~ Representing All Vietnam-Era Marine Corps Tankers, Ontosmen Crewmen & Support ~


OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




August 2011   




Dear Marine, 


The bi-annual USMC Vietnam Tankers Association (VTA) Reunion is just around the corner (17-21 Aug). From what we've read, there's plenty of activity planned for all the attendees and their guests. Please be reminded that, while it is not required to be a member of the VTA to receive all the benefits of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation (VTHF), a separate organization, those who do sign up with the VTA are automatically members of the VTHF and we will include them in our monthly edition of the Breech Block but only if we have an e-mail address for them . The VTA is a dues paying organization while the VTHF gains its financial support, not from dues, but through the generous contributions made directly to the Foundation.

The Foundation has been successful in bringing on-board a number of Ontos Crewmen. We have an Ontos representative - Rick Walters - on our Board of Directors and Peter Brush's story on the Siege of Khe Sanh is appropriately titled "USMC Tanks and Ontos at Khe Sanh". In addition, we have encouraged them to join the Association and to attend at the VTA San Diego Reunion.

Oscar "Ed" Gilbert will be attending the VTA San Diego Reunion. He is working with the Foundation to gather information on Marine Tanks and Ontos in amphibious operations. These operations include the Deck House series, Dagger Thrust landings, and "others", including Operation Starlite. Those attendees at the Reunion are encouraged to make themselves available for an interview with Ed. And, speaking of interviews, Jim Raasch will be conducting Oral History Interviews and Pappy Reynolds will be working his Map History Project during the 4 days of the Reunion in a designated resort suite.       

Hope to see many of you in San Diego.
Ray Stewart 

Gil Hernandez Dead Three Times


Hernandz & Roth
Hernandez and Roth at the Wall in D.C. 


... Four weeks into his deployment on an infamous night on April 25, 1968, in the middle of a combat zone in Vietnam, his tank, which he and a fellow Marine were riding on top of, was hit by satchel charges and grenades. 




The Ontos Anti-Tank Vehicle.

By Peter Brush 2001


Peter Brush

Peter Brush

By any measure, the Ontos was one of the most interesting things to come down the road of United States military armored development. The idea for this vehicle was born in the aftermath of World War II when the US. Army perceived the need for a new reconnaissance vehicle. Then it evolved into a tank destroyer for use with the Army on the nuclear battlefields of Europe. Next it was deployed in Marine Corps anti-tank battalions. The Ontos most significant contribution was in the Vietnam War, but in a role much different than the role for which it was designed. This is the story of the Ontos, officially the "Rifle, Multiple, 106mm, Self-Propelled M50 of the antitank company, infantry regiment, Marine Division."


The adaptation of the internal combustion engine to warfare...


Read More 

Historical Foundation New Members

Do you know someone who is a former Ontos, Tank crew member or attached personnel? 


Send us their email address and we will be sure to add them to our members list and send them the monthly Breech Block.


Jack Roth,  3d Anti-Tank Bn, 3d Recon, 67/68 

Sliver Star Recipient


Silver Star

Silver Star




United States Marine Corps


The President of the United States takes pleasure in presenting the Silver Star Medal to John Bartusevics (1897519), Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps, for conspicuous gallantry  and  intrepidity  in  action

while serving with Company  C,  1st  Tank  Battalion,  1st  Marine Division (Rein.), FMF, in connection with combat operations against the enemy in the Republic of Vietnam on January 15, 1967. By his courage, aggressive fighting spirit and steadfast devotion to duty in the face of extreme personal danger, Sergeant Bartusevics upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.

Home Town: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Donors: Thank you for your support.


Mike 'Boris' Bolenbaugh, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)

Peter Brush* ~ (2011)
Dick Carey, 3d Tanks* ~ (2011) 

Kyle Decicco-Carey* ~ (2011)
David 'Doc'
Forsyth, 1st Tanks* ~ (2011)
Chuck Garrison, 1st Tanks ~ (2011)
LtCol Will Lochridge, USMC (ret), 1st Tanks ~ (2011)
Jim Raasch, 5th Tanks** ~ (2011)
Pappy Reynolds, 3d Tanks* ~ (2011)
LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (ret), 1st Tanks** ~ (2011)
Guy Wolfenberger, 3d Tanks ~ (2011+)
Martha Zaragoza~ (2011)

Sid Ferguson, 1st Tanks ~ (2011) 
Gene 'Doc' Hackemack, 1st Tanks (2011)
Garry Hall, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)
LtCol Frank Slovik USMC (ret), 3dTanks ~ (2011)
Danny Farrell, 1st Tanks ~ (2011)
Garry Hall, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)
Louis Najfus, 3d Anti-Tanks ~ (2011) 
Larry Parshall*, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)
Michael 'Doc' Pipkin*, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Rick Oswood, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)
Jerry Wahl, 3d Tanks ~ (2011)
Note: A special "Thank you" to Michael "Boris" Bolenbaugh for his most generous donation of M48A3 Tank manuals and otherpublications that he sent to the Foundation Library. Should any member wish to know specifics on the M48A3, or its components, please write.

Ontos Crewmen in possession of Ontos manuals who wish to donate them to the Foundation Library, we would be most proud to archive them.

+Additional Donation 

*In-Kind Services

**In-Kind & Monetary

~ Donations received after 28 March will appear in the May issue.

MC Flag Big WaveYour continued support is appreciated.
Please send your Donation to:

MCVTHF, 707 S.W. 350th Ct., Ste. #1 

Federal Way, WA 98023

                                                                                 Thank you!
Vietnam War Flashbacks

Historical Pay Tables

Submitted by Bill 'JJ' Carroll 


Here is a "look back" to the days of our military pay: Pay Tables 



Can you identify any of those in the photo taken in early 1965 of Tracked Vehicle Officers School students at Camp Del Mar, Camp Pendleton, CA. Marine Corps Officer students, SNCO instructors, and Spanish Exchange Officers.


Submitted by Ray Stewart 

Tank Officers' School

 Click here to see larger ___________________________________________________________ 

Marine Corps Ops August 


Macon   4 Jul-27 Oct 66
116 days
3 Bns, 1 MarDiv operation for the An Hoa industrial complex in Quang Nam Province VC/NVA KIA 507
US KIA 23 

Hastings/Deckhouse II   7 Jul-3 Aug 66
28 days
8 Bns, 1 MarDiv operation in Quang Tri Province against NVA 324B Division in area of the DMZVC/NVA KIA 882
US KIA 126 

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 DMZVC/NVA KIA 1,397
US KIA 215 

Colorado/Lien Ket 5   26-21 Aug 66
16 days1 MarDiv operation in Quang Nam/Quang Tin ProvincesVC/NVA KIA 674
US KIA 23 

Kingfisher   16 Jul-31 Oct 67
108 days
9 Bns, 3 MarDiv operation in the DMZVC/NVA KIA 1,117
US KIA 340 

Houston   26 Feb-12 Sep 68
200 days
9 Bns, 1 MarDiv operation in border region of Thua Thien and Quang Nam ProvincesVC/NVA KIA 702
US KIA 117 

Napoleon/Saline   29 Feb-12 Sep 68
285 days
16 Bns1 MarDiv operation along Cua Viet River in Quang Tri ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 3,495
US KIA 353 

Scotland II1   5 Apr 68-28 Feb 69
320 days
17 Bns, 1 MarDiv operation centered on the Khe Sanh area of Quang Tri ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 3,311
US KIA 435 

Allen Brook    4 May-24 Aug 68
113 days
6 Bns, 1 MarDiv operation in southern Quang Nam ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 1,017
US KIA 172 

Mameluke Thrust   18 May-23 Oct 68
159 days
7 Bns1 MarDiv operation in central Quang Nam ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 2,728
US KIA 270 

Idaho Canyon   21 Jul-25 Sep 69
77 days
5 Bns,1 MarDiv/101st Airborne operation west of Tam Ky in Quang Tin ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 565
US KIA 78 

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 AnVC/NVA KIA 488
US KIA 54 

Imperial Lake   31 Aug 70 - 12 May 71
255 days
4 Bns,1st MarDiv operation in Quang Nam ProvinceVC/NVA KIA 305
US KIA 24 

Auction Results 

M48A3 Tank Pin

The winning bid for the Tank Pin was made by Guy Wolfenberger.  His winning bid was $133.  Thank you Guy and thanks to the other bidders. 


The other ten bidders in alphabetical order were;  Jimmy Balkcom, Stephen Christensen, Richard 'RB' English, John Harper, Bob Plato, Frank Remkiewicz, Paul Tate, Joe Tiscia, Jerry Whal and Martha Zaragoza.


Thanks to all who participated in this auction fund-raiser.

Veterans Affairs ~ 

Department of Veterans Affairs

Veteran's Dependent Parent Benefit


What Is a Veteran's Dependent Parent Benefit?


A veteran whose parent(s) are dependent upon him/her for financial support may be paid additional benefits.  Dependency of a parent is based on need. Both the parental relationship and dependency of the parent must be established for VA to pay.


What Are the Eligibility Criteria?


1.  Veteran is in receipt of compensation with a combined evaluation of at least 30 percent, or


 2.  Veteran is in receipt of VA educational benefits based on enrollment of � time or more. 



VA Information and News

Commissary Savings at Risk to Help Ill Lejeune Vets

To free up billions of dollars for the cost of providing VA health care to veterans and family members exposed to contaminated water over three decades at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) won approval, without debate, to consolidate all base exchanges and commissary operations worldwide into a single for-profit retailing system.



VA Pays Vet $925,000 in Exploding Eyeball Suit


NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- A 60-year-old Army veteran won a $925,000 settlement with the Department of Veterans Affairs after he was blinded in one eye during a routine outpatient cataract operation, his attorney said Monday.

Read more..

Book Review

By LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret) 


Dr. Ken Estes, LtCol, USMC (Ret) has recently joined the Foundation's Board of Directors. Ken Brings with him vast knowledge of the Marine Corps and Marine Corps-wide recognition of his authoring talent. Among his numerous publications are:


Guidebook for Marines, 19th Edition, compiler and editor.

          Quantico: Marine Corps Association, 2009.


US Marine Corps Tank Crewman 1941-45: Pacific.

          London: Osprey Publishers, 2005.


Tanks on the Beach: a Marine Tanker in the Pacific War,          

         with Robert M. Neiman. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2003.


Marines Under Armor: The Marine Corps and the Armored Fighting Vehicle, 1916-2000. Annapolis: USNI Press, 2000.


The Marine Officer's Guide, 5th Edition, editor.

          Annapolis: USNI Press, 1985. 6th Edition, 1995,

          revised 2000, 7th edition, 2008.


Handbook for Marine NCOs, 3d Edition, editor. Annapolis, USNI  Press, 1988. 4th Edition, 1995, revised 2000, 5th Edition, 2008


In subsequent Breech Blocks, we'll be reviewing a number of Ken's books.

Ten Worst States; Veteran Employment


As you all know while the job market has been bad for everyone it has been dramatically worse for veterans, especially veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  There are many theories as to why this is true, we don't know for sure- but we now definitely know where in the country employment is worse for them.  Below are the 10 worse state for 9/11 unemployment.  Following the veterans unemployment percentages are the overall unemployment rates in those states complied by the Bureau of Labor These figures come from the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee.


1)   Michigan 29.4 percent (10.3)
2)   Indiana 23.6 percent (8.2)
3)   Minnesota 22.9 percent (6.6)
4)   Montana 20.1 percent (7.3)
5)   Tennessee 20 percent (9.7)
6)   Kansas 17.2 percent (6.6)
7)   Vermont 16.8 percent (5.4)
8)   Connecticut 15.5 percent (9.1)
9)   Nevada 15.2 percent (12.1)
10) New York 15.2 percent (7.9)


Khe Sanh Logo

Khe Sanh Veterans Inc. Rochester, MN, Kahler Grand Hotel,

July 17 - 24, 2011. More Information


Mustang Logo

Mustang Officers Association Tampa, FL. Sheraton Sand Key Resort. September 29 - October 2, 2011. More Information


VTA Logo

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association. San Diego, CA, Town and Country Resort Hotel and Convention Center.

August 14 - August 24, 2011. More Information.



Cecial Brown
Cecil Brown, Jr.


PLATTSVILLE, KY --  Cecil Brown, Jr.


He was 63 at the time of his passing

He was born on May 1, 1947, in Yamacraw, Kentucky, the son of Christeen (Worley) Brown of Sidney, and the late Cecil Brown Sr.

On Feb. 2, 1993, he married Janice Kay Snider, who survives along with eight children, Heather Goubeaux of Anna, Kim Parfait of Lake Charles, La., Keith Brown of Sidney, Joe Taylor of Springfield, Tyler Taylor, Robert Curtis, Chris Brown, and Caralee Brown all of Sidney, siblings, Roger Brown, Este Coverstone, Mary Hamilton, Steve Brown, and Dawn Hazlet all of Sidney, and 10 grandchildren.

Mr. Brown was a U.S. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran, serving in the 1st Tank Battalion - 1st Marine Division. He was a member of the Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation and the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association, Sidney American Legion Post 217, and St. Paul's United Church of Christ in Sidney. He retired as a foundry worker from the former Wagner Manufacturing Co. in Sidney.



SACRAMENTO, CA--  Huge E. Childress


Mr. Childress was raised in Greene County and was a son of Henry Earnest of Mohawk and the late Della Childress. 


He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran of the Vietnam War, serving in the tank division. 


Mr. Childress was self-employed.


Survivors, in addition to his father, include his wife: Tina Childress of Guatemala; three children: Hugh Earnest "Earnie" Childress II of North Carolina, and Andrea Childress and Rachel Childress, both of Arlington, Va.; a stepson: Matthew Shelton; five granddaughters; three sisters and two brothers-in-law: Sue Fox and Etta and Ronnie Hensley, all of Greene County, and Ellen and Charlie Carmack of Pleasant View; a brother: Zenis Childress of Nashville; two half-sisters and a brother-in-law: Jean Gray of Greene County and Goldene and Gordon Miller of Greeneville; and several nieces and nephews.




SACRAMENTO, CA---Robert Joseph "Jake" Will


He was 69 years old. Born on May 9, 1941 in Prospect, New York, he was the son of the late John P. and Louise A. (Hof) Will. He was the youngest of 10 siblings In his early years, Jake grew up on the family farm in Prospect, New York He would spend his days tending to the family dairy cows and also the chickens and pigs they raised. He attended Remsen Central School and graduated in 1959. Following high school he joined the Marine Corps in 1961 and trained at a Navy School to be a Radio Telegraph Operator. In 1965, utilizing his training, he traveled with the Marine Corps to the cities of DaNang and QuiNhon in Vietnam and worked with the 3rd Anti Tank Battalion as a Ground Radio Operator. In 1967 he was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps and joined the Air Force in 1968. He returned to QuiNhon, Vietnam in 1968 and worked as a Forward Air Controller calling in air strikes in support of ground troops.

Command Chronologies CDs

During the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association

San Diego, CA  17-21 August 2011


For sale in the Foundation's "Oral Interview and Map Chronology Room" at the reunion will be CDs of the Command Chronologies (CCs) of the 1st and 3rd Tank Bns and the 1st and 3rd AT Bns. In the case of the Ontos Battalions, their later actions were recorded by the respective Tank Battalions into which they were folded. These too are included with the CDs of the ATs. The price is set at:


$7 for one CD (any Bn - AT or Tank Bn)

$12 for two CDs (any 2 Bns - AT or Tank Bns)

$18 for three CDs (any 3 Bns - AT or Tank Bns)

$22 for four CDs (any 4 Bns - AT or Tank Bns) Or the complete "set" of     both AT Bns and both Tank Bn CDs


This is the "Reunion Special" and will save you $3, $5, $7, and $8 respectively under the order-by-mail price.


We've kept the cost down as much as possible. All transactions are to be in cash or personal check. All proceeds will go to the "Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation" where we are writing "The History of Marine Tanks and Ontos in the Vietnam War".


If you are not coming to the reunion and want to purchase CDs send me an email for prices and your choice of CDs.  



In This Issue
Dead Three Times
The Ontos Anti-Tank Vehicle
New Members
Heros' Corner
Donors (2011)
Donate Address
Vietnam Flashbacks
Auction Results
Veterans Affairs
VA Info & News
Book Review
Ten Worst States; Veteran Employment




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.)




Vice President


James Raasch


Oral Historian 


Richard 'Dick' Carey


Public Relations/Marketing


Richard Tilden


LtGen Martin R. Steele

USMC (ret.)



Robert 'Mike' Flick



David 'Doc' Forsyth Director


Dr. Ken Estes, LtCol

USMC (ret.)



Rick Walters


MGySgt  Donald R. 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

Con Thein: Hill of Angels




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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

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