M.C.A.S. Goleta California to Armed Guard School, Gulfport, Mississippi: 1944. Unbound. This two page letter is written on U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Santa Barbara stationery is dated “Jan. 25 – 44.” It is enclosed in a free-franked, Marine Corps envelope and postmarked at Goleta, California on January 26, 1944. It was originally addressed to the naval station at Great Lakes, Illinois but forwarded to the Naval Advance Base Depot in Gulfport, Mississippi; directory assistance handstamps from both installations have been applied to the envelope. The letter and envelope are in nice shape. A transcript is included.
In this letter, probably to a brother, John Bonaparte vents his disgust with the Marine Corps, especially relating to broken promises of training, preferential treatment of younger marines (“kids between the ages of 17-25”), and rapid promotions for females. It reads in part:
“Can’t say that much for the Marine Corps. I think the Corps has forgotten about me. All those promises that the fucking sgt. gave me in Milw. Is full of that well know brown-stuff. In plain English Shit. Giving me a line about sending me to . . . Navy Pier Machinist School. . . . . All the boys in Sta. Hqdr. Sqd. feel like I do. . . . Aviation overseas is suppose to be a good deal. . . . the only way I can work myself into . . . more cash. I believe that’s what we are all looking forward to. What a fuck-up Marine Corps getting no place fast. . . . The more I think of the dirty dealings we older ass-holes are getting, the more I think of going over the hill. . . . About 25 of us older bums were put into Officers Mess. . . . The work is like being a slave. I thought Abe Lincoln freed the slaves. . . . The cooks & bakers are “Bams” female marines. Most of them are Cpl. & Sgt., only three months out of boot camp. Bosses as all hell. I think most of them need a good piece of ass. Maybe they wouldn’t be so tough then. Right now there are 200 'Bams' at the air station that is one reason we have to sleep in tents.” (BAM is a derogatory marine acronym for women marines; it stands for Broad Assed Marine.).
Very good. Item #009170 Bonaparte and his “boys” at Marine Air Station Santa Barbara seem to give lie to the “few good men” propaganda, and the content of this letter makes one wonder how common such sentiments were among the Marine Corps at large.
Bonaparte and his “boys” at Marine Air Station Santa Barbara seem to give lie to the “few good men” propaganda, and the content of this letter makes one wonder how common such sentiments were among the Marine Corps at large.