Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation©
Marine Corps Vietnam-era Tankers and Ontos Crewmen Have Made History.
Your Historical Foundation is Making it Known.
THE BREECH BLOCK©
|The Breech Block
Vietnam TankersHistorical Foundation
Board of Directors
LtCol Raymond A. Stewart, USMC (Ret)
USMC Vietnam Tankers Association
Vice Pres. and Flame Tanks Rep.
Charles 'Chuck' Garrison
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),
by Jim Coan
by Bob Peavey
by Clyde Hoch
Robert Hugh Gage
1st Marine Division
1st Tank Battalion
03 July 1966PP/ 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.
You are encouraged to access the Command Chronology expanded Abstracts on the Foundation’s website for details. And please, “stay tuned” as the “Tanks and Ontos in Vietnam”, Book is presented.
Our motto "You made history. Your Historical Foundation is making it known" is coming alive and will jump off the pages with The Book.
Dear _________ ,
There is any number of preconceived ideas when undertaking the task of writing a history. That it is going to be no easy path – in fact with the subject of Tanks and Ontos in Vietnam there is no “path”! – is well understood. What we have found to be most daunting is finding an end-point, i.e., a conclusion with this project. While wars historically have had a start point and a conclusion – a declaration (even if implied) or a cause, and an end (even if implied) with a surrender or a treaty, we do not have that luxury in dealing with Vietnam.
The “Vietnam War”, with which we Tankers and Ontos Crewmen are probably most familiar, started some time in early March 1965 and ended in mid-year 1970. So, one may ask, “How difficult can it be to wrap up this little project of writing our history when it’s but five years in length: same equipment and tactics we’ve used for the last couple of fights – only a lot more in both quality and quantity - against a loincloth or black pajama-clad, four foot tall enemy using punji stakes made even more effective by dipping them in poop”.
The fact that ours was in reality the “Second Vietnam War” and that its participants and the reasons for “our” war, with the landing of tanks and Ontos across the beach in DaNang, was preceded by decades of wars and lasted for many years after we left Vietnam - and most left the Corps – comes as somewhat of a surprise. “What the hell happened? We were winning when I left!
The Foundation has been urged to “publish” i.e., just get this effort put together and get it on the street. We have met that request – somewhat and in part – with the establishment and real time management of our web site and the publishing of our periodical E-Letter – The Breech Block. However, by saying the mission of the Foundation is, “You have made history. Your Foundation is making it known”, we are not saying, “You have a great story to tell. Your Foundation will publish it.” We’ll let the Association take care of that.
What we have promised is that we will make every story a piece of history and every author of that story - written or by interview - an historian. We can and will do that by weaving personal stories into the fabric of the Vietnam War, giving the writer and his participation a place in the history of that war. Without this context the story is a “sea story”. And with the acceptance of every story – oral or written – we have moved the stake further to the right as we attempt to place the story and its author in the framework of the war. Thus, the difficulty in defining the criteria for an “end date”; however, a launch timeframe is coming into focus.
So, where am I going with this? We are temporarily suspending the periodic publishing of the Breech Block in order to focus more keenly on getting the history you’ve made published and placed in the archives carrying the weight of an official history of the Marine Corps Tanks and Ontos in the Vietnam War.
And now more than ever, we need your support – both monetary and sweat equity – i.e., proof reading, additional research. And, YES, we will continue to accept personal stories and conduct interviews on request but after 1 September of this year material collected will be stored for inclusion with a future edition to “The History”.
|Mail Call! , Attaboy List and anything else.|
The HEX of the Apricot
Do any of you Tankers remember about the Apricot hex regarding tanks. I don't know where it came from, but it seems to have been around for quite awhile. At least since WW II. It is still in vogue today (as of the first Gulf War) at least as far as Am-tracks are concerned.
If any Apricots were placed aboard a tracked vehicle, said vehicle was bound to have some sort of break down or accident. Although I don't recall opening any cases of “C” Rations just to get rid of the Apricots, once the carton was opened the Apricots were promptly “Shit Canned”.
Any one else remember this?
Lloyd “Pappy” Reynolds
There has been a myth, a legend, whatever, well-founded in the history of tanks traceable to at least the First World War and possibly pre-dating the actual arrival of tanks as a weapon on the field of battle and apricots fresh or in the can that any association of tanks (maybe including Amtrak’s and probably the Ontos) will result in serious harm to the vehicle, its crew, or both.
Included below is a number of web sites attesting to the “HEX of the Apricot”. Of great interest to the Foundation’s History Book staff is, “Did our brother tracksters ever witness any events – however vaguely - that could be connected to an encounter with the apricot?”
Drop us a line or call if you have a story to tell and we’ll continue the legend at least through the Vietnam War.
And last but not least: Bob Peavey’s “Praying for Slack. pp.250 to 254
|"The Book" SitRep:|
No Report this Quarter. See Intro.
|Command Chronologies, Abstracts, and Supplements|
CHRONOLOGY OF KEY MARINE CORPS EVENTS IN THE VIETNAM WAR
|Killed in Action:|
There are Awards and Names that we do not have, Please if you have recieved an Award, let us know at mcvthfb11 at gmail.com
These Marines are all we have listings for, if any one can make additions, or add information, please let us know at mcvthfb11 at gmail.com
National Museum of the Marine Corps Video
National Museum of the Marine Corps Link
|Major USMC Ground Operations in Vietnam.|
January - March Operations in Vietnam
September 1st 2014 to January 14th, 2015
Platinum Plus ~ $1,000 Plus
Platinum ~ $250 - $999
Gold ~ $100 - $249
Silver ~ $50 - $99
Bronze ~ $1 - $49
**In-Kind & Monetary
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