Camp Fuji Fire-24 Years Ago Today
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  1. #1

    Camp Fuji Fire-24 Years Ago Today

    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


  2. #2
    WE WILL NEVER FORGET......

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


    Sempers,

    Roger


    IN LOVING MEMORY OF MY LATE HUSBAND, SSgt Roger A. Alfano, USMC
    ONE PROUD MARINE
    1961-1977
    Vietnam 1968/69
    Once a Marine...Always a Marine

    https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1204617174

  3. #3

  4. #4

    October 19, 1979

    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


  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Devildogg4ever
    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.


  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by lbeesley
    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:


    top: L to R - Cook, Caimona, Fox, Brees
    middle row: - Williams, Henry, Willie Davis
    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!



    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)




  7. #7

    I was there

    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.


  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by rmarsh
    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


  9. #9
    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.


  10. #10
    Marine Free Member mrbsox's Avatar
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    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


  11. #11
    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.



  12. #12
    Marine Free Member mrbsox's Avatar
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    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


  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Gene Moore View Post
    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.
    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.


  14. #14

    Fuji Fire

    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 ] Let me know how you are doing.
    Gene S Moore


  15. #15

    Fuji Fire

    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


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