One Old Marine Meeting Another

One Old Marine Meeting Another Admin |

I met Gunny R Lee back in 2003-04 at a motorcycle show in Boston, ask if he was a “Hollywood Marine”, he laughed and said he was. I then asked why he hasn’t done a show about the M-40 Ontos, he said that he saw them in Nam but they were not very safe as a 50 cal. could go right thru them. I explained that they were not designed for that kind of war, the were designed to hide in the brush at cross roads etc.and hit Soviet tanks then screw fast out of the area. They were equip with 6 -106 recoil-less rifles with 2 – 4 50 cal. spotting rifles mounted with tracer rounds, on the top 2-4 Rifles. I knew this as I was a member of the 2nd Anti-Tank Bn. Camp Lejune, NC in ’59-’61. Sadden to hear about the beloved Gunny. So young as I am 4 years older than he was. Semper Fi, Godspeed & Rest at Easy Gunny your brothers and sisters will miss you and remember you for the Corps you loved.


An operation I was on in Vietnam in 66-67 had some Ontos that I never saw until they fired I was about 50 yards away and several Marines yelled “incoming”. Because of tall elephant grass I could not see the Ontos and thought we were being shot at until I walked to a spot where I saw them.


GySgt Morrison you ever stationed HQMC.

Sgt David Kennedy,

I was an Admin Clerk in both Charlie and Bravo Companies while with 2dATBn in 1965-66. I also obtained a secondary MOS of 0353 while with them and got orders to Vietnam as an 0141/0353.

Richard W. Morrison, GySgt USMC (RET) ’65-’85,

God Bless the Marine(man) that he was .Thank you God and the Marine Corps for the Marine(man) he became in life. I wished many times that I could make it to an event he was at.I am an old generation X er (81-86),it was a good time to see a lot of the stuff used today come into being or being tested.

Greg L/cpl “Spiderman”,



Rest in Peace, and God Speed, Gunny. You brought many to the Marine Corps, and you meant a lot to all of us, especially Vietnam Vets.

Ken Mongar, Sgt. USMC, ’66-’70,


Larry Tokach S/Sgt. U.S.M.C. 65/71,

There were some Ontos at Quantico just across from OCS in the early 80s. They were just collecting dust and I hope they’ve found a home at the museum. I never had the honor of meeting the Gunny, but I would like to echo my brothers who did and simply say Semper Fi, do ir die. God’s blessings on you and all Marines Gunny.

Eoin Stewart,

I was on a month long Search and Destroy operation with 2/7 in late 1966 north of the Chu Lai area when we were joined by 2 Ontos for 2 or 3 days. On the second day that the Ontos were with us we received some sniper fire from our left flank. Our Battalion was walking single file, 20 to 25 feet apart along the top of a one foot wide rice paddy dike when the shots came in from the jungle tree line about 400 yards away, parallel to our direction of travel. 30 seconds later the command “Get down behind the dike” was shouted along the line of Marines and everyone dived into the water on our right flank. The 2 Ontos, 30 to 40 feet from the dike on our right flank, pivoted to their left behind us – pointing towards the jungle tree line. Each Ontos fired several 50 cal spotter rounds into the jungle, made adjustments, then each fired 6 – 106 Beehive rounds into the jungle, to great effect. No more sniper rounds that day. The sound of the 12 106 rounds launching and traveling 2 -3 feet over our heads was deafening, as were the airburst “crack” of each Beehive round when they detonated in the jungle canopy. This was one of my Viet Nam service highlights. PMI T. Donovan

CPL Tim Donovan,

At “THE Gunny’s” celebration of life, his daughter spoke of R. Lee …she ended her eulogy with, “Show me your war face”!!! The church filled with Marines all replied back…..AAAAAAAAAAAHHHH…..brought tears to my eyes!!

Howard Hada,

I was with 2nd Anti-Tank Bn. Co. “C” late 63 to middle of 64 then opted for some specialized training. The “Ontos” was never allowed to be used the way it should have been in Nam, to bad cause they were fast mean little mothers with a lot of firepower.

Jerry LaFreniere,

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