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Gunnery Sgt. Bryan K. Cox, the flight line division chief with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361, Marine Aircraft Group 11 (Reinforced), 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, speaks to Marine veterans from World War II, Korea and Vietnam during their visit to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Jan. 27. The squadron gave the veterans a tour of a CH-53E ?Super Stallion? and answered their many questions about Marine aviation. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin) (Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin

Marines welcome war vets

27 Jan 2009 | Lance Cpl. Christopher O'Quin

  Veterans with the 1st Marine Division Association, who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, visited Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Jan. 27, as part of the division’s 68th anniversary tour.  

Throughout the day, the group, known as “The Old Breed,” toured the station as part of their annual reunion at Marine installations. 

“The veterans of World War II and the Korean War are dying at a rate of a 1,100 each day, so this is a great chance to bring fellow Marines together and see today’s generation of leathernecks,” said Robert L. Bohach, a veteran of the Korean and Vietnam Wars.

The veterans toured a CH-53E “Super Stallion” and spoke with Marines from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 361.

“It’s great to have them here,” said Sgt. Jesse K. Martini, a flight line mechanic with the “Flying Tigers.” “The history and stories they shared are amazing.”

For one of the veterans, seeing the latest generation of Marine aircraft brought back memories.

“When we were fighting at the Chosin Reservoir, we were up against 120,000 Chinese soldiers,” said John Hogquist, a veteran of the Korean War. “One of the things that helped us survive were the Marine fighter planes flying around the clock. We couldn’t have survived on our own.”

The veterans finished their tour of the squadron and travelled to Gonzales Hall to eat and speak with the Marines. Following lunch, they were treated to a demonstration by the station Provost Marshall’s Office military working dogs. The working dogs grabbed handlers wearing padding and showed their effectiveness at finding explosives and drugs using different scenarios.

After the demonstration and a visit to the Hub, the group finished their tour at the Marine Corps Exchange. They will spend the remainder of their time attending tours of Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and 1st Marine Division anniversary celebrations.

“You Marines are the future of our Corps,” Hogquist said to junior Marines. “Just like I was inspired by the film ‘Guadalcanal Diary’ when I was in the eighth grade, your battles today will inspire the next generation of Marines.” 


3rd Marine Aircraft Wing