|237th Marine Corps Birthday Message |
"The Board of Directors of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation join me in wishing you a Happy 237th Birthday of our beloved Corps."
|For Honor, For Country: 2012 Marine Corps Birthday Message|
|Short History of the Marines|
|History of Iwo Jima Monument|
2012 Donors: Thank you for your support!
LtCol Bill Lochridge, USMC (Ret)**
Darrell and Jeni Cox
Wes 'Tiny' Kilgore
LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret)**
LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Allan F. "Bogie" Van De Bogart
Michael ("Belmo") Belmessieri
Chuck "Corky" Cummings
David 'Doc' Forsyth
Robert F. (Bob) Singer
LtCol Frank & Ruth Slovik, USMC (Ret)
Maj Ed Stith, USMC (Ret)
Gene 'Doc' Hackemack
The Foundation is proud to announce that there has been quite a positive response to our e-mail asking for your help; financial assistance, submission of your personal stories, and recollections of your "Vietnam Days," adding to the Foundation Library, and volunteering to carry some of the day-to-day work load. The level of financial contributions are recognized with an Award Certificate as follows:
Platinum Plus ~ $1,000 +
Platinum ~ $250 - $999
Gold ~ $100 - $249
Silver ~ $50 - $99
Bronze ~ $1 - $49
There is a parallel process for rewarding your in kind, non-monetary (books, documents, articles for the Breech Block, etc.), and volunteer effort (assisting with Command Chronology research, Oral History summary report writing, etc) as well. Just contact me and we'll agree on where your work would be most meaningful for you in the context of our day-to-day goals attainment effort, the type of non-monetary donation you would like to make, and/or your planned article. Each Breech Block will cite donors and the VTHF web site will periodically post the up-to-date cumulatives.
If you desire to make your gift specific to our Book Project, please so indicate. Unless you specify otherwise, we will apply your donation where most appropriate. Of course, should you desire to remain anonymous, we'll honor that wish as well.
Thank you for your assistance.
**In-Kind & Monetary
Your continued support is appreciated.
Please send your Tax Deductible Donation to:
MCVTHF, 707 S.W. 350th Ct., Ste. #1
Federal Way, WA 98023
IRS Tax EIN 91-2111544
A 501(c)(19) Non-profit Historical Foundation
REYNALDO SALINE FERNANDEZ, CORPORAL, USMC, ODESSA, TEXAS
Reynaldo was drafted into the U. S. Marine Corp from Odessa, Texas in 1966. He did his boot camp training at the Marine Corp Recruit Training Depot at San Diego, California and ITR at Camp Pendleton, California in infantry and then did further training as tank crewman at 29 Palms, California. His unit mobilized to Okinawa and he further trained in the Ontos. In August 1966, his unit went to Vietnam.
In Vietnam, he was assigned to C Company, 3rd Antitank Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He was assigned as a "Ontos" tank crewman. The Ontos was a tracked vehicle with six 106mm Recoilless Rifles mounted and had a three man crew. On May 19, 1967, he was the gunner/commander of a tank. His company was participating in "Operation Hickory." His unit was operating with an infantry company when his tank hit an anti-tank mine. He was killed and there were seven marines wounded in the event. He was awarded a posthumous bronze star and purple heart.
Pringrey's Daughter Receives Army Civilian Medal
Holly Lauret is the daughter of Michael Pringrey, Marietta, Ohio. Michael is a founding member of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation.
The citation reads:
For exceptional service during the period 1 May - 1 August 2012 while assigned to the Surgical Trauma Intensive Care unit, 2 South, San Antonio Military Medical Center (SAMMC). Ms. Lauret's dedication to duty and selfless service improved the overall quality and care for wounded warriors, beneficiaries and readiness of the staff assigned to 2T. Her exemplary dedication to duty assured mission accomplishment and a successful Joint Commission survey. Her selfless service reflects great credit upon herself, San Antonio Military Medical Center and the United States Army.
18 September 2012 M. Ted Wong
Brooke Army Medical Center Major General, DC
Fort Sam Houston, Texas Commanding
Carey Selected to Service Academy Nomination Review Board
Richard "Dick" Carey has been asked to serve on the Massachusetts' Tenth Congressional District's Service Academy Nomination Review Board. This is Carey's second year to serve on the board. The board is comprised of staff and general officers and former enlisted NCOs. The ten member selection committee will nominate some of the best and brightest high school seniors and college freshmen from the Tenth Congressional District to the various military academies across the country.
Carey serves on Congressman Bill Keating's veterans advisory board. He is Vice President of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation and Founder/President Emeritus, USMC Vietnam Tankers Association. He is also the Founder/Director Emeritus of the Veterans Crisis and Outreach Center that was located in his hometown in Ohio. He has been a veterans' advocate for over 40 years.
Carey served in the Marine Corps from 1965 to 1968. He was with the H & S and Bravo Companies, 3d Tank Battalion in Vietnam during 1967 and 1968. He was a school trained MOS 2141 and held the MOS of 1811, a gun and flames tank commander with Bravo Company's 2nd Platoon. Before volunteering for Vietnam service Carey was the Battalion Mail Clerk (MOS 0161) for the 3d Force Service Regiment, Tank Maintenance Battalion from 1966 to 1967 at Camp Hansen, Okinawa. Carey is a former Corporal of Marines.
I'm looking for anyone who knew or served with my Dad, 1st Lt. Roger J Berger, Platoon Commander, Company C, 3rd Anti Tank Battalion from 67 to 68. He was involved in Operations Hickory and Kingfisher.
My Dad rarely spoke about his time in Vietnam and my Mom only shared a few stories with me from letters he had written to her while he was there. My Dad passed in 97 and my Mom passed in 00 so I'd like to connect with anyone who knew him and can tell me more.
I have a son who just turned 2 and another child due to arrive next month and I'd like to tell them about their Grandfather's service in the Marine Corps when they are old enough to ask questions about him or his sword that hangs over the fire place or the Eagle Globe and Anchor that hangs on the wall.
I'm 28 years old, and never knew much about my dad's life in the military. But for some reason today of all days he started talking and I went from knowing that he was a Marine, to learning he was a Radio Operator, served with the 3rd Anti Tank Batt. Told me of a few rituals the guys he knew had to get through things, such a burying a candle for those they lost and it just got me wondering if there are any of his old buddies out there. Kermit "Kit" Graham. Skinny red headed guy with black thick glasses and a smart ass attitude. Thanks.
I have always wondered what happened to my fellow Marines and friends 3rd Tanks, Bravo Company (Bravo 23). I was with this group of people in 1965 and 1966 outside Danang near Marble Mountain. SSgt. Baldwin was my tank commander and a good friend.
I was TC of B23 at the Rockpile during 1967 & 1968.
Dick Carey, V.P.
Just read the (guest) book entries and saw an entry from Tree. Don't know if he remembers me. But him and the crew the night we got hit saved my life. I would sure like to know if anyone else is out there.
Semper Fi and Thanks again for my life.
L/Cpl David C. Turner
From: Redlands, California
Major Marine Operations in RVN - Novembers:
Prairie I/Deckhouse IV - 3 Aug 66-31 Jan 67
13 Bns,1st MarDiv Ops in Con Thien/Gio Linh areas of DMZ
VC/NVA KIA 1,397
US KIA 215
Scotland - 1 Nov 67-31 Mar 68
5 Bns, 3d MarDiv Ops in westernmost area of Quang Tri
Province, centered in the Khe Sanh area
VC/NVA KIA 1,561
US KIA 204
Kentucky - 1 Nov 67-28 Feb 69
18 Bns, 3d MarDiv Ops in the Con Thien area of DMZ
VC/NVA KIA 3,921
US KIA 478
Lancaster II - 21 Jan-23 Nov 68
12 Bns, 3d MarDiv search-and-clear operation
VC/NVA KIA 1,801
US KIA 352
Scotland II - 15 Apr 68-28 Feb 69
17 Bns, 1st MarDiv Ops centered on the Khe Sanh area of
Quang Tri Province
VC/NVA KIA 3,311
US KIA 435
Henderson Hill - 24 Oct-6 Dec 68
3 Bns, 3d MarDiv search and clear operation in north-central
Quang Nam Province
VC/NVA KIA 700
US KIA 5
Meade River - 20 Nov 68-31 Jan 69
8 Bns, 1st MarDiv operation in "Dodge City" area of Quang
VC/NVA KIA 847
US KIA 107
Pipestone Canyon - 26 May - 7 Nov 69
6 Bns, 1st MarDiv Ops in Quang Nam Province centered
approx 13 kms west of Hoi An
VC/NVA KIA 488
US KIA 54
PS: If you participated in any of the Marine Operations, please contact the Foundation to arrange an interview.
|Casualties During November (all battalions)|
Saturday, November 12, 1966
JUAN TORRES, LCpl,
Age 20, El Paso, TX
Sunday, November 20, 1966
CHARLES L ISLEY III, Cpl,
Age 20, Philadelphia, PA
Wednesday, November 6, 1968
JOSEPH M PIGNATO, LCpl,
Age 21, Winthrop, MA
Monday, November 3, 1969
JOEL A BALCOM, HM3,
Age 22, Independence, MO
Wednesday, November 26, 1969
TERRY L REXROAT, Pfc,
Age 20, Cedar Rapids, IA
WILLIAM F VAN CLEAVE, Pfc,
Age 19, Temperance, MI
There were 216 men who died in the various tank battalions in Vietnam. Here is the breakdown per battalion for all MOS:
54 - 1st Tanks
22 - 1st AT
86 - 3rd Tanks
41 - 3d AT
8 - 5th Tanks
2 - 5th AT
3 - Corpsmen
Eric Hammel, prolific writer, war historian, and friend of the Marine Corps and this historical Foundation has written two great books that discuss tank and Ontos action in the Vietnam War in two quite different environments, showing the adaptability of Marines to win the fight and defeat the Viet Cong and North Vietnam enemy. The ingenuity of Marine Tankers and Ontos Crewmen in getting the most from the weapons provided them to wage the war, under the most difficult conditions, speaks to their dedication, patriotism, and heroism.
Should you be asked, as I often am, about tanks and Ontos participation in the Vietnam War - often with "Tanks? What did tanks do in that war" or "Vietnam wasn't tank country - was it?". And few - even a sampling of today's Marine SNCOs - have even heard of "Ontos"! There are 2 books you should read - and then refer the doubter to - Eric Hammel's "Ambush Valley: The Story of a Marine Infantry Battalion's Battle" and "Fire in the Streets: The Battle for Hue, Tet 1968". "Ambush Valley" puts you face-to-face in conventional warfare pitched battles against the NVA's best soldiers. Hammel will put right in the tanks (Foundation Board of Director member Guy Wolfenbarger) and Ontos (Navy Cross recipient Randall Browning) as they negotiated the wide-open terrain of rice paddies, steep terrain, hedge rows, RPGs, B-40 rockets, and mortars. "Fire in the Streets" introduces you to a whole different combat environment - street fighting in the heart of Hue City where in places the streets were so narrow that tank track end connectors tore store fronts and awnings from their buildings as they maneuvered through the city.
Two more contrasting environments could hardly be found and neither the infantry units of 1/5 (in the north's ancient city of Hue) nor 2/5 (in south Hue's newer city) nor the supporting Tanks and Ontos Crewmen, had sufficient training or prior experience for "combat in built-up areas" and even less in urban tank/infantry team work. As a testimonial to the Marines' adaptability, a few days of OJT produced a proficient, formidable, successful fighting force that rooted out the NVA - street after street, building by building.
It would be difficult to believe that one could read these stories of Marine Tanker and Ontos Crewmen in the field ("Ambush Valley") or in an urban setting ("Fire in the Streets") and then question the heroic role they played in defeating the Viet Cong and their co-conspirators the North Vietnamese Army. Nature may not have provided us "Tank Country", but . (Keith Nolan's "Battle for Hue; Tet 1968" and Nicholas Warr's "Phase Line Green: The Battle for Hue, 1968" both tell of the heroics of Marine Ontos and Tankers as does Oscar "Ed" Gilbert's "Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam). we made it so.
PS: You are encouraged to submit your personal stories, pictures, and recollections of your Vietnam experience to the Foundation for inclusion in our book. Thank you.
Marines, Medals and Vietnam
by William Meyers
As some of you know, I have had a life long interest in Military History--over the years this interest has narrowed to the History of our beloved Corps of Marines. Finally, it focused upon one of the most trying, tragic, demanding and life altering experiences of our lives--The Battle of Khe Sanh. Like many of you, that time and place is always with me--just know that each of you remain in my thoughts and prayers!
As an important adjunct; with the film produced by Ken and Betty--our unit, Bravo, 1/26, has become part of our Marine Corps legacy and history. Future generations of our families and students of that time and place can see, hear and feel what it was like to survive in that caldron for 77 days and nights.They will be placed in the blazing hot furnace of war and know, realize and understand why those of us who were lucky enough to come home, have given our mortal pledge to never forget our Companions at Arms who died on that Field of Honor! May our Lord always bless them, their families and our memories of their heroism and courage.
Recently, and as a unintended companion to the above brilliant work of Ken and Mrs. Betty--Mr. Meyer, author of the subject book and another, less inclusive published work, has authored a much more detailed effort that is a "Must Have" addition to the seminal work in the film so lovingly produced by the Rodgers. Marine Veteran's of the Vietnam War need to add this book, "Marines, Medals and Vietnam" to their library--it is a must for Khe Sanh Veteran to buy, read and keep this cherished addition to "Bravo, Uncommon Men, Uncommon Valor," together. Both these works of History and Art, will become bookends for each of us and that time and place.
Please do not misunderstand, Mr. Myers book is not just about Bravo Company. He has chosen 17 Marine battles to examine/highlight during what was then America's longest war. Our unit and the never to be forgotten dates of 25 February and 30 March is one of the 17. The reflections he used are based upon awards records, after action reports, unit diaries and other archival data, making this one of a handful of definitive, well researched and brilliantly written documentation's to come out of the war.
Those who have seen or will see the film have heard or will hear from those interviewed, what direct participation in this now Historical Battle was like. Mr. Meyer's book greatly expands that experience and those experiences as he reveals short stories of many in Bravo Company who helped forge the ultimate victory at Khe Sanh. Some of those whose stories are told are no longer with us. As we all know, many of our Courageous Companion's Valor was not recognized--for example Cpl Ted Golab and his radio operator knowing they were needed, on their own-- moved forward to replace Lt. Norman, and his radio operator. Golab and O' Grady's actions on the Battle Field on March 30,valiantly helped changed the outcome of the fight--Doc Cicala, whose courage and bravery on 25 February, is right there for all to read as is a brief background of Don Jacques, Ken Claire, Ken Korkow, Mike O'Hara, The McCauley's, Steve Weiss and Ted Britt, among so many others. These Hard Corps Warriors, who crossed bayonets with our sworn enemies; the best of the well trained NVA Regular professionals of Hanoi's famous Iron Division--are in those pages for all future generations to read about and to know what it is like to feel the "Sting of Battle" and what the tragic consequences were and will always be for those who walk into and out of the Valley!
Please note that the value of Mr. Myers work is not only as discussed above; know that many years of careful, diligent, and professional research has gone into this commendable written record of individual Marines. He has included a complete roster of all Marines, during the Vietnam War, who were awarded our nations three highest combat decorations--the Silver Star, Navy Cross and the Medal of Honor. With a 100% degree of certainty, if a Marines name is not on the list as being presented with the Medal of Honor or Navy Cross as claimed, they are wannabe's. His listing of the Silver Star recipients is near 100% complete--Mr. Meyer is still researching those who were presented with this award and that he has yet to be able to verify. In fact, he asks to be contacted personally if a reader knows someone who has this award and His name is not on the list.
His contact information is:
Mr. William L. Myers,
4715 Woodlawn Road
Maurice, Louisiana, 70555-3449
Phone #(337) 898-01191
Cost: $25.00 which includes shipping and handling
Again, this is a must have companion to Ken and Betty's Film--just as the film is or will be a cherished work, so too, will this sterling effort by Mr. Myers. Possessing these two Outstanding examples of photographic and written history--all about our company, is an absolute necessity. Believe me when I say that these Works of Art--will preclude your children, grand children and great grand children asking, "what did dad, grand pa or great grand dad do in the Vietnam War." It is there for all to see and read, in spades! I strongly urge you to consider buying this book. It is well worth the price.
With Warm Regards, Deep Respect and Semper Fidelis.
LtCol Ken Pipes, USMC, Retired
|Mobile PTSD App Helps Vets|
Mobile apps like the PTSD Coach can identify signs of PTSD, manage symptoms, and connect with resources and help instantly. And according to studies, early intervention may prevent long term damage to mental health. For more information, read VA's VAntage Point Blog.
Depression, Anxiety and PTSD
Depression and anxiety are flip sides of the same coin because they often occur simultaneously. Loss of control causes anxiety for the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferer. On the flip side, depression results from not being able to regain that control. People with PTSD feel detached or disconnected from friends and family. They find little pleasure in activities they once enjoyed. They may even have difficulty experiencing positive emotions such as joy and happiness. Isolation develops as they avoid engaging, particularly in activities that might trigger memories of the traumatic event or event that triggered the PTSD. Get help on the Military OneSource website. If you or someone you know is in a crisis, call the Military Crisis Line 24/7 at 1.800.273.TALK (8255).
VA Loans for Assisted Living
If a home in an assisted living community is what you need, then it's possible that veterans' benefits can help.
Homes in assisted living communities are often for sale rather than rent. VA borrowers with assisted living needs may be able to get a VA-guaranteed mortgage to finance a property located in an assisted living
As long as the property meets VA requirements for acceptable use, then it can be considered for VA financing. For instance, condos and townhomes must be on the VA-approved list, and all properties must undergo a VA appraisal and provide safe living conditions.
Qualified veterans or surviving spouses with assisted living needs may purchase approved homes in assisted living communities using the VA Home Loan Guaranty Program, and there may be additional VA benefits available.
Through an underutilized VA benefit called Aid and Attendance, wartime veterans and surviving spouses can receive reimbursement for in-home care. Those who are unable to feed and dress themselves and take care of bathing and other bodily needs without assistance, and those who are bedridden or need help with prosthetic or orthopedic devices, may qualify for the Aid and Attendance benefit. Also, those with physical or mental injuries or illnesses that may require assistance to protect them from daily environmental hazards or dangers may also qualify.
The annual income threshold for Aid and Attendance is currently $18,234 for a veteran with no dependents. Those with one dependent can make $21,615 and still qualify. For each additional dependent, the threshold is upped by $1,866. For surviving spouses with no dependents, the annual Aid and Attendance threshold is $11,715. For spouses with one dependent, the threshold is $13,976 and increases by $1,866 for each additional dependent.
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
October 31 to November 5, 2013
San Antonio, Texas
We have contracted with the Crowne Plaza Hotel on the River Walk for a $99 per night room rate.
This room rate will includes breakfast for 2 and free daily self-parking.
We will also get a 20% discount on food and drinks (not alcoholic drinks) in the hotel restaurants and bars.
We will be allowed this same room rate for three days prior and three days after the reunion if you want to spend more time in the city.
Call the hotel at 1-888-623-2800 after 10/1/12 but before 10/1/13 to make room reservations.
Our hospitality room (that we call "The Slop Shute") will be the same size as the one that we had in San Diego in 2011.
There will be lots to do while we are visiting this San Antonio. We are formulating activity plans that will be announce as they are completed.
Please mark your calendars and start saving your money to meet and greet with your brothers in arms.
We encourage you to bring your wives or your girl friends and as many of your family members as you want to attend.
USMC ONTOS Reunion
May 8 - 11, 2013, Quantico
Details: Click here for tentative agenda
Contact: Louis Nafjus,
Jimmy Joe Cone - Austin, Texas died peacefully at home with his wife beside him. Joe was born November 8, 1946, in Mercedes, Texas. His mother, Sydna Pauline Bounds Cone, died when he was 11 years old, and his father L.B. Cone died in 1979. Joe was the third of six sons and was preceded in death by Bobby Jackson, Paul Cone, George Cone, and Lester Cone. Joe worked hard from an early age. From ages 8 to 11 he had a paper route. The next three summers he earned his spending money picking cotton in the fields near Driscoll, Texas. He worked as a bellhop, and an elevator operator. By age 15, Joe had moved out on his own, supporting himself working as a cashier/night manager at Young's Restaurant, while attending high school. He graduated from King HS in Kingsville, Tex., in 1965. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in April 1966, qualifying as a Sharpshooter (216 w/M14) and was trained as an ONTOS Crewman. He often said his vocabulary and ability to type changed his assignment and saved his life. He served two tours of duty in Vietnam, earning the rank of NCO (Corporal E-4) and receiving an Honorable Discharge. His service awards include National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal (with 2nd tour cluster), Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, and Presidential Unit Citation. Joe was married on June 25, 1983, in Austin, Tex., to Rosemary Horton. Joe is survived by his wife, Rosemary H. Cone of Austin, Tex.; brother, Daniel and wife Sissy Cone of Taylor, Tex.; nephew, James and wife Nina Etheredge; F.W. (Joe) Horton (father-in law); brother/sister-in-law, Darryl and Marcia Smith; sister- in-law Nicki Cone; nieces/nephews - Amanda Rivers, Joseph Smith, Charles Rivers, Misty Cone, Nell Cone, Michael Cone, Tim Cone, Melissa Wilson, Jamie Cone, Brittiny Krieg; great nieces/ nephews - Amanda, Macey, Austin, Zachary, and Dale.
We Need Your Assistance
One of the toughest job in any organization is keeping membership information up-to-date.
You might believe we have all your information since you are already receiving the Breech Block newsletter but, the simple facts are we do not. Even though your membership in the Historical Foundation is free when you join the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association that information is not automatically shared with the Foundation.
From time to time we send out pertinent information to those that served in the various Tank Battalions, i.e. 1st Tanks, 3rd Anti-Tanks, etc.
Please take the time to go to the bottom of this newsletter and click on "Update Profile/Email Address."
You guys are great; we appreciate your support.
Director Public Relations
Can't Access Links
|We have had a few emails stating that it was not possible to click on a link or the wording, photos, etc. were not as they should be on the page. |
With each issue of the Breech Block and other important emails sent to you there is a wording at the top of each email that states: "Having trouble viewing this email? Click here." If you are having an issue such as this be sure to click on the aforementioned link. This should resolve any problem, if not let us know.
THE BREECH BLOCK
President & Editor
LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (Ret.)
Archivist in Residence
BA in History, MLIS
Author in Residence
Dr. Oscar "Ed" Gilbert
Historian in Residence
BA and MA in History
Marketing & Production
Richard 'Dick' Carey
Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds
Board of Directors
LtCol Raymond A. Stewart,
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Richard 'Dick' Carey
Founder, USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Charles 'Chuck' Garrison
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
LtGen Martin R. Steele,
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Col William 'Bill' Davis,
Robert 'Mike' Flick
David 'Doc' Forsyth
Dr. Ken Estes,
LtCol, USMC (Ret)
MGySgt Donald Gagnon,
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
03 July 1966
PP/ Staff Sergeant
30 September 1974
"Marines" and the Eagle, Globe and Anchor are trademarks of the U.S. Marine Corps, used with permission. Neither the U.S. Marine Corps nor any other component of the Department of Defense has approved, endorsed or authorized this newsletter.