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



OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history  


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




July 2013    



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


Dear Marine,   


  I am pleased to report that Dick Carey, the Foundation's Vice President and Founder and President Emeritus of the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association, is making steady progress in his recovery from pancreatic cancer surgery. He has taken a sabbatical of undetermined length from the day-to-day operations of the Foundation but we remain in contact with Dick and periodically seek his good counsel. In a recent e-mail from Dona, Dick's wife, she writes "Dick is progressing amazingly well!  The doctors can't believe how he is snapping back."

  The progress in researching, writing, editing, and getting our E-Book on the wire is steady and positive. The body of the book is the personal stories of -- and written by -- our Vietnam Tankers and Ontos Marines. Pappy Reynolds has combed the available sources of stories from a number of sources, including the Association's Sponson Box. Most authors whose articles have previously submitted their stories for publication in the Sponson Box have given us permission to re-print their article(s) in our book. We have received several articles and hundreds of pictures directly from our constituents, and published authors' books will be a source of stories given proper citation of the author and the respective publication. Many of the taped interviews obtained during the war by the Marine Corps Historical Division in-country of Marines fresh from the fight have been sourced. To date, we have 48 more archived CDs to work which hold promise for details of Tankers and Ontos Crewmen action.

  All the material we attain and deem a candidate for the book has been -- or will be -- re-written in standard font size and format by Jackie Hunter, the Foundation's Administrator. To date, Jackie's re-formatted 150+ articles -- with more to follow. Also, she recently hand-addressed and processed nearly 200 letters intended to reach Tanker and Ontos crewmen for whom we have no e-mail address. She will soon be on the phone to talk with those who have not responded to our attempts to reach them. We will exhaust every means to include all our Brothers with their stories in our book.

  Recently Pappy has taken on a new project to gather in one appendix to the book all the logos we can find that we used in Vietnam: Tank & Ontos names, comments expressed on helmets and flak jackets, signage on living quarters, etc. The response for input has been excellent to outstanding.

  And Jackie is heading up the project to record the names of all recipients of medals for valor. Navy Cross (NCM) and Silver Star (SSM) recipients are fairly easy to find; Bronze Star (BSM), Navy commendation (NCM), and Navy Achievement (NAM) -- not so easy. If you're the recipient of a Bronze Star, Navy Commendation, or Navy Achievement medal w/the Combat "V" device, please weigh in with your name and medal details.

  And I cannot begin to thank those who have opened up their wallets to contribute to the publishing of our book. You provide the Foundation with our only source of funding. We cannot move forward to completion of the book project without your generosity.

  It's been recorded by a former Marine Corps Commandant and Medal of Honor recipient that "every Marine (is) a historian". And long ago by Col F.C. Caldwell "Chances are, the opportunity to improve history will come your way during your career; make the most of it!" And here it is! Every contributor to the publishing of our book will be cited: stories/pictures submitted, money donated, interviews granted, sweat equity (research, proof reading) invested, books and documents donated to the Foundation Library -- even just a note of encouragement is most appreciated.


Thank you and Semper Fidelis,


Ray Stewart 


Tribute to Navy Corpsmen


Cpl. Bill Bohlen: Vietnam 1967 - 1968


1st Tank Battalion

1st Marine Division

Bravo Company 1st Plt


Bravo 11, Vengeance Is Mine, Tank Commander


Wounded July 29, 1967,  Hospitalized for 59 days on the U.S.S. Repose AN16 Hospital Ship recuperating from a gun shot wound to the abdominal area.  Returned to Da Nang to finished 6 more months of my Deployment.  Spent 12 months and 20 days in Nam.


July 29, 1967 we were up loading B-12 with 90 mm HE tank rounds getting ready for Operation Arizona 2.  Around 0800 hrs that day I was shot by a sniper from the village below the bottom side of Hill 55's ammo dump area.  My Tank Commander was standing to my right side when I was hit.  First round hit me in the abdomen and the other two missed.  I don't remember them putting me on the ground but I do remember the corpsmen he was working on me patching up the hole in my abdomen with a cigarette pack and bandages because I was sucking air in threw the wound and he was talking to me trying to keep me awake so I would not go in to shock.  He stayed with me on the Medevac chopper all the way to Da Nang Hospital.  I didn't know his name and never got a chance to thank him.  If he reads this I would like to say THANKS DOC for saving my life!


I was later told that the corpsmen ran out of his hooch with his boom box instead of his medical bag.  He had to go back and get his medical bag.  May be he will remember me now.


Semper Fi





Doc, Thanks for your service, bravery and caring. 

In Coming!


"Some time ago I e-mailed LtCol Herb Steigelman, USMC (Ret.) to ask him how his fledgling museum was coming along. His response:


    Sorry I thought I sent you info. Easiest way would be to go to Our web page has mission, goals ,etc and some pics of the joint. Our pride & joy is an M42 "Duster". If you need more let me know what and I'll send.
    Did I send you the long write up of Dagger Thrust ops? If not I will. I'm working on the next phase which was Hue/Phu Bai late 1965 early 66. We were still attached to 2/1. I'm covering up to when A Co. moved up and I went south to pick up A Co 3rd tanks in Danang. 
     Looks like you're really moving right along congratulations.





Note: If you happen to be in the Green Cove Springs, Florida area stop by the "Military Museum of North Florida" on 1 Bunker Ave. & State Rd. 16 East. Call Herb at 904-584-8719 for directions and hours of operation. E-mail


Herb's a Vietnam Tanker who has supported the Foundation since our inception. He'd be pleased to hear from you and have you drop by his museum.

Special Request

An outreach program has contacted us looking for anyone who may know LP or LF Martinson, serv. No. 1984028.  Seems a set of dogtags was found in Vietnam with his name.  If you know this Marine please contact Jon at

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 serving as 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,






  I am starting with a link to a collection of my photos I took during my tour in Vietnam. If you encounter problems copying the individual photos you would like to post on your site, let me know and I will come up with another way to get them to you. I uploaded my photos to flickr,  

  I have more photos, but at the present time I cannot locate them. If you need more information about each photo, let me know.

Here is a summary of experiences I had with Marine tanks in Vietnam. My first encounter occurred in December 1968. My company was detached from First Battalion to support a cordon operation being conducted by 2/1 (over near the ocean in a area with lots of sand dunes). We set in as part of a cordon of Marines and Koreans. A tank pulled up and asked where they were supposed to set in. Nobody in Charlie Company had any idea, so our officers started calling around on the radio. While this was going on, a lone Viet Cong stepped out of a tree line and fired an RPG into the tank. The round blew off the right track, but gave the crew concussions. A medivac was called and the crew was taken away leaving the damaged tank.

  The photos of tanks on a sandy area were taken in late April 1969. Late one night enemy rockets were launched from a site very near where my platoon was stationed. At about three o'clock in the morning, those two tanks were sent out from our regimental rear to take us out to the rocket launch site. We finally found the launch site right at dawn, as you can see.

  In June or July of 1969 my platoon was stationed at a little compound called "Fort Apache." This compound was located about a mile and a half from Ha Dong bridge and just below Hill 55 on the north side. We were sent two tanks to go on patrols with. In my photo set you will see three photos of us with tanks at Fort Apache.

  Around the time of Operation Pipestone Canyon (mid 1969) our company swept around Dodge City with several tanks. The tanks we operated with had either an iron cross or a playboy bunny on their search light covers. We never seemed to encounter the enemy when we had tanks with us. We loved you guys mainly because you carried so much "goodies" on your tanks. I remember one time we came up to and climbed over the railroad berm that cut through the middle of Dodge City. Well, the tanks could not get over the berm, so they drove down about three quarters of a mile to an undercrossing point then back up the other side to rejoin us. We were all very concerned because we were told that a tank without infantry was very vulnerable.

  After that, we were assigned to provide protection for a group of Army engineers who were flattening Dodge City with bulldozers. I believe we had two Marine tanks with us. Every morning we would board the tanks and drive to the far corners of a grid square on the map. Then the bulldozers would spend the day driving back and forth knocking down everything they encountered in that grid square. That operation was called Operation Parking Lot. We all remember riding the tanks back to the base area each evening. When we arrived we all had about two inches of dust covering us with holes for eyes, nose, and mouth. We roared with laughter over that scene.

  Sometime shortly after the III MAF ammunition dump had gone up we were assigned to provide security around the First Tank Battalion rear area. You can see several photos I took when we were there. I can't seem to find my photos of me in front of Ontos and Amtracks with turrets on them. All that equipment was being prepared to be shipped back to the states.

  Through out my tour we in Charlie Company always enjoyed working with tankers. You guys are a great bunch of friends.


Wayne Montgomery

Charlie Company

1st Battallion/ 1st Marines

Vietnam 1968-1969


Note: "Pappy" is off on another project.  He is looking for the Names and markings you had on your tanks.  He want's the Bn., Co., Plt., date, location, name on tank, picture or description of logo.  As much information as possible.  Email to
  Here is a picture of a tank with a name, Hot Stuff. This is the tank I drove in Danang, RVN after we were transferred up there in 1966. I drove, and A.O. Belanger was the gunner, I have attached a photo of him. Our tank commander was SGT. Gladney, he had the distinction of shooting down a friendly aircraft when he was in the Dominican Republic. Please note, the thing covered in canvas on top of the copula is a 30 Cal. machine gun he had strapped up there. I got in trouble one time when I drove under some low hanging branches and almost knocked it off the tank.

   I know it does not seem correct now, but according to what I have written on the back of the photo Hot Stuff was F-31. I know in Danang I was with B Company 3rd. Tank Bn., so I don't know why we would not have a B on the tank, but it was a flame tank, so the F makes sense. I think we had three flame tanks, and SGT. Gladney was the flame tank section leader.

   These photos were taken in May 1966


Semper Fi
John M. Hunter
Hot Stuff
A.O. Belanger

 A Bit of Tanker History
Operation Lam Son 250
Breakfast at the Ben Hai River
By Virgil Melton, Jr. 02/12/13
 1st Platoon, Alfa Co., 3rd Tanks 67/68/69  

   In the early morning of 15 August, 1968 the 1st Platoon, Company A and the 3rd Platoon, Company B, 3rd Tank Battalion, one Army tank retriever and two ARVN Regiments in APCs departed from Gio Linh on Operation Lam Son 250. The Operation was under the command of Capt. R. J. Patterson, Company A, 3rd Tank Battalion. We departed Gio Linh at 0400 hours and traveled North up the coastline of the South China Sea.
  All ten tanks moved slowly up the coast by the light of the moon in a single file formation so as to sustain minimum mine damage. As the sun began to rise we turned Northwest and made our way on top of a sand dune ridge and then turned back North on the ridge. At daybreak we arrived at the end of the sand ridge which split in two directions, one ridge running East and the other West.
  I was the tank commander of A15 and my tank was the lead tank. Capt. Patterson was aboard my tank, which he used as his command post. From our observation point we could see the Ben Hai River and between us and the river was what appeared to be an old plantation. Camped out on the plantation was an estimated 600 to 800 NVA eating breakfast. We were so close you could smell the food.
  We had completely surprised the NVA and we took full advantage of it.  I ordered my gunner, L/Cpl. Ronald Floyd, to fire at will using the 90 mm main gun and all 10 tanks begin to fire in unison. Capt. Patterson ordered the two ARVN Regiments of APC's to flank the NVA on the West side. With all tanks now spread out and firing from the ridge we clearly had the advantage.
   The NVA had no time to use their light artillery. Our tanks destroyed it quickly. The NVA begin to return fire with RPG's, mortars and machine guns, however we took most of them out. We called in air support and shortly a Huey Gunship showed up and began spraying the enemy with machine gun fire.
  The ARVN's had flanked the NVA on the left and were pushing them east to the coast and our tanks were moving forward pushing them to the North. Many of the NVA panicked, breaking formation and began to retreat North on foot toward the Ben Hai River and East to the coast. Our tanks pursued the NVA all the way to the mouth of the Ben Hai River, destroying two enemy boats, one truck, and many NVA bunkers and fortifications.
  Late in the evening Capt. Patterson gave the order to head back to Gio Linh. Many of our tanks had suffered minor damage and A13 hit a mine on the way back which we repaired in less than 15 minutes to get it back to Gio Linh. The Army tank retriever hit two mines leaving it inoperable. We fired a couple of HE into it and called in for a napalm strike to burn it so the enemy could not use it.
  The four man Army retriever crew rode back on our tanks. I saved three rounds of HE just in case we ran into trouble on the way back and sure enough we did. We took some machine gun fire from the sand dunes to the West and we returned fire on those positions.
  Sgt. Eddie Miers, tank commander of A14, spotted an NVA solider trying to hide in some bushes on top of a sand dune. He headed toward the soldier and the soldier ran toward Sgt Miers' tank with his hands up and surrendered.  Sgt Miers blindfolded the prisoner and took him back to Gio Linh turning him over to the authorities. We arrived back at Gio Linh around 2100 hours.
  Some of the Marines that I remember that participated in the operation were Ronald Floyd, Eddie Miers, Rich, Dan Colkosky, and William "Bill" Swisher (Swisher was KIA 1-10-69) and many other faces, I can see but cannot remember their names.
  Our tanks inflicted heavy damage to the enemy, being credited with 189 KIA confirmed and 70 KIA probable out of a total confirmed count of 421 KIA's. Our tanks fired 126 plus rounds of HE, 34 rounds of Beehive, 20 rounds of Canister, 21,675 rounds of .30 caliber and 2,000 rounds of .50 caliber. These figures are conservative because all tanks came back empty or with just a few rounds of ammo left.
  Operation Lam Son 250 received little or no recognition but you wouldn't know that by the Marine Tankers that accomplished their mission that night. I've never seen such happy, excited, and thrilled Gung-Ho Marines. We could hardly believe what we had achieved. Operation Lam Son 250 may always be a mere footnote in history, but that didn't matter to us.
  Capt. Patterson put me up for a medal for taking out an RPG team preparing to fire on A13; however, that day every Marine Tanker was a hero and deserves a medal. All of our tanks suffered minor damage from mortars, machine gun fire and mines, yet we had no casualties.
  There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord was with us on this journey.

Semper Fidelis,

Note: This taken from the 3rd Tanks' August Command Chronology:
Aug 68 CC

  "Remark:: Lam Son is the name of a small ville that was the birthplace of Le Loi, the heroic nationalist who led defeat of invading Chinese in 1428. The name graced many ARVN ops in order to honor Le Loi and nationalist spirit. Literal translation is "Blue Mountain". Thanh Hoa Pr., NVN.
  And Virgil is correct: no reference to the battle he's written is found in the Foundation Library or a search through several sources. Virgil's Tank unit made history and the Foundation is making it known."

  Semper Fidelis,

  Ray Stewart LtCol. USMC (Ret)
Heroes Corner 


  "The story that follows is an example of one that could be told about many of our Vietnam Tankers and Ontos Crewmen. It is never too late to obtain that medal you earned during combat in the Vietnam War. The Foundation has provided assistance to dozens of Tankers and Ontos Crewmen seeking information about the medals they thought they were "put in" for. With the "fog of war" and the day-to-day operational requirements often taking priority - as well as the lengthy chain of approval and the turmoil of the rotation system - it is easier to understand how a document could get misplaced.

     If you need supporting documentation concerning the circumstances around which you were to be awarded recognition for your valor, please contact us and we'll put our team of researchers on your case to help you in any way that we can.

Rimpson Award


  Nearly 50 years separate his actions in Vietnam from his award, but the wait was well worth it. Family, friends and dozens more gathered at the 24th Marine Regiment drill hall May 4 to witness the awarding of the Bronze Star Medal to former Pfc. Robert L. Rimpson.The award was presented for combat actions on Aug. 18, 1965 in support of Operation Starlite in the Republic of Vietnam. Although that day was almost half a century ago, Rimpson, a Kansas City, Mo. native, remembers it like it was yesterday. "That day makes me cry," Rimpson said. "I've seen a lot of misery and pain in my life and that was the most heartache I've ever had; something I put behind me for a while."

  Rimpson, who was 19 at the time, and his fellow squad members advanced on an entrenched enemy near An Cu'ong village when suddenly they received intense small arms fire. He and members of his squad, to include Sgt. Robert O'Malley, his squad leader, advanced in an effort to clear the trench line. Rimpson assaulted the trench line with rifle and grenade fire. O'Malley was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day.

  After clearing the trench line, the squad moved to assist a nearby unit, Rimpson, who suffered shrapnel wounds from enemy mortar fire, moved forward with fellow squad members to assist in moving wounded personnel to a helicopter landing zone for evacuation, according to the award citation. During this time, Rimpson delivered accurate suppressive fire from his grenade launcher on the enemy position, which in turn enabled the helicopters to land and evacuate casualties.

"When we hit the trench line, we opened fire to save my brothers from harm," Rimpson modestly recalls of the day-long engagement, which saved several lives.

  Rimpson was recommended for an award while he was still on active duty, but once off active duty lost contact with Marine Corps officials and didn't hear much more about his award. He was once again recommended for an award by retired Col. John A. Kelly in May 2010. It was further approved by Headquarters Marine Corps to be awarded in February. Although more than 40 years after his service, Rimpson is proud to wear the award and be a part of the Marine Corps brotherhood.

  "I couldn't believe it," said Rimpson, surprised when he learned of the approval. "I've never been more proud to be a Marine."

  According to the Department of Defense Manual, the Bronze Star Medal is awarded to any person who, while serving in the capacity with the U.S. Armed Forces, distinguishes himself or herself by heroic or meritorious achievement or service... while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States. Rimpson is authorized to wear the Combat "V" device, denoting personal hazard during direct participation in combat operations.

  "When giving a medal like this, especially a combat valor award, unlike an athlete, this is probably that Marine's worst day of his life," said Col. Charles Sides, the commanding officer of 24th Marine Regiment.

Rimpson is currently a resident of Kansas City and also wears a Purple Heart for wounds he sustained during the Vietnam War.



Semper Fidelis,

Command Chronologies

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


  This is the fourth of what is intended to be a monthly feature of abstracted Tank and Anti-Tank Command Chronologies. This Breech Block - July 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 July that they were in-country. For the complete command chronologies, please visit our Foundation website where Pappy Reynolds has posted the Tank and Anti-Tank 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 over views, please let me know. If you served in any of these units during the month of July 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

  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. 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 us 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 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.


July Abstracts  

Causalities (All Battalions)
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*
Dick Carey*
Kyle Decicco-Carey*
Brian Carroll
Glen Hutchins
LtCol William Lochridge, USMC (Ret)+

Dr John D  Price
Jim Raasch
Pappy Reynolds*
Adolph Sgambelluri
LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Jerry Wahl
Maj Frank Box, USMC (Ret)
Sid Ferguson
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, UISMC (Ret)
Maj Ed Stith, USMC (Ret.)
Alonzo Jacobs
Stephen Arnone
Jerry White


Stephen C. Arnone
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   
Playbook Link

TRICARE and New Emergency Centers

  TRICARE beneficiaries may have noticed new kinds of "Emergency Centers" popping up in their area. Free-standing emergency rooms (ER) that are not affiliated with a hospital may not be TRICARE-authorized, which can leave a beneficiary stuck with a big bill. Beneficiaries need to "know before you go." Check a free-standing ER's TRICARE status -- before emergency care is needed. Beneficiaries can check if a provider is TRICARE-authorized by calling their regional contractor. Contact information for regional contractors is available on the TRICARE website at All TRICARE network providers are also searchable at Learn more about emergency care under TRICARE on the TRICARE Emergency Care webpage at


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.




USMC ONTOS Information




Contact: Louis Nafjus, 
  I was a former S-2 scout, but I have hosted three Ontos reunions over the years.  Many of the Ontos crews have seen my machine, but I doubt if many tankers know of it.  I thought you may have an interest in including this email in the website.   I am hoping some information may be brought to light on the location of an M48 for the Museum of the American GI.

  Second rebuild of my Ontos

  A majority of my Ontos was  completed by 2007. The turret was missing some major interior parts.   In fact, my old turret was devoid of every interior part except the gunner's periscope. I had to fabricate the rear doors and they needed the rear door hold-open brackets and catches. As a result of an exchange of parts with Camp Pendleton's Transportation Museum, I have finally collected almost all the necessary parts.   While I had the guns off, I did some refinishing on them. I also had to machine some of the gun parts to accept the breech hydraulic lines that had been missing from the old turret. The 106mm recoilless rifles used on the Ontos differed slightly from those used on the mules. After examining more than 100 rifles, I found one Ontos part that I could use as a guide for my rebuild and three other rebuilds that may be done by others.

I have a contacts that has both the money and rebuilding resources to tackle an M48A3. If any crewman knows of a privately owned M48, please contact me at 281-744-0625.

  Brent Mullins, operator of the Museum of the American GI in Bryan, Texas, will have a rebuilt Ontos in a newly constructed 43,000 square foot building.   This would be a great location for a Vietnam tankers/Ontos crewmen reunion. It would be an even better location if the museum could secure an M48A3 tank. 



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
Tribute to Navy Corpsmen
In Coming!
Names and logos submission
A Bit of Tanker HistoryBalcom
Heroes Corner
Command Chronologies: March 1965 to 1970
Causalities (All Battalions)
Credit Card Donations
Donors 2013
Donate Address
Official United States Marine Corps Playbook
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Marine Corps


Vietnam Tankers
Historical Foundation



Vice President & Editorr

Marketing & Production 

Richard "Dick" Carey



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


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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