Attention, Please register and pay now for Reunion 2023!
If you know a Veteran from 1/1 to invite, do it now!
1st Battalion 1st Marines Vietnam
1965 - 1971 1st Marines Vietnam
This site is a memorial to our fallen brothers and to the veterans in the 1st Battalion 1st Marine Regiment 1st Marine Division from 1965 - 1971 who served in Vietnam.
We would like to invite all 1/1 veterans to join us at our next reunion: Nov 1st - 3rd, 2023 in Savannah, GA.
50 Years Later -
Philly Marine Corp Birthday Festival Reunites Hill 881 South Marines
Every year on November 10th, rain or shine, whatever the weather, whatever the day of the week, the area around 10th and Oregon Avenues in Philadelphia becomes a Marine Corps Birthday Party to compete with any other party known to man. Since a good number of Philly police officers are prior service or active reserve Marines, closing the street for the party crowd, sometimes 1000+, seems inevitable. There were years where Huey choppers were trucked in on flat beds for display. Restored six-bi’s, combat jeeps and ammo mules are a common attraction. Marine Riders show up in droves. Bikes are parked as sharply as any “Dress-Right-Dress” command could expect. A stage is erected for the 1300 ceremony with the posting of Colors, readings of the Commandant’s and General Lejeune’s messages and other ceremonial events. The oldest Marine present is always recognized and applauded with all the “OHRAH’S” and “grunts” you would expect from a bunch of “Jar Head’s” congregated in two city blocks. Mess hall chow is available, Marine Corps paraphernalia is offered for sale to support the event and of course beer is readily available. All the local news stations cover high lights of the festivities which usually begin around 0900 and last into the wee hours of the night.
The stranger standing directly in front of me yelled “I’M DAN ALIX”!
On one such occasion, in 2017, my brother-in law, another friend and I were engaged in serious talks with a couple partiers we had just met and were talking about times past. The conversation eventually turned to Vietnam, as it always does with older Marines, and the memories we retained. Keep in mind that it had been fifty years since my tour in the “bush” and a lot had changed since then. I remember saying “The only name I remember from the ‘Nam is a guy in my squad, Dan Alix”. The stranger standing directly in front of me yelled “I’M DAN ALIX”! Well, you can imagine where the conversation went from there. We compared noted and were convinced that we were who we said we were and in fact we did serve together in the same squad in the ‘Nam. My last recollection of Dan was on Hill 881 South fifty years ago from that day and now we are facing each other at a different time in our lives.
What are the chances after spending 13 weeks with a guy learning Vietnamese at Monterey’s Defense Language Institute, flying over for Tet ’68 on the same flight and completing a 13-month tour in the same Charlie Company that we’d meet up 50 years later, much less on the Corp’s birthday on a frigid street in South Philly? Especially since it was Dan’s first participation at this annual celebration, thanks to Rudy Banks of H&S Company. Afterwards, Dan filled me in on details of 1/1’s biennial reunions and sent me the link to register for the San Diego event. My wife and I attended, sincerely enjoying the various venues, company luncheon, battalion dinner and guest speakers. Dan also connected me with our squad leader at the time, John Kaper. More importantly, it reinvigorated the comradery and brotherhood of the “world’s best fraternity” – truly a Marine thing that other branches can only envy.
Dan and I keep in touch with occasional emails, texts or bumping into each other at the 1/1 reunions, now that we recognize each other without name badges. I look forward to seeing him and John again, and others I have met, at future reunions.