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Some Marines Don't Know?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Ala Dan, Jul 4, 2003.

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  1. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Funny thing happened at work this evening. I got
    into a conversation with a Viet-Nam era United
    States Marine and said, "Tom, what does the name
    Carlos Hathcock mean to you"? He replied, " Um, I
    don't think I know him"!

    You would think that someone who eats, sleeps, and
    breaths the Marine Corp lingo, and is a former war
    veteran himself; should know who this hearlded
    warrior is? I quickly brought ole' Tom up to date; and
    told him that not many men could walk in the late
    Gunny's shoes!

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  2. BowStreetRunner

    BowStreetRunner Member

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    i just finished a book about him
    brave dude
    great shot
    what more can you say :)
    BSR
     
  3. Steve in PA

    Steve in PA Member

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    Perhaps he was a cook......or in motor-t during the war.......I would expect a grunt would have a better chance of knowing who you were talking about.

    I was in the USMC during the late 70's...early 80's and I was in the grunts......and I can honestly say I never heard of Carlos Hathcock until after I got out and read a book about him.
     
  4. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Amazing!

    Gunny Sgt. Hathcock's vanity Virginia license plate
    said it all:

    SNIPER

    I read an old article from The Washigton Post,
    whereas the Corp raised donations totaling $5000*;
    and they delivered it the old fashioned, Marine Corp
    way. They ran the 216 miles from Camp Lejune
    North Carolina to the Sgt.'s Virginia Beach, VA home!

    *these donations were used to help fight MS; the very
    diesase that took the life of the famed warrior, at age
    57.

    ooo-RAH! Semper Fi,

    Carry On-
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  5. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

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    Carlos Hathcock really did not become widely known until the book about him came out. My father, who served with 4th CAG, 3rd MAF in Vietnam from 68-69 had never heard of him until he read the book. I think that Carlos was more well known when I was in the Marines from 89 - 94 than during the Vietnam era.

    It reminds me of a saying that I say somewhere:

    For every battle honor awarded, 1000 heroes die alone, unsung, and unremembered.

    I'm glad to see that Carlos Hathcock finally did not fit into that category.
     
  6. cobb

    cobb Member

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    Ask him who Chesty Puller was, he should know that name. I would think that all Marines would have read a book about him.
     
  7. 444

    444 Member

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    I have always thought that it would be a good idea to add some history to military training. Especially the history of your particular branch of service and your particular unit. I think it would be a great motivator and instill pride in your unit.

    I was never a Marine, but have read the book. What motivated me to read the book was ironically the same kind of thing this thread is about. I saw all the wild claims made on the cover and thought to myself; I am surpirsed I never heard of the guy if all this is true. Especially when you consider that he was not only a sniper, but also a GREAT sport shooter prior to becoming a sniper.
     
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    Why does it surprise you? Hathcock, from what I hear, wasn't the legend he is now everybody thinks he was. He was a guy doing his job, just like all the rest of them. Without the book he would never have been heard of by anyone. How many guys in any military force know all the guys in every unit everywhere? None. Exactly.
     
  9. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

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    Actually, the Marine Corps is very big on this. As a recruit, you're expected to at least be familiar with Louis B. "Chesty" Puller, Dan Daly, Samuel Nichols, Smedly Butler to name a few. Other big names from Marine Corps history are Herman Hanneken, "Manila" John Basilone, Greg "Pappy" Boyington, Evans F. Carlson, Merritt A. Edson, John A. Lejeune, Joe Foss, Holland Smith, and many many others.

    When it comes to snipers Chuck Mawhinney is another name that stands out in recent memory. Chuck's "record" actually exceeded Hathcock's in many ways. If you want a good book on Marine snipers in Vietnam, you should also pick up "13 Cent Killers" by John Culbertson. Very good book about the snipers with 5th Marines.
     
  10. DigitalWarrior

    DigitalWarrior Member

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    Marine Corps History

    You would be amazed how much history they taught us. Marinetech has it right. Chairborne Rangers we may be (4066) but WE ARE RIFLEMEN FIRST.
     
  11. 444

    444 Member

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    Sunray, note that I said I am surprised that *I* hadn't heard of him. In reading MarineTech's post, I have heard of pretty much all of those guys and have a very brief idea of who they were including Chuck Mawhinney . It isn't a question of knowing every guy that ever served in the military, it is about knowing the few guys that stand out among the others; Hathcock was one of those.
     
  12. clem

    clem Member

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    I didn't learn of Gy. Sgt. Hathcock until well into my years in the Corps. Marines just don't publicize a special weapon like the Gunny.
     
  13. Chipperman

    Chipperman Member

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    Snipers, I understand, had been stigmatized a bit until more recently. That also may have kept his "fame" lower before now.
     
  14. Kentucky Rifle

    Kentucky Rifle Member In Memoriam

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    Kentucky Rifle
     
  15. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Here's an army guy for you...

    Who was Adalbert Waldron & what is he known for?
     
  16. 444

    444 Member

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    Did you mean Adelbert Waldron ? :)
     
  17. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    Sergeant First Class Adelbert F. Waldron.... 9th Infantry Div.

    the Army Sniper with the Highest number of Confirmed kills (109) during the Vietnam war. yes that's 6 more confirmed kills than Mawhinney.

    the Marines have/had been known to try to tone his record down some by claiming that since, supposedly, most fo Waldron's kills were scored from atop a FSB instead of his actually "stalking" the person, Waldron was more a "sharpshooter" than a "sniper" . this of course is BS esp in light of the record of the man THEY want recorded as the "best sniper of Vietnam" Mawhinney who's ratio of "kills from a guard towner" to "kills in the bush" pretty much mirror those of Waldron.


    as to who was better...... neither, both were great snipers. Waldron simply was able to CONFIRM (basicly, walk up search and mark the body after the kill, and have this action witnessed) his killing of six more enemy soldiers than Mawhinney.
     
  18. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Sorry guy's, but I've got to take a break and do
    some reading about SNIPERS. You see, I just
    received these two books via parcel post:

    Marine Sniper: 93 Confirmed Kills

    and

    One Shot One Kill


    Which should I read first? I hear that both are
    great books.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  19. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    My mispelling.

    Yep. Waldron got 6 more confirmed that Mawhinney. BTW, it's not about body count but doing one's job so you & your buddies return home alive and in one piece.
     
  20. Detritus

    Detritus Member

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    you have a point,

    that is Exactly the goal that EVERYONE should remember.


    Dan, read "one shot, One kill" first. read the one that only tells part of the hathcock story first, THEN the one that is more in depth.

    a word of advice on "Marine Sniper: 93 confirmed kills"

    read it with the following knowlege

    It is a great book and those with an interest in Military sharpshooting, or Military history in general should read it. But, the version that was and is still being printed, is NOT the book that Charles Henderson originally set out to have published.

    the original, according to Henderson and others involved in the project, was an overveiw of Marine Snipers in general, with focus placed on stories of the establishment of the program during the War and the exploits of selected graduates and instructors.
    this original was a bit "beefy" and Henderson's publisher told him to pare it down to a "managable" size, and to narrow the focus down to a single major "player" or core group of players, in the USMC sniping program in Vietnam. this was done b/c at the time it was not beleived that a large "history of marine snipers in Vietnam" type book would sell, while a smaller, "mass market" sized book about a "hero" type could be marketed.
    henderson decided (for good reason) that his best canidate for such a focus was Hathcock. so he told the story of HOW hathcock wound up where he did doing what he did. and told as many of Hathcock's personl exploits as he could. but Henderson also fully admits to having credited the Gunny with doing a few things that have never been pinned down to a particular sniper, or were never offically confirmed.

    good book, but it MUST be read with the understanding that while it is 3/4 or more, confirmed fact, that the remaining bit has been, due to a publisher's decision, fudged a bit to make a better story and fill it out some.

    nothing about this detracts from the book, or from the legacy and heroism of carlos Hathcock. it is simply a fact that those looking for historical accuracy should know.
     
  21. Ala Dan

    Ala Dan Member in memoriam

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    Many thanks for the advice Detritus!:)

    I'm sure there was/is a lot of very good professional
    Military sniper's out there; and in all likelyhood, some
    that we have never heard of? I would imagine that a
    lot of them don't go around bragging about their work.

    Its my understanding that Gunny Hathcock was more
    proud of saving those men from that burning inferno
    where he was burned over 70% of his body, than he
    was of killing people. He was awarded this nations
    second highest award, The Silver Star for those
    actions. Also, he was very proud of not losing any men
    under his command, when he became a sniper DI.
    He definitely was a remarkable person who could
    "Talk the Talk, and Walk the Walk". I'm sure I will
    enjoy both books; many thanks again for the advice.

    Best Wishes,
    Ala Dan, N.R.A. Life Member
     
  22. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Another very good book on sniping in Vietnam is "Dear Mom" by Joseph Ward. He was taught by Mawhinney, and took over his rifle when Mawhinney left - in fact, it's because he publicized Mawhinney's accomplishments in this book that the latter is today recognized as the Marine's top sniper in Vietnam.
     
  23. 280PLUS

    280PLUS Member

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    preacherman,,,

    i was going through this thread and was thinking about why noone had mentioned "dear mom" yet

    you just beat me to it!

    i always wondered about why hathcock was more well know than muhwhinney (sp?)

    possibly because he stayed in to teach the school and retire while they (ward and muhwhinney) got out after their tours(?)

    ward was #3 in confirmed kills if i remember correctly, for the usmc, anyhow

    a side note, i met an original greenface once who was very upset by all these various spook story books that have been coming out

    he said it makes it too easy for the wrong people to put together who did what and where which could lead to reprisal if someone were determined enough to pursue it.

    another sidenote

    i believe carlos hathcock died an early death due to the results of being exposed to agent orange

    someone correct me if i'm wrong

    m
     
  24. MarineTech

    MarineTech Member

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    To my knowlege, Carlos Hathcock died as a result of complications due to Multiple Sclerosis.
     
  25. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Chuck Mawhinney is a quiet guy and very modest. He worked for the Forest Service after the war and his coworkers never knew about his work over there. He stayed hidden until Joseph Ward mentioned him in Dear Mom. Afterwards some articles appeared and Peter Senich (author of several books on sniping) is suppose to be working on a book about him.
     
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