Quick info on me - I'm a retired CTAC having been in the Navy 1982 - 1998. I was in the USMC (1972 - 1976)
and stationed with Company C, Marine Support Battalion at NCS on Guam from March 1974 to June 1976.
I was not a CT Marine - was an administrative specialist (combination of PN/YN) and only one of three non-CT
type Marines in Company C (myself, my boss, GySgt Casteel and the CO, Major Shepherd and then Major Gerwig).
With that out of the way - here's the story to accompany the attached pictures - in honor of the opening of the
Tokyu Hotel on Tumon Bay for the Vietnamese refugees in 1975:
"On Sunday, April 27, 1975 at about 12 PM, the Executive Officer and several other senior NCO's of Company C,
Marine Support Battalion, appeared at our barracks (Building 131). They were there to gather up off-duty personnel
to go and open up a closed down hotel - the Tokyu Hotel - on Tumon Bay to be used as a staging area for the
increasing numbers of Vietnamese refugees arriving on Guam. All told, they were able to grab about 20 of us,
including myself, Corporal Leo J. Leamy, and we headed off towards Tumon Bay. We arrived at the hotel which
had been closed down for some time. About this time, several Sailors and SeaBees also showed up. We were
standing around awaiting the arrival of the owner of the property to let us in . I can't remember if he finally showed
up or if we broke the lock to the door. We eventually entered the hotel which was in rather nasty condition. Our
main task was to start cleaning up the hotel and make it somewhat habitable as a staging area for the refugees.
The plan was that the hotel would be a temporary holding area for the refugees who would come from the
Naval Station, stop at the hotel for @ 12 hours or so, then be moved on to Andersen AFB for transport to Hawaii
and the U.S.
Being an administrative type and a firm believer in the principle of "working smarter and not harder", I quickly
positioned myself behind the main reception desk at the hotel and started to make myself appear useful.
The thought of cleaning out nasty toilets in the hotel rooms or the kitchen area did not appeal to me. I was
able to find a large box of keys to the rooms and others started to match them to the rooms. I also discovered
a large gold colored plastic key and immediately decided that this would somehow make it back to my barracks
room at some point in time. At some point either in the evening of April 27 or early the next day, Corporal Tom Post
(who always carried his camera) took this picture of me with the key.
However, the best laid plans were not to be. The Executive Officer of NCS (Commander Brown) made a visit to the
Tokyu Hotel the morning of Monday, April 28. In walking around to see the progress we had made in getting the
hotel ready, he happened to come behind the reception desk where I was dutifully standing at attention. On a
shelf underneath the desk, he found the large key and held it up to show his entourage. He laughed and said that
it would look great in his office. I was able to make off with a pair of small cloth hotel flags as a memento of the time
many of us spent with the refugees at the Tokyu Hotel. Some months later, I happened to be in Commander Brown's
office on base and there behind his desk was the key which, of course, I felt rightly belonged to me."