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We are the voice of  history.   


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  November  2014       
 Vietnam Ontos crewman, Tankers & support  have made history and we are making it known.

 CMC's Birthday message.

Fellow Marine
Our Foundation's fiscal year 2015 - the same as the Corps' - began on 1 October and an exciting year it's on track to be for the Corps and the Foundation. For the Foundation we plan to launch or History E-Book "Marine Tankers and Ontos Crewmen in the Vietnam War" (aka "The Book") and our Corps is blessed with a new leader - General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. The following article in the 27 October "Marine Corps Times", p.36 that quotes, in part, the 36th Commandant:

"Congratulations to Gen. Joseph Dunford who on Oct. 17 assumed this new past as the 36th commandant of the Marine Corps during a passage of command ceremony at Marine Barracks Washington.
     His remarks to the Marines and dignitaries in attendance were (typically) brief but poignant. 'I'm not so much proud to be the commandant' Dunford said, 'as I am to wear the cloth of a United States Marine.' And it was his first order, however symbolic, that illustrates how attuned he is to the challenges ahead. 'Continue to march'".       

And of course, "Happy 239th Birthday Marines and to our Marine Corps' Families".

Gen. Joe Dunford, the new commandant of the Marine Corps, is featured in this video message celebrating our 239th birthday.
     Dunford issued the message celebrating Marines' Nov. 10 birthday the day after a passage of command ceremony during which he became the Corps' 36th commandant. (See above)

See Video
     This year's message includes interviews with Marines from some of the Corps' most brutal battles, from Pfc. John Lahm, who fought in the Battle of Peleliu during World War II, to Sgt. Maj. Bradley Kasal, who earned a Navy Cross for his role in the Battle of Fallujah in Iraq. The Corps' newest Medal of Honor recipient, Kyle Carpenter, is also featured.
     In the video, Dunford speaks about the various missions Marines have been called on to fulfill around the world over the past year, from combat in Afghanistan to typhoon relief in the Asia-Pacific region and embassy evacuations in Africa.
     "As we celebrate the 239th birthday of our Corps, Marines are in combat in Helmand province," he said. "And since we last gathered to celebrate, Marines have responded to crises in the Philippines, South Sudan, Libya and Iraq. Some things change - this year found us in different climes and places than our predecessors. Our organization, our equipment and our training have certainly changed since World War II."
     Other things never change, he added, citing the ways by which today's generation tackle challenges with the same courage, commitment, loyalty and sacrifice of Marines from past eras.

Happy Birthday Marines and Semper Fidelis, 

Semper Fidelis,

Ray Stewart,

President, VTHF


 Mail Call! ,  Attaboy List  and anything else.                      
Video of Alpha 22 in Hue.
It's in WMV format, might take a bit to download.
Looks like South Hue and it might have been hit by a RR round.
Any one know who the crew might be?
We'd like to hear from them.
"The Book" SitRep:  November
The Battle for Hill 22
Just one of the many battles Tanks, Ontos, and their supported Grunts fought together that the historians forgot to write about.

If one thinks they have - or have had - way too many people hounding them to get a job done, I invite them to declare that they're planning to write a history book about the Vietnam War. Just mention of the project in passing today and by tomorrow there'll be at least one person asking "When are you going to publish that book." And, after nearly ten years of research, collecting personal stories, conducting interviews, and writing a history book, the question keeps on keepin' on. However, I no longer try to explain the importance we place on every story and our goal of turning what may be confused as a stand-alone sea story into a piece of the Vietnam War History. The respect we have for every author and the importance we place on his story takes priority over a self-imposed publish date - period.
     Here's a typical example.
     Two days ago I pulled out a stack of MarCorHisDiv-provided CD's of in-country or just-returning Marines' interviews. One of the CD's had a sticky note attached, "Capt J.A. Maxwell, 30 October '65, C.O. A/1/1 w/Tanks and Ontos". This note was meant to remind us that a Grunt Company Commander was in a fight with the enemy and has tracks attached.  And, since it's of a 1965 operations - where we're focusing our attention right now - it's time to take a closer listen. While Capt Maxwell's narrative is absolutely riveting it was well into the second hour of the interview when he tells of the role his attached tank and Ontos played in the defeat of a much superior attacking force of Vietcong.
     The interviewee, Capt Maxwell, as the C.O. of A/1/1 was settling his company into its night defensive position and, though he didn't know it at the time, he was about to get his butt kicked on - maybe off! - Hill 22 a few clicks south of Da Nang by a Vietcong force of well over 300-400 enemy. He states that the one (yup, just one) Ontos was totally destroyed by enemy prep fire (does not mention the crew) of the attacking Viet Cong's 3-57mmRR's at the commencement of the night attack. The tank (yup, just one) attached to Capt Maxwell's reinforced company was in hull defilade on the hill in the middle of the roughly defined perimeter defense. The tank also took a hit from one of the first-fired enemy mortars followed by three rounds from their 57mm's: none were fatal to the tank or its crew. The tank was buttoned up but "trapped" in the deflade position and dared not move because of severely wounded Marines taking cover behind and under it. However, even without its mobility and using extraordinary innovation, the tank was able to commence firing after approximately 10 minutes into the attack: just in time to stop the main force attack as it was penetrating the infantry company's thinly held defenses.
     During his tour in Vietnam Capt Maxwell had kept meticulous notes especially of the Battle for Hill 22. He brought them and his great memory to the MarCorHisDiv interview of which we have this CD. However, all he could remember of the tank crew was that the TC was "a Negro sergeant". (Note: Please recall that the use of "Black" and "African-American" was just gaining traction back in "the PC World".)
     With these scant set of clues i.e., a tank and an Ontos, we went digging to find out the names of the Tankers and Ontos crewmen, starting w/the Third Tanks and AT Command Chronologies (CC's) for October, 1965. The fire fight in which the Marines of Alpha Company with its attachments sustained 14 KIA's and 42 WIA's at the hands of more than 300 attacking Vietcong, 43 of which were found dead on the battlefield to be buried the next morning by Alpha Company Marines after the successful repelling of the attacking force was given scant coverage in either of the CC's. And, though Capt Maxwell stated that there were dozens of blood trails of KIA and WIA enemy who were spirited away before first light, all that was entered by the Third Tanks S-3 in the tank battalion's command chronology - "On 30 October 1965 at 0200 a large attack against A Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marines located at Hill 22 (AT953667) was launched by the Viet Cong. The tank located on this position was slightly damaged by two 57mm recoilless rounds and a direct hit from a mortar shell. The tank remained operational, fired nineteen major caliber rounds, and killed between six and eight Viet Cong." And, another nearly missed entry "Fr SSA 1st Sgt. Tank Bn personnel did not receive any casualties in fighting on Hills 22 and 41. Fr Senator-3. Action last night resulted in 50 VC KIA, 13 Marines KIA, 45 WIA." The Ontos CC stated "The VC assault on the infantry company  caused the first seriously damaged Ontos as a result of enemy fire in the Vietnam operation."
     In neither entry from Third Tanks nor AT's was there a mention of who crewed the vehicles or even their hull numbers. However, in Capt Maxwell's interview he stated that "In my opinion this tank was the most effective and single most important weapon we had to engage the Viet Cong. Fifteen minutes into the attack, and once he started firing the 90mm gun, this seemed to be the turning point in the VC attack. Tank fire stopped their momentum. He fired canister (3) into the face of the attackers. He was located in the center of the hill (perimeter defense). Then 18 rounds of H/E. and .30cal machine gun fire into the massing of the attack kept us from being completely over run."
     And Capt Maxwell's First Battalion, First Marines CC summarized the battle as "One ontos on hill 22 at Alfa posit. Was badly damaged during the night. Ontos hit by 3 57mm rds. Ontos company cmdr. Will have vehicle removed and replaced." There is no mention in this Grunt Battaion's CC of tank or Ontos participation. The only evidence of the role the tank - and no names of the Tankers - is the interview with the C.O. of A/1/1 which is buried in the bowels of the MarCorHistDiv's archives.
     One must keep in mind that there was a pretty steep learning curve for the just-arrived Marine units and 1/1 had arrived in-country just two months prior. Recording the battles and day-to-day activities was often given a lessor priority than the actual conduct of operations. However, the "Battle for Hill 22", while little reported by the Marines or the press, was a significant event for the VC enemy and carried the name of "Battle of Go Rong" in VC reporting pronounced "go wrong" - seriously. Capt Maxwell was not able to provide an interpretation of what the name meant - or means - in Vietnamese. In any case, it was a "first"; the first time a VC-manned, militarily organized unit, fought a somewhat conventional assault with pre-fires, orchestrated maneuvers, carefully planned objectives, and detailed withdrawal carrying their dead and wounded from the battlefield after suffering more than 100 casualties.
     Our research - like most of the bunny trails we travel - produced no ID'd Tankers or Ontos Crewmen. While this small piece - one of hundreds we've worked - was fruitless the occasional discovery of ID'd crewmen makes the time well worth the effort. Our mission is to "put butts in seats" i.e., ID every crew member who fought his tank or Ontos against the VC/NVA enemy.
     If we could find one crew member of the tank or the Ontos on Hill 22 the night of 30 October 1965 the history of tanks and Ontos participation would have one more paragraph to add to our history. Capt Maxwell, C.O. of the company that acquitted itself with bravery stated there was at least one Navy Cross Medal recipient, several Silver Star Medals awarded, and a number of Bronze Star recipients as well as Purple Hearts all around. Without the tank stopping the attacking Viet Cong the history would read much different. We will never know for certain if his company would have been overrun with all the defenders killed but the chances of that happening were obviated by the tank crew of A34.
     Our apologies for slipping the launch date of our book a bit further out to the right.

Semper Fi,

Ray Stewart

Postscript: The corollary of this real life documented history story would be that of which we find more generally. As an example, a Tanker or Ontos crewman sends us his story: a one-off description of an event with little-to-no context. Let's say a description of a landing during an amphibious operation. The author relates his tank being pre-loaded in an LCU in the well deck of an LSD, departs the well-deck for the beach, the LCU bottoms out on its run to the beach some distance from the beach, the ramp drops open, the tank is directed to depart, it pulls forward over the ramp, the tank sinks in water the depth of which covers the turret, three tank crewmen surface (even the gunner gets out) but the driver does not, one of the tank crew dives down to the drivers hatch and extracts the diver who is stuck, both surface, and make it to the beach.
     And while this is one helluva story, on its own it's not going to make the history book because there's no context. So far, it's a "sea story". The Foundation's Book Staff will remedy the situation. So, armed with this story we researched the date, the place, which amphibious operation (there were 5 Dagger Thrust and 6 Deckhouse raids plus a number of others ship-to-shore operations), ID the supported infantry BLT, the names of all the crew, the name of the LSD, the recovery operation and many of the details, most of which the story teller didn't know himself. And we built the story into documentary archival history for which the author has expressed his "tanks a lot".
     With the research effort, requiring many hours of digging several sources, the more complete picture becomes a verifiable piece of Marine Corps Tanker and Ontos crewman History. The author of what started out to be just another sea story with no historical context becomes a foot note in the history books and archives when future generations research what tracks did in Vietnam to sustain the Corps amphibious reputation. The author made history. The Foundation made it known. That's our job - our mission.
PPS: A variation of this example was presented to the U of Washington NROTC class during a series of lectures in the fall of 2003.

Thank you & Semper Fidelis,

Ray Stewart,

President, MCVTHF 

Command Chronologies
Marine Tanks & Ontos Action in the Vietnam War
          During Novembers 1965 to 1970

      This Breech Block - November 2014 - will give you a picture of the action in which the 1st, 3rd, and 5th Tanks and Antitanks were involved during each November that they were in-country. For the complete command chronologies, please visit our Foundation website at where Pappy Reynolds has posted the Tank and Antitank CCs.
     If you served in Tank or Ontos units during any month of November and can recall some experiences - like that delicious Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings or that cold can of C-rat "ham and mother f-----s" - that you would like to see in print, jot them down and send them to the Foundation. Pictures with captions are of particular interest. Nearly all of the material you send us will find its way into one of our publications - our web site, the Breech Block, and/or "The Book" and the archives.
     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. Also is plotted the exact location and statistics of every Tanker and Ontos crewman who was killed in action.
     We have tried to cite all  those who received personal valor and purple heart medals as well as submitted stories in the context of the war rather than stand-alone. Our presentation will improve as we become more proficient with this challenge,

Note for Tankers and Ontos crewmen:
In Oscar "Ed" Gilbert's book "Marine Corps Tank Battles in Vietnam" (p.70) he notes "A recurrent theme among those who served in Vietnam is the inability to precisely place events in time". Well, most often knowledge of the "place" is also elusive. If you're curious "where you were when" during your participation in the Vietnam War, let the Foundation hear from you and we will help you with both the time, place, as well as when you were attached to or in support of a Marine Grunt outfit and the name of the operations of which you were a part.

Semper Fidelis,

Ray Stewart

Pres. VTHF

Novembers's Command Chronologies


Killed in Action: November  1965-1970       

November Deaths in Vietnam
NameRankDateAgeHome Town Bn.
TERRY L. REXROAT PFCNov 26, 196920Cedar Rapids, IA1st TksKIA
WILLIAM F. VAN CLEAVE PFCNov 26, 196919Temperance,MI1st TksKIA
JOEL A. BALCOM HM3Nov 3, 196922Independence, MO1st TksKIA
CHARLES L ISLEY III CplNov 20, 196620Philadelphia, PA1st AtsKIA
ROBERT E HARRIS LtColNov 9, 196637Sioux City, IA1st AtsKIA
MICHAEL J. PIGNATOLcplNov 9, 196821Winthrop, MA5th TksKIA
None Listed
3rd Tks
JUAN TORRES LcplNov 12, 196620El Paso, TX3rd AtsN-H
None Listed
5th Ats

Clinton D. PiercePFCNov 8, 196920Agusta, KAMOS 0353

October Personal Awards


NameUnitDate Age
Ashley, Maurice C Jr LtColCO-1-Tanks17. Nov. 196843
Matye, Clemence T CplB-1-Tanks12. Nov. 196820
Awards Presented or Recommended by Bn. for November.  (From CC's.)

1st AT's
1st Tks
Presented 1 BS, 2 Nav Com, 2 Nav Ach,  7 Ph
Recommended  2 BS, 6 Nav Com, 18 Nav Ach, 1 VCG. 

Presented 4 awards & 4 PH
Recommended 13 Personal Awards
3rd AT's
3rd Tks
Presented 2 Nav Com

Presented 5 BS, 8 NavCom
Recommended 11 Nav Ach, 4 Nav Com

Presented 14 VCG
Recommended 8 BS, 13 Nav Com, 6 Nav Ach, 23 VCG
5 AT's
5th Tks
There are a number of Tankers that have received awards that we have no record of.  If you received any award please let us know.

Note: The NCM and SSM are a matter of accessible archived documents. That is not the case w/Bronze Star, Navy Commendation, or Navy Achievement Medals. The only way the Foundation has to gain this data is through self-reporting by the respective recipients. 
November Purple Hearts


NameUnitDate Of ActionProvinceAward
Matye, Clemence T.Bravo Co., 1st Tanks12-Nov-68Quang Nam1st
Maddox, Gerald W.Charlie, Co., 1st Tanks1-Nov-66Quang Nam1st
       "             "      "Charlie, Co., 1st Tanks30-Nov-66Quang Nam2nd

PH Reported by Bn. for November.  (From CC's.) (None could mean "NONE" or that they were just not reported in the CC.)
1st ATs
1st Tks


3rd ATs
3rd Tks
0 WIA 0 Kia


5th ATs
5th Tks

Veterans Information
1 November 2014


HTML/PDF Editions




Pg             Article                                                          Subject


04 == Exchange Online Shopping [03] - (Shopping for Vets Inches Forward)
05 == DoD & Congress -------------------- (Sen. McCain Calls 2-Star an Idiot)
06 == DoD Fraud, Waste, & Abuse ----------- (Reported 16 thru 31 Oct 2014)
07 == POW/MIA [40] ---------------- (POW/MIA Commemorative Chair Act)
09 == POW/MIA Recoveries ------------------ (Reported 141016 thru 141031)


                                                         * VA*                                                         
12 == VA Health Care Access [18] ---- (Clarify "Timely" Access Definition)
13 == VA Health Care Stories [02] ----- (Bureaucracy Leads to Unpaid Bills)
14 == Arkansas DVA ----------------------- (State VA Seeks to Change Name)
15 == VA Claim Processing [11] -------- (C-and-P Exam Misunderstandings)
15 == VA AL-TBI ------------ (Rehabilitation Program Extended for 3 Years)
16 == VA Lawsuit | Haverson~William ---------------------- (Wrongful Death)
18 == VA Communications [01] ------------ (Emergency HF Radio Network)
19 == Dependents' Educational Assistance [02] --- (Fry Scholarship Option)
19 == VA Employment -------------- ($120,000 in Student Debt Forgiveness)
20 == VA Correspondence -------------------- (Deceased Vet Billed 59-Cents)
22 == VA Choice Cards ------------------- (90-day Deadline will not be Met)
23 == VA Bonuses [20] ------- (NM 2013 Bonuses Paid Despite Complaints)
24 == VA Bonuses [21] --------- (Rebecca Wiley | Charlie Norwood VAMC)
25 == VA Bonuses [22] ----------------------- (Ohio $14.2M for 2013 & 2014)
27 == VA Choice Act -- (Allows Removal of Those Accused of Misconduct)      
29 == VA Choice Act [01] -- (Congressional Criticism Frustrates McDonald)
30 == VA Choice Act [02] ------------ (Wolf Firing on Hold Pending Appeal)
31 == VA Choice Act [03] ------------------- (CAVHCS Director Terminated)
32 == VA Credibility [24] -------------- (VA is Critical to Medicine and Vets)
33 == VA Whistleblowers [13] ----------- (Fox News Interviewee Retaliation)
34 == VA Loans -------------------------------- (Certificate of Eligibility (COE))
35 == VA Fraud, Waste, and Abuse ---------------------- (141016 thru 141031)
36 == VAMC Minneapolis [02] -------------- (IG Clears Foul Play Allegation)
36 == VAMC Nashville TN [01] --------------------------- (Stroke Patient Care)
37 == VAMC Prescott AZ --- (Legionnaires' Bacterium Detected in 9 Rooms)
38 == VAMC Phoenix AZ [10] ---- (Not in Compliance with U.S. Standards)
39 == VAMC Phoenix AZ [11] ------ (6 Year History of Record Falsification)
40 == VAMC Togus ME ------------------------ (Mental Health Care Concerns)


41 == Stolen Valor [95] ------- (Court Rules Wearing Decoration's Not Legal)
42 == New York Vet Home --------------- (Health Laws Violated at Montrose)
43 == Faces Never Forgotten ---------- (38,300 located | 20,000 More Needed)
44 == Vet Stereotype Study ------------------------- (Americans Have it Wrong)
45 == Veterans in Congress [05] --------------- (Numbers Continue to Decline)
46 == Obit | McCrocklin~Claude - WWII-------------------------- (18 Oct 2014)
48 == Obit | Gallagher~Robert - OIF ------------------------------ (13 OCT 2014)
50 == Obit | Broughton~Jack --------------------------------------- (24 OCT 2014)
52 == Tax-Friendly States for Retirees ---------------------------- (The 10 Worst)
53 == Florida Vet Cemetery [10] -- (New Cape Canaveral National Cemetery)
53 == Florida Vet Cemetery [11] ------- (New Tallahassee National Cemetery)
54 == Vet Toxic Exposure~Lejeune [50] - (Appeal Court Upholds NC Statute)
55 == Retiree Appreciation Days ----------------------------- (As of 26 Oct 2014)
55 == Vet Hiring Fairs -------------------------------------- (01 thru 30 Nov 2014)
56 == WWII VETS 73 -------------------------------------- (Pressgrove~Clarence)
59 == America's Most Beloved Vets ---------------------------- (World War II (4)
59 == Veteran State Benefits & Discounts ---------------------- (Delaware 2014)


                                            * VET LEGISLATION *                                        .
60 == Vet Bills Submitted to 113th Congress ----------- (As of 28 OCT 2014)


                                                    * MILITARY *                                                .
61 == USS Zumwalt (DDG-1000) [03] --------------- (Hull Design Concerns)
63 == USMC Customs ------------------------------------ (A Few Notable Ones)
64 == Wireless Network Defense - Cyberattack WDN Project Moves Ahead) 
64 == GUSS ------------------------------------ (USMC Hybrid-Electric Vehicle)
65 == Nuclear Deterrence Operations Service Medal - (Available Mar 2015)
66 == Omniphobic-Coated Uniforms ----------------- (Washing Not Required)
68 == Medal of Honor Citations ------------------------- (Towle, John R WWII)


                                             * MILITARY HISTORY *                                    .
70 == Aviation Art ------------------------------------- (D-Day Airborne Assault)
71 == Military History ------------------------------ (Malmedy Massacre WWII)
73 == D-Day ------------------------------------ (Normandy American Cemetery)
75 == WWII Postwar Events ----------- (Nuremberg War Crimes Trials 1946)
75 == Military History Anniversaries ---------------------------- (1 thru 30 Nov)
76== Spanish American War Image 65 ------- (Rebel Leader Calixto García)
76 == Faces of WAR (WWII) ---------------- (Gen. Claire L. Chennault 1943)
77 == WWI in Photos 114 ------------------ (Executed Serbian Civilians 1945)
77 == Military Kits --------------- (1916 Battle of the Somme | Private Soldier)


                                               * HEALTH CARE *                                             .
79 == TRICARE Urgent/Emergency Care [01] - (When in doubt, Call First)   
80 == TRICARE Cancer Screenings [04] ----------------------- (Stay Current)
81 == Tricare Diabetes Coverage ------------------- (Supplies and Equipment)
81== Brain Plants ------- (Graphene Chips Bring Concept Closer to Reality)
83 == Prescription Overdose -------------- (Most Commonly Involved Drugs)
83 == Ebola ------------------------------------------- (What You Need to Know)
85 ==TRICARE Breast Cancer Coverage [03] ------ (Early Detection is Key)


                                                  * FINANCES *                                                  
86 == Veterans Day 2014 [01] ----------------------------------- (Meals & Deals)
87 == VA Credit Monitoring ------------------------ (Free Offers Underutilized)
87 == COLA 2015 [02] ------------------------------ (1.7% Increase Announced)
88 == Cell Phone Military Discounts ------------------ (Check Your Eligibility)
88 == Homeowners Insurance [04] --- (Love your dog? Your insurer may not)
91 == Saving Money ---------------------------------------- (Rental Car Expenses)
92 == Free Medical Devices Scam -------------------------------- (How It works)
93 == Medicare Telephone Scam ----------------------------- (Back Brace Offer)
94 == Ebola Treatment Product Scam ---------------------------- (How It works)
95 == Tax Burden for Nebraska Retirees ----------------------- (As of Oct 2014)
96 == Thrift Savings Plan 2014 ------------ (Share Prices + YTD Gain or Loss)


                                         * GENERAL INTEREST *                                         
 97 == Notes of Interest ------------------------------------- (15 thru 31 Oct 2014)
 98 == RP~China Dispute [05] -------------------- (Johnson Reef Development)
 99 == Army Art Collection ----------------- (WWI Samuel J. Woolf Paintings)
100 == Passport Additional Pages [01] -------------------------------- (Phase Out)
101 == SSA Payments outside U.S. [01] --------- (Millions for Expelled Nazis)
102 == Navy Ship Painting --------- (If it moves, salute it; if it doesn't, paint it)
104 == Lemons ------------------------------------------------ (Ways You Can Use)
106 == Car Accident Lawsuits ----------------------------------- (What to Expect)
107 == Elder Abuse ---------------------------------------- (Types and Indications)
108 == Omori POW Camp | Tokyo ----------------------------------- (Reflections)
109 == Car Insurance [07] --------------------- (10 Reports Insurers Pull on You)
111 == Normandy Then & Now ------- (Omaha Beach near Colleville sur Mer)
112 == Photos That Say It All ------------------------- (What sacrifice looks like)
112 == WWII Ads ----------------------------------------- (Pep Boys work clothes)
113 == Have You Heard? ----------------------------------- (2013 Darwin Awards)
114 == They Grew Up to Be ----------------- (Jonathan Lipnicki |Jerry Maguire)
115 == Interesting Ideas -------------- (Car Imported from the Wrong Country!)
                                                *ATTACHMENTS*                                            .


Attachment - RAO Bulletin 1 NOV 2014 (HTML & PDF Editions)
Attachment - Veteran Legislation as of 28 Oct 2014
Attachment - Delaware Vet State Benefits & Discounts Oct 2014
Attachment - Military History Anniversaries 1 thru 30 Nov
Attachment - Retiree Activity\Appreciation Days (RAD) Schedule as of Oct 26, 2014
Attachment - Veterans Day Meals & Deals - 2014 


-- (PDF Edition w/ATTACHMENTS)
-- (PDF & HTML Editions w/ATTACHMENTS)
--  (PDF & HTML Editions in Word format)
-- (past Bulletins)
-- (Index of Previous Articles 140701)


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Major USMC Ground Operations in Vietnam for month.
 Novembers' Major Marine Corp Ground Operations in the Vietnam War

Operation NameDates of OperationParticipating Units
Operation Badger Hunt13 - 29 Nov 672nd Battalion 3rd Marines search and destroy operation in Đại Lộc District, Quang Nam Province
Operation Ballistic Arch24 - 27 Nov 671st Battalion 3rd Marines helicopter and amphibious assault operation 7 km south of the DMZ in Quảng Trị Province
Operation Batten Down/Dagger Thrust
7th Fleet SLF series of short (usually 1 or 2 day) amphibious operations aimed at the destruction of VC installations and capturing or destroying VC personnel and material. Operation name changed to Batten Down in February 1966
Operation Black Ferret w/Ontos3 - 5 Nov 651st Battalion, 7th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines and 4th Regiment ARVN 2nd Division search and destroy operation 16 km south of Chu Lai, Quang Ngai Province, I Corps. Correspondent Dickey Chapelle was killed by a mine booby-trap on this operation
Operation Blue Marlin w/Ontos7 - 10 Nov 65BLT 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines, VNMC amphibious operation near Tam Ky, Quang Tin Province, I Corps
Operation Blue Marlin II w/Ontos16 - 19 Nov 65BLT 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines amphibious operation tying in with two ARVN Ranger Battalions 35 km south of Da Nang
Operation Commando Hunt (part of Operation Barrell Roll)15 Nov 68 - Mar 1972USAF, US Navy, USMC and Royal Lao Air Force dry season phase of the air interdiction campaign to bomb the Ho Chi Minh Trail
Operation Cove17 - 21 Nov 671st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and 2nd and 3d Battalions, 26th Marines security operation in Thua Thien Province
Operation Dawson River28 Nov 68 - 26 Jan 691st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines clear and search operation in the vicinity of Khe Sanh, Quảng Trị Province
Operation Dawson River Afton24 Oct - 25 Nov 681st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines clear and search operation in the Đa Krông Valley, Quảng Trị Province
Operation Essex6 - 17 Nov 672nd Battalion, 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Foster w/Tanks13 - 30 Nov 672nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Fulton Square22 Oct 69 - 18 Jan 701st Marine Division, 101st Airborne Division, 5th Infantry Division operation in Quảng Trị Province
Operation Garrad Bay25 Oct - 16 Nov 682nd Battalion, 26th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Granite25 Oct - 6 Nov 671st Battalion, 3rd Marines and 1st Battalion, 4th Marines operation in Thua Thien Province
Operation Henderson Hill23Oct 68 - 6 Dec 681st Battalion, 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines search and clear operations in north-central Quang Nam Province as a continuation of Operation Mameluke Thrust
Operation Imperial Lake31 Aug 70 - 12 May 711st Battalion 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion 5th Marines search and clear operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Kentucky1 Nov 67 - 28Feb 681st Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3d Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st and 2nd Battalions, 26th Marines and 3rd Tank Battalion anti-infiltration operation in Leatherneck Square between Con Thien, Gio Linh, Cam Lo and Dong Ha
Operation Knox24 Oct - 4 Nov 672nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines operation in Thua Thien Province
Operation Lancaster I w/Tanks1 Nov 67 - 20Jan 681st Battalion, 1st Marines, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines search and destroy operation to safeguard Route 9 between Cam Lo and in the old Operation Kingfisher area around Ca Lu
Operation Lancaster II w/Tanks21 Jan - 23 Nov 681st Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 9th Marines and 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines search-and-clear operation to safeguard Route 9 between Cam Lo and Ca Lu
Operation Meade River/Operation Hung Quang 1/8120 Nov - 9 Dec 681st Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Battalion, 7th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines and 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 26th Marines and ARVN 51st Regiment cordon and search operations south of Danang in support of Accelerated Pacification Campaign
Operation Mississippi29 Nov - 7 Dec 662nd Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Napoleon5 Nov 67 - 29 Feb 683rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and 1st Amphibian Tractor Battalion operation on the coast, north of the Cua Viet River in the Dong Ha area
Operation Napoleon Saline29 Feb - 9 Dec 682nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 26th Marines and 2/1 Cavalry operation along Cua Viet River in Quang Tri Province
Operation Napoleon Saline II1 Nov 68 - Feb 693rd Marine Division, 1st Brigade, 5th Infantry Division strike operation in the vicinity of Quang Tri City in coordination with ARVN forces including the 1st Regiment, ARVN 1st Division to support the pacification of Quang Tri Province
Operation Neosho I w/Tanks1 Nov 67 - 20Jan 681st Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines operation northwest of Hue
Operation Nicoliet Bay7 - 13 Nov 681st Battalion, 13th Marines and 1st and 3rd Battalions, 26th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Noble Canyon22 Oct - 3 Nov 705th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Osceola20 Oct 67 - 20 Jan 681st Battalion, 1st Marines and 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines search and destroy operation in Hải Lăng Forest, Quang Tri Province
Operation Pawnee III29 Oct - 24 Dec 662nd Battalion, 26th Marines search and destroy operation in Thua Thien Province
Operation Pipestone Canyon26 May - 7 Nov 691st Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines, 1st Battlaion, 26th Marines and ROK 2nd Marine Brigade clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province centered approximately 13 km west of Hoi An
Operation Prairie w/Tanks3 Aug - 31 Jan 671st Battalion, 3rd Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 4th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 2nd Battalion, 9th Marines and 1st and 3rd Battalions, 26th Marines search and destroy operation against the 324B NVA Division in the hills at Con Thien/Gio Linh areas south of the DMZ at Mutter's Ridge, the Razorback, Hill 400, Hill 484 and The Rockpile
Operation Rio Blanco/Operation Lien Ket 7020 - 27 Nov 661st Battalion, 7th Marines and ARVN search and destroy operation in Quang Ngai Province
Operation Rio Grande/Operation Lien Ket 8120 - 27 Nov 661st Battalion, 5th Marines, ROK 2nd Marine Brigade and ARVN 2nd Division search and destroy operation in Quang Ngai Province
Operation Sabine Draw27 Oct - 1 Nov 682nd Battalion, 7th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Sayonara28 Sep - 13 Nov 651st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division and 2nd Battalion, 7th Marines area and route security operation to cover the deployment of the ROK Capital Division in Qui Nhon, Binh Dinh Province
Operation Scotland w/Tanks1 Nov 67 - 31 Mar 681st Battalion, 9th Marines, 1st Battalion, 13th Marines and 1st, 2nd and 3rd Battalions, 26th Marines operations in the westernmost portion of Quang Tri Province centered on the Khe Sanh area (including the Battle of Khe Sanh). The operation terminates with commencement of Operation Pegasus
Operation Shasta5 - 19 Nov 662nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and 1st Battalion, 26th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province
Operation Song Ve 622 - 24 Nov 653rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 3rd VNMC Battalion and ARVN 11th and 37th Ranger Battalions operation in Quang Ngai Province
Operation Sutter30 Nov - 6 Dec 661st Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Tin Province

Official Marine Corps Playbook

 latest USMC Playbook in PDF 

Attention Donors:  Monetary and In-kind Contributors


    We are streamlining the Award Level Certificate process. Rather than issuing a certificate for each donation we will total the donations for the fiscal year ending in September and award one certificate reflecting that total. For example, rather that issuing a Platinum Award Certificate for each $250.00 donation given four times in a fiscal year, we will total the donations - $1,000.00 - and present one Platinum Plus Award Certificate.  

Secure Credit Card Donations 
[  IRS Tax EIN 91-2111544 ] 
Your continued support is appreciated.
Please send your Tax Deductible Donation to:


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Federal Way, WA 98023

Thank you!


IRS Approved Tax EIN 91-2111544 A 501(c)(19) Non-profit Historical Foundation Est. 2001 

 FYI: Donations and Donors

    Each year we wipe the slate clean as to who has donated for that calendar year. All donations received after October 1, 2013 will appear in the Breech Block beginning with the January 2014 issue. Donations received before October 1, 2013 will not appear in the eNewletters beginning the first of the year.

    Thank you for your support without you the foundation cannot achieve its goals of researching, recording, archiv-ing and publishing your individual stories.

 Semper Fidelis

2014 Donors: Thank you for your support!
    The Foundation is proud to announce that there has been 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 Plat. Plus Award
Dick Carey*
Jackie Hunter*
Bill Lochridge
Jim Raasch 
Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds*
LtCol Frank Slovik, USMC (Ret.)
Guy Wolfenbarger +++
Kent Baldwin

Kyle Decicco-Carey* 
Sid Ferguson, DVM++
GySgt Wes 'Tiny' Kilgore, USMC (Ret)
James Manson
Charles & Kersti Riehl
LtCol Ev Tunget, USMC (Ret)
Jerry Wahl
Wally Young
Glen Hutchins

Danny & Jan Farrell + 
Meyrat Francis-Michael+
Michael Giovinazzo
John Lange
James Manson
Jon Morrison
Richard "Rick" Oswood
David Ralston
Frank "Tree" Remkiewzic + 
Neil Weatherton
Jerry & Lucinda White
Larry Parshall +
Rick Smith
David Bennett
Jim & Bonnie Raasch
Frank Box +
David Thompson

Stephen C Arnone
Ed Emanuel
"Doc" Hackemack
Brian Jefferies
Robert "Bob" Plato*
Don Doty
John Parilla
Tom Kelly
Steve Berntson

Vince Bartashus
Steve Christensen
Chris DeSpain 
Don Doty
Ed Emanuel
Walter Wells
Henry Fuller
Frank Meyrat + 
+Additonal Donations
*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.

We Really Need Your Assistance

      One of the toughest job in any organization is keeping membership information up-to-date.  

    Please take the time to go to the bottom of this newsletter and click on "Update Profile/Email Address."  By doing this we can automatically update your information.

     You guys are terrific; we appreciate your support.


Semper Fidelis,

MC Flag Big Wave 

Ray Stewart,


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. Click here.
In This Issue
Mail Call!
Donate Address
Credit Card Donations
Donate Address
FYI: Donations and Donors
2014 Donors
Is your personal information up-to-date?


Marine Corps
Vietnam Tankers
Historical Foundation



LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (Ret)




Jackie Hunter


Web Master

Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds


Media Technical Advisor

Richard "Dick" Carey



Board of Directors


LtCol Raymond A. Stewart, USMC (Ret)


Charter Director, 

USMC Vietnam Tankers Association 


Vice Pres.  and Flame Tanks Rep. 

Guy Wolfenbarger,


James Raasch


Oral Historian  

Charles 'Chuck'




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)



David 'Doc' Forsyth



Dr. Ken Estes,

LtCol, USMC (Ret)


Director and Ontos Rep. 

Rick Walters


Directors Emeritus:

Richard "Dick" Carey;

Director Emeritus,

Founder/President Emeritus

USMC Vietnam Tankers


Director Emeritus 

MGySgt Donald Gagnon, USMC (Ret),

Quick Links


by Jim Coan


Praying for Slack

by Bob Peavey 



by Clyde Hoch

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



 "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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