFT Score as well. We lifted weights six days a week and ran five days a week. The entire Section would run down to the mall weekly and play tackle football.

We had to go through an initiation before being accepted as a Body Bearer, (We called the new guys boots). The initiation usually took place somewhere during your first 90 days assigned to the Section. My initiation consisted of being stripped of all my clothing, naked, then held down and beat under both arms and inside my legs until they bleed. Then my entire body was taped like a mummy and a tube of ben gay shot up my ass. They left me laying inside the hallway of the barracks for a couple of hours while Marines would file by to take a look. That night of my initiation the entire Section took me out and we got shit faced. Lastly, that night I was taken to a tattoo parlor and had a tattoo put on my left arm above the sleeve line.

We had a tradition of flexing like the hulk after a funeral and ripping our Dress Blues Blouse all the way down the middle of the back. We would them have to go over the tailor located across the street from the Main Entrance to the Barracks and get fitted for another blouse.

The Body Bearers were treated with respect and no one screwed with us. We occupied the second floor of the barracks down from the Company Headquarters Office and no one would come down our hallway without our approval.

I was involved with burying Hubert Humphrey and Mamie Eisenhower during my tenure there at 8th & I. My favorite funerals were the Full Honors Funerals at Arlington. To this day I can still hear the beat of the drum from the Drum and Bugle Corps. as we marched to the grave site behind the caisson at Arlington Cemetery.

I left 8th & I in November 1980 and went back to college to complete by Bachelor Degree. I was accepted into the PLC Program and attended OCS at Quantico between my Junior and Senior Year of College in 1981. Prior to my graduation I decided not to get my commission as a Second Lieutenant and instead accepted an offer as Operations Manager for Pinkerton Security (Pinkerton Detective Agency). Pinkerton was acquired by Securitas Security Services in 1999. I've been with them now for 30 Years, since I left the Corps.

I have fond memories and still to this day take great pride in being a Body Bearer. Let me know how I can assist you in keeping the tradition going for the Body Bearer Section.

Semper Fi,
Brad VanHazel, Body Bearers and Silent Drill Platoon, 1977-1980, Broomfield, CO




I served at "8th & I" from March of '71 til October of '72. I started with Ceremonial Guard Company at the Washington Navy Yard. They needed a postal clerk at H&S Company and they seen that I had worked in the company office at 3rd Tanks in Okinawa so they transferred me to H&S Company to do this job. After a couple of months they received a Marine that held the MOS of postal clerk and he took over. I was then transferred to Guard Section where I became Corporal of the Guard until I was honorably discharged In October of '72. I had some great times in D. C. I seen most of the monuments and a lot of the Smithsonian. Also done a lot of partying down on 14th Street. I met a lot of great Marines. My best friends were Sgt Scott, Cpl Sagale, Sgt Knapp, Cpl Mericle, L/Cpl Runyon and L/Cpl Pankow. Can't wait to get back to the 2013 reunion.

Submitted by Dennis May






For Photos submitted by Sgt Robert Goodwin,Guard Company, Silent Drill Platoon from 1970 -1972 click here.

To read an excellent article from the August 9, 1971 issue of
Time Magazine featuring the Evening Parade and the "all Vietnam vets" Drill Team,
and Mike Hill's Meritorious Mast citation, click here: time8-9-71.pdf

To read about the 1971 murder of Cpl. E-4 Christopher S. Brady on the steps of Building #58 (Marine Barracks) at the Washington Navy Yard, click here http://8thandi.com/memories1970roadfuss.rtf.

To read about the last CGC personnel in Building #58 when the
company moved to the "new" barracks on I Street, click here: memories1970matthews.pdf.

To read about Chet Russo's explanation about Barracks service
and its importance to him today, click here: russo.PDF.




For items collected since the 1970's,
Click here





Anyone having additional submissions for this page should send them to: CGC Webmaster.





Contact us at: 8th&I Reunion Association

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8th & I Reunion Association


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