LtCol. Dobratz's Letter to Parents/Wives

Marine Aircraft Group 36
1st Marine Aircraft Wing FMFPac
FPO San Francisco, California 96602

1 August 1968

Dear (Parent/Wife)

 July was a very busy month for the men and aircraft of HMM-364.  The Purple Fox operations ranged from the DMZ to south of Da Nang.  Over 1300 hours were flown in support of Marine combat operations, another impressive month of flying.  This is not an easy task and requires an all hands effort.  Particularly noted were the long hard hours the maintenance personnel put forth to keep the aircraft flying.

 Recently the squadron accomplished a first in the Phu Bai area.  A CH-46d was used in a practice jump by the First Reconnaissance Battalion.  Our Sea Knight with it’s rear ramp, proved to be an excellent platform for such maneuvers.

I am proud to announce that the squadron has surpassed all other squadrons in the MAG with a 91% participation in the U.S. Savings Bonds and Savings Deposit Program.  It is admirable that the men of HMM-364 not only defend the principles of their country but also take an active share in its future.

 On the first and second of the month a squadron party was held.  By holding it on two consecutive days it was hoped that all of the men in the squadron would be able attend.  The party was a well deserved respite from the daily grind in which everyone was able to relax and enjoy themselves for the day.  Some of the men even got in a little boating on the pond adjacent to the picnic area.  Noted among the would be mariners were Corporal R.C. RYNEARSON, P.V. GOOCH, E.W. BOYER, T.L. SPRINGER, and Lance Corporal J.R. MCJILTON.

As with every month we are plaqued with transfers.  We regret losing these men, but wish them the best of luck on their new assignments.  Transferred were Major H.B. ROTH, Captains W.H. BIRT, S.R. GALE, V.J. DEMARIA, First Lieutenant R.G. MCCORD, Staff Sergeant H.A. SCHROEDER, Corporals S.J. BOOKISH, T.L. LOBES, A. HARRIS, W.P. MINARD, P. POLOMSKI, and Private HORAWICKI.  A temporary good-bye to Captain E. KUN and First Lieutenant C.C. STOEHR who will be forward air-controllers for 90 days.  Best of luck to both of you.

 Reporting aboard this month were Major J.E. HARVIN, Corporal B.R. Wolf, and Lance Corporal A.P. EWASKA.  Welcome to the home of the Purple Fox.  We hope that your stay with us will be an enjoyable and memorable experience.

Promotions were in the air for July.  Those receiving the boost in grade were First Lieutenant C.C. STOEHR, Corporal G.E. MILLS, and Lance Corporal M.L. Johnson.  Receiving a combat meritorious promotion for his actions on a recent mission was Sergeant H.D. COHOON.  Congratulations on a job well done.  Also worthy of meritorious mention is Corporal R.A. DELGADO who was selected “Crew Chief of the Month”  for the previous month.  Again, congratulations!

 Phu Bai is an ever growing complex with the Seabees constantly erecting new buildings.  Construction has now started on a new Base Chapel.  The thatched roof of the special services building has served us well, but the new edifice will be a welcomed addition.

 Special services has announced the opening of a skeet range in the rear of the Phu Bai complex.  From the sound emanating from that area, participation has been enthusiastic.

 In closing I would like to thank you all for your continued correspondence.  It is certainly well appreciated by everyone here.

    J.R. DOBBRATZ, Jr.
  Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Marine Corps Reserve

Submitted by:
    Dean Cohoon, former Sgt. USMC

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