From Vern Smith
This website was established to allow the free exchange of remembrances and experiences of
Marines that signed the dotted line, then took an oath over forty-seven
years ago to preserve, protect and defend this Nation and its
Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic.
We have long since been released
from active duty, but we have never been released from that oath.
In 1958, we were recruits
of Third Battalion, Platoon 349, Marine Corps Recruit Depot,
San Diego. We received our training under the watchful eyes of
Staff Sergeant, C.W. Connell; Senior Drill Instructor, Sergeant
E. Cockrell; Junior Drill Instructor Sergeant, J.K. Beltz..
Few of us have remained in
touch over these many years and then over two years ago contacts
began to be reestablished. We owe most of the success of this
investigative work to the forward thrust of Doug Shurtleff and
his wife, Linda.
From Doug Shurtleff
A friend of mine who had been on the National USMCR Pistol
team and lived in Billings, Mt. called me one day, and said he
had been talking to a friend of his. This friend mentioned that
he had been in boot camp in 1958. Turned out to be Bob Brazier
and we began calling each other once in a while as Bob lived
in Southern Montana and the internet hadn't been invented there
Later as I was looking
over a USMC web site I happened to see an
Bob Brazer and Doug Shurtleff
article written by Vern, that he had submitted. We began e-mailing
back and forth, and learned that he was still in contact with
Jim Rice and Wally Shoults.
Shortly after that,
I was reading Leatherneck Magazine and saw a letter to the editor
about Platoon 349 qualifying 100% at the rifle range signed by
C. W. Connell. Linda was and is still doing genealogy and managed
to find his address and phone number. I called, had a long chat
with the Gunny then immediately notified Bob, Vern, Wally and
|Jim Rice and
Vern Smith and Wally Shoults
From Paul Prosise
When Doug and Linda
emailed me asking if I was from the 349 platoon I about fell
off my chair. Luckily I'm into doing web sites and offered to
put one up for the old platoon, and it just has been growing
from there. A special thanks to my son, Jeff Prosise, for letting
us use space on his server for the 349er web site.
There are still more out there
somewhere and you are urged to see if you can bring another 349er
into the fold. Don't give up trying to locate that missing former
sharer of Quonset huts.
Remember the boot camp saying,
"Good thing you're not a Marine yet, because when a Marine
quits, HE'S DEAD."