Camp Schwab, Okinawa

January to May 1965…

December 1969 thru December 1970

63 thoughts on “Camp Schwab, Okinawa

  1. I was with MACS 8 from Dec 1969 to Dec 1970 I recall the radar set up was across the road from Camp Schwab on the hill – and we moved it to Futema in 1970 – was never operational during that period of time – in constant state of repair LOL

    Sgt Andrews

    • Sgt. Andrews, appreciate your post. You were at Camp Schwab a couple of years after I was there in 1965. I’m sure the guys in operations will also be amused at the “down time and state of repair” comment. Hope to see you at a reunion.. Kent

    • Sgt. Andrews,
      I was also part of that move. If I remember right we had to bus to another location for chow and on the weekends I’d drive the bus. Our barracks were buildings with two man rooms and the e-club wasn’t too far from them. I also remember at least one recall after the move and setting on the street saddled up for quite a while that night ready to move to Nam after MACS-4 got hit. We stood down though after it was learned that it was just sappers on their perimeter and their damage was minimal. It’s funny how you can look back and the memories start coming back of those times.

    • Sgt Andrews. My name is John Santiago. I served at Camp Schwab from 1969-70.
      I was the Corporal that ran off the hill with the crane (brake failure). I have lots of pics I’d like to share in which you may recognize many fellow Marines. I need to know how can I post these???

      • I remember this incident. I was working in the S-4 office with a Capt. Lindberg?? and a GySgt. Ruiz. I was with MACS-8 from November 1969 to June 1970. I had been pulled from Vietnam with the 3rd MarDiv.

      • Do you remember a Harvey Gingler? He was in the motor pool also. I will be posting pic’s soon. I was a generator mechanic and had the accident in mention… shortly afterwards the lieutenant in charge either asked for a transfer to Nam or was shipped there. The XO and company commander were by my bed when I woke up after being treated… reading me my rights and 14 charges… but I told them I had orders… so they left pretty upset… after that I layed low and kept very quiet on the hill… I had many motor pool guy’s come up on the hill because it was quiet compared to the barracks…we used to really enjoy the hot bologna sandwiches and koko’s beef fried rice… later on we moved to NAHA… and I remember the gunny… I hope he’s still alive… jn

      • I was at Schwab in 69-70, 9th Marines, 3rd Engineers. Our barracks were down from Gate 1 on the right handside.

    • Sgt. Andrews…I was there the same time you were… I’m sure we know one another… I was working the generators for your huts… while on the hill… and went to Futenma (wasn’t it called Naha?) And yes, it was great duty. In Futenma, I was the Colors Guard Corporal… Do you remember the Gunny’s Name? He was a great person. The officers were not so… they tried to fry me when I went off the hill with the crane… but nothing ever came of it.

    • Sgt. Andrews… I remember you. You took me inside the dome one day and showed me how to light a fluorescent bulb by just holding it in your hands… too funny.
      You and I dialoged often about the generators… you were one of the “good Sergeants”

      • Please forgive me for misspelling Marine and Engineers, you are the first marine that was at Schwab the time I was there.

      • Henry, I fixed your misspelled words. My job as BlogNCO includes spellchecks and grammar! Thanks for the comment. Kent Miller

  2. Arriving on Okinawa after encountering typhoon weather on the way from Japan was like getting to heaven! I was on crew 3 operations and we were assigned to build and tear down the antenna we were testing inside the big flesh nipple. We were flown by helicopter to the northern mountains and dropped by Chicago sling into the jungle so we could spend 2 weeks preparring the campsite for the scheduled field exercise in February 65. We had a great cook and I never knew how good powered eggs could taste. The 2nd helicopter arriving with our replacements crashed and luckily no fatalities occurred. After a week or so back at base camp we were back to the ‘HABU HILTON’ for the field problem. Mike Bury and I were assigned to lace the covers on the big nipple so we were allowed up on top of it. I remember taking a lot of cameras up on Sunday to take pictures for everyone. It was quite a view with the Pacific Ocean on the left and the China Sea on the right. Due to escalation of activity in Vietnam we ended up spending our last 2 months on Okinawa and had lots of time to lay in the sun and play grab ass football in the rain puddles along side the barracks. I was happy to see June 1, 1965 arrive so we could leave and head back to the States. Like my 8 months in Japan, Okinawa was a fun 4 months with a lot of great memories. SEMPER FI!

    • Thanks Jim for the phone call and the 4 comments you have posted. Great memories ARE what we have of our time in the Marine Corps and the annual MACS-8 reunions bring out our camaraderie once again! Kent

  3. I was with MACS 8 as a Motor Transport Mechanic from 1969 to 1970. I was looking for information and photos from that era and found your post. It’s interesting looking back. SEMPER FI

    • Kenneth, thanks for your comment! Did you check out all the photos on my Flickr photo stream? Just click on any photo on the home page. Kent Miller, MACS-8 Blog NCO

      • Yes I went through the photos.
        I showed my wife, who I wasn’t married to at the time I was on Oki, the photos and she got quite a kick out the way things looked and was full of questions.
        I have some photos too but I currently don’t have a scanner to load them and send them.
        I’m going to try and figure out someway to get this done.
        It really brought back some memories and I’m glad that someone has taken the time to preserve some of these moments.
        I’ve been in touch with Gary D. Hill who was also with MACS8 during that period. I didn’t know if he knew about your site. He was also in MT. I think that he left Oki prior to the move from Schwab
        Again great site and I’m going to be following it.
        Keep up the good work. Semper Fi

    • Ken… we know each other. I have a pic of you (maybe several). I am John Santiago. I was on the hill most of my tour fixing generators. You hung around my friends… How do I reach you?

  4. I served with Ken Quinn on Okinawa. I was there from January 1969 to January 1970. I was section chief and driver for the 2 1/2 ton trucks. Ken is the only member of the MACS-8 crew that I have been fortunate enough to make contact with. I would sure like to hear from any other surviving members of that era.

    • I was a Generator Mechanic 1968-69… I was the guy who ran the crane off the hill and almost got killed… I’ve got some pics from the base and a few from Motor pool and our radar site… 850-971-4222 and I am in contact with another Marine who worked with me there at the hill (radar site).

    • Will post photo’s soon… with many Motor pool Marines who worked with us. 69-70
      (need to get them scanned) JN

    • I was at Schwab 68 Nov – 69 Nov. was at the motor pool, Okinawa was a nice place, I remember the HAM station, and the asshole that ran it!!! Semper Fi

  5. I had the pleasure of being with MACS-8 when it left Cherry Point to sail to Okinawa. I think we left end of Dec 67 or Jan 68. We were flown to Norfolk by C130 and spent about a week prepping the ship, the USS Vermillion, for the embarkation and then sailed to Morehead City to load up. 66 days later we got to Blue Beach and took everything to Schwab and set it up. I had an odd job, I was a 2111 (Armorer), so if anyone was there then you got a rifle or pistol issued by me. Hearing about the operational issues is no surprise, some idiot (or idiots) went from van to van while aboard ship and damaged them. I remember we were all told off in formation and from what I heard the equipment took many hits when someone rammed a spike or something through the walls of the vans.
    I left Schwab in Aug 68 for DaNang RVN. I volunteered for that because I found Oki boring since I was married and did not want to party in Henoko.

    Bill McCormack

    • I actually walked up on a Marine that was driving spikes into the cables that went into one van to another with a hammer. It was raining pretty heavily, and I was checking on my generators when I accidentally walked up on him. He was a high ranking officer’s son, and I considered him a threat… I was very young… and just walked away as he suggested… (lots of crazy’s in those days)… I wanted to say his name was: Yopcheck ??? or sounded something like that. I’m very sure that had I reported him… it would have bought severe repercussions… Hindsight is always 20/20 I was there at Schwab from May 1968-Oct 1969. My motorcycle was involved in a severe accident with two fellow Marines (it was borrowed)…

  6. I was stationed at MACS-8, Camp Schwab, Okinawa, for a short while in early 1970. Did any of you guys ever go TDY from MACS-8 in Okinawa to Vietnam?

    • I went by ship with MACS-8 from Cherry Point to Camp Schwab in Jan 68 and then left for Vietnam in Aug 68, not TAD but PCS.

      Sent from my iPhone

  7. Yes, several members of the MACS-8 Motor T crew went TDY to Viet Nam. As I recall, Bill Webster, Frank Tranchina and others whose names I can’t remember made a few trips while I was there.

    • Gary, That is great news about others going TDY to Vietnam. John Santiago, who was in the Generator Section with me, needs help with a VA Claim.

    • I remember Bill Webster and Frank… we were close friends in Okinawa…if you can ever reach any of them please let me know…

  8. Gary Hill, Bill Webster, and Frank Tranchina..
    One of our MACS-8 friends, John Santiago from the Generator Section, is in poor health and needs help with a VA claim. Can you guys please send me your contact information so we can hopefully help our brother out? marcb515@gmail.com
    Thank you,…..Marc

  9. I didn’t know John, but I did read his postings about his health. I’m afraid that I won’t be of any help to his cause. I don’t think that either Bill or Frank are in the roster of former MACS-8 members that know about the website. I haven’t been in touch with any of the folks with the exception of Ken Quinn and I believe that John has already been in contact with him.

    • Gary, I think you can help him out with something as simple as a letter. If you shoot me an email, we can talk this simple process through.

  10. Fellow Marines… I am battling Cancer (multiple myeloma) with chemo, a disease which has no known cure, and if as it were not enough… I’m on dialysis. Having placed a claim, the Veterans Administration responded by asking for evidence of Marines going TDY to Nam from Okinawa, whereas if provided they would consider my claim. If any of you went TDY… I’d like to hear from you…
    Having already provided a letter, they are seeking verification. There was an MCO that allowed activities without the C/O having to keep/store records. Such was my case as I left and returned under 28 days to Nam. Furthermore, all records were destroyed after 2 years (same MCO), thus we now depend on each other hopefully to verify testimonies. Nothing complicated to provide… just a simple letter stating you went TDY… This is an opportunity to help out a fellow Marine.
    May God bless all of you
    John

    • I was based on Oki at that time and my DD214 verifies that I was in country 10 days which had to be TDY orders as I was permanently assigned to Camp Schwab… We called them “tax runs” and occasionally the higher ups allowed a “snuffy” (me) to ride along. I was an Air Wing Surveillance Radar Tech (the tps-37 height finder)…anyway, I can testify that there were lotsa TDY’s especially during Khe Sanh… We were sort of a “maintenance float” for the MACS radar installation on Monkey Mt. between Da Nang and the ocean…lotsa cross training and transfers of techs and equipment back and forth…yes, Oki was “heaven on earth” for many of us…good luck y’all…Dallis aka Sgt. Easy of Rock Co.

      • Dallis…lol, you ole dawg! I remember you well. You are 100% right regarding the tech (tax) runs we were making to MACS4 during 1969, I made 6. MACS8 was the test bed and hot swap for MACS4, which helped them put up incredible numbers of flight controls, close air support controls and data communications link transfers with the Navy NTDS, the Air Force ATDS as well as Marine Corps MASS/ASRT teams.
        I flew to Okinawa (via Anchorage, Alaska) and was in the group building the site headed up by Lt Bob White. I was the lead technician (5973) on the analog portion of the TAOC AN/TYQ-2 which included front end radar signal processing, the 15 operator consoles, graphic map/terrain displays and various other analog signal interfaces.
        You may remember Mama Sachi, she rented me and a few others a bar she had in town. “Bar Kim” became some what of a “living room” for many Marines as well as a few locals (namely Mieko, Yoko, Sachiko). I have some great slides of Charlie King, Don Sharpe, Mike Stitt, Bill Rupert, Steve(?) Gebhart, Gunny Deckart, Top Honnett, Lt. White, George Antoci (when he was on Oki testing new gear from Litton), Fred Hudson, Bill Lesko, Rick Novak, ShortTime and many others whose names I have since forgotten. I even think you managed to get in one of the pictures. Its good to see a familiar name on here. Semper Fi Marine, SSgt. Ray Anselmi 1966-1972

    • I don’t know if you knew it, but Agent Orange was stored at Schwab. At least while I was there, Feb 1968-Nov 69. We used some of the chemicals to put on the weeds there.

      • Jim, Please contact me ASAP at 850-971-4222 eves is best… This is very important.
        Thank you

  11. I think your talking about Lt Barryhill. He was in charge and was shipped to Oki after getting hit in Nam. He rotated stateside the same time I did, in fact if it hadn’t been for him I would have had to wait in staging a couple of more days cause the plane was full. A private got bumped and I got his seat. The Sgt. was Rufus J. Washington, a complete ass in my book. He never would go out to Kin Ville cause he knew a lot of guys were wanting to catch his ass after dark.

    • Michelle, may have a name for you… Lt Barryhill, I think this may be him…  Can’t remember for sure… Only thing I distinctly remember is that the Lieutenant in mention entered the company right before I was promoted to Corporal.. So I was already there in Okinawa (MACS-8) for a while…This guy may be the right one.. However, I had also moved a company from Nam onto the base and this Lieutenant may be the one from the company that arrived… but it may be the one and only… not sure unless we ask…already I remember him as a nice guy… He liked me because I knew how to work on generators. He called on me almost too much (especially when I was off duty). That is probably why I got promoted. Jn

      ________________________________

      • Barryhill came after he took a round through a jeep windshield. He came solo and not with a company. If I remember right he was a maverick and never forgot what it was like coming up though the ranks. One thing that I do know for sure is that he stood by his enlisted men. He was involved in a couple of situations that higher ranking Marines (SNCOs) were trying to pull a fast one and he successfully interceded saving a couple of enlisted people from problems that they really didn’t deserve.

  12. Thank you Brother, I will forward your posting to my Representative to see if it moves the hand of the Senator… to become favorable.. I worked hand in hand with Radar tech’s. If you were on the Island between 69-70 we know one another… I was on the hill almost for nine months… I worked hard and kept low… especially after the crane landed on me… wrong type of popularity…

  13. John…checked my 214 and I was on Oki bout Feb 68 to early early 69…sailed outa Norfolk mid winter on USS Vermillion to Oki and put at Camp Schwab…in Nam during October 68…no orders but have info on 214…all I got but verbals that there were lotsa lotsa traffic in n out of Oki to Nam…just thought I’d clarify so I dont waste yer time…take care always…SSgt. Dallis Duty… served Jun 66 to Aug 73…Marine Air Wing mostly.

  14. Saw your comment. We were on the USS Vermillion together. I was the Armorer for MACS-8 and had to go by ship since the weapons did. I was at Schwab until Aug 69 when I managed to get a PCS to Nam, crazy I know, but I wanted to go. Served in USMC 66-86 and retired as MSgt.

  15. Oohrah Top.. Don’t remember ya, but then I was just a punk kid…that was an OK cruise… Remember the stops… Rodman Naval Station, Panama and Honolulu…was in 66 to 73, then college and taught Jr. High 20 years… Shoulda hung with ya… Glad u made it out… Thanks… SSgt. Duty

  16. Dallas,
    I was a punk on the ship as well, I was a L/Cpl then and just 20 years old. I remember in Panama we barely had time ashore and were told to return to the ship due to some civil disturbance or something. Pearl Harbor was fun. While in Pearl, a radio guy from the ship brought me a red cross message telling me my wife and new son were fine. I wanted to fly so I could be home for my son’s birth, but was told I had to be on the ship since the guns were. Stupid, I had no idea where the guns were even stored on the ship. I made 20 years and liked most of it. I did a tour as a DI, spent 4 years at 8th and I in DC, and also got to do 4 years on Okinawa with my family along. I switched to be a computer programmer after 9 years of night school and finally getting a degree. I had my Masters before I retired. I had very good jobs managing computer centers for a long time and earned a second retirement from that as well. I now live on Saint Croix in the US Virgin Islands. Life has been good and still is.
    Semper Fi,
    Bill

  17. HOOORAAHHH….. Proud to dialog with a MSgt… Hope you’re in good health and as strong as a Drill Sgt… I’m going to receive stem cell treatment this and next month. Although the VA turned me down twice… the hospital across the street and my private insurance paid for my ticket. They also approved me for a kidney transplant… so I can live a few more years. I will let you know what my A/O case turns into… should be a final decision in 2014… HOOORAAAHHH !

  18. Dallas,

    I am sorry you are having such serious medical issues. I have had my ups and downs over the years, but am holding my own. Are you married so someone is home helping you deal with all of this? I hope so. Something I remember about the USS Vermillion float was the MSgt in charge was sea sick the entire trip. Where do you live now? I lived allover and we came to the islands for my wife’s job in 2002 and she is about to retire this summer. I met her in Alaska where I moved when I retired from the USMC. I was a civilian and hired to manage the Air Force Computer Center on Elmendorf AFB and she was an Airman there. She did 10 years active Air Force and then 8 years part-time Air Guard and now 12 years full-time Air Guard here so she will retire as an E-8 like me with 30 years in July.

    Bill

  19. James Bonello (J.J.) 1969-19172
    I ended up with MACG18 on June 8th, 1971 at Futema Air Base. Actually Camp Schwab on the 5th then Futema. I got my Liberty pass there! Then a quick stop to Nam to pick up some generators from the 1st MAW front and back. On June 17th, I was sent to Iwakuni (Japan) with H&HS18. I went back to Futema TAD (TDY) to repair those same generators. It took a week, but we had a months time to do it in. What a ‘ball’. truly a memory that will last ‘A Long Time’.

  20. Gary, I think I know you… I have some pic’s as most of my friends were a combination of Motor Pool and Generator mechanic friends. You probably remember me…Do you remember Harvey Genglier (Gingler)?
    He was in the Motor pool.

  21. I’ve been in touch with Harvey… We spoke over the phone for a while and he testified in a letter for my VA claim. I wrote to him recently but he did not respond. I will give you his mailing address in your private email as I don’t feel comfortable posting it publicly. I’m back from my bone marrow transplant and am recovering slowly… that was a real tough experience…
    Jn

  22. Does anyone here remember Norman Perham? He was a CPL with MACS 8 in Okinawa during 69-70. I’m his son, Chris. Sadly, he passed away in 1985 from complications relating to exposure to Agent Orange. I still have a few pictures from his time there in Okinawa and I tried contacting someone on this site a few years back, but I got no reply. I’m putting together a family history and tracing his military heritage. I’m curious if anyone still has any pictures of him or stories they would be willing to share. I’d love to share the pictures I have as well.

    Interestingly, and I had no idea what he did when I joined the military, but I’ve been in the Air Force for 17 years as an Airborne Surveillance Tech on AWACS and am currently serving in the Alaska Air National Guard as a NORAD senior director at the 176th Air Defense Squadron. I’m not sure exactly what his job was or what he did, but I’d appreciate any information anyone might have. Thanks!

    Respectfully,

    Chris Perham

    • Chris, thanks for the comment.. Sorry about your father’s passing. I was with MACS-8 from 1962-65, so I did not know your Dad. We do have men who were with MACS-8 in Okinawa on those dates and I hope that someone who knew your father will make a reply comment. Send any pictures you have to my email address listed on the home page and I will include them on our Flickr album. Kent Miller BlogNCO..
      P.S. Chris I added Norman Perham to our Memorial List page..

      • One more thing… we used to have nicknames such as “dog” “Tex”, and other names we used to identify one another with… Even had a marine called “coward” simply because he played dead when his platoon got wiped out… and he was the only survivor… he was certainly damaged goods but a very good person. Anything I can do to help a fellow serviceman… please do count on me. Life is shorter than we think. Jn

  23. Chris, The name is familiar… I am a multiple myeloma survivor, who worked at Camp Schwab back in 69-70. I am so sorry to hear about your dad, I lost mine also to cancer. I have some pics but it would help me if you could send me something of what he looked like back then. I will work on finding my pic’s…
    Due to my hospitalizations things get relocated while I’m gone. We were a tight group in those days… email me at Projectman2u@yahoo.com or call me 850-971-4222 best in the evenings.
    Jn

    • Thanks for getting back to me, John. I found some pix of my father, so I will send them to your email. Any info or additional pix you might have would be great! Thanks!

      Chris

  24. Received an email from Bill Boeve: Kent, I was in the unit, RADAR SECTION, in ’69’ into Jan70.  I have uploaded many of my pics to my Facebook page (for family) and can be seen there.  I bounced around from Schwab to MACS-8A (Iwakuni) to TAD to MACS-4 Monkey Mt. RVN.  If you go into my FB page, you will see the heading ‘Photos’ -then ‘Albums’.  I have set the privacy selection to PUBLIC so you can see them.  You may already be familiar with Facebook and its operation.  I say this because so many our age are not FB savvy….nor am I to the greatest extent.  It’s funny cause looking at the ‘blog’ I remember Tosie (big Navajo dude if I recall correctly…or, maybe not  :))  I have ‘tagged’ the guys in my pics…..even ‘Dudley’ at the AN/TPS-22D radar site (my gear).  There is even some info on the squadron football team.  I emailed Jim Liston some time back about pics, and his advice was to be cautious….but, what da hey. You should be able to pull out some names from the pics as well as from any copies of old ‘orders’ you may have laying around….  I have more pics, but most are in 35mm slides and must be digitized. 

    Neat site and y’all keep up the good work.

    Semper Fi
    Bill Boeve (former Sgt/USMC)

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