~ Dedicated to All Vietnam-Era Marine Corps Tankers, Ontos Crewmen & Support ~



OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history  


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




September 2012   



Dear Marine, 


"I have PTSD ... So what?" I've thought this a number of times as has a whole lot of guys who've experienced the trauma of the Vietnam War. A retired Marine Sergeant Major, veteran Vietnam Tanker, said to me recently, "Any Marine who set foot in Vietnam has PTSD of one degree or another." I surely cannot, nor would I, take exception to his statement. As I look around me and remain in contact with hundreds of Vietnam Marines, there seems to me to more PTSD-ascribed behavior from our brothers. One might think that as time goes by that there would be less but in talking with the VA shrinks, that there is more Vietnam Vets coming forward makes pretty good sense. And, like the markers for alcoholism and other substance abuses, there are warning signs to be watchful of for symptoms of PTSD. And, as I've been reminded, the "P" in PTSD is for "post" i.e., "after in time." 


The VA hospital in Seattle saw the needs of Vietnam Vets who increasingly complained of symptoms that are similar to those of PTSD. In general terms, as we age, life's events change rather dramatically. Families grow up and leave home. Often members return but circumstances have changed. Aches and pains - old football injuries catch up with us - become a topic of conversation. Prostates cause issues, sometimes life-threatening. Joints require medication or surgical replacement. Careers have changed. Life's aspirations are downsized to realities of our arrival at "Senior Citizen". Then, for some - and surely not all - not only past physical issues come forward but also mental issues. Those unpleasant memories, long placed behind so many of our other day-to-day priorities, have more room to play around in our brain housing group. Here then is the making of a "perfect storm". And, sometimes, substance use and alcohol become major players in stripping us of our normal protective mechanisms. Then too, we're from the "old school", never admitting to a "weakness" of any kind, especially stuff like PTSD. I see this picture being painted every day!


The article linked to this note can tell it better than I can. This warrior's PTSD is 15 years "post". We see Vietnam Vets at the VA in increasing numbers harboring pain that's lasted for more than 40 years.

Ray Stewart

PS: Please let us know if you find this topic helpful to you or, maybe, someone you

Marine Corps In the Vietnam War

MC Flag Big Wave

2012 Donors: Thank you for your support!

Platinum PlusPlat. Plus Award

Chuck Garrison

LtCol Bill Lochridge, USMC (Ret)**

Joe Martinez



Peter Brush*
Dick Carey* 

Darrell and Jeni Cox   

Kyle Decicco-Carey*
Sid Ferguson 
Wes 'Tiny' Kilgore
Glen Hutchins
Jim Raasch**
Pappy Reynolds*
LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret)**
LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Allan F. "Bogie" Van De Bogart 
Michael ("Belmo") Belmessieri
Chuck "Corky" Cummings 
Dan Farrell
Sid Ferguson
David 'Doc' Forsyth
Rick Oswood  
LtCol Frank & Ruth Slovik, USMC (Ret)
Maj Ed Stith, USMC (Ret)
Chris Vargo
Gene 'Doc' Hackemack
Jerry Wahl
Walter Wells
Bill Bohlen
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.

+Additional Donation 

*In-Kind Services

**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

                                                                                 Thank you!


IRS Tax EIN 91-2111544 

A 501(c)(19) Non-profit Historical Foundation
Heroes Corner
Bronze Star Medal

Jon E. Schiff, DDSSchiff, DDS


Navy Dentist, Cam Lo Hill

December 1967-December 1968


It was early December 1967 when I arrived in Vietnam and was sent to Phu Bai to join the 3rd Marine Division. I was a dental officer, a lieutenant, not a grunt like so many of the fine young men I would meet in this strange place. I spent my first night in Phu Bai in a muddy-floored tent next to a 155mm artillery battery that was firing outgoing rounds all night long in a constant rain. I had volunteered for Vietnam to get away from a failed marriage. That first night I began to wonder, "What have I done to my life?


I reported the next morning to the dental commanding officer, a colonel. I had already been in the Navy for three years and now, at the ripe age of 26, was considered an old, experienced dentist, as most of my contemporaries were right out of school. The colonel said he needed someone with experience to go to a place called Cam Lo Hill. Marine field commanders there had men who were unable to go on patrol or sit a night listening post because they had become "dental casualties." The commanders wanted a Navy dentist near the field Marines to treat them and relieve their pain so that they could return to the fighting.

Vietnam Flashbacks


Below is a list of 7 major Marine operations conducted during the Octobers 1966 - 1969. If you were in Vietnam during these months, check your DD214 and see if you were credited for participation and if you may therefor rate a ribbon.


Major Named Operations - October


4 Jul-

27 Oct 66
116 days
3 Bns

1 MarDiv operation for the An Hoa industrial complex in Quang Nam Province


Prairie I / Deckhouse IV

3 Aug 66-31 Jan 67
182 days
13 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in the Con Thien/Gio Linh areas of the DMZ

VC/NVA KIA 1,397
US KIA 215


16 Jul-

31 Oct 67
108 days
9 Bns

3 MarDiv operation in the DMZ

VC/NVA KIA 1,117
US KIA 340

Lancaster II

21 Jan-

23 Nov 68
308 days
12 Bns

3 MarDiv search-and-clear operation

VC/NVA KIA 1,801
US KIA 352

Mameluke Thrust

18 May-

23 Oct 68
159 days
7 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in central Quang Nam Province

VC/NVA KIA 2,728
US KIA 270

Henderson Hill

24 Oct-

6 Dec 68
44 days
3 Bns

3 MarDiv search and clear operation in north-central Quang Nam Province


Pipestone Canyon

26 May -

7 Nov 69
166 days
6 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in Quang Nam Province centered approximately 13 kms west of Hoi An


October Significant Events

June - October 1968 - The 3rd Marine Division, now under MajGen Raymond G. Davis, undertook an aggressive counteroffensive against North Vietnamese forces in the northern border section below the DMZ.


Significance: Employing new helicopter mobile and firebase tactics, and no longer confined to securing defensive outposts, the 3rd Marine Division swept the 320th NVA Division out of its forward positions in South Vietnam.

July 4 - November 7, 1969 - In accordance with Presidential order in the reduction of U.S. troop strength in Vietnam, the 3rd Marine Division redeployed from Vietnam to Okinawa.

Significance: The 3rd Marine Division was the first U.S. division to depart Vietnam in accordance with U.S. plans for the eventual withdrawal of American combat units from Vietnam.

October 1, 1970 - The 7th Marines departed Vietnam.


Significance: The continuing redeployment of Marine units from Vietnam in accordance with the keystone Robin plans.

Chains of Command


Below are the chains of command for the 1st and 3rd ATs and the 1st and 3rd Tanks for the months of October. If you were in Vietnam during the month of October between 1965 and 1970, please review your DD214 and let us know where you were, what organization you were with, and what activities you were involved with.


October 1966  

1st AT's:
CO Maj R.E. Harris
XO Maj M.F. Manning
S-1 2
nd Lt M.L. ELL
S-2 Capt D.R. West
S-3 Maj J.J. Burke Jr.
S-4 Capt G.R. Vanhorn

Company CO's:

H&S Capt M.H. Collier

"A" Capt D.M. Hutson.

"B" Capt T.F. Dempsey

"C" Capt R.J. Esposito


October 1967

1st ATs:

CO LtCol P.D. Reissmer, Jr
XO Maj P.O. Radke
S-1 WO1 E.M. Johnson
S-2 1
st Lt R.J. Yoeman
S-3 Capt G.K. Robtuson, Jr
S-4 Capt V.C. Davis

Company CO's:

H&S Capt C.E. Woods

"A" Capt A.R. Grren.

"B" Capt W.E. Nelson

"C" Capt B.A. Vredeveld


October 1967

1st Tanks

CO LtCol R.M. Taylor
XO LtCol V.J. Gentile
S-1 WO1 W.A. Akahoshi
S-2 1
st Lt R.M. Johnstone
S-3 Maj R.M. Croll
S-4 Maj J.A. Schuyler

Company CO's:

H&S Capt C.R. Casey

"A" Capt R.W. Maddox

"B" Capt R.E. Roemer

"C" Capt R.D. Gunselman


October 1968

1st Tanks

CO LtCol M.C. Ashley, Jr
XO Maj R.H. Graham
S-1 1
st Lt C.S. Schuring
S-2 1
st Lt W.D. Darby
S-3 Maj J.T. Garcia and Capt J.B. Terpak
S-4 Maj D.R. Sparks

Company CO's:

H&S Capts R.A. Doyle and J.K. Marlatt

"A" Capt B.R. Montgomery

"B" Capts D.G. Hendreson and R.A. Doyle

"C" Capt R.t. Hopkins

"A" 1st ATs 1st Lt G.B. Search and Capt F.P. Briseno


October 1969

1st Tanks

CO LtCol L.R. Butler
XO Maj R.D. Becker
S-1 Capt I.F. Waldvogel and 1
st Lt Mashburn
S-2 1
st Lt R.B. Goodrich
S-3 Maj J.P. Senik
S-4 Maj G.E. Berbaum

Company CO's:

H&S Capt H.G. Duncan

"A" Capt P.h. McMath

"B" 1st Lt J.M Lidyard

"C" Capt's J.K. Marlatt and T.W. Kelly

"A" 1st ATs 1st Lts B.J. Bethel and R.B. Goodrich

"A" 5th ATs Capt M.F. Shisler


October 1965

3rd ATs

CO LtCol B.R. Heflin
XO Maj O.R. Edmondson
S-1 WO-1 G. Dohse
S-2 Capt V.A. Vernay
S-3 Capt V.A. Vernay
S-4 Capt S.R. Stewart

Company CO's:

H&S 1st Lts C.J. Rooney and D.B. House

"A" Capt K.E. Sharff

"B" 1st Lt H.M. Chang

"C" 1st Lt W.F. Snyder


October 1966

3rd ATs

CO LtCol D.E. Newton and Maj C.R. Stiffler
XO Capt D.C. Satcher
S-1 2
nd Lt F.A. Guile
S-2 WO C.C. Harris
S-3 WO C.C. Harris and 1
st Lt J.C. Derilio
S-4 WO C.C. Harris

Company CO's:

H&S 1st Lts C.J. Rooney and D.B. House

"A" Capt K.E. Sharff

"B" 1st Lt H.M. Chang

"C" 1st Lt W.F. Snyder


October 1965

3rd Tanks

CO LtCol M.L. Raphael
XO Maj J.G. Doss
S-1 1
st Lt D.J. Robinson
S-2 1
st Lt R.E. Davis
S-3 Capt J.B. Donovan and Maj H.L. Maxwell
S-4 Maj F.W. Coates

Company CO's:

H&S Capt H.A. Bertrand, Jr

"A" Capt F.W. Jarnot

"B" Capt A.E. Lee

"C" 1st Lt J.D. Sparks and Capt E.L. Erickson

"B" 1st Tanks Capt A.W. Lamb


October 1966

3rd Tanks

CO LtCol W.R. Corson
XO Majs J.G. Doss, Jr and E.R. Larson
S-1 2
nd Lt J. McGann
S-2 1
st Lt T.J. Prendergast
S-3 Majs E.R. Larson and E.L. Tunget
S-4 Capts R.E. Downard and 2
nd Lt R.J. Bright

Company CO's:

H&S 1st Lts R.F. Bierbe, IV and R.D. McDaniel

"A" Capt F.W. A.W. Facklan, Jr

"B" Capt E.L. Tunget and 1st Lt D.B. Garner

"C" Capt P.F. Lessard


October 1967

3rd Tanks

CO LtCol F.D. Chapman
XO Maj B.M. MacLaren
S-1 1
st Lt J.w. McCue, III
S-2 2
nd Lt J. Block
S-3 Capt C.L. Sale and Maj C.J. Samuelsen
S-4 Maj R.E. Finney

Company CO's:

H&S 1st Lt A.W. Hausen

"A" Capts G.G. Jacobsen and g.w. Baker

"B" Capt E.J. Kline

"C" Capt W.J. O'Buch


October 1968

3rd Tanks

CO LtCol G.E. Hayward
XO Majs C.J. Samuelsen and Capt J.P. Souders
S-1 Capt W.K. Hoyt, Jr
S-2 1
st Lts J.t. Mero and C.C. Hatcher
S-3 Majs J.P. Souders and H.L. Baukhight
S-4 1
st Lts J.T. Mero and C.C. Hatcher

Company CO's:

H&S Capt J.A. Rumbley

"A" Capt R.J. Patterson

"B" 1st Lt J.t. Miller

"C" Capt L.C. Kutchma

"A" 3rd ATs 1st Lt F. Gypin, Jr


October - December 1969

3rd Tanks

CO LtCols W.S. and R.W. Martin, Jr
XO Majs J.R. Bathis and A.E. Lee
S-1 2
nd Lt D.F. Jones
S-2 1
st Lts J.A. Jackson and D.W. Riser
S-3 Capts L.V. Yanda and f.T. Klabough
S-4 Capt M.H. Collier and Maj J.r. Balthis

Company CO's:

H&S Capt M.H. Collier and 1st Lt G.L. Rivera

"A" Capt C.E. Hobbs

"B" Capt W.N. Crafton and L.V. Yanda

"C" Capt F.T. Klabough and 1st Lt T.A. Voth

Book Review


Robert Rieder Boardman, at age 85, passed away on Saturday, September 19th, exactly three years ago today as I "pen" this book review piece for the Foundation's "Breech Block". Bob's wife, Jean, moved to an assistant living facility and - sadly enough - she's also died.


Bob Boardman is a Marine Tanker who fought in the Pacific in World War II with the First Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division. He was wounded on Peleliu and again, gravely, on Okinawa and was decorated with Purple Hearts and the Silver Star for gallantry in action. His second was a wounded in the throat where he lost his voice. He regained his ability to speak - gravelly-voiced and with some difficulty - and he spoke for his Lord through his deep Christian faith. He became a voice for his beliefs. Bob served as Chaplain of the 1st Marine Division Association and the Marine Corps Tanker's Association.


Pastor Boardman and his wife ministered throughout the Pacific, primarily in Japan, where he and Jean raised their family of five children. Bob left a legacy everywhere he and his wife travelled but the one he left that will continue his work is his books. "C-Rations for the Warrior's Heart", which is a collection of 20 stories about "men from different branches of the Armed Forces who put their lives on the line". The majority of the stories are about WWII followed by Viet-Nam, Korea and Desert Storm. Most of the stories are by the author, a few by the individual himself. As noted by one Marine mentioned in both this book and his "Unforgettable Men in Unforgettable Times," the stories "clearly reveal that the key element in winning wars resides inside spirit of man."


These collections of combat stories are filled with examples of courage, character, and victory where Bob has captured the pathos and trauma of war in telling stories from America's principal wars of outstanding warriors of the American Armed Forces, many of whom were decorated and/or wounded. The sacrificial duty and exploits of all these men reveal by example that the principle ingredient in any battle is the condition of the spirit inside a man's heart. These stories are truly food for the inner man - graphic accounts that provide "C-Rations" for today's great battles and small skirmishes.


"C-Rations for the Warrior's Heart" and "Unforgettable Men in Unforgettable Times," are available in paperback through Amazon for mere pennies. Be kind to yourself and order these up for really great reads.


Ray Stewart

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.


For more PTSD information and support resources, visit the PTSD page.

Disabled Veterans COLA Increase

The 2013 cost of living allowance (COLA) increase for veteran disability benefits passed by unanimous vote in the House of Representatives, and now awaits a vote in the Senate. If passed, disabled veterans will receive the same increase in COLA as Social Security and retired military beneficiaries, an expected 1.3 to 1.9 percent bump, with the final calculation to be determined in October.

While unlikely, there is still a chance this year that federal beneficiaries might receive a reduced or no COLA increase at all as the result of upcoming budget cuts.


VTA Logo   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.






May 8 - 11, 2013, Quantico


Details: Click here for tentative agenda


Contact: Louis Nafjus, 



2012 Mustang Reunion

September 13 - 16, 2012  

Fossil Creek, Fort Worth, Texas


Contact: Phil Ray or Jimmy Perry, 5953 Feather Wind Way, Fort Worth, TX 76135    



Clyde KramerClyde Kramer
Salt Lake City, UT 

Clyde was a very kind and generous man who had strength and courage throughout his life. He earned his Eagle Scout badge in 1960 and received the Ad Altare Dei medal, the highest award the Catholic Church bestows on a scout. A Boy Scout trip to Kanab yielded a visit with stars, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Chief Rod Red Wing, and three of Bing Crosby's sons while they were filming Soldiers Three. He also visited the Seattle World's Fair in 1962. In 1967 Clyde started his service with the US Marines deploying to Vietnam with Bravo Co, 1st Tank Battalion 7th Marines in Da Nang. As a tank commander he received the Purple Heart, Vietnam service combat valor medal, National Defense Service medal, Good Conduct medal, and the Cross of Gallantry with Palm Leaf the Presidential unit Citation Good Conduct medal. Later he was stationed in Rota, Spain as an embassy guard, and was honorably discharged in 1971. He retired from Tooele Army Depot after 20 years. Clyde was proud of his Italian heritage, service in the Marine Corps, and of his only child, Matthew following his footsteps by also serving with the Marines. Survived by his son, Matthew (Natasha) Kramer; granddaughters, Jazmine, Kaylee, and Chloe Kramer; sister, Linda (Paul) Sorich; brother, Gerald (Roberta) Kramer; sister-in-law, Penny Kramer; nieces, Keilee (Mike) Kramer-Wilson, Angela Sorich Vredeveld, and Gelasia (Daniel) Saunders; nephews, Mark (Terri) Sorich, Jeramie (Kerry) Kramer, and Jerad (Amber) Kramer; 8 great nephews; former wife, Jolene Kramer; aunts, Florence Osborn and Dorothy Kramer; only cousin, Dorothy Romolo Reynolds; and his beloved guardian angel, Callie the cat. Preceded in death by parents; grandparents, Antonio & Mary Di Fabriazzo Romolo and Albert & Ella Kramer; brother, Lawrence Kramer; nephew, Jason Lawrence Kramer


Dave Pena 2

Dave Pena

David Luis Pe�a, Houiston, TX


Dave passed away at the VA Hospital in Houston. David was born in Brownsville, Texas, to Adolfo Pe�a Jr. (deceased) and Berta Trevi�o Pe�aSept. 21, 1942. Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 25 years, Lidia San Miguel Pe�a of Houston; his only child, David Luis Pe�a Jr. (Iris) of Houston; his beautiful and much loved grandchildren, Lily, Jazzy and David III; his 90-year-old mother, Berta, of Mission; brothers, Adolfo Pe�a III (Fito) of Santa Monica, Calif., Ruben Pe�a of Riverside, Calif., Ben Pena of Katy, Texas; sisters, Alma Bailey of Mission, Melinda Garza of Houston, Dilia Giguere (Dd) of Wheatland, Calif.; and numerous nieces and nephews.

David graduated from Brownsville High in May 1961. In June 1961 he, along with five other close friends, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. Since the time he was a child, he had been interested in tanks, and when he joined the Marines, he was assigned to a tank company and eventually designated as tank commander for the 1st Tank Battalion (Flame Platoon) in Camp Pendleton, Calif. He served overseas in Okinawa, 3rd Tank Battalion, Bravo Company, he was active Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation, and he was very active with members of the Class of '61 of Brownsville High, helping plan many of their reunions. David loved keeping up with friends via email, phone calls and visits.  


Paul Edward Doherty, Sr, Paul Doherity

Tewksbury, MA


He was a 47 year Tewksbury resident, and retired Tewksbury Police Officer.  He was the beloved husband of Carol C. (Lantz) Doherty.   Born in Malden on January 5, 1938, he was the son of the late Charles J. and Mildred (Hannon) Doherty. Paul was raised in Malden, attended Malden schools and graduated from Malden High School. He later attended Springfield College and Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill. In 1955, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps and served during the Vietnam War as a Tank Crewman with Company B, 3rd Tank Battalion. Prior to his retirement, he served as a Tewksbury Police Officer for over 30 years. Paul resided in Malden until moving to Tewksbury in 1962. 


Mr. Doherty is survived by his children, Paul E. Doherty, Jr. and his wife Michele of Tewksbury, Michael J. Doherty and his wife Patricia of Westford, Kelli Wentzell and her husband Mark of Dracut, Patrick S. Doherty and his wife Lisa of Dracut and Ryan O. Doherty and his wife Tarzia of Tewksbury; two sisters, Mary Brown and Ann Brown both of Malden; also eleven grandchildren, three great grandchildren, many nieces and nephews. 


Edward Thomas Melz, Jr.

Torrance, California


Ed was born June 16, 1940, the only child of Edward T. Melz, Sr, a California state correctional sergeant, and Myrtle Perkin Melz. Ed grew up in Chino, California and throughout elementary school and into high school was an enthusiastic member of the Boy Scouts of America, earning the rank of Eagle Scout in 1955. He graduated from Chino High School in 1958 with both academic and athletic honors. He played varsity football all four years of high school.


During his years at San Jose State University, Ed was known for his leadership in the Police Cadet program while earning a degree in administration of justice. On October 15, 1961, Ed joined the San Jose (CA) Police Department as a Patrol Officer. On August 18, 1962, he married Christine Erickson. During his college years, he participated in the United States Marine Corps Platoon Leaders Course, through which he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Marine Corps Reserve in 1963. He requested and was granted a 3-year Leave of Absence from the San Jose Police Department to serve his active duty as a Marine Officer beginning in June, 1963. He entered the Marine Officers Basic Course (The Basic School) at Marine Corps Schools, Quantico, Virginia, on June 20, 1963, where he served as a member of Third Platoon, Company C, Basic Class 1-64. Upon graduation on December 19, 1963, Ed was assigned to the 3d Marine Division, based at Camp Hansen, Okinawa. In preparation for that assignment he was ordered to attend Marine Corps Tank Officer Training at Camp Pendleton, CA, where he earned the Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) of Tank Officer in March, 1964.

In March 1964, Ed was transferred to the island of Okinawa, where he assumed his first Marine Corps command as Tank Platoon Commander, Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division, and was promoted to First Lieutenant on August 28, 1964. Soon after his promotion, Ed moved up to assume command of a Tank Company, and in that capacity he commanded the first Marine tanks to land in Viet Nam, at Da Nang on March 18, 1965. When his 13-month overseas tour time expired in May 1965, Ed returned to Camp Pendleton where he spent the next year with the 2d Infantry Training Regiment. He was released from active duty in the Marine Corps Reserve on June 15, 1966. At that time he ended his Leave of Absence and returned to active service with the San Jose Police Department.

Ironically, Ed served as a uniformed member of the San Jose Police Department's response team on the campuses of UC Berkeley, Stanford University, San Francisco State and San Jose State when the student anti-war movement dissolved into riots in 1967 and 1968. Ed and Christine's son Stephen was born in 1967 and their daughter Catherine Ellen was born in 1972. With the San Jose Police Department, Ed rose through the ranks to become a Lieutenant in 1974. In his career as in his personal life, Ed was well known for his focus on precision and detail, as well as for his commitment to achieve the results that were needed. As some have said, "Ed was intense and took control to get the job done. For this some loved him and some did not." Over time, Ed became more and more involved in his avocation of fishing and in 1978 as he began to prepare for his eventual retirement from the Police Department, he started a commercial fishing enterprise and in 1979 he designed and bought his own commercial fishing boat, the "Sunrise," which he berthed in the Santa Cruz (CA) small craft and commercial fishing harbor. In order to carry out some required maintenance, Ed had the boat pulled out of the water in 1986, where it stood high above the ground. On March 22, 1986, when he was working on the outside of the boat from a ladder, Ed unfortunately fell backwards from high on the ladder and incurred a fatal and tragic head injury. After emergency surgery he was on life support for two days and was declared dead on March 24, 1986 at the age of 45.

At that time his son Stephen was 18 and had become quite familiar with the commercial fishing enterprise while working with his father. Soon after Ed's sudden death, the young son took over the boat and made commercial fishing his own career. Over the years, Stephen married Jacqueline Austin and they have two sons, Jason Edward and Aaron Thomas. Ed's daughter Catherine married Trever Roddick and they have a daughter, Rebecca Irene, born in 2009. Unfortunately, Ed never met his three grandchildren. Following Ed's death, his wife of 26 years, Christine, eventually married John E. Trussler, who had been a good friend of Ed's for many years before Ed's death.

While on active duty in the Marine Corps, 1/LT Melz was awarded the Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, National Defense Service Medal, Viet Nam Campaign Medal, and the Republic of Viet Nam Service Medal with Device.

Semper Fidelis, from Larry's fellow members of Third Platoon, C Company, The Basic School Class 1-64, September 27, 2010.

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.


Semper Fidelis,

MC Flag Big Wave 

Dick Carey,

Vice President

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.
In This Issue
Marine Corps In the Vietnam War
Donors 2012
Donate Address
Heroes Corner
Vietnam Flashbacks
Chains of Command
Book Review
Obama Signs Bill Helping Lejeune Water Victims
Disabled Veterans COLA Increase
We Need Your Assistance
Can't Access Links




Marine Corps
Vietnam Tankers
Historical Foundation



President & Editor

LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (Ret.)



Archivist in Residence

Kyle Decicco-Carey

Harvard University

BA in History, MLIS


Author in Residence

Dr. Oscar "Ed" Gilbert


Historian in Residence

Peter Brush

Vanderbilt University

BA and MA in History


Marketing & Production

Richard 'Dick' Carey



Web Master

Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds




Board of Directors


LtCol Raymond A. Stewart,

USMC (Ret.)


Charter Director, 

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association 


Richard 'Dick' Carey
Vice President 

Public Relations 

Founder, USMC Vietnam Tankers Association

President Emeritus


James Raasch


Oral Historian  


Charles 'Chuck' Garrison


Charter Director, 

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association


Richard Tilden



LtGen Martin R. Steele,

USMC (Ret.)


Charter Director,

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association  


Col William  'Bill' Davis,




Robert 'Mike' Flick



David 'Doc' Forsyth



Dr. Ken Estes,

LtCol, USMC (Ret)



Rick Walters



Guy Wolfenberger



MGySgt Donald Gagnon,

USMC (Ret)

Director Emeritus 

Quick Links

Ontos Web Site 


Khe Sanh Veterans


Mustang Officers Assn.


Marine Corps Hertiage Foundation


The Marine Shop


Defense Department 


Our Members' Books:


Beyond My Horizon

By Claude Vargo


Con Thein: Hill of Angels

By Jim Coan


Praying for Slack

By Bob Peavey 



By Clyde Hoch



      Follow us on Twitter 

  Join Our Mailing List
    Official USMC Flag

In Memory
Lance Corporal
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
1st Anti-Tank
Alpha Company
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.