Marine Corps Vietnam Tankers Historical Foundation©
Marine Corps Vietnam-era Tankers and Ontos Crewmen Have Made History.
Your Historical Foundation is Making it Known.
Ontos reunion 2011
May, 2011 ONTOS REUNION
You missed a great ontos reunion. Before I continue, allow me to briefly describe an ontos. Ontos, Greek for "Thing", is a small track vechile (M-50 A-1) , equipped with six 106 mm recoilless rifles on a central turret. It's legacy was short lived 1958 - 1970 but it had an impressive and commendable history in Vietnam
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 amtrak, 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.
The following day we met again in the hospitality room of the CrossRoad 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.
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 expediences with us.
In 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.
Pictures by Dave Shatzer