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


OntosMCVTHF LogoOntos



We are the voice of  history


CARPUCNat. Def. Ribbon




September 2011   




Dear Marine, 


A major event in the lives of many Vietnam Tankers and Ontos Crewmen is the every-two-years USMC Vietnam Tankers Association Reunion. This year it was held in San Diego, 17-21 August. For me the Association reunions are an opportunity for both personal enjoyment i.e., gathering together the young Tankers I took to Vietnam and who so loyally supported a brand new Mustang 2nd Lt and professional - meeting with the members of both the Association's and our Foundation's Board of Directors. The reunions also provide the Foundation an opportunity to collect oral interviews, the program which is managed by Jim Raasch, and provide updated and new input to the Map Chronology Program managed by Pappy Reynolds.


Slightly disappointing were the missing Foundation Board members and some of the many Ontos Crewmen with who I've been in contact during the past few years. Foundation Board Member, "Doc" Forsyth is steadily improving from his near-fatal motor cycle accident a few months ago. Dick Carey - founder of the Association - had planned to attend but health issues meant a last-minute decision to take a miss. Former Ontos Crewman, and the Foundation's newest Board of Director's Member, Rick Walters, was present to represent the Ontos Community.


 Also present at the Association reunion was Dr. Oscar "Ed" Gilbert who is collecting personal stories for an article on Marine Tanks and Ontos participation in Vietnam amphibious operations - Deck House, Dagger Thrust, Operation Starlite, and others. Ed has written a number of articles and books about Marine Tankers and, as understand it, is thinking about writing about Ontos Crewmen's actions in Vietnam.


During the reunion I had the opportunity to meet many - unfortunately, not all - who have so generously contributed to the success of the Foundation - both financially and with in-kind donations of books, documents, pictures, oral history summary report writing, and as interviewees and interviewers.


Thank you and Semper Fidelis.

LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret)


Please note: The Association's web site has encountered some difficulties. Most of the pictures and articles gathered over the years have been "lost". The Foundation has "found" many of them and they are now posted on the Foundation's web site. I would ask that, to insure your articles and pictures get published, you send a copy of your articles and pictures - especially those of the VTA Reunion to Pappy Reynolds - the Foundation's Web Master - for publication. Thanks a Lot.

Camp Lejeune Water Toxin Registry

The Marine Corps encourages all those who lived or worked at Camp Lejeune between 1957 and 1987 to register to receive notifications regarding Camp Lejeune Historic Drinking Water.

The VA gave service-connection for this exposure starting in 2010.


 Click on this link to register:

"Watch Me!"

By David "Doc" Forsyth

Corpsman, 1st Tanks Bn.

Doc Forsyth
Doc Forsyth

"Watch me!" I said, after pausing to take a long slug from what I remember to be an unforgettable bottle of . . . oh what was it, I forget, Scotch I think. Anyway, I was explaining to the sergeant sitting across from me, crossed legged on a sand bag, that if we were to get hit at that very moment I could easily outperform him because he was certainly ...


Read more... 

Bronze Star Recipient


Bronze Star Medal 





Bronze Star w/Combat 'V,' Purple Heart,

National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Vietnam Campaign Medal


Reynaldo was drafted into the U. S. Marine Corps from Odessa, Texas in 1966. He did his boot camp training at the Marine Corps Recruit Training Depot at San Diego, California and ITR at Camp Pendleton, California in infantry and then did further training as tank crewman at 29 Palms, California. His unit mobilized to Okinawa and he further trained in the Ontos. In August 1966, his unit went to Vietnam.

In Vietnam, he was assigned to C Company, 3rd Antitank Battalion, 3rd Marine Division. He was assigned as a "Ontos" tank crewman. The Ontos was a tracked vehicle with six 106mm Recoilless Rifles mounted and had a three man crew. On May 19, 1967, he was the gunner/commander of a tank. His company was participating in "Operation Hickory." His unit was operating with an infantry company when his tank hit an anti-tank mine. He was killed and there were seven marines wounded in the event. He was awarded a posthumous bronze star and purple heart.


He is buried in the Golden Gate National Cemetery, San Bruno, California.

Donors: Thank you for your support.


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

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

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

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

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

+Additional Donation 

*In-Kind Services

**In-Kind & Monetary

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

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

MCVTHF, 707 S.W. 350th Ct., Ste. #1 

Federal Way, WA 98023

                                                                                 Thank you!
Vietnam War Flashbacks




Carved on these walls is "The Story of America", of a continuing quest to preserve both democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call "The American Dream."


 Something to think about: Most of the surviving parents of the dead are now deceased themselves.


There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.


The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth, Mass., listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon  III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.


There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall. 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger. The largest age group, 8,283 were just 19 years old 33,103 were 18 years old.  12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old. 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old. One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old. 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam. 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last scheduled day in Vietnam. 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall. Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons. 54 soldiers on the Wall attended ThomasEdisonHigh School in Philadelphia. Wonder why so many from one school? 8 Women are on the Wall -- nursing the wounded.


Two hundred and forty-four (244) soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall. Beallsville, Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons. West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation.


There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall. The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of

Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the ApacheNational Forest And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home. The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot  ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.


The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths. The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 ~ 2,415 casualties were incurred. For many Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters.



Marine Corps Ops 


4 Jul-27 Oct 66
116 days
3 Bns

1 MarDiv operation for the An Hoa industrial complex in QuangNamProvince


Prairie I/Deckhouse IV

3 Aug 66-31 Jan 67
182 days
13 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in the Con Thien/Gio Linh areas of the DMZ

VC/NVA KIA 1,397
US KIA 215


16 Jul-31 Oct 67
108 days
9 Bns

3 MarDiv operation in the DMZ

VC/NVA KIA 1,117
US KIA 340


4-15 Sep 67
12 days
3 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in Quang Nam and QuangTinProvinces

US KIA 127

Lancaster II

21 Jan-23 Nov 68
308 days
12 Bns

3 MarDiv search-and-clear operation

VC/NVA KIA 1,801
US KIA 352


26 Feb-12 Sep 68
200 days
9 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in border region of Thua Thien and QuangNamProvinces

US KIA 117


29 Feb-12 Sep 68
285 days
16 Bns

1 MarDiv operation along CuaVietRiver in QuangTriProvince

VC/NVA KIA 3,495
US KIA 353

Mameluke Thrust

18 May-23 Oct 68
159 days
7 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in central QuangNamProvince

VC/NVA KIA 2,728
US KIA 270


21 Jul-25 Sep 69
77 days
5 Bns

1 MarDiv/101st Airborne operation west of TamKy in QuangTinProvince



26 May - 7 Nov 69
166 days
6 Bns

1 MarDiv operation in QuangNamProvince centered approximately 13 kms west of Hoi An



31 Aug 70 - 12 May 71
255 days
4 Bns

1st MarDiv operation in QuangNamProvince



 No More Agent Orange Claims!

"Sooner or later, some senator or congressman was going to target benefits earned by veterans," said John Rowan, National President of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). "It seems that Senator Tom Coburn (R-Oklahoma is the one who has taken aim and fired."

Read more:

Book Review

By LtCol Ray Stewart, USMC (Ret) 


Peter Brush has completed his documentary "USMC Tanks and Ontos at Khe Sanh". It is a master piece and will soon be published on the Foundation's website and finally, as a chapter in the Foundation's planned publication "Marine Tanks & Ontos in Vietnam". My efforts are now focused into paring down Peter's 7,500+ word piece to around 2,500 words for publication in the monthly Leatherneck Magazine. Col Walt Ford, USMC (Ret.) of the Leatherneck opines that, while it will be a challenge to "take this down to article size, but if you can and you have photos/map, go for it. It's a good subject." We've been so "challenged" before and we'll make the cut again this time. Look for the article in an upcoming Leatherneck and the full documentary to follow closely thereafter on our Foundation Web site.



Mustang Logo

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



USMC ONTOS REUNION ~ May 2013, Details to Follow.



BALTIMORE, MD - Clay Dell "Skip" Edmonds


Clay EdmondsClay 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 assigned as a tank mechanic to an infantry unit 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.


"He loved three things: auto mechanics, wooden boats and the Marine Corps," his wife said.


Also surviving is a son, Thomas Edmonds of Baltimore; another daughter, Kathleen Prince of Baltimore; his stepfather and stepmother, Frank C. Falise and Patricia Falise of Woodbine; a brother, James Falise of Westminster; two sisters, Angie Falise of Pasadena and Mary Kay Falise of Arnold; a stepson, John Walters of Taneytown; a stepdaughter, Wendy Bizzari of Westminster; and 12 grandchildren.

In This Issue
Camp Lejeune Water Toxin Registry
"Watch Me!"...
Heros' Corner
Donors (2011)
Donate Address
Vietnam Flashbacks
VA Info & News
Book Review




Marine Corps
Vietnam Tankers
Historical Foundation



President & Editor

LtCol Raymond A. Stewart USMC (ret.)



Archivist in Residence

Kyle Decicco-Carey

Harvard University

BA in History, MLIS


Author in Residence

Dr. Oscar "Ed" Gilbert


Historian in Residence

Peter Brush

Vanderbilt University

BA and MA in History


Marketing & Production

Richard 'Dick' Carey



Web Master

Lloyd 'Pappy' Reynolds




Board of Directors


LtCol Raymond A. Stewart

USMC (ret.)




Vice President


James Raasch


Oral Historian 


Richard 'Dick' Carey


Public Relations/Marketing


Richard Tilden


LtGen Martin R. Steele

USMC (ret.)



Robert 'Mike' Flick



David 'Doc' Forsyth Director


Dr. Ken Estes, LtCol

USMC (ret.)



Rick Walters


MGySgt  Donald R. Gagnon

USMC (ret.)

Director Emeritus 


Quick Links

Ontos Web Site 

Khe Sanh Veterans

Mustang Officers Assn.

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Defense Department 


Our Members' Books:


Beyond My Horizon

Con Thein: Hill of Angels




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In Memory
Lance Corporal
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
1st Anti-Tank
Alpha Company

03 July 1966
PP/ Staff Sergeant
 30 September 1974

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