Preserving The Oral HistorIES of Combat Veterans


Jay DeGraw | Headquarters Battalion, 3rd Division - Marines

5:19   |   Veteran Marine Jay DeGraw, like so many old hands, wound up with a Vietnam tour late in a long career. He says he was a paper pusher, but he spent his time behind sandbags with everyone else when the incoming was hot. The salty Sergeant describes that tour as only he can.

More From Jay DeGraw

Keywords   :     Jay DeGraw    Da Nang    Vietnam    Hue    Phu Bai    Tet Offensive    Motor Transport    Purple Heart    incoming    sandbag    beer    Khe Sanh    Grinder    Drill Instructor (DI)    Dong Ha    Quang Tri

Videos ( 8 )
  • Jay DeGraw  |  Other  |  Multiple Units  |  3:36

    As a peacetime Marine, Jay Degraw spent some time in Virginia teaching vehicle waterproofing, but he pushed for a better assignment and he got it, an artillery unit in Hawaii. Now that was a tour.

  • Jay DeGraw  |  Other  |  Marine Corps Recruiting Command  |  2:31

    Career Marine Jay DeGraw served a tour as a recruiter. He had fourteen high schools in his area so he was good at it. He learned to keep a special group of potential recruits in his back pocket in case another station was running short. A boy asked how he could get some of those sharp pants. He said, "These are trousers. Girls and sailors wear pants!" That was good for six recruits and he used it again.

  • Jay DeGraw  |  Other  |  Multiple Units  |  3:00

    He had made Master Sergeant in El Toro and was, once again, back in Hawaii when Jay DeGraw was offered the chance to become an officer. He declined, but another NCO at a larger organization took the offer and that assignment became his. He had been Motor Transport Chief of one unit. Now he had thirty two to manage.

  • Jay DeGraw  |  WWII  |  Parris Island Recruit  |  2:41

    "You'll be Sor-ry!" That was the taunt for new recruits arriving at Parris Island. Jay DeGraw said that the treatment was rough, but they made a man out of you. Very important to Marine recruits was qualifying with the rifle, which was the new M-1. It held a larger clip and surprised Japanese in the Pacific who were used to the old Springfield rifle.

  • Jay DeGraw  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  3:47

    From Parris Island, Jay DeGraw went to Camp LeJeune for mechanics school. They didn't send him to the war after that, but to Quantico, where he installed snow plows on dump trucks. He got closer to the action when he went to Hawaii as part of a replacement draft but the war ended and he became a peacetime Marine. His 1st Sergeant gave the men an unusual mandate.

  • Jay DeGraw  |  WWII  |  Multiple Units  |  4:10

    Marine Jay Degraw was based in Hawaii when the war ended and he was sent to Japan as part of the occupation force. Part of an amphibious DUK unit, he saw first hand the devastation at Nagasaki. Back at home, a wife and child waited for him.

Showing : Vietnam Videos
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