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Thread: Classic USMC Photo

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Default Classic USMC Photo

    This is a classic USMC photo and yet I can't find anything on the identity of these Marines.

    http://dirckhalstead.org/issue0405/ddd36.html

    ...
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Council Member Danny's Avatar
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    Default Technically speaking ...

    This is an interesting photo, and it would indeed be nice to know its origin. But technically speaking, the caption would probably be wrong. The three Marine rifle skills badges are in order [a] marksman (or what the grunts call the pizza box ribbon - everyone tried to avoid it), [b] sharpshooter, and [c] expert.

    I don't know the badges when this photo was shot, but these guys are probably experts.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I don't think they were speaking technically, for

    a mass audience they were probably thinking the dictionary version of the word. Media folks are prone to do that...
    sharp·shoot·er
    Pronunciation: \ˈshärp-ˌshü-tər\
    Function: noun
    Date: 1802

    1 : a proficient marksman
    2 : a consistently accurate shooter (as in basketball)
    Pedantry is its own reward...

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I've seen the details posted in captions within at least a half-dozen coffee table books at the Gray Research Library. If I remember correctly, one of them (center Marine?) was a lieutenant.

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    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Default One of the guys look familiar but can't remember where I might have seen

    Quote Originally Posted by Culpeper View Post
    This is a classic USMC photo and yet I can't find anything on the identity of these Marines.

    http://dirckhalstead.org/issue0405/ddd36.html

    ...
    Also whatever their doin you gotta give the shooter cred, it looks like he's dressed to go to a party after he's done. You know got the button up dress shirt on underneath his camo. and no helmet to mess up his hair

    Or did that used to be standard undergarment?

    The same pic in the WIKI breakdown long and fairly detailed not sure about total accuracy

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Khe_Sanh

    Pic history
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:KhS7.jpg
    Last edited by Ron Humphrey; 05-01-2008 at 11:13 PM. Reason: add link
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    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Ask David Duglas Duncan the photographer at the website. He was actually protesting the War. He wrote a book called "I Protest" where most if not all those pictures ended up. Try that and see if he responds.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Shooting jacket over

    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    Also whatever their doin you gotta give the shooter cred, it looks like he's dressed to go to a party after he's done. You know got the button up dress shirt on underneath his camo. and no helmet to mess up his hair
    a jungle uniform jacket.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Ask David Duglas Duncan the photographer at the website. He was actually protesting the War. He wrote a book called "I Protest" where most if not all those pictures ended up. Try that and see if he responds.

    His estate donated the photo to the USMC History Division. I think that means he's dead now and put the photo in the public domain by donating it to the government. Also, the guy with the rifle has to be a USMC Sniper/Scout. That is the original 1966 M40. The scoped rifle gave these guys a free pass to just about anywhere. Including Khe Sanh. The only way that guy is not a Sniper/Scout is if he is an officer. No Scout/Sniper would let anyone hold that weapon unless he was giving it up and then only to an officer with instruction to log it into the armory along with the serial number. As far as I know only 1/5 Sniper Platoon was at Khe Sanh. I could be wrong on that though. Anyway, I believe this is a candid photo. I've seen reference to it maybe on one of the hilltops near Khe Sanh. Nevertheless, it was not a good day. These guys have been in the field a while. I've alter the photo a little and you can see their hair is matted with dirt.
    Last edited by Culpeper; 05-02-2008 at 02:15 AM.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


  9. #9
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Culpeper, I would still try and find a copy of "I protest" the caption below the picture may say who it is.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Culpeper, I would still try and find a copy of "I protest" the caption below the picture may say who it is.
    Okay, I'll need to get it through ILLIAD though.

    Last edited by Culpeper; 05-02-2008 at 03:58 AM.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Council Member bikewrench8541's Avatar
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    Photo is from Khe Sanh Feb 23, 1968.
    In the pic is LCpl Albert Miranda, LCpl David Birdwell and Lt Alec Bodenwiser.
    Their hometowns are listed as well, it is a very famous Life photo.
    Photo is by David Douglas Duncan (A Former Marine himself ISTR)

    All info from 'The One Round War' by Peter Senich.

    BTW it's Scout/Snipers.
    That is an issue wool shirt for all of you interested.
    I'm not sure which S/S platoons would have been there but there were multiple Regiments involved.

    Twice in one week for some reason, in fact, twice in one day...
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 05-03-2008 at 02:15 PM. Reason: Clean Up Your Language

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    I have written "Scout/Sniper" 1,000 times as punishment. Thanks for the ID. Not bad for your second contribution to the forum. Welcome aboard. BTW, are those IDs from left to right?
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


  13. #13
    Council Member bikewrench8541's Avatar
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    Affirmative. Left to right.
    Cheers, thanks. I actually had just looked it up yesterday morning for another person.

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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    I canceled the ILLiad request for "I Protest" and changed it to "One-Round War". I didn't get the title until I saw the cover...



    "I Protest" is on my radar though.
    Last edited by Culpeper; 05-03-2008 at 02:58 AM.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Here is the actual developed photograph. I have also found a means to contact the center Marine. I hope he replies or joins this topic.

    http://www.hrc.utexas.edu/exhibition...y/war/349.html
    ...
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Council Member 120mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    a mass audience they were probably thinking the dictionary version of the word. Media folks are prone to do that...

    Pedantry is its own reward...
    But you'll go blind and get hairy palms from it....

  17. #17
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    I received several emails from David Burdwell. Turns out Earl Breeding (Hill 861A) lives in my town. Ran into Earl the other day at the range of all places.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    Registered User jumpinjarhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Danny View Post
    This is an interesting photo, and it would indeed be nice to know its origin. But technically speaking, the caption would probably be wrong. The three Marine rifle skills badges are in order [a] marksman (or what the grunts call the pizza box ribbon - everyone tried to avoid it), [b] sharpshooter, and [c] expert.

    I don't know the badges when this photo was shot, but these guys are probably experts.
    They were the same in that era (mine) as they are today-only the weapons used and some aspects of the qualification courses have changed.
    "We sleep safely in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm."

  19. #19
    Council Member Culpeper's Avatar
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    Since I posted this thread only the Marine in the middle is still with us. Last time I spoke with Earl Breeding he said the photo was sort of staged. They were scouting for enemy in the distance when the photo was taken but they sort of paused for the photographer. No big deal. Still a great photo. I have a Scout/Sniper Association version of that rifle built by the Remington custom shop and Brigade Armory. Had it out to the range yesterday. Very accurate rifle. The Marines called it the M700 in Vietnam. Also, known as the M40. Before the M40A1. I've had this rifle since 2006. I use 168 gr. match ammo. Very accurate out to 600 meters. Marines used a heavier bullet and ranged out to 1000 yards on a good day.

    EDIT: Some background on Earl Breeding during Khe Sanh.
    http://militarytimes.com/citations-m...ipientid=23302

    SSA Rifle #798 of 1200

    Last edited by Culpeper; 07-26-2010 at 03:10 AM.
    "But suppose everybody on our side felt that way?"
    "Then I'd certainly be a damned fool to feel any other way. Wouldn't I?"


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    The expression 'Green with Envy' is quite apt about now. It still looks better than the new Chinese made sniping rifles.

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