Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation

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2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 1st Tank Battalion.

Pictures contributed by James Sausoman.


2nd Plt. Alpha Co. 1st Tks, Camp Hansen, Okinawa, Aug. 1965

In July of 1965 we received word to pack and mount out for the land of Viet Nam. We got the tanks ready and drove them to the bay and loaded on Mike boats then to San Diego. It was there we loaded the tanks on an LST, USS Wexford County ( LST 1168). It would take us 22 days to arrive in Okinawa. We off loaded the tanks and stayed at Camp Hansen until 9 September of 1965 before going south to Viet Nam. This time we loaded on a LSD -7, USS Oak Hill. We off loaded at Danang South Viet Nam. Our first week we stood guard around the air base and pulled details around the area. One day I was on a detail to haul bodies to the morgue that had come in. At night we were on the line. After the week of duty around the airbase we were deployed to different areas with grunt units. Our first area we went to was the 7th Marines.

Arriving in Danang

Tanks at the 3rd Tk. Bn. area, Hill 10.
Arvin Tanks

Arriving in Vietnam, we were assigned to guard the Air Base during the first weeks.

Watching planes come in from our bunkers. Sep. 1965.
Watching planes come in from our bunkers.  Sep. 1965.

Vietnamese Bus's.

7th Marines area, Danang.

Sgt Rosales and unknown Marine along with LCpl Sausoman on their tank near the 7th Marine perimeter. This was around September, 1965.

Our tank near the 7th Marines area and our new platoon headquarters northeast of Danang, South Vietnam Sept of 1965

Our first home in country was this tent. During the rains it was all mud and the water ran through the tent so we put pallets down and the rain ran under the pallets, but we still got wet.

The tank I was on, you can see the tarp hanging from the turret. It was used to cover us during the night of guard and to break our silhouettes from the skyline

Lt. Chandler our platoon leader

Pfcs Garrnett and Lillian with Sgt Rosales in front of our tank

Our second tent after the engineers built a frame and put the tent over it. Was much more comfortable than the first. We only had dirt floor and mud in the first tent.

LCpl Sausoman outside the Lts tent. This is in the 7th Marines area.

Cpl Carroll Wright by our tank in the platoon area near 7th Marines

Sgt. J. P. McClosky was our Tank Commander. He is doing some PM on the tank. Taken near the platoon headquarters in the 7th Marines area

Taken is September, 1965 near Namo bridge. We were assigned with a platoon of grunts to guard the bridge and conduct patrols across the river.

One of our first camps our near Namo bridge. It was late 1965

One of the marines from the platoon guarding the bridge.

The Disney Land Express going over the bridge at Namo - 1965

Pfc Powell coming out of the tent with some Cs for lunch Namo bridge

Pfc Smith with his Cs

Pfc Lillian with his lunch

Garrnett and Lillian with the stove to heat the Cs

Sgt Rosales was my tank commander on A23

SSgt Jones acting crazy just as he was normally

Our tanks parked by the river north of Danang and near the Namo bridge -1965

Im at the battalion tank part for preventive maintaince on the tank and someone had a monkey I played with for a short time. (Chico?)

A blade tank at the battalion area clearing an area and smoothing it out.

A tank on line after the blade tank dug a emplacement for it at the battalion area

One of the bunkers that was on the line around the Battalion area.

One of the 7th Marines on guard on the tower overlooking Namo bridge early 1966 or late 1965

A former VC that a fisherman brought in after being in the river a day or two. Might have been one caught at the bridge a few nights earlier

Just getting sunrise at the Namo bridge and caught the tank in the dawn.

Joe Landaker at our platoon area after he and the flame tank burnt the area in front of the lines

Joe's Flame Tank.

LCpl Sausoman at Namo bridge, around October, 1965

Tank A23 conducting a firing mission across the river on suspected areas of infiltration.

Pfc. Dale Carr and LCpl Sausoman at Namo bridge. Carr brought a box of goodies out to Sausoman.

Marine Corps Ontos. A tank killer but used in Vietnam as fire power when needed. Had six 105 recoilless rifles mounted on it.

Our tank lost the track on the hill and we had to break it to fix it.

Our tank lost the track on the hill and we had to break it to fix it.

Looking up the hill and you can see the track laying out in front of the tank. Also up on the hill you can see the bunkers we used.