Clarksville Base - Message Board

6 Messages Since 3-14-00

Posted 7-24-00
Bill White, Capt. USMC Ret, 54 - 56

The name is Bill White.  I left Korea in Dec 53 and reported to Clarksville Base in Mar 54.  At the time I was a Cpl and I was assigned to the Intelligence and Security Office as a Clerk.  The Security Officer was Maj Jeff D. Smith and the MCOIC was Msgt Wayne Knepper.  There were three clerks assigned to the office; a Cpl Bobby Young; Cpl Eugene Courson and myself.  The Commanding Officer was LtCol Anthony (cold steel) Walker.  He was later relieved by LtCol Clarence J. Mabry.  I spent approximately 20 months at Clarksville before being transferred to Cherry Point, N.C.  At the time I was at Clarksville, the barracks SgtMaj was a Glenn W. Lusk.  Thru a couple of other Marines that were at Clarksville at the same time; (Cpl Dean Pedlar - Ret Capt); (Cpl C. J. Riley - Ret Maj) I have had phone conversations with the three of them.

I spent 28 years in the Corps and got Commissioned during the Vietnam War.  Rose to the rank of Capt and after the reduction of forces, I was reverted to the rank of Msgt.   One year later I was promoted to MgySgt and held that grade until I was transferred to the Fleet Reserve.  Two years later, I was placed on the retired rolls as a Capt.

Cpl Eugene Courson went onto OCS and retired out as a Full Colonel.  We live about an hours drive from each other and occassionally get together for lunch.

Posted 11-21-00
George L. Elliott, Sgt. , 52 - 55 ......also
Robt. L. Hatmaker (Hattie), Sgt. , 52 - 55

We are looking for anyone of our buddies that we were stationed with at the "birdcage" from 1952-1955, 2nd Plt. "B" Co.  We both presently reside in Lake City, Tenn.  We are very much looking forward to hearing from each and every one of you.

Posted 12-29-01
BobTrujillo, 61 - 63

Hello Fellow Marines. I served on Clarksville Base from January '61 to June '63. I was assigned to Marine Barracks, Clarksville Base straight out of recruit training in Parris Island. The "Bird Cage" brings back a host of great and cherised memories. After my tour of duty at Clarksville Base I was assigned to Thrid Battlion, Eighth Marine Regiment, Second Marine Division, Camp LeJune, NC. It would be great to hear from anyone who has served on Clarksville Base.

Posted 2-26-02
Pvt Dixon, 59 - 61

Fellow Marines. My name is Bill Dixon. I am a Marine that reported to Marine Barracks Clarksville Base in June 1959 and served at the "birdcage" until Dec.1961. I have great memories of the guys. Where is Bill Teletehea, Bob Sweda, Bill Brennen, Dave Lewis, JackLeister, Buzz Gallagher, Alfie the tank Myers, Steve Robson, Don Wise, Pete Gump Daly, Harry Wines, Capt. Bob Carney, Jim Gormley, Jim Farmer,  Big Jon Erickson, Tom O'conner, Mike Greig. If any of you see this I'd like to hear from you.

Posted 9-06-02
MSgt Larry Jones, 4th Platoon Commander, 66 - 69

I'm retired CID MSgt Larry Jones.  I left 2nd Recon for Clarksville Base and worked as the 4th Platoon Commander from 1966-1969.  I departed Clarksville Base in February 1969 for Staging Battalion and onward to the RVN.  My best buddy was another Starboard Section PltCmdr and fellow Sergeant, Terry Smith.  In 1977, upon graduation from CID school at Ft. McClellan, AL, and while driving back to CamPen, I stopped by the old birdcage.  It was around 2200 on a Friday evening.  I knew the base had shut down while I was doing my tour in Vietnam; however, driving through the Q in my POV was something of a shock, incoming and outgoing Q area gates were wide open and no sentries to be seen.  During my self-motivated tour a couple of Army MPs stopped me near the old guard shack (bunker).  My knowledge of the base along with my Criminal Investigator credentials earned me a salute and escort.  Another shock came years later when I viewed all our Top Secret areas on the internet - all that is except for our 5 foot rabbits and alien spacecraft believed hidden there.  During my tour my platoon arrested numerous 101st paratroopers who floated into our area and many more who dared "eyeball" our straddle carrier convoys.  Unfortunately, we lost two Army recruits (separate incidents) who believed getting through our wire was the way to safety.  Both were electrocuted while trying to slide beneath the "hot" 3rd fence.  My favorite memories are riding shotgun atop the train's engine and leading convoys to the Ft. Campbell airfield - those and leading some of the finest Marines in the Corps.  Semper Fi to all.

Posted 4-17-03
Debbie Bratton   or

Just a note to let you know I am completing my book this year. It has taken much longer than expected to gather information. Marines who would like to share their memories or thoughts about the  "Birdcage" should email me or by mail at: Post Office Box 20515, Clarksville, TN  37042. Please contact me with your experiences by June 30th, 2003. You may also email or mail me your address if you would like to receive a notice when the book is available. Thank you!

Posted 12-26-08
John B. Tonkin, 1956 - 1958

After serving for about a year with H&S Battery, First Battalion, 10th Marines at Camp Lejeune, NC I was transferred to Marine Barracks, Clarksville Base, TN.

I arrived at CB the night 28 November 1956 in the midst of an alert exercise during which one Marine was killed and several injured. I was assigned to 1st platoon, Able Company. Our Company 1st Sgt. was MSgt Waters, our Platoon Leader was Lt Bruce Deneen and our Platoon Sgt was GySgt Robert Wehner (who passed away in mid 2008).  First and Second platoons were housed in the concrete block barracks on the south side of the tennis court; First on the ground floor, Second on the second deck.

Our USMC CO was Col. Walter Walsh, known as the Father of the Marine Corps marksmanship program. Col. Walsh is nearing 102 years of age and lives in the Washington DC area. This information as of 24 December 2008.

Among my other duties at CB, I was assigned as Sgt-at-Arms for the court martial of two Marines who got into it on duty with the end result that one shot the other, wounding him in the shoulder with his M-1 Garand rifle. Both Marines were given general discharges and sent home. Another court martial involved a Marine who was caught impersonating a Tennessee Highway Patrolman. He was sentenced to brig time and later discharged.

I was promoted twice - PFC and Corporal, then had a fender-bender accident and as a result of Col. Walsh's office hours, was RNIRed back to PFC. So much for re-enlisting. I volunteered for mess duty and spent a great deal of time trying to drive the Bosuns Mate who ran the mess deck nuts. I don't know for certain, but I may have succeeded.

I was released from active duty and spent my working career as a Labor Relations Manager for three different firms. I retired early in 1996 and have enjoyed every minute of it.

I currently serve as Co-Chair of Birdcage Marine Reunion #7 to be held at Parris Island, SC 24-26 April 2009. For information on the event, see the reunion info on this site.

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