Bulletin Board

For General Comments/Replies, questions about the blog or to leave a message for a MACS-8 buddy…

52 thoughts on “Bulletin Board

  1. Thanks to those who have sent me emails expressing what a great blog site this is..
    Received an email from Larry Bevil, one of the original MACS-8ers. And I would like to share it with you:
    Hi Kent, Good job on the website.  Unfortunately, for me, I precede all the photo’s and don’t recognize anyone.  I was in MACS-8 at MCAS Opa-Locka in ’57 and ’58.
    Yes, Don Whisnant and I were good friends at Opa-Locka.  I was discharged at Opa-Locka in 1958.  A few months later, I was hired by the Federal Aviation Agency and stayed most of my career there.  Interestingly enough, after being hired by the FAA, one of my first jobs took me to MCAS Beaufort.  I recall seeing Don there briefly.  I lost track of Don after that.  But, a few years back I found that he is a member of, I believe, the MACCS unit and we did correspond a few times.  I did attend one MACS-8 reunion at Pensacola several years ago, but only knew one person there.  So, we never really got back to the reunions after that. 
     Take care,
     Semper Fi, Larry Bevil

    • Hi Kent,

      Just saw this post and wanted to say “hi” to Larry (Bevil), a really old MACS-8 friend. We did have some good times in Miami! I grew up (and joined the Marines) in Miami, but never realized what a great place it was until I was stationed there as a Marine.

      Semper Fidelis,

    • SSgt. Mack Thornton.. I was in Opa-Locka at the same time with SSgt. Sammy Landrum, SSgt. Thomson, Sgt. Norbert Turner, Motor MSgt. Nesbitt, MSgt. Miles, Cpl. Dan Blocker, SSgt. Rucker, SSgt. Tom Asbjornsen, and SSgt. Mike Picarello. Most of us were in the motor pool, I was a 1341 Engineer Power Man for the unit. Most of us went to PI and then to Subic Bay and then to Atsugi. The mound that the big radar set on I built at Atsugi. I lost all my pictures and year book in a storm.
      Semper Fi. Mack Thornton

      • Mack, thanks for the comments.. Welcome to the blog site.. I met you and your wife Etha at this year’s reunion banquet. I’m sure some of the original MACS-8ers like yourself will enjoy reading your comments and your list of men who served with you. Kent Miller Blog NCO

      • Hi Mack,
        Those names from the Opa-Locka days really jogged my memory. There was a GySgt (I think) that headed the Utilities Section that looked like a weight lifter. I fixed his TV and he gave me a fifth of vodka for my service, which I drank straight and, well, you can imagine the result. Others I remember from Utilities were Sgt. Bob Glass, Claude Ladner and “Woody” Woodson.
        Semper Fidelis,
        Don Whisnant

  2. MACS-8ers.. I got an email from Marge Redus who had received an update and letter from Stan Miller Jr. and with his permission the letter follows:
    Hello, My name is Stan Miller (Burrell S. Miller Jr.). I just received your reunion newsletter. My dad, Burrell S, Miller, was a veteran of MACS-8 I believe in the early 60’s. I have all his Marines Corps records but they are kind of hard to read. My dad passed away on October 9th, 2009 from a long battle with lung cancer. I would appreciate it if you could add him to your list of members passed. My dad loved the Marine Corps and from the pictures I see when I get your newsletters it looks as though he served with a bunch of good guys. I never served in the military, but I have been a police officer for the past 21 years. My dad and I always watched war movies together and we often talked about his time in the military. You might find it interesting to know that after my dad left the service, he went to college, got a two year business degree and then went on to work for the West Virginia Department of Veterans’ Affairs. While there he attained the title of deputy director and helped many veterans get their military benefits some of which were due to WWII veterans. I would love to remain on your mailing list and maybe could attend one of the reunions. I have some of the books and pictures from his time in the Marines and I would love to bring those to share with the ones that are still around. Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Stan Miller SEMPER FI

  3. Meant to post this last year when Don emailed me, but it got lost in the mix.. I did list the 2 Marines Don wanted added to our Memorial List..

    Hi Kent,
    Thanks for the newsletter on the reunion, but I had already read the copy on your great website.
    Sorry I missed the reunion as it sounds like everyone had a great time.  

    My email address was changed from AOL several years ago after becoming tired of being bombarded with spam and other garbage mail.  Their filters just didn’t do it for me.

    I’m sure we knew each other in our past life in MACS-8.  I joined the squadron at Opa-locka in early 1957, moved to Page Field/Parris Island, then to the Philippines and Atsugi until early 1961 when the unit rotated back to the States.  I was a  sergeant (E4 and E5) radar tech in those days, and knew many of the folks on your memorial page.  MACS-8 was my first squadron, with lots of fond memories and great adventures.  Later, I was in MACS-3, 4, 7 and 9 plus C&E Schools in San Diego.  My last MACS tour was in Vietnam with MACS-4 in 1969.  After that, five years at HQMC eventually working for the Director of Intelligence until I retired in 1975 with 22 years service.  It was a great career, and I’d do it all over again.  I joined the Marines when I was 15 (didn’t lie, but a long story) so got an early start.

    There are a couple of names missing from your memorial page.  Jim (Sam) Cesena was another radar tech, and a good friend, that died about 10 years ago.  Also, Charlie Mears, our super controller who was with me in Vietnam and later was CO of MACS-7 (I think).

    I’ve attached a couple of photos of the radars taken at Page Field (the Jag was mine), plus a squadron photo taken in Japan. [See the History Set of photos on Flickr]. I have more photos, but they are buried in hundreds of 35mm slides and old B&W photos that I will go through one of these days.

    Thanks for setting up the really nice website, and please keep me on your list.

    Semper Fidelis,
    Don Whisnant

    978 Merganser Lane
    CarlsbadCA 92011-4861
    760-268-0809 (H)
    408-268-4354 (C)

  4. Hi Kent,

    Sadly, we have one more to add to the MACS-8 Memorial List. I attended Dave Holcroft’s memorial service last Tuesday at Ft. Rosecrans in San Diego. Dave was the MACS-8 Comm-Elect Officer who joined us at Page Field in 1958 and stayed with us until we returned from Atsugi in 1961. I later served with Dave at C&E Schools where he was the CO of the Basic Electronics School and later Battalion S-3. A wonderful person and great Marine.

    After retiring from the Marines, I worked in the defense industry for another 35 years. While I have many civilian friends, the friendships you make in the Marines are very different and very special in many ways. It’s fraternal organizations like MACS-8 that let us remain in contact with our old (literally) friends. Keep up the great work!

    Semper Fidelis,

  5. July 2012… John Rannochio informed us that Gaines “Lee” Willis, who had lung cancer, passed away this month in Oceanside, California. Lee was with MACS-8 in New River and Atsugi and worked in Crew 3, Operations.

  6. Mary Ann and I wish Jerry and family the best. I know whats going on in his head, as I’ve been there. May God be with you and yours. Good luck with it. Chick and Mary Ann

  7. Hi Kent,

    Here’s some history from MACS-8, 1957-1961, that I prepared for a reunion about 10 years ago. Thought everyone would enjoy the memories, especially those that were in MACS-8 during that period. Maybe this would be good for the Duty Stations section.

    Miami/Opa-locka, FL (1957-1958)

    Wednesday afternoons were usually devoted to “organized athletics” and included the services of a beer truck and free beer. Occasionally, the squadron would go to Government Beach at Baker’s Haulover in Miami Beach. The government actually owned prime beachfront property…there were no fences, so the civilian bathers (read good-looking female tourists) mingled with the Marines engaged in the aforementioned organized athletics. Of course the beer truck was always present.

    The MACS-8 complex was off the base at Opa-locka, and became a haven for stray animals. The CO finally called for help to rid the squadron of the loved, but far too large, animal population. Before the big round up, the troops wanted to protect George, the squadron pet chicken. One of the Marines who was raised on a farm demonstrated that by holding her beak to the ground and drawing an imaginary line from her beak to about a foot away, you could hypnotize her. So hypnotized, George was placed in a footlocker in the supply storeroom until all the action had subsided. Thereafter, George had weekly hypnosis sessions that corresponded with the CO’s work area inspections.

    During the summer months, the temperature was generally in the high 90’s and tourism consisted of blue-collar workers taking advantage of the greatly reduced hotel/motel rates. This translated to more females than males registered in Miami Beach hotels. To offset this disparity, the larger (or more clever) hotels would call the base and offer free booze, rooms, food, etc. if Marines would entertain the ladies in their bars and lounges. If you weren’t in the entertaining mood, every day of the week some hotel would have “happy hour” where the booze (well drinks only) was free for one hour. As you would expect, the ever resourceful MACS-8 Marines made a list of where to go, and at what time, any night of the week for the free stuff. It was a hard life, but the MACS-8 Marines were ever vigilant…

    Parris Island-Page Field, SC (1958-1959)

    Then the base at Opa-locka closed in mid-1958, or at least that’s when MACS-8 moved. Both air stations at Cherry Point, NC and Beaufort, SC had air control squadrons, so MACS-8 was transferred to Page Field. The abandoned (non-operational) airstrip was located by the smelly marshes on the Broad River at Parris Island SC. The enlisted members were billeted at the rifle range with Weapons Training Battalion personnel. Trips back to Miami Beach on long weekends were frequent.

    The MACS-8 Comm Chief, GySgt Hap Chandler, was the adopted owner of an especially ugly dog named Thumper (a remnant of the Miami animal round up). Hap and his comm crew had somehow trained Thumper to recognize and dislike anyone in an officer’s uniform. When the young lieutenants would arrive at work in the morning, Thumper would chase them from their cars to the hanger that was used as office space. As far as I know Thumper never caught an officer, but it certainly irritated the officers and delighted the enlisted crew that would watch from the hanger.

    Subic Bay/Cubi Point, Philippines (1960)

    Shortly after arrival in the Philippines in early 1960, two really drunk lieutenants from Ops (one of which was Ev Cowley who attended the San Diego reunion) bought a water buffalo from one of the locals in Olongapo for $10. They proceeded to ride the buffalo to the Subic main gate, and insisted on getting a bumper sticker (horn sticker?) for their “vehicle”. The OOD politely denied the request, and confiscated their transportation.

    Atsugi, Japan (1960-1961)

    SSgt Stanley Moore, one of the MACS-8 radio technicians, had a particularly good liberty in Yokohama with his counterparts in the British Royal Navy. The Brits had come ashore for a day or two before setting back out to sea, and were in a party mood. As the story unfolded later, it seems Stanley engaged the Brits in a drinking contest and became disoriented (drunk). His new friends, in no better shape, helped out by taking Stanley aboard their ship to sleep it off. About six hours out to sea, Stanley called MACS-8 to let his boss, WO Ray Wilder, know he would be a little late getting back to the base.

    Semper Fi,
    Don Whisnant
    MACS-8 1957-1961

    • Sgt.Whisnant……………..Ken (Smitty) Smith here. Joined Macs-8 at Page Field and lived in the barracks in the arcade at the rifle range. You may not remember me except that I kept pestering you to show me a few licks from time to time on your Gretsch…. which by the way I’m playing very, very well. I was a Cpl. at the time and then we went to Subic and then when we got to Atsugi where I became a Private again. Bad choices followed me for a while, but when I returned to the states, I got it all back together. You’ll more than likely remember me when I tell you my MOS was 3371 and I worked as a cook. If by chance you still have your yearbook my mug should be in there, and I still remember it being the worst picture ever taken of me in my entire life. Might have been the hangover I was suffering had a little to do with it too! Went on to work in the food service industry until I retired in 2008. Came upon this site looking for hints on how to find my Parris Island graduation book and saw your name, which at first I thought began with an “S”, which I posted earlier (on the Duty Stations, NAS Atsugi page). Anyhow, that’s my story and it’s been good to see a familiar name that I can connect to an old memory.
      Semper Fi, Smitty

      • Hi Smitty,

        I suspect you have me mixed up with someone else in MACS-8 as I have never owned a Gretsch or any other guitar. However, we must have known each other as we lived in the same barracks at the Weapons Training Battalion on Parris Island. Wasn’t that fun after being stationed in Miami? I remember lots of weekend trips from Parris Island back to Miami for a decent liberty. You might remember my Jaguar XK-140 roadster…it was the only one on the base and was great for liberty in Savannah (or those trips back to Miami).

        Don’t give up trying to find your graduation yearbook. I gave mine to my mother after boot camp, and she threw it out after a few years. About five years ago, I started a search on eBay and after about a year, I found one for my platoon. What are the chances?

        Semper Fi,
        Don Whisnant

  8. Received an email from James Ferguson who was a MACS-8 Radar Repair Tech from MCAS Miami and he sent me the following information:
    Hi Kent,
    I found the MACS-8 web pages and wanted to let you know another old squadron member is still around.  I signed up for following emails. I look forward to the news and updates. I am glad to learn many squadron members are keeping involved. 
    I enlisted in August 1953 and did  my boot camp at Paris Island. I then went to the  Great Lakes NTC Electronics school (Division 1 and 2) then on the the Marine Communication and Electronics school in San Diego. That school was at the MCRD San Diego. I was fortunate enough to be in the Radar training side.
    When I completed the Radar school I went to MCAS Miami and joined MACS-8 as a Radar repair tech .  I stayed in Miami until my enlistment was completed in August 1956. During those two years we did two tours at Roosevelt Roads in support of the Marine training maneuvers. It was a wonderful experience and a great training program for me. Unfortunately  I have not kept up with many of my old squadron friends as they moved on with their Marine careers. I guess when we are very young we don’t fully applicate those relationships. I would be pleased to have my name added to your roster.
    I will look for any old photos I may have from the Opa Locka  and Roosevelt Roads radar sites.
    Best regards, James Ferguson

    • Received an email from James Ferguson along with 3 pictures.. These were sent to my Flickr MACS-8 History set.
      Dear Kent,

      Please find the attached photo of the MACS-8 radar site set up on Puerca Point, Roosevelt Roads, Puerto Rico. This was taken in May 1956.
      The Igloo on the left is the radar ops center. From left to right is the Height finder. (Don’t recall the model). center is the TPSY-1D Radar and on the right is the MPS-11 Radar.
      The MPS-11 was set up on top of an old WW-2 Pill Box at the top of the hill.
      Not viable are the old family quarters (old duplex units) down the hill to the left used during WW-2. We used these as our living quarters.

      Also attached is the graduation picture of the Marine Aviation Radar Repair Course Class 10. This school was in San Diego and was taken on September 28, 1954. The back of the photo with signatures is also attached. Most of the graduates went on to aviation and MACS units. I went to MACS-8 in Miami.

      I will look for more photos.
      Best regards, Jim Ferguson

  9. Also I seem to remember a Sgt. whose name I can’t recall that drowned in a ditch just outside the base from too much drink. It was really a great time in my life back then and I find myself looking over those times in the Corps and and all the friendships that I experienced wondering why in the hell I could not have appreciated it as much at the time. I’m not really a computer guy so I would not know where to look on the net in search for my grad book. Got an idea I might follow the routine you used, please let me know. It’s been great hearing from someone that was in my day and time back then and I’ll look forward to an update sometime in the future. In the meantime have a great life and ……..”Semper Fi”!! Smitty

  10. Received an email April 7th from Rollie “Euby” Eubanks:
    I was with MACS-8 with Sgt “Howie” Andrews. Attached is one photo from that time. I have more but am retiring and leaving CA for IL and they are packed.  I will send them along when I get settled. I arrived at MACS-8 in July 1970 and was there during the change to MACS-4.  At the time of arrival I was a PFC, when I left I was a Cpl.  I was in Operations (mos 6741).  The C.O. at that time was LtCol. Jolly and the NCOIC was MSgt. Underhill.  I became Crew-chief of Crew 2 during my time there. The attached photo was taken at the small compound just outside MCAF Futema. Back row from left to right is: Dan “Euby” Eubanks (Illinois), Norman “Knobby” Brennan (Minnesota), Louis Alt (Montana?) Front row left to right is Gary Smith (Texas) and Schimer.
    [See Flickr photo site, MACS-8 Okinawa 1961-71 set, for picture].
    Great to find this site. Semper Fi

  11. Hi Kent, was looking for information on this year’s reunion in Berlin, Ohio when I saw all the comments. It is good to see all the old guys bring back their memories. I attended the reunion in Branson. I was with MACS-8 from 1963 till they left for Japan. I stayed state side and joined MACS-5. I’ve stayed in contact with Jim and Carol Liston and Paul Kerr who lives just outside Winnie, Texas. He still does crop dusting. Just wanted to say great website. Remember to keep things simple for us old guys. Semper Fi, Ray Folley

    • Ray, thanks for the comment. Hope to see you at the reunion if you can make it. Not a long drive from Indiana.. Glad you enjoy the blog site. Kent Miller Blog NCO

  12. It was great to finally meet all of you from the MACS-8 group – it was cool, you had the reunion practically in my back yard 🙂 Sara and I got home safe & sound – a bit chilly – but the ride home to the Newark-Zanesville area, 65 miles south of Berlin, was well worth it 🙂
    Sgt Andrews & Sara
    1970 Okinawa MACS-8

    • Howard, glad you and Sara came on Saturday and participated in our Amish farm dinner. We have a great group of guys and gals as you know and hope in the future you will attend another reunion.. Kent Miller

  13. Kent & Jennifer,
    You both did a GREAT Job with the 20th reunion.
    I wish we could have stayed at least a week longer. We didn’t see everything we wanted to, but that is always the way. Too busy visiting with friends.
    It was so nice to see old faces and meet new ones.
    Looking forward to 2014 in Indiana.

    • Chick and Mary Ann.. Thanks, Jennifer and I enjoyed hosting for the great bunch of MACS-8 guys and gals who attended.
      Glad everyone got around to seeing the sights, shopping and joining us for our evening restaurant meals via caravan. And the Saturday night dinner with the Yoders was a unique treat for all.

  14. oooRAH! I was a member of MACS-8 in 1969 at Camp Schwab, Okinawa. Fond memories of those I came in contact with and worked with. Semper Fi

  15. Bob Stare informed us that Jim Gehringer passed away on Friday, July 25th.. Our condolences to his wife Vivian and family. Jim was a good friend and fellow MACS-8er who worked in the Operations area.

  16. 10/16/14.. Mary Ann Pendergraft notified us that Chick will be having chemo for the next 3 to 4 weeks.. His cancer has returned and all of us are praying this latest chemotherapy will show good results.. Kent Miller, Blog NCO

  17. Hmmm, I was in Okinawa in 1970, but don’t recall any race riots. Heard there may have been some racial tension, but I never witnessed any personally.

  18. I served with SSgt Thurman with MACS-8 ( communications ) from roughly July ’69 until June ’70 at Camp Schwab. Does anyone know him and if he decided to remain on Okinawa ?

      • Do you remember Capt. Pothier or Ron Sivak in Communications during that time period? Been hoping to get in touch with Ron since I’ve seen his posting on the Where R U site.

  19. Sorry, I looked thru my old pictures, to see if something would click, I had some of the Marines named, but (Pothier,or Sivak)I do not re-call. I was in Operations (radar operators platoon), I can remember a Technicians platoon and a Motor T platoon, of course the corpsman – I don’t have recollection of anybody in Communications. I have only been in contact with a couple people from that time frame since those days. Sorry, you might try “Together We Served” web site . I’ll see if I still have any old rosters, I was the Training NCO, had an office in the main bldg.- mostly just for the radar operators.

  20. Operations where 6700 – 6756 , I shared an office with Lt. Colley, Lt. Col. Shea was the commanding officer, had him at MACS 7 as well. Master Sgt. Gonzales was the senior enlisted.
    Can’t remember, the other officers, I tried to avoid them, lol. I remember a Sgt. Shivonie from Ohio, he was Tech Sgt. – Good luck on your search

  21. Got an email from Frank Walter about a joint MACS Reunion next year 22-25 June at the USMC Museum in Quantico, VA.. The link is “https://www.facebook.com/events/973829919351466/”
    Any questions email Frank Walter at fwalter@frontier.com or he can be reached at 260-667-0602.

  22. I’m looking for anyone who remembers an LTC by the name of Workman. I went to school with his son in the 5th and 6th grades that would have been ’56 and ’57. I don’t know if he was the base commander but he did arrange a tour of the base at Opa Locka. Any information would be greatly appreciated. I can be reached at sandrawhee@gmail.com or (304) 210-0235

  23. This is Jim Nowacki. i was a 2511 with MACS-8 in Atsugi NAS and made the move to Camp Schwab, Okinawa. around 1964 or 65. I tried messaging Robert J. Burke at a lavalover email address but got no response. Maybe your e-mail address was changed. I was friends with Doug Chewning and Gary Burrier. I would love to hear from you Robert. My email address is jayandal01@gmail.com


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