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View Full Version : Camp Fuji Fire-24 Years Ago Today



Devildogg4ever
10-19-03, 02:19 PM
I have put this here in honor and rememberence of the tragedy of October 19, 1979! While stationed at Camp Fuji for training 13 Marines of the 73 who were burned, died from their injuries. Their injuries were substained from a horrific fire caused by Typhoon Tip! The men were from Battalion Landing Team 2/4 H&S Co.


Pvt .... Robert L brees...........Dell Rapids,SD
PFC ....Thomas J. Breunig .....St Paul, MN
L/cpl.. Willie Davis Jr ........... Detroit,Mich.
L/cpl .. Philip E. DuPont ........ Bluemont,Va
Pfc ..... Tyrone C. Elem ......... Alexandria,Va.
L/cpl ...Earnest E. Gutierrez.. Moor Park,Calif.
Pvt..... Gregory L. Hassell.. ...Chicago, Ill
Pfc ..... Roger A. Larsen .........Eau Claire,Wis.
L/cpl .. L. C. Malveaux ..........Beaumont, Texas
Cpl ..... Colim Miller...............Brooklyn,NY
L/cpl... Orlando E. Sandoval...Pueblo,Colo.
L/cpl .. Robert V. Smith Jr .....Spatansburg,SC
L/cpl .. Steven R. Turner .......Tipp, Ohio

I think of you and miss you everyday, my Brothers!
Until we meet again, .............. Semper Fi

WE WILL NEVER FORGET

thedrifter
10-19-03, 02:34 PM
WE WILL NEVER FORGET......

May They Rest In Peace........


Sempers,

Roger
:marine:

Devildogg4ever
12-16-03, 03:54 AM
http://www.angelfire.com/realm2/elitewarriorsworld/Asmily3/bulbgonengotten.gif

lbeesley
03-15-07, 11:13 PM
My brother was Robert L. Brees who died on October 31, 1979 from the Gasoline Fire in Okinawa. Before he died he spoke to me about the fire and about how much he loved his brothers there. He was severly burned and was more concerned about his fellow marines then he was about his own injuries. He truely loved the Marines. He was only 17 years old when he died. He was the youngest man in camp, he wanted to join as soon as he was old enough and I believe he was a hero when he died.

I just wanted to thank those that posted this, it means alot to me that someone cared enough to remember even now.

Thank you,
Lbeesley

slowrider
03-15-07, 11:17 PM
I have put this here in honor and rememberence of the tragedy of October 19, 1979! While stationed at Camp Fuji for training 13 Marines of the 73 who were burned, died from their injuries. Their injuries were substained from a horrific fire caused by Typhoon Tip! The men were from Battalion Landing Team 2/4 H&S Co.


Pvt .... Robert L brees...........Dell Rapids,SD
PFC ....Thomas J. Breunig .....St Paul, MN
L/cpl.. Willie Davis Jr ........... Detroit,Mich.
L/cpl .. Philip E. DuPont ........ Bluemont,Va
Pfc ..... Tyrone C. Elem ......... Alexandria,Va.
L/cpl ...Earnest E. Gutierrez.. Moor Park,Calif.
Pvt..... Gregory L. Hassell.. ...Chicago, Ill
Pfc ..... Roger A. Larsen .........Eau Claire,Wis.
L/cpl .. L. C. Malveaux ..........Beaumont, Texas
Cpl ..... Colim Miller...............Brooklyn,NY
L/cpl... Orlando E. Sandoval...Pueblo,Colo.
L/cpl .. Robert V. Smith Jr .....Spatansburg,SC
L/cpl .. Steven R. Turner .......Tipp, Ohio

I think of you and miss you everyday, my Brothers!
Until we meet again, .............. Semper Fi

WE WILL NEVER FORGET

Thank You for sharing that,I had No idea that , that had happened.I was stationed there in June of 84 - Oct 84. And I never knew that happened.
My heart goes out to them.

Devildogg4ever
03-16-07, 04:48 AM
My brother was Robert L. Brees who died on October 31, 1979 from the Gasoline Fire in Okinawa. Before he died he spoke to me about the fire and about how much he loved his brothers there. He was severly burned and was more concerned about his fellow marines then he was about his own injuries. He truely loved the Marines. He was only 17 years old when he died. He was the youngest man in camp, he wanted to join as soon as he was old enough and I believe he was a hero when he died.

I just wanted to thank those that posted this, it means alot to me that someone cared enough to remember even now.

Thank you,
Lbeesley


Sir, I posted this cause I was there! I knew Robert very well. I took him under my wing when he came overseas. He was in my section & squad. He was young, but very smart! The one thing I will never forget about him, was the smile or laugh that he always had!! I'm sad to say that this is the only pic I have of him, everything was destroyed by the fire! I either got this from a Brother Marine or I sent it home before the fire:

http://www.downsouthhuntingforums.com/templates/images3/3rdsection_0011.jpg
top: L to R - Cook, Caimona, Fox, Brees<br>middle row: - Williams, Henry, Willie Davis<br>Bottom: - Jesus and Sandoval

AS you can see, Robert is on the far right, with that smile and I'm standing beside him!! Then, I was known as L/Cpl Fox, D.J. That was taken just before we left for Mt. Fuji!!! I have a site with a memorial I put up for my Brothers!

http://www.downsouthhuntingforums.com/images/newbanner.gif (http://www.warriorsden.net/)

The links about the Fuji fire are on the leftside and we now have a small forum for the survivors and any family members, to join & meet up with each other! The link to that is on the rightside!!! There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about Robert and the rest of my Brothers!! We were a very tight unit and cared alot about each other.

If you have any questions, or need anything, feel free to contact me at this email: shooter_dsh@yahoo.com

I also will post this post of yours, on our forum!! The forum name is 2/4 Fuji Marines.

** Before I forget, we have another Marine who is almost finished writing a book on the timeline and events of us when we were there! I will get you a copy just as soon as it is published!!

Hopefully, we will talk soon!!

Semperfi,

Fox, D.J.
(Don)

http://www.downsouthhuntingforums.com/templates/images2/24marineslistthe.gif

rmarsh
05-31-08, 11:33 AM
I was part of 2/4 transportation I still remember that day and still have nightmares of what happen but this was covered up so quickly I had thought it was sweep up under the rug.

OldSwabbie
06-01-08, 10:05 AM
I was part of 2/4 transportation I still remember that day and still have nightmares of what happen but this was covered up so quickly I had thought it was sweep up under the rug.

I Remember this. I was a Radioman stationed in Sigonella Sicily. We got an Oprep-4 Navy Blue Message (Flash) notifying our command (and others) of what had happended. I remember thinking it was such a Damn tragedy, good men. It went out all over the Navy and Marine Corps.

I'm sorry for your loss Marine.

OldSwabbie

Gene Moore
09-12-08, 01:36 AM
I was Sgt. Moore in charge of a small group of ammunition technicians at the fire. The fire knocked me off my rack on to the wet deck. Fire came from under the door from out side. I could smell some kind of fuel. As I ran to the other door I had to yell at marines to get out. I had to push and pull them. I recall running barefoot on that volcanic soil, dodging the hot flames, to hide under a bulldozer. The wind was blowing very hard and that rain hurt my skin as it hit me. I only had my underwear on.
I think I saw a tracked vehicle going through the flames. I followed marines to the air strip where Marines were sitting in groups moaning and crying. It was still raining with the wind blowing hard.
A truck pulled up with a burn victim on a wet burned mattress. I think there was a corpsman with him. The corpsman did not know what to do. We took the injured marine off the truck and laid him down there in the open in the bad weather. I could not believe there was nothing anyone could do for this Marine.
I told this corpsman that we should take the injured Marine to the Japanese army hospital. No one would move to help us load the Marine back up on the truck. I got mad and started kicking several Marines ordering them to get up and help.
We got to the hospital and we took the injured Marine in a long hallway. I could speak a little Japanese and asked for help. The Japanese did not want to help so I told them they would help.
I sent the truck back with several Marines to collect more of the injured Marines and return to the Japanese hospital. Over some time I think we had 10 or 15 or more burned Marines lined up on the hallway floor. I would go up and down the line talking to and helping each Marine. As I would convert one Marine another would call my name," Sgt. Moore ". Over and over for hours.
The medical people would take one Marine at a time upstairs to work on. I recall I had to round up all the corpsman in the head and I got after them for crying out loud. I explained to them that these injured Marines may not be able to see with burn out eyes, but they may hear the corpsman crying. I told them to come in hear to the head and do their crying here. Not out in the hallway. " Now get out there and do the best you can."
As the day and night wore on, I ended up stairs helping to turn the burned marines over in hospital beds as some kind of medicine was applied to the burned skin. It was a very tiresome and gruesome job. But I, like many others did our best.
I had acquired some boots from one of the injured Marines and some clothes from somewhere. It must have been around 0300 when I saw some one with Marine dress blues come in the room taking names.
Some how I got down to the CO's office around 0600 or so and I was chewed out by the Commanding Officer for what I had done and for being there. I went out side and went to sleep on the ground.

mrbsox
09-12-08, 11:44 AM
Sgt. Moore,

Welcome aboard.
Thank you for finding this thread and posting. Don has answered his 'final roll call', but I think his wife still follows the thread.

Thank you for taking charge, and doing what NCO's do......... take care of their Marines.

Semper Fi :flag:

Gene Moore
09-12-08, 01:29 PM
I donít think I was very tough back then in 1979. I am still dealing with the fire. The VA. Is helping me. I know it was not combat, but for many years I have had PTSD because of the fire. I take medicine for the nightmares and I deal with other problems too. I have a few pictures taken just after the fire. I donítí know if I should post them.:flag:

mrbsox
09-12-08, 04:28 PM
Sgt Moore,

Let me ask you to start by filling in your profile. Then kick back and crack open a brew. With time, you'll come to feel at home here, I know I have. Sometimes I think I may even be a better Marine today, than 30 years ago.

I don't think anyone ever said PTSD had to be combat related. TRAMATIC SHOCK can come in many forms. For me, I'd say talk about it, face it, free your spirit of the ghosts.

Where are you ?? There is no telling whom in here may be close to you. Rely on your brothers and sisters. We are here, and everywhere.

Semper Fi

cryingeagle58
11-27-08, 05:32 PM
I donít think I was very tough back then in 1979. I am still dealing with the fire. The VA. Is helping me. I know it was not combat, but for many years I have had PTSD because of the fire. I take medicine for the nightmares and I deal with other problems too. I have a few pictures taken just after the fire. I donítí know if I should post them.:flag:

I was there also, and i too have lived with the horrors of seeing fellow brothers , running for their lives, on fire. one i had the chance of throwin my field jacket over to put out the flames, i to this day, don't know who he was or how badly he was burned, as two corpman grabed him and took him to safty to be cared for. but every oct i go thru massive depression. i will never forget that day, for as long as i live, and there isn't a day that goes by, that i don't wonder what happened to that marine. i have drank, and did all sorts of drugs to help forget, but i can't, and i am finally seeking and getting help from the V.A.

I was in Fox Co 2/4 semper fi to you all, my brothers. :usmc::flag:

Gene Moore
11-28-08, 11:52 AM
I think the fire affected many of us who were there. I now get a 100 percent PTSD because of that fire. I was more of talking to many of them that were burned and I could only tell them they were going to be alright But I knew that fact was not true. Do go to the VA for help. My E-mail is{ bmoore91@tampabay.rr.com (bmoore91@tampabay.rr.com) ] Let me know how you are doing.
Gene S Moore:flag:

cryingeagle58
11-29-08, 09:58 AM
I am only now, some 29 yrs later , applying for ptsd, as i did not know anything about trying to get help from the v a . but i am now in a transital housing for vets, and they have geven me so much help and info, on how to get the help i need. i was homeless for almost 2 yrs, sleeping on the street, and in my car, till one day i saw a poster about a Standdown. went there, and found this place i am at now, called V.E.C.T.O.R.S.

and 3 months after i got here, i found another marine, who was in the Fuji fire, who lived in the home i am at now. we have shared our experinces and pains, that we have had to live with for all these years. its the first time i have found anyone who was there and understands the horrors that happened that day, as i have lost contact with all my brothers that was there with me.

Thank you my brother, for replying back to me, it helps to know that i was not alone, we lived thru a horrorific event, and have done so for yrs, and will have to continiue to do so, till the final roll call.

peace be with you, my friend

SEMPER FI
Dave :usmc::flag:

Gene Moore
11-29-08, 02:57 PM
Here is a pictures I took at the Fuji fire,the next day. I have more. I hope this will not bother anyone.

Gene Moore
04-20-09, 11:41 AM
Hello,
Yes, if Gregory was in that hallway at the Japanese hospital, then I was the one person who gave comfort to all in that hallway and latter assisted the corpsman upstairs. I continuously spoke to each Marine. It was a long dark hallway with the injured Marines lined up head to toe. I got the first marine to the hospital and sent the truck back to get more of the injured. They , the injured Marines seemed to all know my name. Sgt. Moore they would repeat over and over. I was on my hands and knees crawling to each Marine, talking to them. Am I going to live ? I would tell them yes. I prayed for each of them there on the floor. I did all I could do to help. The Corpsman that showed up did all they could. I even held a meeting of all the corpsman in the head and told them to stop crying out loud and to get with the job they knew to do. I am terribly sorry that I could not do any more than I did. I am sure that some of the injured Marine may have been taken somewhere else. Many did all they could do. I think about what happen every day and every night. I can not forget ,nor will I ever forget. If I only knew what else to do. I was there till the helicopters took them away. God bless you.

stephie23
04-21-09, 02:59 PM
Gene: You were at the place you were meant to be. You and the others did what no one else knew how or could have done, given the horrific circumstances. You cannot do more for the ones you already helped, but to forgive yourself for what you think shoudl have been done that you had no control over. You have greatly helped me and my family..we now know for sure that someone was loving our brother and son when we could not. What greater gift can you give but love? Knowing someone cared while he lay suffering, it the greatest comfort of all. Thank you.

stephie23
04-21-09, 04:41 PM
I just found this website 2 days ago and also the Camp Fuji web site. My brother PFC Gregory L. Hassel died 11-6-79, a day after his 20th birthday in Ft. Sam Houston, Brooke Army Medical Center, with his family by his side. The Army and the Marines were nothing but wonderful to all of us. You fed us, housed us and loved my little brother until his death.

Gregory had just joined the Marines in 1979 and before we knew it he was off to Japan. He loved the Marines and his goal was to be the military police.

I have been floored with the outpouring of love, pain, suffering and loyalty I have experienced here. I was completely unaware of any of this. This year will be 30 years since Greg died. Since I began this two days ago, I experienced a meltdown over the loss of my brother. I just want to hold him again. Time helped me to tuck these feelings away. I have healed to the point where I am not a walking zombie. It all came back and I was lost without him again. I have not forgotten the feelings of helplessness, fear, anger and pain for what happened to him. Watching him suffer and the other guys at Brooke suffering and the anguish in the eyes of their families; seeing only the medics' serious eyes peek over his face mask while he injected my brother. Touching only Gregs hands and cheeks so as to not hurt him or give him infection. Seeing the huge cut on the top his foot from kicking open the quonset door to get out. The night time heels clicking in the barracks hallways, hoping they did not stop at our door. Finding out how he layed in the japanese hospital flloor with the other guys, waiting for medical aid. The praying, singing happy birthday to him on 11-5-79; the bargaining with God, the friend who took me on the roof of the hospital- it was his spot and he shared it with me. My mother, who never recovered; my sister whose live changed because of Greg and my father, who was there with his son.

Being catholic, I prayed every night for his soul for 5 years; course, he was always good, never to hurt a soul. Having dreams of Greg coming back with bandages on sayng , "Hey Steph, Im ok. It was all a government coverup".

God Bless all of you, who through the love in your heart, have participated in this forum, and you Devildogg for its creation. I and my family, are honored to walk through your door. And Gregory thanks you also.

For those of you still suffer, find peace, our guys would not want you to suffer any more. They are in spirit and cannot be hurt again. There are many of you who helped, loved, comforted and did all you could do that was within your power- we are forever grateful to you. To the nurses who scrubbed him, even though he swore at you. We thank you, thank you for doing what we could not do.

With Love, Respect and Admiration of which I am sorry it took so long to give to you.
Stephanie Hassel-Dillon

stephie23
04-21-09, 06:02 PM
Devildogg - I have a photo of my brother Gregory Hassel for your web site. Please email me and I will send it. stephie23@sbcglobal.net. thank you

ouchman
06-05-09, 12:13 AM
Hello all,
My very good friend Philip DuPont died as a result from this tragic fire in a burn unit in San Antonio Tx. We were schoolmates at South Kent School in Ct. We graduated in 1976 together. Does anyone remember him? He was a tall fellow from Va. and he previously attended Fork Union Military Academy which I think is located in Va. We all used to call him "Big Hick".
If anyone has ANY recollection of him you can e-mail me at: dcoward@(removethis)nac.net . Thanks in advance.
respectfully,
David
And yes my last name really is Coward.

Gene Moore
06-05-09, 09:45 AM
There were so many that were hurt. We tried everything that could be done to safe him and others. Philip Dupont will not be forgotten.

Phantom Blooper
06-05-09, 11:21 AM
Devildogg - I have a photo of my brother Gregory Hassel for your web site. Please email me and I will send it.

Devildogg4ever.....AKA Don....passed away a couple of years ago.

RIP Don...Semper-Fi!

:flag:

:evilgrin:

crueltiming
06-30-09, 01:03 PM
just found this thread and wanted to share condolences with all who lost loved ones at fuji.wasn't there during the fire,but my BLT 3/4 hit fuji in march or april '80.those pics sure brought back some memories of the quonset huts and those kerosene stoves.i know i wasn't the only one who got the willies when they locked us down in bad weather.of course they had a new procedure after what happened before.
wish i could share my own pics,but they all got lost years ago in a flood.
ed lebron-frank
l/cpl for life