An amusing anecdote about what happens when a Bronco squadron gets ahold of someone else’s mascot, and a few other memories

By Greg Ciesielski

©2001 Greg Ciesielski, All Rights Reserved.
Hi,I found your site via eBay, I was looking for USMC patches.

Wow! What a great trip down memory lane. I am a former Marine 1979-1983 and was stationed at MCALF Camp Pendleton from 1980-1983. Originally asigned to HML-267/H&MS-39, I went to Yuma, AZ in early ’82 with HMA-369 and then Okinawa from 5/82-11/82 with HMA-369. While I was stationed at Camp Pendleton I remember the boys down the field that belonged to “Vomit 2” and on a couple of occasions, they stole our squadron bulldog and returned it with horseshoes on its butt! The CO of 267 was pissed but it was a good laugh.

My favorite (USMC) Bronco memory was when I was aboard the USS Belleau Wood (LHA-3), it was either Dec. 1980 or Jan. 1981. They had craned two VMO-2 Broncos aboard in San Diego before we set out for a month cruise up and down the California coast. During the cruise, they took those Broncos, wound the rubberbands real tight and launched them from that 600 foot flight deck. It was scary when they left the deck, dropped out of sight and then powered their way back up. I believe that was the first, and last, time they tried that.

After I got out of the Marine Corps in June ’83, I came to Havelock, NC where my future bride had already gone. We met at Camp Pendleton. In 1985 I started working as a civilian at the Naval Aviation Rework Facility (NARF) in the ground support field just like I was in the Marines. Lo and behold, there were Broncos here too! “A” models and “D” models, they were both in the rework process at MCAS Cherry Point. I got to see all the different squadrons that inducted their birds and then watched them being stripped down and rebuilt. It was great until the mid-90’s when they were mothballed. MCAS Cherry Point has one left for a future air museum, and if memory serves, it is an older “A” model. I have a few stickers and patches to remember them but that is all that is left. They were a tough bird.

Well, those are my memories, thanks for reawaking them! Semper Fi!

Greg Ciesielski