Death of a Marine....

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by ccheese, Jul 7, 2009.

  1. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Col. Van D. Bell Jr.

    NETTLETON - Col. Van Daley Bell Jr.,
    90, died Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at North Mississippi Medical Center in
    Tupelo. Col. Bell was born Aug. 25, 1918, in Atlanta, Ga., to Van D.
    Bell Sr. and Grace Hicks Bell. He grew up in Miami, Fla., and enlisted
    in the Marine Corps in l936 at the age of 17. He honorably and bravely
    served his country for 39 years, retiring with the rank of colonel from
    the U.S. Marine Corps. After boot camp at Parris Island, S.C., Col. Bell
    went to China and served with the 4th Marines during the Sino-Japanese
    War. He spent several years in China and served throughout the Pacific
    aboard the flagship of the Asiatic fleet, the USS Augusta, serving as an
    orderly and bodyguard for Admiral Yarnell. During his China years, he
    won the Asiatic Pacific and All Navy boxing championships. During World
    War II, Mst. Sgt. Bell participated in the battles of Gaudalcanal,
    Bougainville, Guam and Okinawa. After World War II, 1st Lt. Bell was
    ordered back to China. He later served in the Korean War, where he
    became company commander of A/1/7. Lt. Col. Bell served as the battalion
    commander for the 1st Battalion, 1st Marines, in Vietnam for two
    consecutive tours. In l967, Col. Bell returned from Vietnam to serve as
    inspector for the 2nd Marine Division at Camp LeJeune, N.C. He then went
    to Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where he was commanding officer of Marine
    Barracks and Ground Forces Defense Commander for the U.S. Naval Base. He
    later was Chief o f Staff for Landing Forces Training Command in
    Coronado, Calif. In l973, he went to Okinawa as commanding officer of
    Camp Butler. Upon returning to Camp LeJeune, he retired after 39 years
    service in the Marine Corps, starting as private and retiring as
    colonel.

    His distinguished and highly decorated
    service to his country made him among the most decorated and respected
    Marines of all times. His decorations include two Navy Crosses (the
    nation's second highest decoration), two Silver Stars, Legion of Merit
    with Combat V, Bronze Star with Combat V, five Purple Hearts, Combat
    Action Ribbon, four Presidential Unit Citations, four Navy Unit
    Citations, Good Conduct Medal with two Stars, Yangtze Service Medal,
    China Service Medal with Bronze Star, National Defense Service Medal
    with Bronze Star, Korean Service Medal with four Bronze Stars, Vietnam
    Service Medal with three Bronze Stars, Vietnam Cross of Gallantry with
    two Gold Palms and one Gold Star among others. He enjoyed attending
    military reunions around the country. After retirement to Nettleton,
    Col. Bell completely devoted himself to country living and raising his
    two sons. He enjoyed fishing with them and gardening. He was a member of
    the Nettleton United Methodist Church.

    Marines all around the country are
    diminished at Col. Bell's passing and he will be remembered for years to
    come among America's great military leaders in the mold of the "Greatest
    Generation."


    Another hero gone....

    Charles
     
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    There's a story that goes with Col. Bell. It goes like this....

    Sometime in 1966 after Operations Hastings a young Sgt, I will call Sgt
    B, was returning from R&R in Thailand. He was standing in a long, and I
    do mean long, line at the DaNang Marine operations terminal waiting to
    check in so he could head back to his unit. The skipper had sent his
    driver to pick him up and he was waiting. There was a young Marine
    standing behind the elevated counter (he actually looked down on those
    in the line), and he was shouting instructions for everyone to put their
    paperwork in a certain order or he was going to send them back to the
    end of the line. As young Marines in the line approached this loud
    mouth, he would shout obscenities at him if his papers weren't in the
    correct order.

    Sgt B's blood began to boil. It was obvious by his youth that this
    Marine (wearing only a green skivvy shirt and a utility cover) was
    probably no more than a LCpl. Sgt B had made up his mind that he was
    not going to have his paperwork in the "correct order" and he dared this
    loud mouth SOB to say anything to him at all....except what was needed
    to process his orders, or he was going to get a what they refer to on
    the drill field as a "group tightener!"

    Sgt B was about 8-10 Marines back in the line when suddenly this Marine
    threw a Marine's paperwork at him and told him he was a dumb ass and to
    go to the end of the line. All of a sudden someone from behind Sgt B
    barged his way through the line of Marines almost knocking everyone
    over. This "someone" reached across the wide counter and grabbed the
    loud mouth by the skivvy shirt and pulled it toward him. The neck of
    the shirt stretched all the way across the counter. In a loud gravelly
    voice, the "someone" said: "Go get your officer and bring him back
    here....NOW!"

    The young Marine disappeared behind a door, but returned shortly with
    another Marine wearing only a green skivvy shirt, but he had a silver
    bar on his utility cover. The Lt. snapped to attention and asked this
    "someone" if there is a problem. This was the first hint to everyone
    that this "someone" must be a high ranking officer of Marines. In a low
    Gravelly voice this "someone" said: "My name is LtCol Van D. Bell and I
    command the First Battalion of the First Marines. I want this young
    Marine to go get his kit, return here and get into my vehicle. You go
    tell your personnel officer that I am transferring this Marine to my Bn
    so he can get a taste of what all these Marines in your damn line go
    through everyday. And if he isn't back here with his gear in no less
    than 30 minutes, you will join him in my Bn. Do you have any questions
    Lieutenant?" Obviously shaken by the ordeal, the Lt responded in the
    negative and disappeared with the loud mouth. LtCol Bell calmly
    returned to his position behind Sgt B in the line. You could have heard
    a damn pin drop in that building until Sgt B started applauding and
    everyone else joined in. LtCol Bell just smiled and winked at Sgt B.


    A 'marines' marine !!!

    Charles
     
  3. Njaco

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  4. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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  5. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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  6. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    Great post, Mr. C. Great post. :salute:
     
  7. Vassili Zaitzev

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  8. ToughOmbre

    ToughOmbre Active Member

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  9. RabidAlien

    RabidAlien Active Member

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    :salute: to a great man.
    :salute: to Sgt B.
     
  10. v2

    v2 Well-Known Member

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  12. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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  13. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    :salute: :salute: :salute:


    Excellent post Charles.
     
  14. evangilder

    evangilder "Shooter"
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    It's a shame they don't have more officers like that. :salute:
     
  15. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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