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



OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history  


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




February 2013    



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


Battle of Hue City: 45th Anniversary


Dear Marine, 

2013 is  "The Year of The Book". Several of the moving parts of putting our book - "The Book" - together and getting it on the street are in place and the remainder will follow in-trace. The individual, personal stories of our Tankers and Ontos Crewmen are coming in daily and being "placed". We have constructed a "Vietnam War Timeline" starting 8 March 1965 and ending mid-June 1970. Along this timeline every Ontos Crewman and Tanker who has answered our several calls for a brief bio will find his name. The time line will include a link to the full story of everyone who has sent us theirs and/or given us permission to cite/print their story. Every named Marine Corps operation will appear with special treatment of those in which Tanks and Ontos participated. We're still noodling the best way format for ease of reference. This then is getting near the "Final Call" for stories and bio submissions. For a sample of the stories sent to the Foundation, visit our web site at

In addition there is to be appendices. To-date we're considering one for "Marine Corps Jargon", "Glossary of Terms and Acronyms", "Tank and Ontos Unit Configuration & TO/E", "Index", "Bibliography", alphabetized "List of Tanker and Ontos Crewmen", "Medal Recipients", and every "Story Submitter's" name+. So, besides the personal write-ups, everyone has the opportunity to contribute to the appendices. Sorry, but "Ham and M/Fs - C-ration Ham and Lima Beans" is amply covered already. And, yes "Boom Boom" as well.


The plan is to go modern i.e. E-Book format. To that end the Foundation has purchased an iMAC and the applicable publishing software. Also, stepping into the 21st century, and through the hard work of our V.P. Dick Carey, contributors to the Foundation (consider a tax exemption for a 501(c)(19) non-profit) may consider using the convenience of our PayPal account.

   So -------- Here we go with "Marine Corps Tanks and Ontos in the Vietnam War".

And, of course we, we cannot forget the "Battle for Hue City". February will mark the 45th Anniversary of one of the most decisive Marine victories of the Vietnam War. I had planned on a full spread to cover the battle with commentary, pictures, and links to the several books and articles. "The Book Project" pretty much sucked most of the air out of that quite aggressive effort but here's a picture of Tanks and Grunts in Hue with a short story to go with it.  

Tanks in Hue


Five years ago, at the request of Col Walt Ford, Editor and Publisher of the Leatherneck magazine and in commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the "Battle for Hue City" I prepared an article Marine Tanks in the Battle for Hue City: Tet 1968.  Within a week of that edition of the Leatherneck being published I received a phone call from a Rick Horner. The name sounded familiar but I couldn't quite place it. Rick said, "You know that picture in your article that shows the tanks and the troops crouched down behind them? That's me and my platoon! I was the Platoon Commander". Rick goes on to detail his situation some 40 years hence. It was more than just a bit chilling to hear his story. In short, he believed - and believes - that he was close to losing his life and that of his platoon. Under withering cross fire from the ambush he was caught in, pinned down in the open in the middle of that Hue street, he called for help. Tanks responded, provided covering/suppressing fire, loaded Lt Horner's casualties, and backed his platoon out of the killing zone and returned them to the MACV compound.


As Rick was detailing the ambush details living the moment, I recalled why his name was familiar. Shortly after the battle, 2Lt Horner and members of his platoon, upon returning to the MACV compound, were interviewed by a Marine Corps History Division's reporter. That interview is found today on a CD in the Marine Corps Archives at MCB, Quantico, VA. By pure chance, one in a bazillion, a few weeks prior to Rick's call, I had drawn that very CD to write the summary under the grant program to which the Foundation is committed. (Oral interview summary)  It all came together.



During that chilling phone call, Rick told me that all his life, since "that day", he's wanted to know who those Tankers were who so bravely and successfully came to his aide so that he could personally thank them. With the Leatherneck article he was able to find out who they were - and are. How proud it makes us of the Foundation to realize what we can - and continue to - accomplish in sorting out the details of Ontos Crewmen and Tankers' participation in the Vietnam War. All tolled there was probably no less than 100+ hours writing and researching the Hue Leatherneck article, listening to and transcribing tapes, writing interview summaries, and submitting the separate documents to the historical archives and for publication. But the feelings that came over me as it all came together, listening to Rick's story nearly five years ago - amplified by the interview he'd provided 40 years before - cannot be adequately described.


Gents, this is your Foundation and that's what we do.


Semper Fidelis,




In Coming!
Jim Coan Article to Appear in Leatherneck Magazine
Fred (Kellogg),

You asked to be informed when my article, "The Road to Khe Sanh," would be published in Leatherneck. I just heard from Col. Ford yesterday that it will come out in the February issue. He said he was really pleased with how it looked, that it was six pages, and that his staff had located some tank photos that he thinks none of us have seen before. Please notify Rene Cerda and Harris Himes, as they are mentioned in the article as well as yourself. 

I really want to thank you and John Wear for your help on this article. I also thank Dick Carey for the photos he forwarded to me. The article would not have happened without your assistance. 
Jim (Coan)
P.S. Leatherneck will send me three extra copies so I'll be glad to forward one
Heart Felt Thanks

THANK YOU for keeping the organization going. I always look forward to every piece of  mail from USMCVTHF...not many of us left but we still are a band of brothers. I feel I should have done more to support our organization...things have been a little rough last few years ..but I'm back.


Love you all
Robert Mila



PS   Have more photos from H&S Co 3RD Tank Bn circa 66-67 and will send em in asap

Breech Block
OUTSTANDING! Once more, you have out did yourself. Pretty damn good stuff.  CONGRATULATIONS.  Sgamby will be fwd via AMEX card donation.  Hopefully my tanker friends Maj Jack Oconor and Col Frank Slovik will do likewise.  
I sure hope you realize that you are the only link we Tankers have to make the rest of the Corps realize Tankers' contribution to the Corps' heritage, commitment and service. It's amazing what one dedicated person - you - can do. 
Thank you, Herb (LtCol Steigelman, USMC (Ret).)
Via Snail mail
Legacy of "Tree"
Hi all,

Forgive me for this note but I wanted to share sort of a "continuing legacy" story.  As some of you may recall I picked up the moniker "Tree" while in Viet Nam. My son Matt, has served in the Navy for about 6 years before being picked up as a Mustang.  He attended OCS from September to November 30 when he was commissioned (Navy owned, Marine Corps trained).  He and I were talking when he mentioned the fact that most of the OCS candidates had begun to call him "Oak Tree".  Now, many of you remember that I am 6'7" tall and my son is 6'9" so not only was it appropriate but legacy based.

Sorry but I just wanted to share.  (I have informed him and his group on board the Nimitiz that the Marine Corps is the men's department of the Navy. Don't you know that almost got me thrown overboard.)

Frank "Tree" Remkiewicz
ONTOS Reunion
I would like to attend, but my wife has been ill for several years and don't believe I can leave her here alone! Darn it! But, I love the email publication and would like to continue to receive it.
Mike Upchurch 
Charlie Company, Third AT, 1966 
Motor "T" Diver Remembers
Lt.Col. Stewart, 
You may not remember me. I was just a truck driver in the H&S Co. motor "T" section under Lt. Kelly. I joined 1st A.T.'s about two days before we shipped out of Long Beach in January 1966. We landed at Chu Lia in March and within the next month I and my deuce and a half were TAD to Charging CHARLIE Company as most of their motor T was in very sad shape. I hauled track, ammo, water to the different platoons, brought people in to see the doctors, go on R&R, PCS rotating back to the States. In fact one of your Motor T men in B Co. is Bill Watkins who now lives in Washington State and after serving in the CORPS he joined the army where he retired out as a MSGT on disability. Of All the folks in 1st A.T.'s that I knew in 66 & 67 he is one of three that have found that will communicate in any fashion at all. Cannot believe that they all aren't on a "net" somewhere. Well just wanted to let you know that another 1st Anti Tank Bn. Member is out here.  
Buford W. Horne ( Cpl. USMC ) 


Happy For Information

Dear Mr. Carey


Thank you for the information on Agent Orange exposure that was forwarded to me by LtCol Stewart.  We are still awaiting the results of my husband's heart test and are keeping our fingers crossed that it is not serious.


Thank you, too, for the Viet Nam Tankers Historical Foundation.  Without your web site I would have gotten practically nowhere in my search for information about Charles Denton, my husband's father.


Am hoping that through your organization that he might get some stories about his father from people who knew him.


Thank you for help and Happy New Year,


Zoe Smith

Foundation Bio Sheet
A number of you stated that you were unable to successfully open the link with the Bio questions.  I have added a printable pdf document that has the questions needed to complete your Bio.  Be sure to use the questionnaire to send us an email with the needed information.
We have a list of over 630 known Vietnam Tankers, Ontos Crewmen and support personnel on our mailing list.  This, to say the least, is a daunting task. 
Thank you for your patience and understanding. 
Foundation Member Recalls Vietnam Action

Frank Remkiewicz  Recall Vietnam Action
Frank Remkiewicz Recalls Vietnam Action

If you have a video that you can upload to YouTube, Vimeo, Blip TV, or GoldMail and would like to share it with our readers be sure to drop us an email with the link:
Visit Our Blog. Be Sure to Add Your Comments.

Khe Sanh - Before, During & After the Seige Photo: April 3, 1968     Rick Oswood Photo ...�

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Battle for Dong Ha, late April, early May 1969.By Permission of the Ohio State University: Battle of Dong Ha...�

This post is dedicated to the Battle of Hue City during the 1968 Tet Truce Offensive....�

Foundation Recognizes For 2012
Top Donors:
LtCol Phil Weigand, USMC (Ret)
Guy Wolfenbarger


Top In-Kind:
Dick Carey 
Lloyd "Pappy" Reynolds
Jackie Hunter.


Dick Carey for publishing the monthly Breech Block.
"Pappy" Reynolds for his Web Master work.
Ms. Jackie Hunter for her Admin work - Organizing the library and work on our book.
Secure Credit Card Donations        IRS Tax EIN 91-2111544 ] 
2013 Donors: Thank you for your support!

Platinum PlusPlat. Plus Award

Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds*

LtCol Phil Weigand, USMC (Ret)

Guy Wolfenbarger



Peter Brush*
Dick Carey*    

                      Kyle Decicco-Carey*
                      Brian Carroll
                      Jim Raasch**
                      Pappy Reynolds*
                      LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret)**+
                      LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Jerry Wahl 
Maj Frank Box, USMC (Ret)
Sid Ferguson
David 'Doc' Forsyth
Glen Hutchins 
Thomas Kelly
Robert F. (Bob) Singer 
LtCol Frank Slovik, UISMC (Ret)
Maj Ed Stith, UISMC (Ret)
Your Name
Bobby Joe Blythe
John Lange
Robert Fornwalt 
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 Plus

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 Approved Tax EIN 91-2111544 

A 501(c)(19) Non-profit Historical Foundation
Established 2001
Heroes Corner
       JohnSilver Star M. Hill

       Awarded posthumously


The  President of the United States of America takes pride in presenting the Silver Star (Posthumously) to Sergeant John M. Hill, United States Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action while serving as a Tank Commander with Company B, First Tank Battalion, FIRST Marine Division in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam. On 22 August 1969, Sergeant Hill's unit was occupying a night defensive position on Go Noi Island in support of Company M, Third Battalion, First Marines when the Marines came under a vicious ground attack by a North Vietnamese Army company supported by rocket-propelled grenade and mortar fire. From his vantage point in the turret of the tank, Sergeant Hill sighted the advancing enemy and commenced delivering accurate machine gun fire against the soldiers and alerted his tank crew and the infantrymen of the impending ground assault. Having diverted the attention of the North Vietnamese Army unit by his action, he quickly became a vulnerable target for hostile fire, and a rocket-propelled grenade delivered from a near position wounded two of his crewmen who were mounting the vehicle. With complete disregard for his own safety, Sergeant Hill steadfastly remained in an exposed position and continued to fire at the enemy until another rocket propelled grenade impacted beside his tracked vehicle. Concerned for the safety of his injured men lying exposed to enemy fire on the top of the tank, he stood up and, again disregarding his own safety moved his tow comrades to a position of relative safety to the rear of the tank. Upon resuming his dangerously exposed position in the turret, he was mortally wounded as he continued to deliver a heavy volume of machine gun fire at the determined North Vietnamese Army force, preventing a penetration of his sector of the defensive perimeter. His heroic and determined actions inspired all who observed him and saved the lives of tow fellow Marines. By his courage, aggressive initiative and selfless devotion to duty, Sergeant Hill contributed significantly to the accomplishment of his unit's mission and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.


Action Date: August 22, 1969

Service: Marine Corps

Rank: Sergeant

Company: Company B

Battalion: 1st Tank Battalion

Division: 1st Marine Division (Rein.), FMF 

New Members*

Karl G. Buttstadt

1st Tank Bn, B/C Co,  


125 Serenity Dr

Boerne, TX 78006

Phone: (830) 331-9119



Michael R. Hermes

1st Tank Bn, H&S Co, 1966/1967

3176 Atwell Ave

The Villages, FL 32163

Phone: (352) 350-6330



Merritt "Duke" G. Hughes

3rd Tank Bn, A Co, 1966

7031 SE Tuscany Way

Portland, OR 97267

Phone: (503) 513-0621



Gerald W. Maddox

3rd Tank Bn, C Co, 1966/1967

3120 Oak Ridge Ct

Montgomery, AL 36109

Phone: (334) 396-4055



Howard A. Raby

3rd AT Bn, C Co, 1965

2633 Vernon Street

North Kansas City, MO 64116

Phone: (816) 221-6281



Joe P. Sanders

3rd Tank Bn, C Co, 1964/1965

4007 Gyrfalcon Dr

Norman, OK 73072

Phone: (405) 294-0033



Information Change:


Robert "Bob" Hoover

706 Rockspring Road

High Point, NC 27262

Phone: 336-889-6605


Roger Luli


Harold A. Schossow

3rd Tank Bn, B, A Co, 1967/1969

46502 ~ 525th Ave

Putman, MN 56573

Phone: (218) 346-3469



Lee G. Tannehill

3rd Tank Bn, H&S/A Co, 1965/1966

1616 Montin Ct

Walnut Creek, CA 94967

Phone: (925) 930-9389



James A. Thomas

5th Tank B, B/C Co, 1969/1970

1208 ~ 28th SE

Auburn, WA 98002

Phone: (253) 833-6125



David G. Turner

3rd Tank Bn, A Co, 1968

848 Hartzell Ave

Redlands, CA 92374

Phone: (909) 725-7491



Joe Vernon

1st Tank Bn, H&S Co, 1966

22828 W. Sierra Ridge Way

Wittmann, AZ 85361

Phone: (530) 320-3601



Raymond C. Whaley

1st AT Bn, H&S/C Co, 1968

14733 Catlin Rd

Orlando, FL 32838

Phone: (407) 282-1758



Information Change:


Ron Knight

6665 Burnt Hickory Dr

Hoschton, GA 30548
Phone: (678) 828-7197


        VSM 3 Stars


Have you moved, changed your phone number or have a new email address?  Do you know someone who should be receiving this eNewsletter?  Send us their information and we will add them to the email list.


Let us know: 


Thanks, you guys are great!


*Membership in the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers and Ontos Historical Foundation is provided at no cost to those who served in  any Marine Corps Tank and/or Ontos battalion during the Vietnam War Era.



Significant Military Events - February


February 21, 1967 - Dr. Bernard Fall, noted historian of the French combat experience in Indochina, died in an explosion of an enemy mine. Dr. Fall was accompanying the 1st Battalion, 9th Marines in Operation Chinook.
Significance: Dr. Fall was a recognized expert on Vietnam and ironically died in an area near the so called "Street Without Joy," which he had so carefully portrayed in his writing.


February 27, 1967 - NVA rocket troops launched 140 mm rockets against the Da Nang Air Base. More than 50 rockets hit the base in less than one minute. The rockets had a range of 9,000 meters just outside the "rocket belt" patrolled by the Marines.
Significance: This was the first know use of large tactical rockets in South Vietnam. The use of these weapons forced III MAF to extend its protective patrolling at Da Nang out to 9,000 meters, which added to the strain on Marine infantry manpower and calling into question by COMUSMACV the Marines emphasis on its Civic Action program.


February 9, 1968 - MACV Forward, under General Creighton B. Abrams, Deputy Commander USMACV, is established in I CTZ at Phu Bai. It is a forward headquarters to monitor operations in the two northern provinces. The two divisions in the sector, the U.S. Army 1st Cavalry Division (Air Mobile) and the 3rd Marine Division, remained, however, under the operational control of III MAF.
Significance: There is some concern among Marine commanders that MACV plans to assume direct command of all forces in the north and reduce the role of the senior Marine command. The advent of Abrams and his staff from Saigon was considered a "slap down" by the Corps' senior leadership.


February 12, 1968 - The 27th Marines receive orders to deploy to Da Nang from the U.S. as part of the reinforcements requested by General William C. Westmoreland and the JCS. President Johnson made extensive reductions to original recommendations of MACV and the JCS for concern over the negative impact the larger number would cause his presidency.

Significance: President Johnson limited the number of U.S. reinforcements to Vietnam as a result of the Tet Offensive and disapproved the JCS recommendation for a call-up of major U.S. Reserve and National Guard units for the war. In effect, he placed an upper limitation upon the U.S. combat involvement in Vietnam.

February 13, 1968 - The headquarters and combat elements of the 101st Airborne Division arrive in I CTZ in pre-preparation for the planned for Operation Pegasus - the "relief" of the Marines at the KSFSB.
Significance: III MAF now has three U.S. Army Divisions under its operational control as well as two reinforced Marine Divisions and a reinforced Marine Aircraft Wing in I Corps - the equivalent of a U.S. Field Army a first for a Marine Commander.


February 22 - March 18, 1969 - The 9th Marines, under the 3rd Marine Division, conducted Operation Dewey Canyon, a mobile helicopter and fire base operation in the Da Krong Valley in western Quang Tri Province. During the course of the operation, Marine units crossed the border into Laos.
Significance: Not only was this the first acknowledged and deliberate entry into Laos by a large American unit, it resulted in the uncovering of extensive enemy supplies, arms, and ammunition.


January 28 - March 19, 1970 - Redeployment of Marine units from Vietnam, now codenamed Keystone Robin, continued to include the 26th Marines, MAG 12, and several aviation squadrons.
Significance: U.S. redeployment plans call for III MAF units to be among the first U.S. units to depart Vietnam.


January 30 - April 6, 1971 - On January 30 the South Vietnamese begin Lam Son 719. In phase 1 which lasted to February 8, the South Vietnamese supported by allied forces opened up the Khe Sanh base. In Phase II, the South Vietnamese forces which included the Vietnamese Marine Corps Division. U.S. advisors, including U.S. Marine advisors, were not permitted to accompany their units into Laos, they were allowed, however, to coordinate supporting fires (ARG)/Marine Amphibious Unit (MAU) remained off the Vietnamese coast, but was not committed.

Significance: Militarily, this operation was much less successful than the Cambodian incursion and called into question the capability of the South Vietnamese command to coordinate division-size forces. Remaining U.S. Marine ground units played almost no role in Lam Son 719 - with the exception of artillery and helicopter support - as they redeployed or planned to redeploy from Vietnam.


Marine Corps Named Operations - February


Masher/White Wing

24 Jan-6 Mar 66
42 days
5-8 Bns

1st Cavalry Division operation in Binh Dinh Province. USMC operation Double Eagle links in cross border segment

VC/NVA 2,389
US KIA 349

Prairie II

1 Feb-18 Mar 67
46 days
9 Bns

3 MarDiv operation in the DMZ area Quang Tri Province


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

Hue City

31 Jan-25 Feb 68
26 days
5 Bns

1 MarDiv operation to clear Hue City during Tet Offensive

VC/NVA KIA 5,113
US KIA 142


26 Feb-12 Sep 68
200 days
9 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in border region of Thua Thien and Quang Nam Provinces

US KIA 117


29 Feb-12 Sep 68
285 days
16 Bns

1 MarDiv operation along Cua Viet River in Quang Tri Province

VC/NVA KIA 3,495
US KIA 353

Taylor Common

6 Dec 68-7 Mar 69
92 days
6 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in Quang Nam Province

VC/NVA KIA 1,299
US KIA 183

Dewey Canyon

22 Jan-18 Mar69
56 days
4 Bns

1 MarDiv operation north of the A Shau Valley in Thua Thien Province

VC/NVA KIA 1,335
US KIA 121

Casualties During February (all battalions) 
  • Thursday, February 3, 1966

Farmington, CT

Decatur, IL

Vermillion, SD

 Trafford, PA

Andalusia, AL

 Westhope, ND

 Chicago, IL

 Edinburg, TX


  • Friday, February 4, 1966

Palmyra, NY

Racine, WI


  • Wednesday, February 1, 1967

Parlin, NJ


  • Friday, February 2, 1968

New York, NY


  • Sunday, February 4, 1968

Lynchburg, VA


  • Wednesday, February 7, 1968

Zion, IL 

Mount Pleasant, IA 

LARRY K POWELL, Pfc, Age 19,  

Fort Worth, TX 

Cave Junction, OR 


  • Sunday, February 25, 1968

Dallas, TX 


  • Saturday, February 22, 1969

 Phoenix, AZ 

Natchitoches, LA 
Book Review

The War Managers


Douglas Kinnard, Brigadier General, United States Army (Ret.) published "The WAR Managers: American Generals Reflect on Vietnam" in 1977 with data gathered from more than 180 "United States Army Commanding Generals in Vietnam" that served between 1965 to 1972. Yes, that's correct, 180! That number of souls would have been a dream come true to a whole lot of Marine Grunt Company Commanders. But I digress.


"War Managers" has been updated and new material introduced in 1991 but the original book, published in 1977, has remained unchanged. Kinnard gathered his material for the book from the study he completed in 1974 a year after the last departure of the last ground combat troops and before the final demise of South Vietnam a year later. The value of the study is that the views and attitudes of two thirds of those generals who volunteered were not colored by the results of the Army's failure to bring the war to a successful conclusion.


Kinnard, a two tour Army general himself, knew how to phrase his questions in his sixty item questionnaire mailed to 173 Army Generals to which answered an "astonishing" 64% and, with his ability to speak "generalese", apply his ability to best understand the answers or in many cases, understand the meaning of non-answers. The book is the result of the study to measure Army General Officers', not how we backed into the Second Indochina War or to provide statistics and reasons why or how we won or lost the war. It is understood the American Marines, Airmen, Navy and allies played a significant role. It is rumored that the politicians ran the war. Kinnard addresses these players peripherally but focused on the U.S. Army's General Officers. During the war, John Kenneth Galbraith charged that "the present military generation (read U.S. Army) is intimately associated with the Vietnam misfortune. And its credibility has been deeply damaged by its fatal association with the bureaucratic truths of that war - with the long succession of defeats that became victories, the victories that became defeats and brilliant actions that did not signify anything at all." Kinnard's goal in writing "The War Generals" is to add yet another perspective the post war studies of "that disaster".


Now for some of the more interesting results from Kinnard's study:

  • U.S. objectives not as clear as they might have been i.e. "fuzzy" - 68%.
  • Prior to 1968 the will of the enemy to continue the war was not considered - 75%.
  • Search and destroy concept not sound - 64%.
  • Execution of search and destroy was adequate or less - 86%
  • Body count was most often inflated and of little value - 61%.
  • And, Marines got the lowest marks for inter-service cooperation - 22%.

General Kinnard's book is a good read. He pins together a whole lot of data with quite interesting comments and valuable, pointed observations. I wouldn't recommend the book if one is looking for action. However, as an eye opener into the minds and decisions of the U.S. Army's General Officers in the context of "that disaster", the book is that.


Ray Stewart


Notice to Readers


Unless we hear from you we will not regularly feature the Book Review, VA information and Obituaries starting with the March issue.
New Book on Agent Orange 


A new book chronicles the history of using Agent Orange in the Vietnam War. Western Michigan University history professor Ed Martini also deals with the aftermath of the herbicide in his book Agent Orange: History, Science and the Politics of Uncertainty. Martini says American scientists started paying closer attention to the effects of dioxin as the war escalated. He says the Nixon administration eventually ended the use of Agent Orange over the objections of military commanders. Martini says despite extensive research, much remains unknown about Agent Orange. 

Secret Document: Agent Orange 


Foundation member Rick Armstrong sent us this important document that has been uncovered  and released by the Gulf War Veterans.


ATTN:  All State Council Presidents
At the Agent Orange & Other Toxic Exposure Cmte meeting and then again at the Govt Affairs Cmte meeting in Silver Spring last week we were presented with extraordinary documents that were once classified and now reveal the federal governments across agency effort to deny any causal relationship between the exposure to Agent Orange (at any level) with veteran illnesses, disabilities, and tragically the impact on the progeny of Vietnam Veterans.
I am forwarding these documents to every State Council President and begging each of you to send these documents to every Vietnam Veteran in your state including all of your chapters, officers, and their families.
If every Vietnam Veteran reads these reports and comes to understand the magnitude of their findings - we can raise our voices once again to Congress, the President, and the VA and Dept of Defense - that we have been systematically and purposefully lied to for decades - and our children have suffered as a result.
We would also like to have this shared with every State Director of Veterans Affairs so that each state is informed and activated.  The medical costs of the disabilities of so many Vietnam Veterans and their progeny are an economic and social impact in every state.  We hope that every State Legislature will take up this cause and pass state resolutions calling for Congress to act.
These documents have been verified and confirmed by others who participated in this work.
We are now on the hunt for additional documents and materials referenced in this report that are essential to our case.
If you have any questions regarding this material, please contact the VVA office and/or Herb Worthington/Chairman of the Agent Orange and Other Toxic Exposures national  cmte for VVA.  He is and will remain the point man on this mission.
We now have DRAFT legislation that we are finalizing that will go to our champions on the Hill.  Once that is ready we will again send this out to every Vietnam Veteran and their families and ask them to immediately contact their members of Congress and insist it be passed and fully implemented.
Ric Davidge, Chairman, Govt Affairs Cmte
907 229 5328   


Read Document 

Gen James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps Remarks On PTSD


The Commandant's PTSD Remarks

VA Offers Anti-smoking Programs 


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has two, different programs to help veterans lose weight and keep smoking. MOVE! is a weight loss program designed to keep veterans well-informed on measures they can take to stay healthy. The VA also offers anti-smoking initiatives, including: (1) individual counseling programs; (2) evidence-based programs that use documented information as a catalyst for change; (3) tobacco use screening during primary care visits to help veterans stay on track; and (4) health care providers who can write prescriptions for nicotine patches, gum and other nicotine replacement therapies. For more information, visit VA's Tobacco and Health webpage.


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.


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: Final agenda 


Contact: Louis Nafjus, 



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,

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
Battle of Hue City: 45th Anniversary
In Coming!
Foundation Bio Sheet
Foundation Member Recalls Vietnam Action Video
Visit Our Blog
Foundation Recognizes For 2012
Credit Card Donations
Donors 2013
Donate Address
Heroes Corner
New Members & Information Changes
Casualties During February
Book Review
Notice to Our Readers
New Book on Agent Orange
Secret Document: Agent Orange
Gen James F. Amos, Commandant of the Marine Corps Remarks On PTSD
VA Offers Anti-smoking Programs
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



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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 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.


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