Newsletter Issue 2 2017


President's Message

Happy Birthday To Our Tanker Family

Greetings Fellow Tankers Association Members,

I am focusing this message on encouraging all who can attend the combined reunion in St. Louis to do so. Members who belong to our MCTA Association and the Vietnam Tankers Association will not have to choose one reunion or the other to attend in 2017. Coming to St. Louis in September, one will be able to see friends and comrades from both organizations.

I do regret that this year’s registration will cost you an additional $25 per attendee. If this additional registration cost would preclude your attendance, please notify me by the most expeditious means possible. I will dig into my own pocket. That is the importance I am placing on YOU attending this combined reunion. Furthermore, any member that has ever hosted a reunion or similar affair knows the importance of having a fairly accurate head count as early as possible. This allows planners to tailor events and supporting logistics at the lowest possible cost and ensure that everything is properly coordinated.

Please read in detail the report by your scholarship committee chairman, Steve Chambers. Your Association expends both finances and time, ensuring that those eligible have an opportunity for scholarships. Your past life memberships, current annual dues and support of our reunion raffle coupled with sound financial management by your board of directors makes this possible. On behalf of the board of directors, I thank you.

I conclude with the hope of seeing as many of you as possible in St. Louis. I thank the Vietnam Tankers Association for extending the invitation for a combined reunion. Time will tell how successful this initial effort at closer association will be, but I’m sure a good time will be had by all.


George Rose (“Smokepole”)

Soon you will receive a letter from the Directors asking for your choices about the future direction for our Association. Please answer the questions and return your reply with this year’s ballot. It is important that we receive input from as many members as possible, therefore, we are making this extra effort to
contact everyone about the upcoming proposals and expenses. Remember, this is your Association and we at the Headquarters work for the benefit of this Association but we cannot work in a vacuum. Please reply quickly.
Your Scholarship tickets will soon be delivered. Please join in our annual drive by buying them and contribute more so that we can continue supporting our Marine families.
Thank you to Jane Harding who is trying to retire as my assistant. She has worked for you the last six years providing data base expertise. A thankful greeting to her replacement goes out to Maureen Studenka who has taken on the mantle of data processing. Welcome Maureen! I would like to devote all my time to membership from now on and l need to find a replacement for my duties as Executive Secretary. Write or call if interested or recently retired and looking for satisfying volunteer work helping Marines maintaining a connection to the Corps.

From the Website manager

In issue 1-2017, I wrote a short article about the website, urging folks to take a look. This is about the mechanics; how to get on, what to look for, and maybe how to add some of your pictures to the gallery and how you can help keep it current.

So, the first trick is to open the web Easy to follow steps

  1. Go to the world wide web page on your computer. At the top type: “”. Hit the enter key.
  2. Now you should be on our web page- a hint should be the bright red Tankers Association logo at the top
  3. Once you are there- you will see subcategories tabs: Home/President’s Page, Join, Scholarship, Support, Events, Photo Gallery, New members, In Memoriam, Newsletters, Contact Us
  4. Those “categories are like the ever-evolving chapters of our book. Click on one of those sub categories and see what happens. Don’t worry, you can’t change anything or do any damage by trying out these
  5. The Chapters…
    1. The Home page– just a general statement of the mission and a group picture of the last reunion
    2. The “President’s Page”- this is where out Association President gets to send us “the word
    3. The “Join page” is where you send people for an online application and a list of the (FYI) we haven’t gotten to the pay pal stage yet so they will have to pay by check- for now.
    4. The “Scholarships Page” has the year awardees for our scholarships. There are pictures and short biographies of these folks including what year they are currently in school. At the very bottom of this section is an application form and
    5. The “Support Page. This has information on foundations that support the scholarship program and how to make contributions to the
    6. The “Events Page”. This is where we post information on upcoming events. There is a rolling gallery of pictures for you and others to view. Most of the pictures are of past
    7. The “Photo Gallery” contains most of the MCTA pictures that have been taken at events or historical pictures provided to me by the membership. The section has 2 parts. The first section has 8 pictures with a bunch of numbers below. Those contain 8 more pictures each. The bottom section has 7 or 8 featured pictures. These have a short explanation with
    8. The “New Members” page is just that- pictures and short bios of new joins. If you are a new join and see that you don’t have a picture of your bio- please mail me or email me a jpeg head shot of you. My email is A MCTA logo will be seen if no
    9. The In “Memoriam Page”. Unfortunately, all of us are not here forever. This is where we post the passing of a member. To keep this current, someone must let us
    10. The “Newsletters Page”. This is where you will find links to our current and past newsletters. If you have something newsworthy or something that you think the membership might enjoy reading, please send it to Lloyd Fitzpatrick at
    11. The Contact Us This page has some important email addresses on it as well as website addresses of associate organizations.

The most important thing to remember, this is your website and newsletter. Those of us who input and edit information, have little idea what’s happening in your worlds. Keep us informed and help keep the website and newsletter up to date.


Help Wanted!

By Rich Hine

Looking for MCTA members who are willing and able to represent the Association at the various regional military fairs, conventions, museums, and other events where Marines are likely to attend. The mission is to establish face-to-face contact with Marine Tankers and their families to tell them about the MCTA and encourage them to join.
Our representative must have good people skills and be willing to coordinate with the local hosting organization to secure a table, shelter and other necessary items. The MCTA will provide banners, cards, and other promotional items to help make the mission a success. Additionally, I will provide admin support where needed or requested.
In my experience, this job may require you to be onsite to help set up the shelter, organize the table and be at the table to answer questions for up to 8 hours per day. We all live in different regions and are aware of those local events that draw Marine Tankers. We need your help in identifying those events and getting Marine Tankers to join the Association.
Remember- the pay is zero but the rewards are plenty.
I am working on compiling lists of annual and special tank/armor related events around the US. When you send me a positive reply, I will add you to a list of those willing to stand in at one of these events.
Please use me as a point of contact in this effort. If you are willing and able to be one of our forward representatives, please send me an email at


Reunion Notes

For Friday’s reunion kickoff event, there is a chance for attendees to win a free room. Ticket stub will be in your packet available for Thursday pickup. No late arrival or entries.

Many meals are on your own (O. Y. O.) but venues are always within walking distance. This reunion is no different than the ones you are used to in terms of being at the appropriate place on time. Updated itineraries will be posted on the “Torsion Bar” door.

No trip to St. Louis would be complete without the Budweiser Plant tour. Notice shuttle buses will be traversing between three locations. Times and length is of your choosing. Times for the tram over the Arch have been reserved in advance at forty per trip.

This is a combined reunion and the Vietnam Tankers Association has made all of the arrangements. Schedules, times and special circumstances will be coordinated as specified in your packet. If an attendee requires special transportation needs, please indicate such with your registration.

2017 St Louis Reunion
Sheraton Westport Chalet
1-888-627 7066

Thursday, 21 September
0900 – 2330Arrival Day & Registration
0900 – 2330The Torsion Bar Is Open Lunch and dinner on your own (O Y O)
Friday, 22 September
0800 – 1000Reunion Kickoff & VTA Bus Mtng
0800 – 1000Ladies coffee in the ????? room
1000 &1030Two Buses each time for Boeing
1000 – 1130Staggered Boeing Tour
1130 – 1145Depart Boeing for St. Charles
1200 -1500Lunch O. Y.O and shuttles to casino 1445
Last bus from casino to hotel
1730 – 1830BID & BITE Italian Buffet Dinner (Versailles Ballroom)
1830 -2030Live Auction
2030 -2300Torsion Bar Open
Saturday, 23 September
0800 -0930Reveille and breakfast (O. Y. O)
1000Buses depart for St. Luis Archway
1030Group photo
#####Buses begin shuttles to Casino, Bud and History Museum
1100Exclusive tram trips to Arch top
40 members per trip every 15 mins
1630Bus departs for hotel
1400 -2300Torsion Bar Open
Sunday, 24 September
0900 – 1030MCTA General Mtg
1030 – 1200MCTA Board of Directors Mtg
1700 – 2130Farwell Banquet
Monday, 25 September
Farewells and Departures


2017 St Louis Reunion

Sheraton Westport Chalet

September 21 – September 25

Want to save $25?

Mail your registration before July 31

  • Vietnam Tank or AT

  • Reunion Refund Policy: If you find that you cannot attend the St Louis reunion after you have pre-paid your reunion fees, the USMC VTA will refund your total reunion fees if you notify us prior to July 31, 2017. If you notify us of your cancellation after that date, we are sorry but we cannot make any refund offer

    Pre-July 31 Form
  • Men’s T·Shrt Sites 5-XL = $15each
    ($5.00txt,_ forXXl& XXXLI
  • NAME (S) asyou want them toappear onyourreunion name C
My Registration fee: $160$
(After July 31st the late registration fee is $185 per person) 
My T-Shirt$1M2()$
Number of guestsX$160$
(Early registration fee for each guest is $160.00)
Guest T-shirtX $1M2()  
  SUBTOTAl = $
Optional: Would you like to donate a few dollars
to help with the beer fund?

You must make your own hotel room reservations by August 30th to get the low room rate!
Call: 1-888-627-7066 and be sure to mention both the “Sheraton Westport Chalet” and “USMC Vietnam
Tankers Reunion” for the special room rate of $119.00 per night. The special room rate is good for three
days prior and three days after the reunion dates as well. Please note the regular hote room rate is $180
per night.

CAUTION:Do not confuse the above hotel bookingdeadline date with

the eorly reglstrotlon offer whichhas a July 31″deadline.



Submit this fonn along with your payment byJuly 31st to purchase a reunion t-shirt and save $25 oil of the Reunion Registration Fee

Send check ormoney order made out to: USMC VTA and the completed registration loon to:


c/o Ron Knight

6665 Burnt Hickory Orive Hoschton, GA 30548-8280

Marine Corps Tankers Association Scholarship Program

 The Marine Corps Tankers Association, as one of its core functions, offers a college scholarship program for Marines and Sailors who served in Marine Corps Tank Battalions and their eligible dependents.

Service members or a former service member must be able to establish their assignment and service with a Marine Corps Tank Battalion by official records. To be eligible, dependents must be able to establish a parent or grandparent who served in a Marine Corps Tank Battalion. Relationships beyond grandparents are not considered for awards.

The Marine Corps Tankers Association Scholarship Program continues for 2017 as a core activity of our Association. This year, the First Lieutenant Michael LiCalzi Memorial Scholarship and the John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship attracted 19 exceptional young men and women. The number of applicants increased by 5 from the previous year. The quality of the applicants for 2017 can only be described as exceptional!

This year, as in the past four, through the exceptional generosity of The LiCalzi Family’s “Ace in the Hole” Foundation, seven scholarships were awarded in the memory of 1stLt Michael LiCalzi who gave his life in combat in Iraq, along with the crew of his M1A1 tank. Mr. Greg LiCalzi, Michael’s twin brother, established the scholarship in 2014 in his brother’s memory. This scholarship provides $3000 stipends to exceptionally well qualified college bound and university students who are dependents of Marine tankers.

Additionally, five applicants were selected for the John Cornelius-Max English Scholarship. Three of those selected were continuations from 2016. Two others were new selectees. Each of the Cornelius- English selectees will receive a $2000 scholarship stipend.

For new and returning applicants, scholarship forms must be sent to Steve Chambers-Chairman, MCTA Scholarship Committee at 1922 South Freeman St, Oceanside, Ca 92054. Email him with questions to Steve Chambers

All interested applicants are encouraged to apply now!. The application process is detailed and requires several items: letters of recommendation, GPA information, school activities information, etc. These need to get to the selection committee in a timely manner. Scholarship winners and notifications of awards will be done during April/May 2018.

2017 St Louis Reunion

Alexzondra Mattson

LiCalzi Scholarship (year 1). Alexzonda is a daughter of a career Marine Tanker. Resides in Va. Beach. 2017 Graduate of Princess Anne HS with a cumulative GPA of 4.0. Plans to study medicine and become an orthopedic surgeon.

Allison DeCicco

LiCalzi Scholarship- (year 2). Resides in Wildermere Fl. Daughter of an 8th Tank Bn. tanker. High school GPA 3.7. Graduated 12th in a class of 648. Currently attending George Washington University, maintaining a 3.7 GPA. Pursuing a career in computer

Darius Mattson

LiCazi Scholarship (year 1). Resides in Va. Beach. Son of a career Marine Tanker. Graduate of Ocean Lakes HS with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. Honors mathematics, English and Japanese languages. Scholastic Bowl Team Captain.

George Papas

LiCazi Scholarship (year 1). Resides in Binghamton NY. His father served in the 8th Tank Bn. Graduated from Susquehanna Valley HS with a cumulative 4.0 GPA. As a senior, named Student of the Year for his achievements in science and engineering.

Katherine Slaughter

LiCalzi Scholarship (year 2). Resides in O'Fallon, Il. Attending University of Alabama. Completing her sophomore year, maintaining a 4.0 GPA, majoring in elementary education with plans on teaching children with exceptional needs.

Micailya Mattson

LiCalzi Scholarship (3rd year). Resides in Va Beach. Daughter of a career Marine Tanker. Maintained a 4.0 GPA in high school. Currently in junior year at the College of William and Mary. College GPA 3.9. Pursuing a pre-medical curriculum.

Madison Cuozzi

LiCalzi Scholarship (year 1). Lives in Clinton, Maine. Daughter of an NCO who served in the 1st and 3rd Tank Battalions. Attends Joseph P Keefe Technical High School, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. Plans to attend the University of Massachusetts or Worchester State University.

Alexa Stopa

John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship (3rd year). Resides in Greenville, NC. Daughter of career Marine Tanker. Attends East Carolina University maintaining a 3.25 GPA. Her second year GPA rose to 3.76. Pursuing a career in elementary

Emely McLain

John Cornelius-Max English Scholarship (4th year). Resides in Jacksonville, NC. Daughter of a career Marine Tanker. High school GPA 3.9. Enrolled in North Carolina Wesleyan College. Carries a double major of psychology and criminal justice.

Jacob McCulloh

John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship (4th year). Resides in San Marcos, Ca. Son of a Marine Tanker from the 8th Tank Battalion. High school GPA 3.9. Enrolled at San Diego state University, maintaining a 3.56 GPA. Dean's List every semester.

Lance Corporal Parker Moses USMCR

John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship (2nd year). Resides in Preston, Idaho. Currently member of Company C, 4th Tank Battalion. Graduated from Preston HS in 2015 with a 3.55 GPA. Currently enrolled at Brigham Young University.

Hanna Redifer

John Cornelius-Max English Memorial Scholarship (4th year). Resides in Fairfax, Va. Daughter of a career Marine Tanker. In her final year at Auburn University. Has maintained a 3.56 GPA. Pursuing a BS degree in Building Science.

Colonel Paul Lessard USMC Ret.


HAMPTON – Local Marine Corps legend, Colonel Paul F. Lessard, USMC Ret., whose service to our nation spanned 35 years, including combat tours in the Korean Conflict and Vietnam, passed peacefully on to his heavenly Father on Wednesday, May 30, 2017 surrounded by his family after courageously battling a long-term illness.

Lessard graduated from Hampton Academy where he played on the undefeated football team that won the State Championship in 1948 with his best buddy, Donnie Walker. He was married to Dorothy Quintal Lessard for 61 years and together they raised three children; Paul J. Lessard of High Point, N.C., Beth Schottman of Lenexa, Kan., and Sharon Folan of
Austin, Texas. He was also a loving and doting grandfather of seven and a great-grandfather of three.

During his retirement years in Hampton, Lessard served in local politics as Town Moderator; in leadership at his church, Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal where he ushered and was an officer in the Holy Name Society. COL Lessard was an active member of the Hampton’s American Legion Post 35 where he served in leadership and greatly enjoyed the fellowship of his brothers-in-arms.

The Colonel enlisted in 1951 as a PFC and rose up through the ranks, attending Officer Candidate School via the “Meritorious Noncommissioned Officer Program” and later graduated from both the Armored Officers Career Course at Ft. Knox, Ky., and the Armed Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Va. Throughout his career, in which he was affectionately known as the “Godfather of the Tank Corps,” he was proud to be a hard charging “Mustang” who held a deep commitment to and affection for “his Marines.” He served in 19 duty stations and was decorated on 14 occasions including two Legion of Merits with Combat “V” for gallantry in combat and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry. Lessard retired from active service as Colonel of Marines serving as Chief of Staff at Quantico Marine Base where he attended Officer’s Candidate School 27 years prior.

Colonel Lessard was a patriot, loving husband, devoted father, loyal son and brother, and a United States Marine
through and through, who was, to the very end “Always Faithful.”

The Lessard family want to extend their love and thanks to the Staff at Edgewood Centre of Portsmouth for their exceptional care and to his beloved caregivers; Maureen, Renee, Shay, Shirley, Stacy, Mary, Connie, Ronda and especially Meredith “Angel” who so loving cared for the Colonel in the last years of his life.

SERVICES: Visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m., on Monday, June 5, 2017, in the Remick & Gendron Funeral Home – Crematory, 811 Lafayette Rd., Hampton. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 12 p.m., on Tuesday, June 6, 2017m in Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church, 289 Lafayette Rd., Hampton. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Burial with military honors will follow in the High Street Cemetery, Hampton. In lieu of flowers the family has requested you send memorial contributions to: American Legion Post 35 c/o: NH, 69 High St., Hampton, NH, 03842 or Compassionate Hospice Care c/o: 180 Orchard Dr., Unit 4, Londonderry, NH, 03053. Please visit to view Paul’s memorial website, sign his tribute wall or for directions.

See more at:

2016 New Members

3/1/2017AUSTIN, Michael CRaleighNC
3/1/2017FLAVELL, AaronPiedmontSC
3/1/2017GARCIA, JohnCaldwellID
3/1/2017MARTIN, SamColumbusGA
3/1/2017McCULLOH, DavidSan MarcosCA
3/1/2017MORALESGARCIA, MartinNampaID
3/1/2017PATSCHKE, DouglasRolesvilleNC
3/1/2017SMITH, WyntonSan DiegoCA
3/1/2017WERNER, LarryReddingCA
3/12/2017SANCHEZ, Ramon AFairfaxVA
4/9/2017GONZALEZ, XavierSan YsidroCA
4/9/2017SPAAR, JonWinston-SalemNC
6/24/2017YOUNGBLOOD, Matthew SStatesvilleNC
7/1/2017SPENCER, Noel WDaytonTN
7/1/2017PAPPAS, SusanBinghamtonNY


COMSTOCK, John EAbileneTXMary2016
CLAIR, DonaldCastro ValleyCAVera2016
KEMP, FrankMilfordMIStellaSep-16