Tracking Our History
By Francis Remkiewicz
Tracking Our HistoryAug 01, 2022
Episode 44 Alonzo Jacobs: A Different Perspective
Alonzo Jacobs was a motor transport Marine assigned to First Tanks. "Heavy Duty" brings a different perspective to our podcasts. Assigned to First Tanks as a Motor T guy, Alonzo talks about many of the firefights and incidents reported by others assigned to First Tanks but from the perspective as a witness as much as a participant. Listening to Alonzo weave a story is a great joy.
The music is used by license from the owners.
Episode 43 with Dennis Fresch
As with so many of our tanker friends, Dennis today is deeply involved and quite successful in the automobile racing experience. This episode takes him back to his time in First Tanks and the fire fights in and around Goi Noi Island and Hoi Ahn.
Episode 34 Ron Colucci
Episode 34 with Ron Colucci is another in our series of tankers who are providing the true stories behind the Viet Nam War. I have included the post Viet Nam discussion to provide some additional flavor of the kinds and types of discussion that routinely take place between Marine Tankers. There are couple of noteworthy notes in this part of the interview. First and foremost is the exceptionally fascinating assignments Ron had after Viet Nam. You will also hear a little about the upcoming Wyoming mini-reunion in DuBois, Wyoming. The primary goal of this trip is to get a bunch of "old farts" back behind the wheels of and M48-A3 tank one more time. Shortly after the trip to DuBois there will be a podcast detailing the trip and the experience of the M48 one last time. That is one podcast you will not want to miss.
a note bout the picture for this podcast. The hole you see was made by and rocket propelled grenade. The damage on the outside is minimal compared to the horrific shattering of the inside wall of the tank.
The music is licensed to the United States Marine Corps Viet Nam Tankers Association by the various organizations that own the rights.
Episode 33 Mike Belmesserri The 'Tweeners'
Episode 33 is a unique podcast in that our main interviewee is a unique individual. Mike represents the transition from Viet Nam to Stateside. Mike has experienced the strong need to get to Viet Nam to fight with his comrades-in-arms and the disappointment of being denied that opportunity. And the experiences Mike has since his time in the Corps is also relatively unique in that he has stayed in very close contact with the Marine Corps through the Marine Corps League. In the city in which he resides he has had opportunities that are rare even for non-military persons. For example, he has been in close contact with such noteworthy people as George Schultz, former Secretary of State, Dianne Feinstein, current California US Senator, and Jackie Speier, current US Congresswoman. You will hear that and much more in this long podcast. It is well worth your time to listen.
Episode 40 Jan Scruggs
We are so very fortunate to have on our podcast the creator and builder of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. This is a terrific podcast where Jan goes from his own experiences in Viet Nam to the creation and then the completion of the Viet Nam Memorial Wall. There is a very special introduction to this podcast. We all have heard of Margaritaville have we not? For you young-uns' it is Jimmy Buffett's most notable song. Turns out that Jan Scruggs and Jimmy Buffett are good friends. While Jan was in the hospital Jimmy Buffett wrote a little song for Jan. With permission, that song is the intro to our podcast tonight. All music used by permission of copyright/owners.
Episode 32 Gerry Hearne Part 2
After the cliff hanger in part 1 you will want to hear how Gerry was extracted from the battle site. This great story-teller weaves a fascinating conclusion to his time in Viet Nam and his life since that time.
All music is used by permission. The USMC Viet Nam Tankers Association wish to gratefully acknowledge Country Joe McDonald and the donation of his music from the album the Viet Nam Experience.
Episode 32 Gerry Hearne Part 1
This is an absolutely fascinating interview with Gerry Hearne. Gerry did three tours in Viet Nam all with 1st Tank Battalion. n part 1 we get a look at Gerry's background before he entered the Marine Corps and a birds-eye view of one of the most harrowing first days in country you will ever her about. Gerry is a great story teller. Within the story you will find the inner strength of not just Gerry, but every Marine in our Association. Listen closely as he discusses his background and up-bringing.
The music is, as always, paid for under the copyright rules to the appropriate parties. The music from Country Joe and the Fish has been graciously donated to the Association for our expressed use by Joe McDonald. The USMC Viet Nam Tankers Association is most grateful for his contribution.
Episode 28 Virgil Melton 2ND Platoon Sergeant
This episode you are all going to like. Virgil Melton is a tanker from Texas who covers a lot of experiential ground. Great family guy he talks about his time in country as well as brings us up to date on what he is doing today.
All music and sound effects are used with permission.
Episode 31 Ben Cole, Water Buffalos and Mud
This is episode 31 with Ben Cole. Once again a thoroughly entertaining history of a Viet Nam Tanker in RVD from 1966-1968/ Ben talks of cruises, artillery and water buffalo(not the kind you may be thinking about right now) and the infamous red clay mud. Give it a listen.
Music is used with copyright permission.
Episode 26 Praying for Slack Part 2 Bob Peavey
Continuing on with Bob Peavey as he goes into some detail as to recon by fire and some interesting experiences when he did that.
Episode 26 Praying For Slack Part 1 Bob Peavey
In part 1 of Episode 26 Bod talks about operation Allenbrook, Goi Noi Island and his entry in both the Marine Corps as well as his arrival in-Country.
Episode 27 Roger Luli
Episode 27 is with Roger Luli. He commanded both a Tank Platoon and an Ontos Platoon. His story begins with his time at Penn State University right through his full tour of duty in Viet Nam,
Episode 24: Harry Schossow and the Blade Tank
This is another of those special episodes in which we discuss a specialty tank, that of a blade tank. To find out what a blade tank is I hope you will listen in on this great discussion. Harry Schossow, currently in a hospital due to primary progressive multiple sclerosis, shares his experiences in Viet Nam as a Blade Tank commander. A fascinating blade tank commander, Harry spent over 20 straight moths i Viet Nam without so much as a single R&R.
Episode 19 Hue/Dai Do/Typhoons
This is an extensive discussion with John Wear. John just arrived in country and was shipped to Hue in the early stages of the battle. His descriptions of Hue and Typhoon Bess are absolutely fascinating. The music is used with permission from the writer and performer, Sailor Jerri.
Episode 18 Part 2 Wally Young
This episode is a continuation of the multiple firefights in which Wally was involved. You will learn new names of places you may not have heard of before. While you will hear about dozens of firefights this portrayal by Wally is fairly precise and graphic. The music this time is a rather unusual singer for Viet Nam vets. But if you listen to the words closely you will find that Arlo has moderated his position and it is the first "folk singer from the 60's" to actually begin to understand the Viet Nam vet. Nobody seems to notice when a soldier makes it home has taken on a renewed meaning since Afghanistan was abandoned. The audience ought not to be fooled by the hype and press now or then. Marines are warriors and warriors go where they are told to go and fight who they are told to fight. There is an old adage that seems to conveniently slip peoples minds. "Old men make wars that young men must fight."
Music is used by permission. ASCAP licensing.
Episode 18 Wally Young
Drivers, Drivers, Drivers. Yep, without a good driver one was in a world of hurt. Today is, by consensus, the best driver in Viet Nam. At least during his tour. This is part 1 of two parts and I believe you will enjoy both parts. Music is performed by Billy Rae Cyrus and is used with permission from ASCAP and BMI.
Episode 17 Andy Anderson
This is Part I of two parts that describe some of the more unusual ways we spent our time. The listener may even find it a continuation of a conversation that was begun one dark night close to the Demilitarized Zone. Recordings are all used with permission from the owner/publisher.
Episode 16 James Coan and The Hill of Angels
Most everyone has heard of the siege Khe Sanh. Did you know that before Khe Sanh there was the siege of Con Tien. The siege of Con Tien took place on May 8, 1967 which was exactly 10 years after the siege of Dien Bien Phu - only this time the outcome was significantly different. The North Vietnam lost several thousand soldiers this time. Listen and learn about the tough and determined Marines and Marine Tankers who sowed the NVA just how different the Marines are from the French. Listen to one of the knowledgeable Marine Officers lay out the details of one of the most dangerous places in all of Vietnam.
Episode 14 The Wunsch Family
This interview is one of the most intriguing of all. Here the audience gets a real glimpse of a close family and how they each dealt with to death of a brother. As the audience will learn, The death of Captain Wunsch has left a hole in each member's heart. this is the story of how a family lives through conceivably the worst tragic event of anyone's life.
Music is Requiem for Vietnam Part 1/2 by Country Joe and the Fish. The USMCVTA is most grateful for the use of this music and a heartfelt thank you to Joe McDonald.
Episode 13 Grady Nappier
This is the second in a continuing series about the Idaho Canyon Operation and the firefight between an NVA Regiment and Kilo Co. 3/3 with Alpha Co. 3rd Tanks. Episode 12 spoke of a unique experience of one of the tankers. Episode 13 speaks to the battle raging with Alpha 24. Episode 14 will be the concluding episode with the family of Captain Michael Wunsch, the Company Commander of Alpha Co, 3rd Tanks. The beloved commander of he company was killed almost immediately at the start of the firefight. Music for the episode is a Vietnam standard, Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones. ASCAP has licensed this song to the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association. As the governing body of Tracking Our History all rights are reserved to the interviewee and the Association. The right to copy, duplicate, record is prohibited without the writt3en permission of the USMCVTA.
Episode 12 Dave Turner and the Vision
Episode 12 with Dave Turner is a fascinating study into battlefield phenomenon. An experience such as this is rare but not unheard of. I believe the audience will be both intrigued and stunned by this unusual happening. The music is Mourning Blues, donated to the VTA by Country Joe MacDonald. We are pleased that the music from Joe's album, Vietnam Experience, is both fitting and appropriate for the work we are doing.
Episode 11 Love Letters
Episode 11 is an interview with Bruce and Nancy Appeldoorn. Bruce and Nancy have been married for over 50 years. The story starts shortly before Vietnam. This episode focuses on the time Bruce is in Vietnam and the correspondence between this couple during Bruce's time in Vietnam. As you listen you will be convinced as I am that this is joyful side of a couple brought together by love, separated by war, and reunited in marriage. The music is used by permission from ASCAP.
Episode 10 Lt. Pete Rich
This episode is a very far ranging episode with the Secretary of the USMC Vietnam Tankers Association. We talk about Pete's experiences in Vietnam as a tank officer in yet another Company of the 3rd Tank Battalion. We also talk about Pete's responsibilities as the Secretary of the VTA and the great work he has done in the area of documenting the experiences of Marine tankers in Vietnam in a wide range of media.
The music is very recognizable, albeit in the background, from the Vietnam era. In fact, Paint It Black by the Rolling Stones will usually bring to mind the many and varied memories of many a Vietnam veteran. We thank ASCAP for the rights and privilege of presenting this song. As always, used by permission.
Episode 9 Rick Lewis On the Occasion of the Marine Corps Birthday
This episode was recorded on November 10, 2020, the 245th Birthday of the United States Marine Corps. We talk about an operation on January, 1967; drill instructors, and the lore of the Marine Corps. Rick is a retired First Sergeant and the listening audience will find a bunch of information in this dandy little interview. It includes three different versions, one of which is the original version.
Episode 8 Hank Fuller
WE all have our favorite tank platoon leaders. Hank Fuller is mine. In this episode Hank talks about his time in the grunts. After his three months "pounding ground" Lt. Fuller arrived at 2nd Platoon, Alpha Company, 3rd Tank Battalion. Hank will also share some of his work as a notifications officer in and around New York. A specially moving story appears towards the end of this episode. Be sure and listen through the end, Music for this episode is Strange Days by the Doors. It is used by permission from ASCAP.
Episode 7 Clyde Hoch
Intermission 1 of Tracking Our History
Music graciously donated by Country Joe MacDonald and Bob Belmont. Intermissions a brief explanations of material that has been published but may need further explanation. These are unscheduled and may be published at any time.
Episode 5 Light 'Em Up
Episode 5 is an interview with Thomas "Sparrow" Moad. Sparrow was the most junior grade Flame Tank Commander in Vietnam. As a PFC (Private First Class) he was given command of a Flame Tank he nicknamed Aftermath, a reference to the Rolling Stones. This is a fascinating walk in the boots of a warrior in a unique and frightening weapon of war that was equipped with napalm and a match. Gives a whole new meaning to "crispy critters".
Our grateful acknowledgement to Country Joe for the use of his song Agent Orange.
Episode 6 over Hill and Dale
Episode 4: "When an old person dies a library burns to the Ground" African Proverb
Episode 4 of Tracking Our History is a talk with John Wear, President of USMC Vietnam Tankers Association. This is all the "hot scoop" on the USMC Tankers Association, founding, reunions, work, and membership. Music is graciously provided by Mutt Cooper, writer/performer, and made available through one of our own, Wally Young.
Episode 3: Tracking Our History All In the Family
This will be a unique listening opportunity. Throughout the Vietnam War the focus, justifiably, has always been on the military. In this interview we will hear from a family member whose brother was killed in Vietnam, the brothers experiences at the time of the incident, and how it has affected his life since. This is a remarkable look into the heart and soul of a relative of a Vietnam veteran. This is "don't miss stuff". Music is used by permission from Concord Music. Thank you Wolfgang and LeAnn.
Episode 2 Driving with "Blues"
Come along with Roger "Blues" Unland as he drives up to Con Thien and back to Dong Ha. Along the way we will learn a lot about the Marine who was among the best tank drivers in Vietnam. Listen in as he salutes another driver who "Blues" considers one of the best drivers as well. Once again our thanks to Country Joe MacDonald and Bill Belmont for the music they so graciously donated to our podcasts.