I’m taking a bit of editorial license by placing my Gunny Haney with the 8th Marines on Tarawa. The real Gunnery Sergeant Elmo Haney never served on Tarawa..
He fought in France with the 5th Marines during WW I. Between the two world wars, Haney taught school in Arkansas. Rejoining the 5th Marines during WW II, Haney fought on Guadalcanal, Cape Gloucester (where he earned a Silver Star), and Peleliu.
Haney was more than 50 years old when the 5th Marines assaulted Peleliu and, while a Gunnery Sergeant, he held no official position in his Company’s chain of command. In the field, he seemed to be everywhere at once, correcting mistakes and helping out.
Haney bathed by holding his genitals in his left hand, while scrubbing them with a GI brush, the way one buffs a shoe. Considering the GI brush had stiff, tough, split-fiber bristles, embedded in a stout wooden handle, and was designed to scrub canvas, dungarees, floors, and anything else Marine, Haney’s method of maintaining personal hygiene was truly amazing.
Haney transcended the condition known as “going Asiatic”. He was in a world and category by himself. Eugene Sledge, writing in his exceptional WW II memoir With the Old Breed said he felt Haney was not a man born of woman, but that God had issued him to the Marine Corps.
My Gunny Haney is a SS Lee Ermey sculpt, on a Hasbro super body, with DML hands. The SS Ermey sculpt, even dremeled out to fit the Hasbro neck post, weighs a ton and makes the figure quite top heavy. Mostly DML Alan’s web gear and haversack. A SS 5th Marine Springfield rifle, and his shelter half is an old Hasbro poncho, cut in half and rolled to fit.
I’ll probably do a bit more work on the neck post, and match up the Hasbro and SS color differences. I also used a bit more editorial license as the real Haney was very proud of his leggings, often wearing only them, boondockers, and a pair of shorts, as he went though the routine of cleaning his M-1 and practicing his bayonet technique, oblivious to anyone and anything around him.
Because Haney is Old Corps, I figured I should outfit him in he whitest pair of utilities I could find, from all that scrubbing, when Haney wasn’t using his GI brush on his nards.