MARINE CORPS TANKERS VIETNAM HISTORICAL Foundation's
Vietnam Personal Accounts
Hotel Company, 2/4
As for the Ontos, as a ground pounder (Marine Infantry) from Vietnam and a survivor of Operation Starlite with Hotel Company 2/4, I can only say that the Ontos was THE most impressive weapon on that operation. When Charlie had us pinned down in that murderous crossfire and those Ontos rolled in and opened up with the 50's and those six 106's, you would have thought that the entire Marine Corps had landed. Charlie was going in every direction they couldslipping and slidingand not in mud either.
In my recollection of events, it was the Ontos that actually blasted a hole in the hedgerow so the big tanks could join in on the battle and let loose with a few well placed "streams" from a flame tank. If it weren't for Ontos intervention, we would have lost what little cover we were able to hold onto at that particular time of the battle.
Granted, they were light and at times a hindrance to the big boys, but all-in-all I don't think you will find a true Marine grunt that didn't appreciate an Ontos or two hanging around. My philosophy was always akin to the fact that I would always rather have an Ontos that moved rather quickly when you needed them to, with those six big 106 rifles, then one medium or heavy tank with I big howitzer. I know my future wife and children sure were happy that they were around.