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The Sayonara Marines
Marines In Japan-1950s....
Camp Fisher-Osaka-Nara-Yokohama-Tokyo-Sasebo-Kobe-Gifu-Gotemba-Numazu-Osaka-
Movie: Sayonara, 1957
Starring: Marlon Brando, Red Buttons, James Garner
"Major, the big brass are going to yell their heads off about this, and the Japanese aren't going to like it much either. Have you got anything to say to them, sir?" Gruver replies with the final line of the film: "Tell 'em we said, 'Sayonara'" 
My introduction to Japan came in 1953 when the 3rd Marine Division departed Camp Pendleton, California and was ordered to Japan, with its regiments and separate battalions spread all over the island of Honshu, mostly in previously vacant U.S. Army camps.
At that time I was a member of 3rd Marines. We were previously stationed at Tent Camp #3 (Talega), CJHP, we had sailed from San Diego on 3July 1953 for what we thought was to be 6 months training at Kaneohe Bay, T.H. Early in August we again boarded ship, bound for Korea we thought, but landed a few weeks later in Yokohama, Japan where we were transported by rail to Camp Fuji.
To the best of my recollection, along with the third regiment at Fuji, 12th Marines were at Camp McNair, 4th Marines were at Camp Nara, 9th Marines at Osaka, I think, and 3dRecon at Camp McGill, etc.
The 1st Marine Air Wing units were based primarily at Iwakuni, Atsugi, Oppama, etc.
Marines of the 1st Marine Division in Korea spent time in Japan, both coming and going to Korea, on R&R, and their sick and wounded were  hospitalized there. And there were Embassy Marines and those stationed at the various Marine Barracks at Sasebo, Yokosuka, etc.
To say the least--the very least-- Japan was good duty!
Few would disagree with that. Granted, the Army chow was indeed LOUSY! But the liberty was great. Even a PFC could live well with a little judicious financial planning--the rate of exchange was 360 yen to a dollar, and $5 or $10 could go a long way in those days.
Marines speak fondly and affectionately of their service in China prior to WWII, and of their time spent during WWII in both Australia and New Zealand, etc.  So it was with us in Japan of the early '50s and later. Japan soon became like home to us. Together with us regulars were Marines who had been selective service draftees who went home early in 1954, but to this day they still remember and speak warmly regarding their memories of  their days in the Corps and Japan.
I could say much more here about my own life in Japan, my adventures and misadventures there during those next few years. Many Marines did duty here, many voluntarily extended their tours of duty, many "shipped over" for duty again in Japan. But it is my hope that other Marines who served in Japan will contribute stories and information to these pages.
This site is intended as a WWW rendezvous where old Japan-duty Marines may stop by, meet and remember, swap sea stories, sign the guestbook, and possibly find some old buddies. Those who would like to do so, may contribute relative stories to be published here.
Dick Gaines
GySgt USMC (Ret.) 1952-72
Middle Camp Fuji/Camp Gifu/Navy #850 Post Office, Yokohama 
Stories, Links, Related Information
Japan-Duty Marines Speak Out!
(Feedback, Stories, Comments, etc.)
U.S. Marine Veteran-Clyde Eskew-Middle Camp Fuji
Korean War-Era Marines
Non-Judicial Punishment (Vignette#93)-By Sully
What Ever Happened To...? By Dick Gaines 
The Sayonara Marines
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