U.S. Marine machine gunner Corporal Leonard Hayworth, 22 years old, weeps upon realizing that he and his men, who have taken heavy casualties, are out of ammunition. “His eyes swung searchingly along the edge of the ridge, then up into the rainy sky. Slow, heavy tears started down across his face.”
When it seemed that … machine-gunner Cpl Hayworth was shattered beyond all hope, a black-jawed, smiling old veteran crawled over … Sitting shoulder to shoulder with the younger man, he calmly told him how they were still holding the line … The grimy old veteran talked a feeble smile back upon the face of the corporal. Tears still streaked his face up under his helmet where the rain could not wash them away, but the Old Marine seemed not to notice. Korea, August 1950.“ (This Is War!)
Weeks after taking this picture, while still in Korea, David Douglas Duncan handed Hayworth a copy of the September 18, 1950, issue of LIFE in which the above photo appeared. “Hayworth looked at this huge picture of himself, in the biggest photo magazine in the world,” Duncan recalls. “He didn’t say anything. He just smiled. He looked like Errol Flynn, about 6-foot-3, a tall, handsome Marine. And no one’s saying anything, looking at this picture of him, crying, and an old sergeant behind him says, ‘We all cry sometimes.’ The next day, September 25th – the three-month anniversary of the start of the war – a sniper shot Corporal Hayworth between the eyes.”
Photo: David Douglas Duncan/LIFE
This is a post that is a bit unusual for me. It’s a patch in my collection that’s a “mystery” of sorts.
This is a patch that is most commonly attributed to be for the 704th Marine Raider Battalion of WW2. However, from the things I’ve read it seems that is not the case. Or even that it’s for a Marine unit at all - or even ANY unit. It could be that this is even just a “fantasy” piece someone made up.
I have heard theories of this being attributed to a Philippine Army unit, or a small (real life) Army unit of the 704th Engineer Petroleum Distribution Company who saw duty in Italy. And that the manufacturer made an error with the “Bn.” Instead of “Co.”. Apparently there’s a grouping in a museum somewhere in the mid-west with this insignia. Who knows.
In any case, if you are looking for a real original WW2 or other era patch just know that, although very cool looking, this may not be one you want to get until the mystery about this patch is solved.
If other collectors out there know more about this than what I’ve posted here, or better yet, can correct me about the legitimate identity of this unit - I would love to know!!!
A private memorial was held this morning at Marine Corps Base Hawaii in Kaneohe for the 12 Marines who were killed in last week’s helicopter collision off Oahu’s North Shore. Officers of the Honolulu Police Department attended the memorial to pay their respects. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and the entire Marine ohana.
My dedication to this sacred duty is total and whole-hearted. In the responsibility bestowed on me never will I falter. And with dignity and perseverance my standard will remain perfection. Through the years of diligence and praise and the discomfort of the elements, I will walk my tour in humble reverence to the best of my ability. It is he who commands the respect I protect, his bravery that made us so proud. Surrounded by well meaning crowds by day, alone in the thoughtful peace of night, this soldier will in honored glory rest under my eternal vigilance.