Thursday, September 10, 2020

Mandatory Drill Annapolis Sep 10-13, 2020

Mandatory Drill Annapolis Sep 10-13, 2020

Click to View the 5 Paragraph Order



20 January 2020

FROM: Drew Davis

TO:       Members, Headquarters Detachment 4

SUBJ:   Information re Reunion 2020, Annapolis, MD, 10-13 September

1. Situation. It’s time for rogering up to attend the
2020 reunion drill of the loyal members of Headquarters Det 4. The reunion will be held 10-13 September 2020 In Annapolis, Maryland, on the waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. Area of Operations will be historic downtown, Annapolis, the United States Naval Academy, Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium, the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay.

2. Mission. Gather, reminisce, conduct a reconnaissance of the U.S. Naval Academy, cheer Navy on to gridiron victory, conduct amphibious operations on the Severn River, eat, drink, have fun.

3. Execution.

a. Thursday, 10 Sept:

i. Arrive in Annapolis, check in to Historic Inns of Annapolis Governor Calvert House, 58 State Circle, Annapolis.

ii. 1700 Assembly and Happy Hour upstairs bar at Harry Browne’s Tavern, 66 State Circle (next to Calvert House)

iii. 1830 Dinner at Galway Bay Irish Restaurant, 63 Maryland Ave (around corner from Harry Browne’s)

iv. Post dinner socializing: Harry Browne’s Bar

b. Friday, 11 Sept:

i. 0815 Breakfast on own at Chick and Ruth’s Del, 185 Main Street (three blocks from Calvert House) Web

ii. 0830 Recite Pledge of Allegiance at Chick and Ruth’s Deli (an Annapolis tradition worth participation)

iii. 0930 Walk to Naval Academy Gate 1 visitor’s entrance. Need military ID or two forms of civilian ID.

iv. 1000-1230 Walking tour of Naval Academy: Dahlgren Hall, Memorial Hall, Chapel, John Paul Jones Crypt, USNA History Museum.

v. 1230-1400 Lunch at Naval Academy Club The Alley.

vi. 1500 Afternoon Severn River and Chesapeake Bay cruise on Annapolis Maritime Museum skipjack “Wilma Lee”

vii. 1800 Happy Hour and dinner at The Boatyard Bar and Grill, 400 4th Street

c. Saturday, 12 Sept:

i. Breakfast on own

ii. 1000 Visit State Capitol and tour historic chambers where Washington resigned his commission.

iii. 1100-1300 Lunch on own and personal time to explore
shops of Main Street and Maryland Avenue. (Be sure to visit Irish Traditions, 141 Main Street where Col Will Holahan’s Military Tartans are on sale.)

iv. 1300-1445 Tailgate party (beer and snacks) at Davis parking spot No. 458 in the Gold Parking Lot at Navy Marine Corps Stadium. (Stadium is walking distance from hotel.) Wear Marine Corps logowear.

v. 1500 In seats for impressive March On of the Brigade of Midshipman and flyover.

vi. 1530-1830 Navy Midshipman vs Lafayette Leopards.
Go Navy!

vii. 1700 Happy Hour and Dinner McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar, City Dock. (McGarvey’s is a favorite gathering spot for Marines especially on 10 November.)

d. Sunday 13 Sept:

i. 1000 Brunch and farewell at Annapolis Yacht Club, 2 Compromise Street

4. Admin and Logistics

a. Annapolis is 30 minutes drive time from BWI Airport or the BWI Amtrak Station. It’s an hour drive (traffic permitting from Reagan National Airport and 1-2 hours drive from Dulles Airport. The hotel has parking access and there is plenty of public lot parking.

b. Hotel reservations may be made at Historic Inns of Annapolis by calling 410-263-2641. Room rate is $205 per night. Individuals must identify themselves as being with the group MARINE CORPS HEADQUARTERS DET 4 at the time the reservation is made. Cutoff date for reservations will be 10 August 2020.

c. A per capita fee will be calculated and collected for all group activities: the football game tailgate and tickets, skipjack cruise, and Yacht Club Sunday brunch. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be off the menu and the responsibility of each diner (Farrell’s Rules may apply.) There is no charge for the Naval Academy tour or State Capitol tour.

d. Reply to Drew Davis ( with:

i. Your arrival day/time.

ii. Your intended participation in:

1. Friday Naval Academy tour

2. Friday Lunch at the Naval Academy Club (number)

3. Friday Skipjack Cruise (number of cruisers) (price TBD)

4. Friday Boatyard dinner (number)

5. Saturday State Capitol tour

6. Saturday football game and tailgate (number of tickets)

7. Saturday McGarvey’s dinner (number)

8. Sunday Annapolis Yacht Club brunch (number)

iii. All events are within walking distance from the hotel, but Annapolis has Uber service for those who may need a lift.

e. Command and Communications

i. Drew Davis mobile phone is (847) 867-7026

ii. Margaret Davis is (202) 271-5845

iii. Drew’s email is

iv. Historic Inns number is 410-263-2641.
Web address is .

See You in Annapolis. Semper Fi,


Click the Link to this Annapolis Video. It’s good. Drew Davis

Preview YouTube video Naptown Funk

Naptown Funk

Warning Order Det 4 Reunion Sep 10 through 13, 2020, Annapolis, Navy Academy

​Situation: Reunion - Annapolis, Navy Academy

Mission: Tell sea stories, eat, drink, party, sail, watch Navy football, tour the Naval Academy.

Execution: This is mandatory Drill! Be There and Be Square, On Time and On Target, unless you have an excused absence from your Dr. and/or Spouse.

Administration/Logistics: Details to follow but will include a sailboat excursion, Navy football game, tour of the Naval Academy, eating and drinking, morning formation and run, and a PFT. Details on the meeting hotel to follow:

Command/Signal:  Emails to follow, Info will be on our blog,

Drew and Margaret are putting this together. Our thanks to them. Check out the very cool website of the organization that Drew is running. 


​Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration/Logistics, Command/Signal​

SMEAC is the five paragraph order and is used by the Marine Corps, Army and other parts of the United States Military. The five paragraph order stands for Situation, Mission, Execution, Administration/Logistics, Command/Signal.​

We put this in for the old zoomies and grunts who forgot what it means.

Semper Fi

Friday, May 29, 2020

George Braun and John McCain

Pretty interesting. I searched for and found this photo of John McCain and posted it when John McCain died. After some time we noticed that it is a photo of McCain and George Braun. McCain was George's flight instructor.

Byron Hill

Click to read Byron's story:


Marine Corps Ball
Marine Corps LeagueBradenton, FL
10 November 2019
(Woz and Craig also Members)

When Gerry asked me to speak tonight, he said he would like to hear about my experiences and what the Marine Corps means to me!

Lto R Ron Wozniak, Byron Hill, Mike Wenger, Craig Hullinger - Different Ball, But Close Enough

What I am going to speak to is … “What inspires Marines to perform Unbelievable Acts of Heroism and Valor in Combat”

To set the stage, I would like to tell you about the Que Son in Viet Nam…the valley lies southwest of Danang and takes its name from a mountain range that surrounds it… Route 534 to the east is a direct route to the South China Sea and through a series of connecting valleys, the Que Son Valley is connected to the “Ho Chi Ming Trail” …

this valley was historically known as “The Rice Bowl” of Viet Nam. The NVA knew this and were dependent on the valley as a source of food for their soldiers….. for years the 2nd NVA Division literally owned the valley.

In late 1966 General Walt ordered the 1st Marine Division with the 5th Marine Regiment as the primary maneuver force to enter the valley and to deny the NVA the free access it had enjoyed! The NVA did not take kindly to the incursion of the 5th Marines and the stage was set for several significant bloody battles between the NVA and the 5th Marine Regiment.

During this campaign, which lasted from April until November 1967, more then 900 Marines and Navy personnel and more than 6,000 VC and NVA perished in these battles. Five Marines and a Navy Chaplain were awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroic actions in the Que Son Valley that summer …all but one of these awards were awarded Posthumously!

When I arrived in Viet Nam in early 1967, I was assigned as a Forward Artillery Observer with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marines, and subsequently assigned to Company “M”.

During my 10 months with the Battalion, in addition to my primary assignment as an artillery FO, I served additional billets including as Platoon Commander of the 2nd Platoon Mike Company and as the Battalion Fire Support Coordinator with responsibility for employment of Air, Artillery and Naval Gunfire assets.

During this time, we encountered frequent, often daily engagements with the NVA…some were mere skirmishes, but others culminated in significant battles where each side stood their ground and literally fought to the death…during these engagements, I witnessed acts of unbelievable bravery and determination of Marines and the attached Navy personnel. Some had been wounded, often multiple times but fearlessly continued the fight.

While I vividly recall many brave acts, I would like to highlight a couple of them:

Lance/Corporal John Schwann…aka: “Swannie”

A Kid from Southern California

The Battalion was conducting a “Search and Destroy” Operation in the Hiep Duc and Que Son Valleys

Mike Company had been the lead element for the Battalion much of this time

The “Point Marine” is tasked to lead the unit to its objective and to be the eyes and ears being alert for any signs of danger.

Swannie Walked “point” for Company M for months on end

September 4, 1067 - During Operation Swift Swannie Noticed “Trees and Bushes Moving”

When he reported this to his Squad Leader, he was told to shoot them if they moved again

He did as he was told and triggered an NVA Regimental sized ambush

Swannie was wounded in the initial enemy fire… he and two other Marines were presumed to be dead laid wounded and isolated in a Rice Paddy for over 24 hours

After the fact we learned that Swannie was the only live Marine out there

His actions allowed the rest of the unit to take fighting positions, saving many lives

Captain James McElroy…aka: “Captain Mac”

Born and raised in Birmingham AL, he was a career Marine

On May 11th Mike Company was ordered to replace Kilo Company who had incurred many casualties and were unable to continue to hold their ground

As we replaced Kilo company’s position Captain Mac and the other Company Commander 1st Lt Bob Tilley were seriously wounded by enemy Machine Gun Fire.

LT Tilley, was evacuated along with other wounded Marines from his Kilo Company

Captain McElroy refused evacuation and continued to lead the Company for the rest of that day and the next day.

During the day and early evening, we pounded them with Machine Gun, Artillery, Air and Naval Gunfire…

Our newly issued M16 rifles were utterly useless

At dusk, we observed the enemy retreating and we organized our lines for a possible attack

Commencing precisely at midnight, we came under fierce frontal attacks as the NVA tried to overrun our position with repeated human waves apparently, they thought we were the most vulnerable… thanks to a determined bunch of Marines and supporting arms fire we repelled them

The next day when the battlefield was secure Captain McElroy finally agreed to be evacuated

Along with a Purple Heart Captain McElroy received a Silver Star for his actions that day

Sergeant Lawrence Peters…aka” Sgt Pete”

An impressive young man from Binghamton NY…truly the “All American” type

As a squad leader with Mike Company he saw action during several major battles

On May 11th, during Operation Union I, we were under a nighttime assault by waves of enemy attacks we had called artillery in very close, and it was literally landing in our laps

Sgt. Peters crawled to my position and begged me to bring the artillery even closer…as he was concerned for being overrun

On September 4th, during Operation Swift, again under an intense enemy assault, Sgt Peters was wounded on multiple occasions but continued to lead the men of his squad

He picked up an M60 Machine Gun and continually rose from his position and delivered accurate and deadly fire into the oncoming enemy

Eventually Sgt Peters was mortally wounded, 2 weeks before his 21st birthday

Sgt Peters was Posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his heroic actions

Navy Lieutenant Vincent Capodanno…aka” The Grunt Padre”

Born and raised in Staten Island, NY

Became Battalion Chaplain after serving with the 7th Marines during his first tour of duty in RVN

Was revered by all Marines

He was always willing to sit and talk

He would give the Marine a cigarette

He was always with “His Marines”

Against regulations and direct orders, he would go on small unit actions armed only his Stole, a pocket-sized Bible and a pocketful of St Christopher Medals

When admonished by the Battalion Commander, his response was: “My Marines need me when they are wounded and dying”

(It gives me great pride to show you the St Christopher Medal Father Capodanno gave to me)

On September 4th, once again against the orders of higher HQTRS, he jumped on a helicopter with the Marines of Mike Company as they launched on a mission during “Operation Swift”

Father Capodanno, 39 years young, was Killed in Action that day as he was serving last rites to dying Marines and a Navy Corpsman Doc

Father Capodanno’s MOH citation reads:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Chaplain of the 3d Battalion, in connection with operations against enemy forces. In response to reports that the 2d Platoon of M Company was in danger of being overrun by a massed enemy assaulting force, Lt. Capodanno left the relative safety of the company command post and ran through an open area raked with fire, directly to the beleaguered platoon. Disregarding the intense enemy small-arms, automatic-weapons, and mortar fire, he moved about the battlefield administering last rites to the dying and giving medical aid to the wounded. When an exploding mortar round inflicted painful multiple wounds to his arms and legs, and severed a portion of his right hand, he steadfastly refused all medical aid. Instead, he directed the corpsmen to help their wounded comrades and, with calm vigor, continued to move about the battlefield as he provided encouragement by voice and example to the valiant marines. Upon encountering a wounded corpsman in the direct line of fire of an enemy machine gunner positioned approximately 15 yards away, Lt. Capodanno rushed a daring attempt to aid and assist the mortally wounded corpsman. At that instant, only inches from his goal, he was struck down by a burst of machine gun fire. By his heroic conduct on the battlefield, and his inspiring example, Lt. Capodanno upheld the finest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the cause of freedom.

Father Capodanno, is now under consideration by the Vatican as a potential Saint of the church. His case for Sainthood has tremendous support from myself and many of the Marines with who he served!

How and Why do these men react the way they do under these circumstances is a question that I have often pondered … I don’t know the answer to this question, but I am proud to have known each of them and to have served with them!



After the dedication of the Vietnam Wall in the 5th Marines Memorial Garden today I was able to speak with Lt Col John Gianopoulos, XO of the 5th Marines, specifically I asked him if the Regiment was interested in an artifact from Operation Union I. He was very receptive and I passed along the NVA flag that Colonel Esslinger had received from members of Mike Company on May 13th 1967 during Operation Union I.

Major General Eric Smith, CG of the 1st MarDiv agreed to accept the flag on behalf of the Regiment, so I was able to get a photo of him accepting the flag. They have a great display of artifacts, but interestingly enough, until today, nothing from Vietnam. The flag will now be displayed with the 5th Marines memorabilia from several wars dating back to 1917...WWI!

Byron Hill

Det-4 History / Your Story

Now would be a good time to write the history of De​t​-4 and put it on the blog.  We know what we did while we
were in the Det but most of us have little idea about what happened before and after our tours. 

I have no idea when the Det started and ended. I know what they did in 86-87 for the two years I was in and I am familiar with the amazing Davis / Wozniak / Hill boondoggles to Hawaii, Thailand and Korea, but don't know much about the rest of the time. So if you want to start sending some emails with stories about the Det, both
historical and humorous, send away.

Also, some of you other guys are not getting any younger. Now would be a good time to write your personal history.

Military Stories

We are collecting stories by and about military personnel. The stories will be posted on:

If you would like to have your story published email your story to Craig Hullinger

Your story can be long or short. The story can cover an interesting event or your entire life. You can write about yourself or a friend or relative that you would like to honor.

Pictures are worth a thousand words. You can write the story for a relative, friend, or ancestor. You can add to your story. We look forward to publishing your story on the blog.

We can also post videos to our blog.  If you want to make a video do so and email it to me and I will post it on the blog.

Take a look at the stories to see what people have already