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)
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,
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.
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,
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 http://www.mcvthf.org 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 http://www.mcvthf.org. 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.
Novembers's Command Chronologies
Killed in Action: November 1965-1970
November Deaths in Vietnam
|Name||Rank||Date||Age||Home Town ||Bn.||
|TERRY L. REXROAT ||PFC||Nov 26, 1969||20||Cedar Rapids, IA||1st Tks||KIA|
|WILLIAM F. VAN CLEAVE ||PFC||Nov 26, 1969||19||Temperance,MI||1st Tks||KIA|
|JOEL A. BALCOM ||HM3||Nov 3, 1969||22||Independence, MO||1st Tks||KIA|
|CHARLES L ISLEY III ||Cpl||Nov 20, 1966||20||Philadelphia, PA||1st Ats||KIA|
|ROBERT E HARRIS ||LtCol||Nov 9, 1966||37||Sioux City, IA||1st Ats||KIA|
|MICHAEL J. PIGNATO||Lcpl||Nov 9, 1968||21||Winthrop, MA||5th Tks||KIA|
|JUAN TORRES ||Lcpl||Nov 12, 1966||20||El Paso, TX||3rd Ats||N-H|
|Clinton D. Pierce||PFC||Nov 8, 1969||20||Agusta, KA||MOS 0353||
|October Personal Awards|
|Ashley, Maurice C Jr LtCol||CO-1-Tanks||17. Nov. 1968||43|
|Matye, Clemence T Cpl||B-1-Tanks||12. Nov. 1968||20|
Awards Presented or Recommended by Bn. for November. (From CC's.)
|1st Tks||1968||Presented 1 BS, 2 Nav Com, 2 Nav Ach, 7 Ph|
Recommended 2 BS, 6 Nav Com, 18 Nav Ach, 1 VCG.
|1969||Presented 4 awards & 4 PH|
Recommended 13 Personal Awards
|3rd Tks||1966||Presented 2 Nav Com|
|1968||Presented 5 BS, 8 NavCom|
Recommended 11 Nav Ach, 4 Nav Com
|1969||Presented 14 VCG|
Recommended 8 BS, 13 Nav Com, 6 Nav Ach, 23 VCG
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
|Name||Unit||Date Of Action||Province||Award|
|Matye, Clemence T.||Bravo Co., 1st Tanks||12-Nov-68||Quang Nam||1st|
|Maddox, Gerald W.||Charlie, Co., 1st Tanks||1-Nov-66||Quang Nam||1st|
| " " "||Charlie, Co., 1st Tanks||30-Nov-66||Quang Nam||2nd|
PH Reported by Bn. for November. (From CC's.) (None could mean "NONE" or that they were just not reported in the CC.)
|1st Tks||1967||5 WIA O KIA|
|1968||8 WIA 0 KIA|
|1969||6 WIA 3 KIA|
|3rd Tks||1966||0 WIA 0 Kia|
|1967||1 WIA 0 KIA|
|1968||2 WIA 0 KIA|
1 November 2014
THIS BULLETIN CONTAINS THE FOLLOWING ARTICLES
Pg Article Subject
04 == Exchange Online Shopping  - (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  ---------------- (POW/MIA Commemorative Chair Act)
09 == POW/MIA Recoveries ------------------ (Reported 141016 thru 141031)
12 == VA Health Care Access  ---- (Clarify "Timely" Access Definition)
13 == VA Health Care Stories  ----- (Bureaucracy Leads to Unpaid Bills)
14 == Arkansas DVA ----------------------- (State VA Seeks to Change Name)
15 == VA Claim Processing  -------- (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  ------------ (Emergency HF Radio Network)
19 == Dependents' Educational Assistance  --- (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  ------- (NM 2013 Bonuses Paid Despite Complaints)
24 == VA Bonuses  --------- (Rebecca Wiley | Charlie Norwood VAMC)
25 == VA Bonuses  ----------------------- (Ohio $14.2M for 2013 & 2014)
27 == VA Choice Act -- (Allows Removal of Those Accused of Misconduct)
29 == VA Choice Act  -- (Congressional Criticism Frustrates McDonald)
30 == VA Choice Act  ------------ (Wolf Firing on Hold Pending Appeal)
31 == VA Choice Act  ------------------- (CAVHCS Director Terminated)
32 == VA Credibility  -------------- (VA is Critical to Medicine and Vets)
33 == VA Whistleblowers  ----------- (Fox News Interviewee Retaliation)
34 == VA Loans -------------------------------- (Certificate of Eligibility (COE))
35 == VA Fraud, Waste, and Abuse ---------------------- (141016 thru 141031)
36 == VAMC Minneapolis  -------------- (IG Clears Foul Play Allegation)
36 == VAMC Nashville TN  --------------------------- (Stroke Patient Care)
37 == VAMC Prescott AZ --- (Legionnaires' Bacterium Detected in 9 Rooms)
38 == VAMC Phoenix AZ  ---- (Not in Compliance with U.S. Standards)
39 == VAMC Phoenix AZ  ------ (6 Year History of Record Falsification)
40 == VAMC Togus ME ------------------------ (Mental Health Care Concerns)
41 == Stolen Valor  ------- (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  --------------- (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  -- (New Cape Canaveral National Cemetery)
53 == Florida Vet Cemetery  ------- (New Tallahassee National Cemetery)
54 == Vet Toxic Exposure~Lejeune  - (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)  --------------- (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  - (When in doubt, Call First)
80 == TRICARE Cancer Screenings  ----------------------- (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  ------ (Early Detection is Key)
* FINANCES *
86 == Veterans Day 2014  ----------------------------------- (Meals & Deals)
87 == VA Credit Monitoring ------------------------ (Free Offers Underutilized)
87 == COLA 2015  ------------------------------ (1.7% Increase Announced)
88 == Cell Phone Military Discounts ------------------ (Check Your Eligibility)
88 == Homeowners Insurance  --- (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  -------------------- (Johnson Reef Development)
99 == Army Art Collection ----------------- (WWI Samuel J. Woolf Paintings)
100 == Passport Additional Pages  -------------------------------- (Phase Out)
101 == SSA Payments outside U.S.  --------- (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  --------------------- (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!)
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
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Major USMC Ground Operations in Vietnam for month.
| Novembers' Major Marine Corp Ground Operations in the Vietnam War|
|Operation Name||Dates of Operation||Participating Units|
|Operation Badger Hunt||13 - 29 Nov 67||2nd Battalion 3rd Marines search and destroy operation in Đại Lộc District, Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Ballistic Arch||24 - 27 Nov 67||1st 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/Ontos||3 - 5 Nov 65||1st 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/Ontos||7 - 10 Nov 65||BLT 2nd Battalion 7th Marines, 3rd Battalion 3rd Marines, VNMC amphibious operation near Tam Ky, Quang Tin Province, I Corps|
|Operation Blue Marlin II w/Ontos||16 - 19 Nov 65||BLT 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 1972||USAF, US Navy, USMC and Royal Lao Air Force dry season phase of the air interdiction campaign to bomb the Ho Chi Minh Trail|
|Operation Cove||17 - 21 Nov 67||1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and 2nd and 3d Battalions, 26th Marines security operation in Thua Thien Province|
|Operation Dawson River||28 Nov 68 - 26 Jan 69||1st 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 Afton||24 Oct - 25 Nov 68||1st 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 Essex||6 - 17 Nov 67||2nd Battalion, 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Foster w/Tanks||13 - 30 Nov 67||2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines, 3rd Battalion, 7th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Fulton Square||22 Oct 69 - 18 Jan 70||1st Marine Division, 101st Airborne Division, 5th Infantry Division operation in Quảng Trị Province|
|Operation Garrad Bay||25 Oct - 16 Nov 68||2nd Battalion, 26th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Granite||25 Oct - 6 Nov 67||1st Battalion, 3rd Marines and 1st Battalion, 4th Marines operation in Thua Thien Province|
|Operation Henderson Hill||23Oct 68 - 6 Dec 68||1st 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 Lake||31 Aug 70 - 12 May 71||1st Battalion 5th Marines, 2nd Battalion 5th Marines and 3rd Battalion 5th Marines search and clear operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Kentucky||1 Nov 67 - 28Feb 68||1st 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 Knox||24 Oct - 4 Nov 67||2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and 3rd Battalion, 11th Marines operation in Thua Thien Province|
|Operation Lancaster I w/Tanks||1 Nov 67 - 20Jan 68||1st 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/Tanks||21 Jan - 23 Nov 68||1st 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 1/81||20 Nov - 9 Dec 68||1st 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 Mississippi||29 Nov - 7 Dec 66||2nd Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Napoleon||5 Nov 67 - 29 Feb 68||3rd 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 Saline||29 Feb - 9 Dec 68||2nd 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 II||1 Nov 68 - Feb 69||3rd 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/Tanks||1 Nov 67 - 20Jan 68||1st Battalion, 4th Marines, 1st Battalion, 9th Marines, 3rd Battalion, 12th Marines and 3rd Battalion, 26th Marines operation northwest of Hue|
|Operation Nicoliet Bay||7 - 13 Nov 68||1st Battalion, 13th Marines and 1st and 3rd Battalions, 26th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Noble Canyon||22 Oct - 3 Nov 70||5th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Osceola||20 Oct 67 - 20 Jan 68||1st Battalion, 1st Marines and 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines search and destroy operation in Hải Lăng Forest, Quang Tri Province|
|Operation Pawnee III||29 Oct - 24 Dec 66||2nd Battalion, 26th Marines search and destroy operation in Thua Thien Province|
|Operation Pipestone Canyon||26 May - 7 Nov 69||1st 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/Tanks||3 Aug - 31 Jan 67||1st 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 70||20 - 27 Nov 66||1st Battalion, 7th Marines and ARVN search and destroy operation in Quang Ngai Province|
|Operation Rio Grande/Operation Lien Ket 81||20 - 27 Nov 66||1st Battalion, 5th Marines, ROK 2nd Marine Brigade and ARVN 2nd Division search and destroy operation in Quang Ngai Province|
|Operation Sabine Draw||27 Oct - 1 Nov 68||2nd Battalion, 7th Marines clear and search operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Sayonara||28 Sep - 13 Nov 65||1st 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/Tanks||1 Nov 67 - 31 Mar 68||1st 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 Shasta||5 - 19 Nov 66||2nd Battalion, 1st Marines, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines and 1st Battalion, 26th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Nam Province|
|Operation Song Ve 6||22 - 24 Nov 65||3rd Battalion, 7th Marines, 3rd VNMC Battalion and ARVN 11th and 37th Ranger Battalions operation in Quang Ngai Province|
|Operation Sutter||30 Nov - 6 Dec 66||1st Battalion, 5th Marines search and destroy operation in Quang Tin Province|
Official Marine Corps Playbook
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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.
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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.
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:
Platinum Plus ~ $1,000 Plus
Platinum ~ $250 - $999
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Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds*
LtCol Frank Slovik, USMC (Ret.)
Guy Wolfenbarger +++
Sid Ferguson, DVM++
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Jerry & Lucinda White
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Stephen C Arnone
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Frank Meyrat +
**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.
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THE BREECH BLOCK
LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (Ret)
Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds
Media Technical Advisor
Richard "Dick" Carey
Board of Directors
LtCol Raymond A. Stewart, USMC (Ret)
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Vice Pres. and Flame Tanks Rep.
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
LtGen Martin R.
Steele, USMC (Ret)
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Col William 'Bill' Davis, USMC(Ret)
David 'Doc' Forsyth
Dr. Ken Estes,
LtCol, USMC (Ret)
Director and Ontos Rep.
Richard "Dick" Carey;
USMC Vietnam Tankers
MGySgt Donald Gagnon, USMC (Ret),
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
03 July 1966
PP/ Staff Sergeant
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