Cerro Gordo County Iowa
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Two Mason City Youths Joined Marines Year Ago
Just one year ago Tuesday Raymond BIETH, son of Mr. and Mrs. F. J. BEITH, 623 Sixth street southeast, left
Mason City for San Diego, Cal, to join the U.S. marines - fighting force of the navy. With him went William C. CROSS,
son of Mr. and Mrs. William CROSS, son of Mr. and Mrs. William T. CROSS, 233 Sixth street southeast. Today Raymond -
of "Bud" as he is better known - is a corporal and in charge of the base telephone exchange at San Diego.
Today Raymond - of "Bud" as he is better known - is a corporal and in charge of the base telephone exchange at San Diego.
William is somewhere - just where is a moot question. His parents haven't heard from him in more than a month. At that time he was off the coast of South Carolina, aboard a destroyer under sealed orders and William himself didn't know where he was headed. He couldn't even divulge the name of the destroyer.
It's the guess of some that he's now in Iceland with United States troops garrisoning that distant base. Wherever he is, two other Mason City boys who joined the marines at a later date are also with him. They are Tommy RYE and Joe HEARITY.
"William is crazy about his work," Mrs. CROSS, his mother, says. "He was a first class private the last we knew, and likes the marines just as well as the first day he enlisted."
"Semper Fidelis" is the motto of the marines, and in a special letter describing the training which he has received Bud BIETH shows how the men in the marines are trained to carry out this motto, the English translation of which is "Always Faithful."
"Training in the recruit depot consisted of drill, handling of the army rifle, bayonet, small bore rifle, 45 pistol and training in field problems.
"Also we spent three weeks at the rifle range where we fired the rifle on a course ranging from 200 to 500 yards. At the rifle range we also fired the 45 pistol.
"All told we spent seven weeks on actual schedule in recruit depot not counting the time spent waiting to go on schedule.
"During the time one is in recruit depot he is isolated from all other men in the marines and is punished if caught associating with any of them."
After basic training the young marines are sent to one of several main branches of the service for more specialized work, Bud took up communications:
"From recruit depot I went to the signal battalion to receive other training in radio or telephone school. I was placed in telephone school where in a course that lasted six weeks we were taught fundamentals of field communication with the telephone.
"In this course we were taught the principles of field and camp switchboard and of the field telephone, also the installation and maintenance of a field system after installed.
"After completion of this course, I was placed in the base telephone exchange to be trained as a switchboard operator. I have now been there for about eight months. I drew fourth class specialist rating and then made private first class April 22, corporal on June 25.
"For the past couple of months. I have been acting as chief operator of the telephone exchange which includes training of new operators, care of the telephone exchange and operating the switchboard. At the present time there are seven operators including myself. I happen to be in charge.
"Now to tell you something of the marine corps. To begin with, the corps itself does not stress training in any particular line of work. I mean by that that communications, engineering, aviation, music, and all the other branches are inferior to line duty.
"The main object of the marines is to train men to be soldiers, to train them to fight against great odds. All the other branches of training are supplementary to this line duty."
Bud's father, Frank J. BEITH, has himself a marine during the first World war and was stationed at Paris island off the coast of South Carolina.
He is proud of the fact that his son chose service in the same branch of the armed forces of the nation and believes training in the marines to be superior to any other.
Transcription by Sharon R. Becker, April of 2012
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