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



OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history  


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




August 2013    



Vietnam Ontos crewman, Tankers and support  have made history and we are making it known. 


Dear Marine,  


     There is plenty of good news to deliver this month. The first is to report to you that Dick Carey, our Vice President is experiencing an unprecedented recovery from his pancreatic cancer operation. He's not yet pain-free nor is he quite fully "operational" but he's close in both those arenas and he is back in daily contact with the Foundation. If Dick continues his recovery pace he will take back the full production of the Breech Block starting with the September issue.

     In the context of The Book there is also great news. Your response to our call for logo's, equipment names, and other Vietnam graffiti has been overwhelming. Pictures of tanks, retrievers, trucks, and helmets have been pouring in. We plan to create a separate annex in The Book comprising these unique works of art.

     We continue receiving tremendous support from the Marine Corps History Division and the Gray Research Center archives. Dr. Fred Allison, who also manages one of our grants, recently sent us an additional 42 CDs of interviews of Vietnam Marines. Some of these interviews were recorded in-country and right on the heels of a fight. As I found in preparing for the article we wrote for the Leatherneck magazine a few Februaries ago on the 40th Anniversary of the Battle for Hue City, you can hear the Tanks and helicopters in the background during the recording session. With this latest addition of interviews, we will have more than 100 to draw quotes and stories from for The Book.

     When the decision was made to move forward with The Book a number of goals were agreed upon. First and foremost was the number of firsthand stories from Tankers and Ontos crewmen we needed in the pool from which we could draw to build a book. Secondly, the amount of money we had in the bank or could reasonably be assured to raise. The magic numbers were 100 and $10,000, respectively. While the money was bit of a stretch, as far as stories and articles are concerned, we've exceeded our goal by a factor of more than 2 times.          

     Dick Carey keeps coming up with new and unique ideas to raise money and our 600+ membership continues to support our mission with both monetary and "sweat equity" contributions. In the meantime, Jackie Hunter, the Foundation's Administrator, has re-typed, reformatted, and first-edited more than 200 original stories and articles, will have listened to approximately 100 recordings of Vietnam Marines, and re-formatted/typed their stories. Pappy Reynolds, our Web Master, who has previously plotted on his Map Chronology the location of every Tank and Ontos battalion and company, has also located every killed in action Marine Tanker and Ontos crewman.

   The Foundation's blog site disappeared under mysterious circumstances a few months ago. It has been resurrected by Dick. Most of the input was lost but we're attempting to recreate what we had and calling for those who had previously blogged to re-blog and assist us in rebuilding that site.

     And, finally, a call for all who are recipients of personal awards for valor. Please weigh in with the Foundation. The Navy Cross and Silver Star recipients' rosters are fairly complete but the Bronze Star, Navy Commendation, and Navy Achievement with "V"s are far from complete. Those Ontos Marines and Tankers, as well as those who supported us, are encouraged to submit for publication (The Book, our web site, the Breech Block) and archiving, a copy of you medal certificate and the written citation.

   Thank you for your continued support of the Foundation's mission. And a special "Welcome back, Dick."


Semper Fidelis,



Vietnam DMZ Firebases Today
Vietnam 2008 #4 DMZ Firebases
New Blog Site
A few months a ago a virus wiped out our Blog Site.  After many emails back and forth with Google the host of the Blog Site it was determined by the host that the site was not restorable. To that end, we have created a new Blog Site and are in the process of rebuilding the information that was lost.

Be sure to visit the site, and add you comments, thoughts and suggestions.  To avoid SPAMERS I have instituted a need to approve all postings and have added one of those aggravating word passwords to ensure that spamming robots are not able to flood our Blog Site.

Semper Fidelis,

Dick Carey
Mail Call!





Hope this helps to keep the book going. Wish I could remember names but do remember all of it (NAM).


Semper Fi,

Sid Ferguson  


P.S. Thanks for your tireless effort.



Thanks For Article 


Dear Ray,
Thanks for putting my (Lam Son 250) article in the Breech Block. It will not be a lost piece of history now.
Semper Fi,
Virgil (Melton, Jr)    



Wants to Lend a Hand 


Ray - thanks for the latest Breech Block issue; ...

Two questions for you...

First: I "read" a need for workers. I'm remote, but accessible. And I'd like to help the staff.

Second: I have been working on a manuscript for a book that I'd like to submit for publication/inclusion. If you're interested, let me know please, thank you.

Semper Fidelis,

Jim Renforth


Looking for Capt Ruhlman/Thanks Foundation



I received the report that LtCol Sylvester may be deceased. I have not received any useful information as to whereabouts of Capt Ruhlman. Got no good info from Hq USMC. I am therefore suspending any further efforts to locate him. I want to express my sincere thanks to you and your organization  for your assistance in the matter. My best wishes to you all.


Semper Fi,
Jerry (Shirley)
Marine Amphibious Operations in Vietnam.


One of our book's appendices will cover Marine Amphibious Operations in Vietnam. For those who mistakenly believe that Vietnam Marines moved away from our amphibious roots during the war and/or were serving as just another land army, we wish to dispel that misperception with a special section that highlights the Amphibious Ready Group/Special Landing Force (ARG/SLF) Operations e.g. Starlite, Piranha, Blue Marlin I & II, Double Eagle, Bold Mariner/Russell Beach, and Osage; the "Dagger Thrust" series of amphibious operations; and the "Deck House" Operations. If you were involved in any of these operations please contact us with stories and pictures and, if you would like, we will help you write your story for inclusion in our book.


The Foundation is also equipped to take your oral history over the phone. Call me at 253-517-5696 to arrange a time we can record an interview.


Semper Fi and Tanks a Lot,



Heroes Corner 

Silver Star DAVIS, BRUCE W.
The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to Bruce W. Davis, Corporal, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving with Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on February 23, 1969. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Corporal Davis upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Photo Spotlight

3rd Tank Bn, C 21  FUJIMO

Camp Evans, 3rd Tank Bn, Charlie 21,
 Jimmie Jaynes
(KIA, Apr. '68)  
Submitted by T.C. Garry Hall

Jim Raasch's tank




Sweet Swede #1  Sweet Swede #2a

(Left) Working on the tank retriever, "Sweet Swede" is  John Yawl on the right. Joe Kuhn from San Francisco is working with him on a blown transmission.


(Right) Yawl is on the far left with the retriever crew.    Kneeling is Mike Tabor of Oklahoma, who was the crew chief at that time.  The strangely clean person (bending) is a machinist, who obviously had not been in the field with them.  Kuhn is standing on the far right.  You can see transmission fluid above the track all the way onto the boom and all over the ground behind the retriever.
The "Sweet Swede" was the only heavy tank retriever operating in Northern I-Corps at the time. 
Command Chronologies (Here)

August's 1965 to 1970 - Marine Tanks & Ontos Action


     This is the fifth of what is intended to be a monthly feature of abstracted Tank and Anti-Tank Command Chronologies. This Breech Block - August 2013 - will give you a brief overview of the action that the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tanks and Anti-Tanks were involved in during each August that they were in-country. For the complete command chronologies, please visit our Foundation website where Pappy Reynolds has posted the Tank and Antitank CCs. Most of the CCs are 100-300 pages in length with material that is not usually of great interest to most. I will attempt to feature that which is of prime interest. If we've omitted areas that you would like to see included in these monthly overviews, please let me know. If you served in any of these units during a month of August and recall some experiences that you would like others to read, jot them down and send them to us. Pictures with captions are of particular interest. Nearly all of the material you send us will find its way into one of our publications and ultimately our book.

     Please note that, the Command Chronologies routinely list all the battalions' principle staff officers. However, I will provide just the Bn. C.O.'s, X.O.'s, Operations, and Logistics Officers of the battalions. Also, you will see the names of the C.O.s of H&S and the Letter Companies. I hope our readers, who knew the names of their Platoon Leaders and Platoon Sergeants, will send us their names - as well as others they served with. Those Marines are a part of our history which needs to be made known. We serve our Brothers well by recording their names in history.

     Also, you are encouraged to access the Foundation's Map Chronology that Pappy has created on our web site. There you may find out exactly where your unit - battalion, company, often platoon, and occasionally section - was located at any given time. If you do not find your unit on one of Pappy's several maps, let Pappy know.

     And finally, you will note that the abstract looks a bit "ragged" with the cut and paste of the original Command Chronologies into the abstract format. Aside from the fact that we do not have the time and available talent to re-type the CC's reports, with the original CCs posted as written removes any typing errors or areas of omission the transferring of data may introduce. The cut/paste gives you exactly how the CC was typed up at the battalion headquarters some 44-48 years ago.

     The file is in two parts due to the size of the content.


Part I ~ Part II


Semper Fidelis,



Auction Results
A big THANK YOU is extended to  Wes "Tiny" Kilgore for his winning bid of $500 for the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association Challenge Coin we recently auctioned.

There were a total of 13 bidders for the Challenge Coin. The following are the bidders listed in alphabetical order; Rick Armstrong, Claudio Calvo, Thomas Ciryak, Dennis Fresch, Brian Jefferies, Wes "Tiny" Kilgore, Bill Lochridge, David Nicodemus, Larry Parshall, Joe Vernon, Jerry Wahl, Martha Zaragoza and Ken Zebal.


We wish to thank all of the participants for their enthusiastic support of the Historical Foundation.

VA Reevaluates Sleep Apnea Ratings

The Department of Veterans Affairs is studying changes to disability ratings for obstructive sleep apnea, particularly the 50-percent rating being awarded when VA physicians prescribe use of a CPAP, or continuous positive airway pressure machine, for sleep-deprived veterans. The good news for more than 114,000 veterans already drawing compensation for sleep apnea is their ratings would not be reduced with broad change to the rating schedule. 


Read the full article on  

Secure Credit Card Donations       
IRS Tax EIN 91-2111544 ] 
2013 Donors: Thank you for your support!
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:

Certificate Donations


Platinum Plus ~ $1,000 Plus

Platinum ~ $250 - $999
Gold ~ $100 - $249
Silver ~ $50 - $99
Bronze $1 - $49


Platinum Plus
Dick Carey*
Jeni and Darrell Clock  
Kevin Flynn
Jackie Hunter*
Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds*
LtCol Phil Weigand, USMC (Ret)  
Guy Wolfenbarger 
Bobby Joe Blythe 
Peter Brush*
Brian Carroll
Kyle Decicco-Carey*
Sid Ferguson, DVM
Glen Hutchins
LtCol William Lochridge, USMC (Ret)+

Dr John D  Price
Jim Raasch
Adolph Sgambelluri
LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Jerry Wahl
Stephen Arnone
Maj Frank Box, USMC (Ret)
David 'Doc' Forsyth
William Franker
Alonzo Jacobs
Thomas Kelly
Carl Lemon
David Ralston
Robert F. (Bob) Singer 
LtCol Frank Slovik, UISMC (Ret)
Maj Ed Stith, USMC (Ret)
Jerry White

Meyrat Francis-Michael
"Doc" Hackemack
Thomas Kelly  
Brian Jefferies
John Lange
Garry Mefford
Robert Peavey
Bobby Joe Blythe
Chris DeSpain
Robert Fornwalt

+Additional Donation 

*In-Kind Services

**In-Kind & Monetary

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.
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 Approved Tax EIN 91-2111544 

A 501(c)(19) Non-profit Historical Foundation
Established 2001
Official United States Marine Corps Playbook   

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.


Free daily self-parking.


  We will also get a 20% discount on food and drinks (not alcoholic drinks) in the hotel restaurants and bars.

   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.

  You are encouraged you to bring your wives or your girl friends and as many of your family members as you want to attend.




Mustang LogoMuster 2013 

Branson, MO

September 4 - 8, 2013

Clarion Branson Hotel

2820 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616

Call for room reservations: (800) 725-2236 

Mention you are w/the Marine Corps Mustang Reunion


Marine Corps Mustang web site
If you have any questions or concerns please contact Joe Mouton, Roger Speeg, or Dwayne Dupeire. 


We Really 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 Tanks, Ontos, etc. 


Please take the time to go to the bottom of this newsletter and click on "Update Profile/Email Address."


You guys are terrific; we appreciate your support.


Semper Fidelis,

MC Flag Big Wave 

Dick Carey, V.P.


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
Vietnam DMZ Firebases Today
New Blog Site
Mail Call
Marine Amphibious Operations in Vietnam.
Heroes Corner
Photo Spotlight
Command Chronologies: March 1965 to 1970
Auction Results
VA Reevaluates Sleep Apnea Ratings
Credit Card Donations
Donors 2013
Donate Address
Official United States Marine Corps Playbook
We Need Your Assistance
Can't Access Links






Marine Corps
Vietnam Tankers
Historical Foundation



Vice Pres., Editor,

Marketing & Production 

Richard "Dick" Carey

Contact: Email Me    


LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (Ret)



Jackie Hunter

Administrative Assistant


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


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, Treasurer 

Charter Director, 

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association


Richard Tilden



LtGen Martin R. 

Steele, USMC (Ret)


Charter Director,

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association  


Col William  'Bill' Davis, USMC(Ret)



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



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    Official USMC Flag

In Memory
Lance Corporal
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
1st Anti-Tank
Alpha Company
03 July 196PP/ Staff Sergeant
 30ptember 1



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