Volume No. One                              Issue No. Two                                        December 2001

Well here it is the Christmas Newsletter. After the events of September 11th our lives have all changed.

It is hard to believe how much has gone on this year in the world that we live in. Who would have thought that an attack on our soil would ever happen?  I just hope that the patriotism in this country does not waver. I hope that the new found respect that all of our veterans have received does not falter and we finish the job our President has said that he is going to do.

One of the important items to get out to you guys this newsletter is that the Northeast U.S.A. Vietnam Vets is planning their 3rd annual reunion July 26,27, & 28th. You can get more information from Terrance Smith at RR # 1 270M Freehold, New York. Or if you like contact me and I will get the information for you.

The reunion is held in New York State. I have been told nothing but good things about this reunion.

Several of our members have joined the ranks of the retired this year. We wish them well in what ever they are doing now and hope they are taking it easy but staying active and not getting fat in front of the old boob tube.

We are all getting older now and finding out that our health may not be as good as we would hope that it is. I know I have Hepatitis C and am going for treatment of this virus. I am doing something that I did not want to do and that  is going to the VA for assistance.  I will fight this disease the same way I have fought everything else in my life and I am sure that everything will be fine.

Kelly has asked me to request that all of you that haven't been tested for Hepatitis C to do so.  There is a high number of Vietnam era vets that are coming up positive for the disease that is why she urged me to be tested.   The blood test is one you have to request from your family doctor (it is not done with normal blood work for a physical) or by requesting it done at a local VA hospital.  I know of two other members that have it.  Kelly and I will be glad to talk with anyone wanted further information regarding this.  Pass along the word and GET TESTED!!!!

I received and e-mail from a gentleman by the name of Mike McQueen. He lives in Orange, Texas. He is the process of trying to obtain two P5’s to restore for a  museum there.  His address is
Mike McQueen
2513 Newton
Orange, Texas  77630
If any of you can help him I am sure he would appreciate it.

My nephew, Allan, seems to like it in Amtrac school. I have talked to him on the phone and he is due to graduate on Dec 18th. From there who knows what the Corps has in store for him.

The events of Sept 11th have made Kelly and I have second thoughts about our plans to go to the Netherlands in the spring. We are now planning on going in 2003 instead.

Speaking of traveling. Gene Cox and his girlfriend, Linda, journeyed to Vietnam in August. They had a great time and I am looking forward to seeing the photos that I am sure that Gene took while there.

It was a year to remember. We started out by getting to see Jim Lockhart receive his long awaited Silver Star in February. So far this year it is the only time that I remember getting to see any of you  guys as our travel this year was really  low this year.

Opps, forgot all about going to the nephew's graduation and spending time with Gene Cox and Linda. See it really was a long summer or old age is catching up to me.

Our e-mail group of Amtracer's continues to grow. So any of you that have e-mail that have not been receiving messages from us make sure you update us on your address.

Ernest Brown keeps sending me e-mail messages and I reply but about half of the them keep bouncing back. So sometimes the e-mail just does not work as well as planned.

My son, Michael, is well into this training to become a pilot and really loves it. So I am looking forward to a flight with him sometime in the spring.

Went shopping for the first and last time of my life the morning after Thanksgiving and what a mess that was. Really crazy people out and about doing their thing. Now I see why I hate to shop.

As with past newsletters I try to add something from some of the articles that I have from Vietnam during the time frame of the Vietnam War. I am going to type one of them  now.  I am sorry I don't know what the article appeared in but maybe some of you may have been a part of this operation.


By Sgt. R.R. Thurman

DANG NANG- Two Marine Amphibious tractors assaulted a hill during a search and destroy operation without the aid of infantry and drove off a squad of North Vietnamese regulars, killing three of them.

The mechanical attack erupted during heavy fighting between a North Vietnamese army unit and “L” Co. 3rd Bn Seventh Marines, 14 miles southwest of Da Nang.

The amphibian tractor is an armored tracked vehicle listed used in beach landings and in the Vietnam War on ground operations by US Marines.

“Most of the company was pinned down in a village.” Explained Lt. Ed A Taber (York, Pa) executive officer of “A” Co. 3rd Amphibian Tractor Bn. who commanded  the amtrac force attached to “L” Co.

I received the word to move two tractors up a hill a short distance away in order to direct fire down on the enemy he said.

Maneuvering up the hill, they ran up against and enemy force of 10 to 15 men.

They waited till we were right on top of them before they opened up on us said LCpl Kenneth Johnson (Atlantic City, New Jersey) driver of one of the tractors.

“Hand grenades and rifle fire were hitting all over the outside” Johnson related “and rifle grenades started hitting to our side, coming toward us.”

Leathernecks on top of the tractors unleashed a hail of .30 caliber machine gun, grenade and rifle fire, causing the enemy to flee.

Heading down the opposite slope the two landing craft chased the NVA across open rice paddies driving them into a tree line.

“In the open, we dropped two of them,” pointed out Taber, “The men took their time aiming.”

Pulling in front of its sister vehicle, one tractor shielded the others ramp, which was opened to drag two of the enemy bodies inside.

Though the Marines still exchanged fire with the VC in the tree line, they returned to the top of the original hill to carry out their original assignment.

One tractor accounted for another confirmed kill by moving its 35 tons over a sniper operating from a spider hole.

Although continuing to receive fire from all directions, they concentrated their efforts on the enemy that held “L” Co. in the village.

After driving the enemy off, a search of the ememy hill emplacements uncovered a large cave, capable of holding 100 men, with tunnels leading off to fighting holes.

In the tree line where the amtrac Marines  had chased the enemy, numerous blood trails were found, evidence of additional VC casualties.

The amphibious tractor Leathernecks suffered one man wounded, when and round hit his finger.

Like I said I do not know when this combat operation took place but I am sure that some one out there either remembers this incident or some of the Marines that were involved in it. So I hope that you enjoyed the retelling of the story.

I hope that all of you have your Christmas shopping done or at least have made a good start on it. Bargain wise it should be one of the better Christmas seasons to do shopping  with lots of sales.

Just remember to pay attention to your surroundings more than you normally would this year. It is really hard to figure it the terrorist are done with striking here in our country or not.

It is not the same in our great country any more. Lots of fear out there for everyone.

One of the biggest changes is that we no longer have planes flying around our football games pulling banners. I, for one, think that is one of the good things that has happened.

Remember if you are mailing any packages out for Christmas this year to get them in the mail early as the mail is going to be a little slower this year than in  years past.

Also for those of you that may be flying be sure and call the airport to check on what to do to catch your flight as new regulations have changed the way that we fly.

Any of you that wish to make a donation to the Plt. Remember that we request $25 sent to me at PO Box 212 Vermontville, MI 49096

Kelly and I would like to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas.

Semper Fi,

Tom and Kelly Williams
PO Box 212
Vermontville, MI  49096-0212
Your phone calls, e-mails or snail mail are always welcome.



Written By ~ Thomas P. & Kelly Jo Williams
For the Amtrac Platoon

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