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


OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




June 2011   




Dear Marine, 


The Foundation's Board of Directors has undergone some evolutionary changes since we were founded some 12 years ago. The structure of the evolving board reflects a refinement (but not a change) in our mission and an increase in the Foundation's scope and reach. The Foundation's Bylaws are being updated to reflect the broadened Vietnam Tanker Community to include all Vietnam-era Tankers and does not exclude those Tankers who trained for combat in Vietnam but - for whatever reason - didn't make it "in-country."

Over the years, and on a number of occasions, each Board Member has been asked to contribute in various ways to the accomplishment of our mission. In the past few months 2 of our most valued Board members, upon reviewing their priorities, matched to the Foundation's, have found that they would personally be better served without the additional burden of supporting the Foundation. I have - very reluctantly - accepted their resignation. These resignations have left 2 openings on the Board to fill.
Additionally, the Foundation has been very proactive and successful -in recruiting Vietnam-era Ontos Crewmen. Our Foundation's Breech Block and targeted e-mails reaches nearly 200 Ontos Crewmen.

In that context i.e., Board vacancies and Ontos Crewman focus, Richard (Rick) S. Walters has agreed to serve on our Board. He's assured me that he'll take on a number of tasks for which we need his talents. For starters, Rick is a CPA. Rick restores Ontos, a passion he's been involved with for years. Rick is a Life Member of the Association (L-065). Rick is widely recognized in the Ontos Crewmen Veteran Community as the "Duty Expert" in all things Ontos. Rick comes highly recommended by Jim Raasch, one of our most active boards members.
It is my pleasure then to welcome Rick to the Foundation' s BoD.

Article by John ("Hughie") Hughes


"Gooks in the wire!!!!" is not the best way to be woke up in the middle of the night.


It was about 0100 early September 1968 and black dark.  My crew and the crew of a Cpl named "Mike" (last name long forgotten) were enjoying some slack time hanging out at Cua Viet with the Amgrunts (1st Amtrac Bn).  We didn't stand guard and we were catching up on some much- deserved sack time when the lights came on and somebody flung open the door to our hooch with the "exciting" news.


I don't know about anybody else but I was mounting the tank when I finally got fully awake.  My boots were on and I had my pistol belt in my hand (we slept with our trousers on).  I started shouting orders to my crew.  Somebody waved me down from the tank to get the word.


Seems the gooks weren't actually in the wire but supposedly "Force Recon" had spotted a large group of enemy moving south of Cua Viet toward the sea.  We were going to make a mounted reconnaissance-in-force in the middle of the night with a few AmGrunts for infantry. This could get real bad, real fast.


We lined up the column and moved out. Two amtracs in the lead, my tank, two more amtracs, Mike's tank, another amtrac, and one lone Ontos bringing up the rear. As there was no gate on the south side of the Cua Viet compound, we drove around the concertina wire where it ended out in the South China Sea. The tanks and amtracs didn't have any problems but I'm sure that Ontos crew got their butts wet.


We moved along the beach staying in the surf line to avoid mines. We road-marched about 2 kilometers to where a large wood line came almost down to the water.


About 300 yards from this wood line, the "Young Rommel" leading this "clusterf---k" Excuse me, "Recon-in-Force", turned inland running parallel to the trees.


Suddenly, on the radio comes an order to come hard left, advance toward the wood line at speed and engage with machine guns only.  The next radio call comes from Mike and amounts to "What the hell?" I answered in my best John Wayne voice "Bad guys in the bushes...shoot em. Oh, by the way, don't use the 90" or words to that effect.


All hands came hard left and, as we came on the line, Steve Murphy started cutting loose with the .30. I reached in my pocket for my cocking handle for the .50 (the Rube Goldberg affair that was supposed to cock the .50 had long ago given up the ghost).  I found to my horror, I had left it in my other pair of pants, the dirty ones, the ones I was going to wash. Oh shit!  I started to yell at Russell Hicks to find me something to cock the .50 with, when I realized "I have a .45 pistol!"  So shades of Custer's boys at the Little Big Horn, I start popping caps down range.  Ran thru four magazines by the time we reach the wood line.


We came to a halt and ceased fire. It's totally quiet except for the sound of the engines.  Have we caught 'em sleeping?  Have we slaughtered all the bad guys before they could get off a shot?  Sure, and Santa Clause brings cold beer to all good little Jarheads where ever they are.


A squad of Amgrunts move into the trees and, of course, they find nothing, no one, not even a dead monkey.


So, is this evening's entertainment over?  Not by a long shot!


Young Rommel, instead of having the Ontos lead out, has us all come right then makes a big � circle and heads back to the beach. When we get to the ocean, instead of turning left to return to Cua Viet we turn right and start moving between the forest and the sea going south.

Now, I called this a wood line but it was really a fairly substantial forest. We probably went a couple of clicks before the dunes opened out, again.


We moved a couple hundred yards past the woods and started inland, again.


Hicks has found me a screw driver or something so I can cock the .50. I figure we're in for another charge, but after going about 100 yards, I see something - a large dark mass against a lighter sand.


Things are looking serious but there's no movement, no scramble for weapons. No nothing.


Somebody dismounts from the lead amtrac and approaches this mass which we can finally make out as 20 or 30 people corked out in the sand.  Somebody in this group sits up and talks to our guy for a couple of minutes and then our guy remounts.


Word comes back, they're Doggies from the Americal Division. They have the AO south of 1st Amtracs.  Somebody's out of bounds...probably us.


Nobody says anything but everybody thinking, here's the "regiment of gooks" Force Recon spotted moving in the woods. These birds were obviously calling in B.S. sitreps and catching Z's on the beach.


Finally after another big � circle so the CO can continue to lead we start back.


Sun's coming up so maybe we can get back for breakfast.


Not so fast, this is the U.S.M.C.  They teach young officers to think on their feet, to consider all the possibilities.


Maybe the Dog Faces aren't what Recon saw. Perhaps the "division of N.V.A."  is hiding in the little ville just south of Cua Viet. We will sweep the ville, all 10 or 11 hootches of it.


The Young Rommel stages the tanks and the Ontos on the south side of the ville as a blocking force. The amtracs move up to the north side and disembark Amgrunts to sweep the ville.  Sun's above the horizon and we can see pretty well.  And what we see is ------ nothing. Some smoke from cook fires, some chickens, the usual.


However, somebody decides just snooping and pooping isn't enough.  They start popping CS (tear gas) grenades.  The morning breeze is from the northwest. The Tankers and Ontos guys are certainly ready to "chui hoi" since only � of us knows where his gas mask is.


Finally, its time to go home.  As we move out I tell Head (Glen Hutchinson) to just drive thru the rice paddy to our front so we can join up with the tracs for our triumphant return to Cua Viet (I think the Amgrunts found an old French rifle in the sweep).


As we drive thru the paddy, I see this old woman looking at me from the door way of her hootch.  And she's looking "daggers". She is pissed. If she had an AK-47 my ass would be gone.  I hadn't thought about it, but we were screwing up about 10 bushels of rice. We really won some hearts and minds that morning and I suspect if she wasn't V.C. that morning, she certainly was by that afternoon. And I suspect she put 10 or 12 AT mines in the tank tracks we put through her rice.


Well, we missed breakfast and spent the rest of the day cleaning weapons. The .50 only needed a wipe down and re-greasing. The suspension - we'd just greased it the day before - hence my need to do laundry and the location of the .50 cocking tool.


I'd like to say "a good time was had by all" but that was Nam and you know that was B.S.

ONTOS 2011 Reunion

Ontos Reunion 1

Two former Ontos crewmen visiting the M50AI at the Marine Museum.

by Lou Najfus                                  Photos Dave Shatzer

You missed a great Ontos reunion. Before I continue, allow me to briefly describe an Ontos. Ontos, Greek for "Thing", is a small track vehicles (M-50 A-1) equipped with six 106 mm recoilless rifles on a central turret.  Its legacy was short lived 1958 - 1970 but it had an impressive and commendable history in Vietnam. 

Ontos Reunion2

 Viewing the Ontos at the

Marine Museum.

Thirty-five Ontos crewmen plus spouses, from all three divisions (1st, 3rd and 5th) joined us at the Marine Corps base in Quantico, VA. We attended MC briefings which included the Amtrac, helicopters, archives and howitzers. This was followed by a great lunch at the MC chow hall. After a brief visit to the PX we received the VIP red carpet treatment at the National Marine Corps Museum. The guides took us on an extensive tour of the facility. The Vietnam era section was especially memorable because the infamous Ontos was on display. Later that day we made a toast in Tun Tavern, a replica of the original tavern, located on the museum premises. This was followed by a delightful banquet at the museum. The food was excellent and the presentation was elegant. I would strongly recommend it.  


Ontos crewmen,wives, and guests dining at the Marine Museum.

The following day we met again in the hospitality room of the Crossroads Inn where we stayed. We heard a fellow marine read his meritorious citation. We spent some quality time reminiscing through the many stories and experiences.

Utilizing Marine Corps transportation, we traveled to Washington D.C. and spent time at Arlington Cemetery, which included watching the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Our next stop was the Vietnam, World War II, and Korean Memorials. After a delightful dinner we ended the day by attending the Evening Parade at the Marine Barracks Washington, which many of you know is very impressive.  


Ontos crewmen visiting track vehicles at Quantico

Going forward we are in the process of documenting the legacy of the Ontos and its crewmen. We are actively seeking and encouraging Ontos crewmen to share their stories and experiences with us.

During May, 2012 we plan to have the next Ontos reunion. The specifics are still under review. Nevertheless, please put in down in your calendar. It will be the best reunion yet.

Historical Foundation New Members

Robert E. Barnhouse,  C Co., 3rd Tanks, 66/67,

Correction Phone Number (636) 256-9143



William A. Bartachek,  A Co., 1st Tanks, '68


Steven L. Hydinger,  B Co., 3rd Tanks, 67/68


Michael Kirk, Jr.,  H&S Co., 3rd AT, 61/62


Louis L. Najfus,  H&S~B Co., 3rd AT, 66/67, 


Bill Root, C Co., 1st Tanks, 66/67,


Bill Wright,  

Vietnam Tankers Foundation History Project

by Pete Ritch


As part of the MCVTHF Oral History Project the following is a description of some of the actions that I experienced during my tour of duty (October 1968 to October 1969) along the DMZ in Vietnam.


The methodology utilized to develop these accounts was as follows: 



Sliver Star Recipients


Silver Star

Silver Star



We are proud to present to you the list of Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers who received the Silver Star Medal.


(*) Indicates a posthumous award.



Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

April 29, 1969.

Home Town: Not Listed

ALVARADO, JOSE J., Staff Sergeant

Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

August 20, 1966.  Home Town: San Juan, Puerto Rico

ANDERSON, DONALD F., Private First Class

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division  September 19, 1966.  Home Town: New Waverly, New York

ASHLEY, MAURICE C. ,JR., Lieutenant Colonel


C.O., 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

November 17, 1968 Home Town: Poughkeepsie, New York

BANNING, JOHN J., Second Lieutenant


Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

May 25, 1968 Home Town: Joplin, Missouri


Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division January 15, 1967 Home Town: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

BERMAN, STUART C., Second Lieutenant

Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

March 21, 1967 Home Town: New York, New York

*BROWN, JOSEPH C., Corporal (KIA)

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

July 30, 1966.
Home Town: Pasadena, Maryland

CAIN, JEROME F., Private First Class

Company B, 5th Tank Battalion

June 15, 1968 Home Town: Not Listed


Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

May 20, 1966 Home Town: San Diego, California

CERDA, RENE, Corporal

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

May 19, 1968 Home Town: Fresno, California


Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

May 19, 1967 Home Town: Evanston, Illinois


Private First Class (KIA)

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division  February 24, 1968.
Home Town: Dallas, Texas


Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

January 24, 1968 Home Town: Marblehead, Massachusetts

DAVIS, BRUCE W., Corporal

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

February 23, 1969 Home Town: Not Listed


Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

August 18, 1965 Home Town: Detroit, Michigan

DAVIS, BRUCE W., Corporal

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division  February 23, 1969 Home Town: Not Listed


X.O.1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

February 6, 1968 Home Town: Eagle Point, Oregon

DOBBINS, KENT E., First Lieutenant

Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division  February 23, 1969 Home Town: Lawrence, Kansas

DOSS, JAMES G., JR., Major,

C.O. 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

August 17, 1966 Home Town: Phoenix, Arizona

GIBBONS, DONALD R., Gunnery Sergeant

Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division  December 9, 1967 Home Town: Detroit, Michigan


Sergeant  (KIA)

Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

August 22, 1969
Home Town: Middletown, Kentucky

HINOJOSA, JUAN N., JR., Lance Corporal

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division  September 26, 1965 Home Town: San Antonio, Texas

JONES, CLARENCE W., Staff Sergeant,

3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

August 26, 1966

Home Town: Richmond, Virginia

LARSON, STEPHEN P., First Lieutenant

Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division  February 3, 1968 Home Town: Buffalo, New York

LOCHRIDGE, WILLARD F., Second Lieutenant

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division  September 5, 1966 Home Town: Scarsdale, New York

LUND, DEAN T., Staff Sergeant

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

February 6, 1968 Home Town: Syracuse, New York

*MARSH, WILLIAM C., Staff  Sergeant 


Company A, 1st Anti-Tank Battalion, 1st Marine

February 24, 1968.
Home Town: Amarillo, Texas

MATTINGLY, ROBERT E., Second Lieutenant

H&S Company, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division August 5, 1966 Home Town: Preston, Maryland


Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division November 12, 1968 Home Town: Granada Hills, California

*McKEE, THOMAS E., Lance Corporal (KIA)

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

July 6, 1967
Home Town: Palm Springs, California

MORRISON, RONALD C., First Lieutenant

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

February 15, 1968

Home Town: Not Listed

PERSON, BARNETT G., Gunnery Sergeant

Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

May 8, 1967 Home Town: Birmingham, Texas


Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division  February 7, 1968
Home Town: Cave Junction, Oregon

RALSTON, DAVID J., Second Lieutenant

Company C, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

April 19, 1968 Home Town: Gary, Indiana

SABO, ROY T., Staff Sergeant

Company A, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

October 4, 1966  Home Town: Flint, Michigan

SCHLEY, HAROLD B., JR., Staff Sergeant

Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

July 28, 1969  Home Town: Not Listed

SIVA, THURLO J., Staff Sergeant

Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

May 12, 1968  Home Town: Warner Springs, California

*TATUM, HAROLD D., Gunnery Sergeant(KIA)

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division   September 10, 1967
Home Town: Sandy Springs, Georgia


Company B, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

February 21, 1969  Home Town: DeLuth, Minnesota

*WALKLEY, ROBERT M., Lance Corporal (KIA)

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

March 24, 1969
Home Town: Ionia, Michigan


Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

May 26, 1967  Home Town: San Francisco, California

WILLIAMSON, ROBERT M., JR., Lance Corporal

Company B, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

August 17, 1966
Home Town: Not Listed


Company A, 3d Tank Battalion, 3d Marine Division

July 27, 1969  Home Town: Feasterville, Pennsylvania

YEOMAN, RICHARD J., Second Lieutenant

Company C, 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division

March 15, 1967  Home Town: Sparks, Nevada



Donors: Thank you for your support.

Peter Brush* ~ (2011)
Dick Carey, 3rd Tanks* ~ (2010/2011)

John Coffee, 5th / 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)

Kyle Decicco-Carey* ~ (2011)
David 'Doc'
Forsyth, 1st Tanks* ~ (2010/2011)
LtCol Will Lochridge, USMC (ret.), 1st Tanks ~ (2011)
Jim Raasch, 5th Tanks** ~ (2010/2011)
Pappy Reynolds, 3rd Tanks* ~ (2010/2011)
LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (ret.), 1st Tanks** ~ (2010/2011)
Guy Wolfenberger, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011+)
Martha Zaragoza~ (2011)

Jim Didear, 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
Sid Ferguson, 1st Tanks ~ (2011) 
Gene 'Doc' Hackemack, 1st Tanks (2011)
Garry Hall, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Glen Hutchins, 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)
Louie Ryle, 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)
Rick "Smitty" Smith, 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
Maj. Frank Box, USMC (ret.), 3rd Anti-Tanks ~ (2010)
Col Bill Davis, USMC (ret.), 3rd Tanks  ~ (2010)
Danny Farrell, 1st Tanks ~ (2011) 
Larry Parshall*, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Michael 'Doc' Pipkin*, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Richard Traiser, 1st Tanks ~ (2010) 
Belmo Belmessieri, 5th / 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)
Mike 'Boris' Bolenbaugh, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Justin Donnelly, 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
MGySgt Mark Damschen, USMC (ret.), 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
Garry Hall, 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)
Dave Helfrich, 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
Carl Lemon, 1st Tanks ~ (2010)
Louis Najfus, 3rd Anti-Tanks ~ (2011)
Rick Oswood, 3rd Tanks ~ (2011)
Claude Vargo, 3rd Tanks ~ (2010)
Jerry Wahl, 3rd Tanks ~ (2010/2011)


+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!
Auction Results


The winning bid for the MIA/POW patch was made by Chuck Garrison.  His winning bid was $300!  Thank you Chuck and the other bidders. 


The other bidders in alphabetical order;  Tom Colson, Sr, R.B. English,  Rick Lewis, Larry Parshall and Martha Zaragoza.


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

Vietnam War Flashbacks

A Co, 3rd Tanks 1965

Top row:

Richard Huff, Dan McQueary, Andrew Senecal, Ed Sipel, William Rains, DJ Clark, Harold Austin, David Doyle, Jim Thompson, Ken Zebal, Milo Plank, Pat Borromeo, Ken Zitz


Front Row:

Sam Kaleleiki, Louis Borriello, Dave Erickson, Rob Lockett, Ivan Williams, Rich Shaver, Charlie Denton, Toni Pinnetti, Steve Nicholson



Died of Complications

by Peter W. Brush 


CPL Robert Paul Payne, A/3rd AT, 18 March 1968.~Khe Sanh
Cpl Payne was manning a communications bunker with it took a direct hit by a rocket. The bunker was destroyed. Payne was trapped underneath the debris but still conscious. He had a crushed shoulder and was evacuated. A few days later word was received Payne had died from complications of pneumonia.




June Major Named Marine Corps Operations 

Union II


5 Jun 67
12 Days
3 Bns

1 MarDiv operation against NVA forces in Quang Nam and Quang Tin Provinces

US KIA 110

Allen Brook

4 May-

24 Aug 68
113 days
6 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in southern Quang Nam Province

VC/NVA KIA 1,017
US KIA 172

Mameluke Thrust

18 May-23 Oct 68
159 days
7 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in central Quang Nam Province

VC/NVA KIA 2,728
US KIA 270

Virginia Ridge

1 May-

7 Jun 69
77 days
3 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in northern Quang Tri Province

US KIA 106

Apache Snow

10 May-

7 Jun 69
29 days
8 Bns

1 MarDiv and 101st Airborne Division operation in western Thua Thien Province

US KIA 102

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 An


Book Review Corner

For the student, historian, or the just-curious Vietnam War Veteran "Where We Were" by Michael P. Kelley is an indispensable reference book. It is hundreds of pages of data and maps - "A comprehensive guide to the firebases, military installations, and naval vessels of the Vietnam War: 1945 - 1975." It is also very expensive to buy new - $30. Amazon sells it from around $20/25 and the Kindle version goes for around $10. For most of us who hardly ever knew "where we were or when" and are at all curious, this book will "find" you. 


Pappy Reynolds to the rescue!  Pappy's the Foundations Map Chronology Director who has worked the Program for many years. He's "located" on his map every Tank and Ontos unit from Battalion, Company, and Platoon. In many cases right down to the sections of Tanks and Ontos attached to or in direct support of Grunt units often using "Where We Were" as his source document. The comprehensive glossary, maps, LZs, roadway systems, casualty figures - they're all here.


Pappy has a copy, as do I, and they will be available in the Foundation's Map and Interview Room during the Association's Reunion in San Diego, 17-21 August. Bring with you the stuff you have - maps, letters, memorabilia, personal stories - and Pappy will figure out where you were in the context of the "big picture" using his ":Where We Were" as his source document. After he gets you located on the map sheets that will fill the walls of the room, Jim Raasch will schedule you for about an hour oral, video-taped interview covering your Vietnam Days. He'll film you in front the maps and hi-lite your map location and any items you bring to the interview.


After the reunion the Foundation will make copies of the VHS interviews on DVDs and provide a written summary, as well to the interviewee. This at no cost to you. A price list will be available detailing the cost for additional copies of the DVD. The original, with written summary, will be hand-carried to the Marine Corps Archives at Quantico, and a copy to the Library of Congress, Oral History Program in Wash., D.C.


I urge you to obtain a copy of "Where We Were", possibly at you local library, and check out all the information available.




Veterans Affairs ~ 

Secretary of Veterans Affairs announces three new "presumptive" Agent Orange Conditions:

  • Parkinson's disease,
  • Ischemic heart disease, and
  • B cell leukemias (including hairy cell leukemia)

VA provides disability compensation and healthcare for diseases associated with exposure to tactical herbicides, such as Agent Orange. Tactical herbicide exposure is presumed for Veterans with service on the ground in Vietnam, or on its inland waterways, from Jan. 9, 1962, to May 7, 1975, and for Veterans who served in certain units along the Korean demilitarized zone from April 1, 1968 to July 31, 1969. Service connection will be established for herbicide-exposed Veterans suffering with hairy-cell leukemia and other chronic B-cell leukemias, Parkinson's disease, and ischemic heart disease if their condition is disabling to a compensable level.


Veterans covered under the new policy are encouraged to file their claims through the new, automated Fast Track Web Portal that is faster and easier to utilize. The Fast Track portal guides Veterans through Web-based menus to capture information and medical evidence required for faster claims decisions.


Benefits scheduled to increase.


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics the Consumer Price Index for April is up 0.8 percent over the March CPI. This is important for military retirees, and those drawing VA benefits, because the CPI is used to determine the annual cost-of-living-adjustment (COLA) and rate adjustments to VA Disability and Compensation, Vets Pension programs, and other VA rates for the following year. The Military Officers Association of America reports that the April 2011 CPI is up 2.9 percent from the 2008 CPI, which means veterans and survivors may see an increase in compensation and pension benefits in 2012, the first since 2008.


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.


  Gary Cummins

HOUSTON, TX -- Gary Egan Cummings, age 73, passed away on May 6, 2011. He was born August 23, 1937 in Logan, Utah. He retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and was a two-time Vietnam Purple Heart recipient.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Flossie Cummings; siblings Nathalie, Clyde and Garth Cummings and daughter, Nanette Turner. Gary is survived by his wife, Patrice, and his children: Mark, Patricia Marriot, Jeffrey, Brett, Joe, Andrew and Amanda Cummings and siblings, June Lambros, Gloria Barlow, Glen Cummings and their families. 




Wright, Robert

 JANESVILLE, WI---Robert John Wright.


He was born on June 23, 1947, the son of Theodore and Katherine (Russel) Wright in Beloit. He was a member of the United States Marine Corps, where he served his country with the 1st Tank Battalion, 1st Marine Division in Vietnam from 1968-1969.


He is survived by his wife, Deborah; 2 children; Robert (Melanie) Wright Jr. of Janesville, and Stacie (Bill) Krueger of Cherokee Village, Ark; 7 grandchildren: Kayleah, Kody, Christian, Kylie, Brittney, Alex, and Bailey; and 2 brothers; James (Julie) Wright of Janesville, and Gene (Annette) Wright of Beloit. He was preceded in death by his parents.


YOUNTVILLE, CA ---Steven Brock Walton. He served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970. He served with the 3rd Marine Corps Tank Division. After Vietnam he served in the Marine Corps Reserves until the mid 1980's. Brock was a resident of the Yountville Veterans Home where he had lived for the last 7 years. He worked and volunteered at the veterans home for many causes and events. Including the Stand Down at Camp Parks in Dublin every year. He worked hard to restore an old fountain at section A and succeeded in making the water flow once again in the beautiful garden. Brock loved people and helping anyone and everyone in need. He enjoyed fishing, camping, sky diving, and oldies music, all the great things life had to offer. He loved life and cherished his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his father, Milo Clyde Walton; mother, Joyce M. Walton and brother, Michael James Walton all of San Leandro. He is survived by his daughters, Kira Terese Contraras of San Diego, Brianne Joyce Walton of El Sobrante, Dore' Siobhan Walton of Hayward; sister, Monica (Hansen) Childs of Modesto; aunt and uncle of Ventura, CA; several nieces and nephews; four grandchildren, Amani Kaiawna Contreras, Jorge Ruben Contreras Jr., Oliviana Margarita Contreras all of San Diego and Vitorio Daniel Richina of Hayward. Remembrances may be made to the Disabled Veterans of America. 


BALTIMORE, MA---Clyde Dell "Skip" Edmonds a retired mechanic who served in Vietnam with the Marine Corps, died Feb. 4 of Agent Orange-related leukemia at his Woodbine home. He was 63.


Mr. Edmonds was born in Baltimore and raised in Lansdowne. He attended Woodlawn High School.


"He was 17 and forged his mother's name in order to join the Marine Corps in 1965," said his wife of 14 years, the former Jeanie Pickett.


He was assigned as a tank mechanic in Vietnam. "He volunteered for three tours of duty during the Vietnam War," said a daughter, Taryn Wilson of Bel Air.


Mr. Edmonds was discharged from the Marine Corps in 1977 and remained an active reservist until 1994.


Mr. Edmonds owned gas stations in Woodlawn and Catonsville, and was a self-employed mechanic in Woodbine until retiring in 2000 because of post-traumatic stress disorder and other service-connected disabilities, family members said.

Official Historical Foundation Tee Shirts

Order yours now!

Official  Marine Corps Vietnam Historical Foundation Tee Shirt

T Shirt


 Sizes: SM, Med., L, XL, XXL Price is $25 each


Specify size or sizes desired and the number of Tee-shirts you want. To have them them mailed add $10 Shipping & Handling to your total order. If you are attending the Reunion in San Diego and want to pick your shirts there please specify and save the cost of S & H.


Example 1.    1 Shirt     $25 plus $10 S&H = $35


Example 2.    3 Shirts    $75 plus $10 S&H = $85 


Make your check to: *MCVTHF


Send a check or money order (No Cash) with the total amount plus, $10 S & H to:



c/o Dick Carey

P.O. Box 44

Sandwich, MA 02563


Allow 6 to 8 weeks for delivery.

*Please enclose your phone number

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
John 'Hugie' Hughes
Ontos Reunion 2011
New Members
Foundation Project
Heros' Corner
Donors (2010/2011)
Auction Results
Vietnam Flashbacks
Book Review Corner
Veterans Affairs




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.)



LtCol Herbert Steigleman 

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

MGySgt  Donald R. Gagnon

USMC (ret.)

Director Emeritus 


Quick Links

Ontos Web Site 

Khe Sanh Veterans

Mustang Officers Assn.

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

Disclaimer:  "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.