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Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 07 Apr 2009, 10:15
by GCWilly
I arrived in Iwakuni in December, 1967, and joined VMFA-542 just before Operation Happy Face. I spent most of my off-duty time in town at the Chez Paris Bar usually, and my favorite off-limits eatery. My favorite place to visit while I was there was Kentai, however I did make the trip by train to Hiroshima a few times. About got our butts kicked everytime we went there so decided Kentai was a more calm place and a better choice of destinations. Especially around the time of the Cherry Blossom Festival. What a trip! Those Japanese people lined up and down along the river with their Typhoon Fifths of Sake .... they got me drunk! I also spent a lot of time in the tailor shops. I had many tailor-made, silk-lined coats and slacks made while I was there. Also, an enormous set of China that I sent home and still have it (even after the kids manhandling them). I was Payroll Clerk for our squadron and was friends with the Base Disbursing Clerk (Frank Gorog) and we had it made up that we would put ourselves on the MPR and pay ourselves every other week AFTER regular payday. So, when everybody got paid and went out into town they paid high prices for EVERYTHING! Then, the next week when everybody was broke Frank and I would pay ourselves and go to town. They would feel sorry for us (I guess) thnking it was between paydays and we didn't have much money so things were a little cheapeer for us .... EVERYTHING! During the regular paydays I usually hung around the church near us and played keyboards some Sundays there. I had a great time in Iwakuni .... and, I'd like to go back to visit one time before I get too old to remember WHY. <gw>

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 07 Apr 2009, 14:41
by Patrick
I am Patrick Leddy, cousin of Capt. Dan McCaffrey, USMCR , (deceased). I have met John Slawinski in person, spoke to Jerry Nicholson today and am in regular contact with Joe Featherston.

My first cousin, Capt. Daniel Joseph McCaffrey,USMCR, was a RIO from '68 to '69 in the RVN. He died in a car accident near Cherry Point shortly after returning from his tour. Suffice to say he was , along with Bob McCaffrey, USN, an older brother to me. We lived in a split apartment in Chicago Illinois from 1948 to 1954. My grandpa, Daniel Joseph Aloisio, was the landlord. He lived downstairs from us with my grandma Ruth, a Wisconsin farmgirl who'd emigrated. "Danny Joe" was named after him. I was a pest to both Bobby and Danny!

I say all of the above by way of introduction. I can't thank you all enough for allowing me the privilege of taking part on this site. I have some pics and an audio tape which I can edit and send out. It covers two missions and some observations made when Danny was philosophizing in his quarters between missions.

This is a somewhat emotional thing for me to rub elbows and emails with you gents (and Ladies).

My contact info is I live in Park Ridge Illinois.
God Bless you all, and please pray for my nephew Lcpl David Leddy who was wouded in Iraq in Sept '07. He continues to recover.

God Bless you all......Patrick Leddy....60 years old and counting!

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 11 Apr 2009, 08:18
by GCWilly
I remember Capt. McCaffrey. Although I didn't know him as well as some of the others, I was around all of them at one time or another through the Admin Office where I worked. I'm sorry to hear that he is no longer with us.

I would love to see some of the old film footage and photos of some of those missions again. I had a 12" reel of Super-8 (spliced together from many small 4" reels)of missions they flew. The pilot would take my camera with a shutter release cable to lock open the shutter and strap it down on the visor. He would take shots going into the dives and dropping ordnance and then operate the camera by hand when he was up above getting shots of the other planes that followed them in. I lost all of that and just about all the photos I had of that experience in a fire many years ago. So, if you would like to share your photos with us, I'd appreciate seeing them. Thanks!

I will pray for your newphew, David, and I hope he makes a full recovery soon. God bless him for his service and sacrifices to our country.

I currently live in the northwest corner of Washington state .... a little town named Everson, WA.. It's nothing really great, but all my kids still live there so until they kick me out I'm staying right there when I'm home (I'm gone alot .... driving truck now). Contact me anytime, Patrick. My e-mail address is:

Good hearing from you .... warmest regards,
Gary Wilson (62 and counting)

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 04 Jul 2011, 11:14
by gorog4
Gary Wilson----I just ran across your site and stirred up many memories, I know it's been two years since you posted your message so I hope you get this message.
I sure do remember you and the times in Iwakuni, Japan, you were company clerk and I handled your units pay records, I think we talked every day, don't know if you remember after you were sent to Nam, me and two other guys scammed some orders to go to Nam for a few days and visit, you actually had us put into your unit, issued us field gear and rifle, we went to China Beach for the day, have picture of you there, I still have my old address book from Vam buddies and your names in it as 221 belder dr, san jose, ca 95133.
Funny thing the day my two buddies and I were flying out back to Japan, we were sleeping in transit by the airstrip when it got shelled by rockets, the two guys I was with had never been to Nam and about shit their pants while running to the nearest bunker, there yelling what'll we do and I said follow me, they both landed on me in the bunker, I don't think they ever wanted to go back.
Sure hope you get this message and to hear back from you. Frank Gorog

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 04 Jul 2011, 16:23
by Jerry Nicholson
Frank, I just read your post and it was funny. I can just picture it in my mind. Anyway I am glad you found us. Gary visits often and should see your message soon.

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 13 Jul 2011, 22:31
by GCWilly
Frank .... I'm really glad you managed to find our site. It's been a lot of years and every once in a while I start strolling down memory lane and there you are .... along with lots of other friends I made along the way. We've exchanged a couple e-mails since you joined us, talking about all the crazy things we did back then and probably should have been thrown in the brig (these days they would just shoot us!). I like those strolls .... ALOT! Anyway .... I know you are going up to Lake Huron for somewhat of a Famiily Reunion, and I'm getting ready to move out of Washington back to Califonria in a day or two. So .... you have a great time with your family, and when you get back and I get settled in the "Late, Great, State of California", let's stay in touch. Semper Fi ....
Gary Wilson

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 14 Aug 2011, 08:48
by gorog4
Hey Gary--Had computer problems and lost all e-mails, I sent a few to you and didn't hear back, maybe I had the wrong address, so get in touch with me again.
I know you have been moving and not set up yet-----Frank
Hope to hear from

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 10 Sep 2011, 18:18
by bwilson
I do remember the days in Iwankuni. I worked in the power plants shop. I joined the squadron in Chu Lai and spent some time there before we deployed to Japan.
I had a great time. We rented bikes and rode them around the base. Had a blast. It was colder than heck working on the flight line and even in the hanger during the winter we were there.
We used to bring rice wine back to the barracks and heat it in the sink. Remember one night we put every body's flip flop's in the crappers (A LITTLE TO MUCH WINE). Poppa son came in the next morning to clean the place and had a fit.
I do miss the great times. Just reconnected with by best friend in the Ronald (STONEY)Stone. We tore the town up had a ball. Went back into country together at Danang.
Best wishes to everyone out there be safe tigers.

S/SGT Bob Wilson (Willy)

Re: Cpl. Gary Wilson

PostPosted: 12 Jan 2012, 10:08
by GCWilly
I remember when we were there having an earth quake. It was cold as heck outside .... and, I had a hang-over. The flag outside the office got tangled at the top of the pole and SgtMaj Barlow had me climb up that stupid pole to untangle it. I think he was just trying to teach me a lesson on how NOT to come to work. Anyway, I got almost up to the top when that earth quake hit and that pole started swaying. I thought I was still drunk, till I looked at the power lines swaying with me. Needless to say, I came down that flag pole like it was greased! I guess Mr. Barlow didn't teach me that lesson after all. I still had MANY nights out in town and got TAKSAN STINKO!!!! Ahhhh.....the memories!