06 July 2014


by Andy Weddington
Sunday, 06 July 2014

"Measure twice, cut once."

I don't know "Ben Goodwyn." 

In fact, I don't know that that's a true name - for all I know it's an Internet moniker.

But last night I received a note from said named person - who, for whatever reason, was moved to hastily comment on my recent commentary honoring Sergeant Major Ray Wilburn, USMC (Retired) on his recent 95th birthday. 

Ben Goodwyn, not having read (nor understood) the commentary, attempted to correct history that did not need correcting. Ah, yes, if only to 'measure twice, cut once' (read and reread to ensure understanding) before inserting both feet in mouth. 

These sorts of notes come in on occasion from "readers" - this one too good not to publish. 

As received...

Mr. Weddington:

It appears you know very little about Marine Corps history and less about the storyline of the HBO special, The Pacific. Eugene Sledge was not an artilleryman, but rather a 60mm mortarman. A lot closer to the main battle line than your usual cannon cocker. Eugene Sledge was a member of Kilo 3/5 of the 1st Marine Division. The first Marine division had campaigns on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester/New Britain, Peleliu and Okinawa...finally in Tientsin, China after the war...no more. 
Sledge's book, The Old Breed is about the 1st Marine Division. Neither the 1stMarDiv nor Eugene Sledge fought on Tarawa or Iwo Jima and Sledge did not have to tread water as a result of being on a ship sunk by a Jap destroyer. In the Pacific campaigns, you got to go home after three major campaigns. That means Sledge fought on the first three listed above and was at home during Okinawa. My close personal friendR.V. Burgin,
(author of Islands of the Damned) was the mortar section leader that included Sledge 
in The Pacificseries. Burgin missed Guadalcanalbut made Cape Gloucester, Peleliu and 
the Okinawa campaign where he was wounded. After the Okinawa campaign, the1st Mar Div was sent to Tientsin, China where they disarmed the Japanese and sent them home while sparing with the communists.
Your lack of facts in your bogus article makes one wonder if you are a real Marine much less a Marine colonel or in fact, an imposterAny PFC in my outfit, Charley 1/7, would have a better command of Marine Corps history. Would you clarify?

Semper Fi


He received a short, polite (void the language that first came to mind), reply - advising he (re)read and pay attention to punctuation. With Post Script affirming I indeed well know E. B. Sledge was an infantryman (mortarman) and his unit. Closing with my signature, when appropriate (and it was), "good grief."

Anyway, a lesson (to Ben, or whatever his true name, et al.), best to know what you're writing about lest leave the impression of being a clown.  

Post Script

And, not a peep in apology. Which a real Marine would do. 

1 comment:

Marc said...

Andy, if Ben needs any confirmation , I can personally attest, you are a real Marine.