George M. Wastila Jr.

Induction Year: 1974

George M. Wastila Jr.

Outstanding athlete, athletic trainer, and leader in the armed services

George Michael Wastila Jr

Fall Class of 1954. Entered Superior State College (SSC) as a result of receiving a Class B Academic Scholarship, graduating from Central H.S., Superior, Wisconsin. Received a letters of congratulations and approval from the College President, Jim Dan Hill, dated July 19, 1954; and the Dean of Instruction, E.H. Schrieber.

Played 1st String Linemen on the Yellowjackets Football Team, receiving a Varsity Letter Jacket Award. It was Coach Americo (Mertz) Mortorelli's first year as the head football coach, assisted by Coach Carl Vergamini and Coach William (Bill) Finn.

Fall '54 and spring '55. Won the annual Superior State Golden Glove Tournament at 170 pounds - received miniature Golden Glove pendant award. Boxed on the SSC Intercollegiate Boxing Team. Highlight was match against Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan. Last team at SSC - Mr. John Ennis, Coach.

Fall '55. Received 2nd Varsity Letter, Football. Selected First Team, All Wisconsin State College Conference, Guard Position. Received Gold Football Pendant Award. Selected Co-Captain Elect for '56 Season.

Summer '56. Played baseball for Superior Independents of Superior, Wisconsin. Won the Bi-State League. Won the Wisconsin Semi-pro District Baseball meet in Ashland, Wisconsin. Represented District in Regional tournament played at Milwauke County Stadium. Participated in the 1956 Amateur State Softball Championship at Oshkosh, Wisconsin with team Victory Bar of Superior, Wisconsin.

Fall '56. Received 3rd Varsity Letter, Football. Appointed to SSC Student Cabinet by President Jim Dan Hill. Elected Junior Class President and Representative on Student Cabinet.

Spring '57. Played on 1st SSC Baseball Team, Coach Mortorelli was first baseball coach.

Fall '57. Appointed to Wisconsin State College, Superior social committee. Appointed co-chairmen of annual Homecoming activities. Received 4th Varsity Letter, Football. Presented with four-year Lettermen "S" Blanket Award. Elected president of "Ski-Jax" college Ski Club.

June'58. Received Bachelor of Science Degree from Wisconsin State College, Superior, Wisconsin - majoring in biology and minors in chemistry-physics.

Fall '58. Accepted into Graduate School at University of Wisconsin, Madison - Physical Education.

Spring of '59. Appointed Assistant Athletic Trainer, UW Madison - Mr. Walt Bakke, Head Trainer. Highlight in the fall '59 was with Football Team at 1960 Rose Bowl Game, Pasadena, Ca - U of Washington verses U of Wisconsin. Inducted into Phi Epsilon Kappa, Wisconsin Theta Chapter, Professional Physical Education Fraternity. Admitted as member to the National Athletic Trainers' Association.

Fall '59. Was invited to speak at the Educational and Scientific Foundation of the State Medical Society of Wisconsin at WSC, Eau Claire. Spoke on injuries, conditioning and transitioning to different sports activities.

June '60. Masters Degree in Physical Education conferred by the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Summer '61. Was invited to speak at the SSC Clinic sponsored each year by the Superior State College Athletic Department and the Superior Association of Commerce - June 28 through July 1. Was honored to have lunch with Coach Mortorelli and NFL Coach Vince Lombardi. Introduced Syracuse University Football Coach Floyd Schwartzwalder to the summer session student body.

Fall '61. Accepted Officer Commission in the United States Marine Corps.

Spring '62. Completed Officer Basic School, Quantico, Virginia.

Summer '62. Completed Officer Basic Course (Artillery), Fort Sill, Oklahoma. Reported for duty to 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, California.

Fall '62 Deployed to the Caribbean Area during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Awarded the National Defense Service Medal and the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal.Summer '

63. Completed class 1-63 of Air Observation School at Camp Pendleton. Received Designation and Gold Wings as a Naval Air Observer Tactical (NAOT).

Spring '65. Deployed to Chu Lai in the Republic of South Viet Nam (RVN) with Regimental Landing Team (RLT-7). Was Battalion Intelligence Officer (S-2) for 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines and Air Observer for the RLT. Due to losses of Marine Observation Aircraft, flew Air Observer (AO) combat missions with the U.S. Army 220th Aviation Company (CAT KILLERS) from the air facility at Quang Ngai. Because of an AO shortage, was transferred to Headquarters 12th Marines at DaNang, RVN. Primary assignment was Target Information Officer (TIO) for the 3rd Marine Division. Was responsible for all long range targeting in Quang Nam special sector. Flew with Marine Observation Squadrons 2 and 6 (VMO-2 and 6).

Summer '66 to '68. Returned to the continental United States. Received four Air Medals (80 AO Combat Missions), Navy Commendation Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device (Combat V), two Presidential Unit Citations (PUC), two Navy Unit Commendations (NUC), Vietnam Service Medal with 3 stars, and Vietnam Campaign Medal. Assigned as Executive Officer, Marine Barracks, Quonset Point, Rhode Island.

Summer '68. Attended Amphibious Warfare School (AWS), Quantico, Virginia.

Spring '69. Returned to RVN. Assigned Fire Support Coordinator, 3rd Marine Regiment, then Operations Officer 1st Battalion 12th Marines and then Regimental Intelligence Officer, 12th Marine Regiment. The actions of my units provided the defense of South Vietnam in Quang Tri Providence, along the Demilitarized Zone, separating the south from North Vietnam.

Spring '70. Deployed to Okinawa, Japan. Assigned Ground Intelligence Officer, 3rd Marine Amphibious Force (3 MAF). Received Bronze Star Medal with Combat V, Navy Commendation Medal with Combat V (2nd Award), Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Bronze Star, the Combat Action Ribbon, Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Gallantry Cross Color, and the Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citation Civil Action Color 1st Class Medal.

Summer '70. Assigned to Headquarters United States Marine Corps. Continued in my Marine Corps Career in various assignments and locations, which did not compare with my combat tours. However, some events of interest are presented. In 1973, I received the body weight press trophy by demonstrating the ability to execute an unassisted standing military press with a weight the same or in excess of my own body weight. I performed a standing military press with 210 pounds while at Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington, Virginia. In 1974, I was the Officer-in-Charge of the All-Marine Fast-pitch Softball Team, competing in the Inter-service Tournament at Maxwell Air Force base in Montgomery, Alabama. I was on the selection committee picking the all-service team that participated in the Fast-pitch National Tournament at Clearwater, Florida. From the summer of 1977 to the summer of 1979 I was the Officer-in-Charge of the Nucleus Landing Force Staff aboard the LHA-1, USS Tarawa and deployed on her maiden cruise to the Western Pacific. I received the Sea Service Ribbon and second award. I retired as a Major in 1982 after being presented the Meritorious Service Medal. I retired based on 26 years of creditable service. Without making things too complicated as to my total military service, my active and reserve military service commenced January 1953, when I joined the U.S. Naval Reserve Unit in Duluth, Minnesota.

Spring '82 to '83. Worked for Science Applications Incorporated Comsystems in San Diego, California, as a Senior Operations research Analyst in developing shipboard spaces for the U.S. Marine Corps on LHD Class Ships.

Spring '84 to '85. Worked for TELEMEDIA, and taught the Egyptian Army how to employ and maintain the 155 Millimeter Self-propelled U.S. military howitzer (cannon artillery). Received a multi-metal engraved plaque from the Egyptian Government. Preparation and training was conducted at San Diego, California; York, Pennsylvania; and Fort Sill, Oklahoma.

Summer'85 to 86. Received a California Teacher Credential and taught science class at Lincoln High School in San Diego, California.

Spring '86. Went to work for General Dynamics Convair Division, in San Diego, California. Worked on the Cruise Missile (Tomahawk) program as Senior Tooling Specialist and Cost Account Manager in the Manufacturing Engineering Department. In November 1987 was nominated and selected Convair Manufacturing Engineering Employee of the Year. The missile program was sold to the General Motors, Hughes Aircraft Division in 1993, and I continued working For Hughes. I was responsible for moving all detail and assembly tools to the Hughes manufacturing plant in Tucson, Arizona, after which I chose to retire in 1995.

In October 1994 an article was published in the Marine Corps Gazette under Ideas and Issues, which I wrote, titled: "Another Perspective-Action in the Da Nang TAOR, 21 May 1966. The article described an engagement with enemy forces from the perspective of an Air Observer, Myself, during a specific event.