Blog 01/27/2021 - MHT Looks in the Old Footlocker
01/27/21 – MHT Looks in the Old Footlocker (for a jelly doughnut): As part of the continuing garage items reduction program, I had to pull out two old footlockers. The first is my old 1978 USMC version 31" long x 16" deep x 13" tall.
It was from the now defunct 5th Battalion, 10th Marines (that had originated from 2nd Field Artillery Group, part of 2nd Force Service Support Group) and seemed to have more gear having 175mm Gun & 8-inch Howitzer Self Propelled Batteries. It has the sticker from a Mediterranean cruise, the USS Ponce (LPD-15), the Proud (Food) Lion as part of 1988’s 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit.
It is the classic end of the rack footlocker probably only available now at Marine Corps Recruit Depots Parris Island & San Diego.
The Second is my Dad’s and I don’t know how long that he had it but it is a WWII classic 34" long x 20" deep x 13 1/2" tall.
It has a Yale lock & I found this model is circa 1943 so he may have had it prior to his participation in the Okinawa Campaign and afterwards as a “China Marine” in Tientsin or as a Company Commander in Korea in 1953.
I know he took it with him on taking his battalion from Camp Pendleton to Okinawa as a transplacement battalion in 1963. They had come into being in the early 1960’s when the Marine Corps decided to relieve its Marines stationed on Okinawa by sending whole units for a year rather than individual Marines, thus retaining the unity and efficiency of the battalions by keeping its men serving together.
One of the stickers had it being sent to him in New York after he took over the Marine Corps Information Office on 5th Avenue, New York City just across the street from St. Patrick’s Cathedral (the address on the shipping label is the Cathedral’s address today, again maybe related to the part of the Marines’ Hymn on who is guarding Heaven’s Scenes.)
It definitely went with us to Naples, Italy where he served with NATO’s STRIKEFORCE South and it went with him to the 3rd Marine Division in Vietnam.
The WWII vintage footlocker does contain a Type 94 Imperial Japanese Army Canteen and since I can no longer ask him about either’s history at Arlington National Cemetery where he now resides neither will be part of any trip to the dump…my footlocker I’m not so sure!?!
The most famous movie footlockers are in “Full Metal Jacket” when the Recruits of Platoon 3092 are standing on their footlockers for hands and feet inspection by their Senior Drill Instructor played by MHT’s good friend and someone taken way too soon R. Lee Ermey.
Gunnery Sergeant Hartman: (discovers Private Pyle's unlocked footlocker) Jesus H Christ. Private Pyle, why is your footlocker unlocked?
PVT Gomer Pyle: Sir, I don't know, sir.
Gunny Hartman: Private Pyle, if there is one thing in this world that I hate, it is an unlocked footlocker! You know that don't you?
PVT Pyle: Sir, yes, sir.
Gunny Hartman: If it wasn't for #########s like you, there wouldn't be any thievery in this world, would there?
PVT Pyle: Sir, no, sir.
Gunny Hartman: GET DOWN! (Pyle gets down off footlocker, he opens the unlocked footlocker and dumps the tray before looking inside)
Gunny Hartman: Holy Jesus! What is that? What the #### is that? WHAT IS THAT, PRIVATE PYLE?
PVT Pyle: Sir, a jelly doughnut, sir!
Gunny Hartman: A jelly doughnut?
PVT Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
Gunny Hartman: How did it get here?
PVT Pyle: Sir, I took it from the mess hall, sir!
Gunny Hartman: Is chow allowed in the barracks, Private Pyle?
PVT Pyle: Sir, no, sir!
Gunny Hartman: Are you allowed to eat jelly doughnuts, Private Pyle?
PVT Pyle: Sir, no, sir!
Gunny Hartman: And why not, Private Pyle?
PVT Pyle: Sir, because I'm too heavy, sir!
Gunny Hartman: Because you are a disgusting fat body, Private Pyle!
PVT Pyle: Sir, yes, sir!
Gunny Hartman: Then why did you try to sneak a jelly doughnut in your footlocker, Private Pyle?
PVT Pyle: Sir, because I was hungry, sir!
Gunny Hartman: Because you were hungry... (turns and addresses rest of platoon) Private Pyle has dishonored himself and dishonored the platoon. I have tried to help him. But I have failed. I have failed because YOU have not helped me. YOU people have not given Private Pyle the proper motivation! So, from now on, whenever Private Pyle ####s up, I will not punish him! I will punish all of YOU! And the way I see it ladies, you owe me for ONE JELLY DOUGHNUT! NOW GET ON YOUR FACES! (rest of recruits jump off footlockers and assume the front-leaning-rest (push-up) position, Hartman turns to Pyle.)
Gunny Hartman: Open your mouth! (shoves jelly doughnut into Pyle's mouth) They're payin' for it; YOU eat it! Ready! Exercise!
You can buy one of the prop foot lockers used in the making of “Full Metal Jacket” for the bargain price of $4,112 and I’m not sure that includes shipping costs from England.
I’m keeping my old footlockers so I don’t have to buy a new one! This week you get to insert your own joke here__________________________!
MHT walks the ground of the second half of “Full Metal Jacket” as we return to Vietnam for the Tet Offensive & Battle of Hue City.