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Marine Corps Pistol Competition Badge (Bronze)

Rifle Matches '49

Westerners take the individual titles as Easterners grab team honors

FIVE months of hard, steel-nerved shooting practice, plus the shooting of three geographical division matches, were culminated at the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Matches, held during the first two weeks of June, at MCS, Quantico, Va.

The Corps Rifle Championship and the David S. McDougal Memorial trophy were won by a comparative unknown, Technical Sergeant Stanley G. Millar, from the First Marine Division. Millar had a first stage 283 and came back the second time over with a 285 for an aggregate 568×600, ten points ahead of the nearest shooter. He took a First Silver in the Western Division Matches with a consistent 279-279, adding up to a 588×600 aggregate-an excellent first match score.

From here on in, as long as Millar walks to the firing line, he will be a marked man. Most match shooters require two or three years to come out into the open. This guy did it in one. Watch him in ensuing shooting years, he's going to be rough.

The Marine Corps Pistol Championship was won by Warrant Officer Armon J. Sealey, the sly, gray-fox out of MCRD-San Diego. He stayed consistent with a 277-278 for a 555×600 aggregate, nosing out Quantico's Billing by one point.

The Lauchheimer Trophy, awarded annually to the competitor attaining the highest aggregate score with the rifle and pistol in the Marine Corps Competitions, was won by Warrant Officer Mark W. Billing of Quantico. Billing, the hottest shooter in the matches, posted a 556 with the rifle and tacked on a 554 with the pistol for a 1110×1200 aggregate.

By the time the second stage at the slow-fire range had been completed, it was evident that the Battle of the Lauchheimer was going to be a hot race right down to the last shot at the rapid-fire range. In fact, it was Sealey's last shot that decided the issue. It was a big, fat 7 at 12 o'clock. We hate to remind him of it. At any rate, had he pulled an 8, he'd have tied Billing for score, but "skinned" him at rapid-fire for the coveted trophy. But, there aren't any "IFS" in shooting. After the last shot has reached the butts, there isn't anything left but score, and Billing had that.

Incidentally, this makes Billing a two-time winner of the big, oval shield. Back in 1940, as an upstart Pfc, he broke into the elite circle with an aggregate 1102×1200.

In the team events, MCS, Quantico, won the Elliott Trophy (East Coast teams only) with a four-man aggregate of 1107. MB, Brooklyn, N. Y., was second with 1100, and Headquarters, Marine Corps, took a third with 1094.

The Inter-Division Team Rifle Match was taken by the Eastern Division with a ten-man aggregate of 2737, as compared to last year's record score of 2811. The Western Division took second place with 2724 and the Southeastern Division came home with 2711.

The Eastern Division also took the Inter-Division Team Pistol Match with a 1368 five-man aggregate. The Western Division tied the 1368 score, but the Eastern Lads "skinned" them at the rapid fire range for the cup.

The San Diego Team Trophy Match (West Coast & Pacific teams only) was won by the First Marine Brigade No. 1 team with an aggregate 1112, two points better than the second place Brigade No. 2 team. The "No. 2" team came back with a 367 at 600-yards, nine points better than their top squad, but it wasn't enough to offset their lower scores at the earlier ranges. The San Diego MCRD team pulled in third with 1109, three points back of the leaders.

The battles for the various division individual shooting titles were hot. Master Sergeant Clifford G. Tryon, Camp Pendleton, won the Western Division Rifle title with a 566×600, one point ahead of Second Lieutenant Lemoin Cox, San Pedro, Calif.

San Diego Team Trophy went to 1stProvMarBrig No. 1 team. L-R: 1st Lt. Victor F. Brown, MSgt. Ray H. McNeil, TSgt. Francis E. Poodry, Capt. Arthur A. Campton and Maj Gen Leo D. Hermle who presented "the Bear" at Camp Matthews range.

George Kross, 1st Lt. of Cherry Point, wrapped up the So'eastern Division Rife title with a 569. His second stage 291 was highest ever fired.

So'eastern Division Pistol title went to WO R. C. McIntyre with a very respectable 557.

The pistol title went to Staff Sergeant Magnus Schone, MCRD San Diego, who compiled a 558, a new Western Division Match record, smashing Billing's 546, made in 1948. In second place with a 547 was WO A. Sealey.

The Southeastern Division Rifle Match high-mark also went by the board when First Lieutenant George Kross of Cherry Point hoisted a 569. The old mark of 568 was set by the then Master Sergeant Aaron C. Ivey, who has since been promoted to second lieutenant. TSgt. Maxin R. Beebe, Second Marine Division, also fired a 569, but was "skinned" by Kross's higher score at the 600-yard line.

Warrant Officer Robert C. McIntyre, 2ndComSerGrp, chalked up a 557 for the So'eastern Pistol championship. Three points behind "Mac" was Master Sergeant Walter E. Fletcher, Parris Island. The division pistol record, held by Technical Sergeant Hawes, Camp Lejeune, is 562.

The Eastern Division Rifle title went to Quantico's First Lieutenant John M. Jagoda, whose 566 was three points ahead of second place winner Pfc Fred Wright, Quantico. The mark was also two points back of Lieutenant Colonel Walter R. Walsh's Eastern Division record of 568, made in the 1947 matches.

For the second straight year the Eastern Division pistol championship went to Col. Walsh. In racking up the title, he also established a new record of 562, wiping out the 558 mark he set in 1948. Welsh now holds the Eastern record for both rifle and pistol.

The results of the "finals" rifle shoot at Quantico were somewhat disappointing to most of the die-hard followers of the game, most of whom thought that 1949 was the year in which the record would go.

The biggest beef was about the ammo used; most claimed it was a bad lot. Another group maintained the rifles weren't up to the standard (maintenance, etc.) of previous years. What was amiss we do not know; but there was something definitely out of kilter.

A bit of research shows that there were 32 medal winners out of 56 in the Western Pacific Division that fired in the Marine Corps Matches. Of this number only five, or fifteen per cent, increased their score in the Marine Corps Matches. The average increase was four points.

The other 27 shooters failed to come up to the scores they fired in the Western, and their average decrease was 17.7 points. One dropped as many as 46 points, others 36, 31, 28 and on down to only two.

Other Division medal winners showed a similar drop, but not so high a percentage.

Another argument, This year there was only one score in the "560s," that was Millar's 568. There were only 20 scores 550 or over, and 14 from 545 to 549, low bronze going for 545. In 1948 there were ten scores of 560 or over, 41 of 550 or over; a total of 51 as compared to this year's 34. In addition, low bronze went for 550 in 1948-14 places higher than the low medal for this year. Whatever it is-LET'S GET IT FIXED!

One of the things a person likes to see at the Matches each year is the lads who need "only one more leg" for Distinguished, come through with the pressure on, and get the coveted award. This year, three El Toro shooters, Master Sergeant Edward J. Scott, Captain Robert L. Dickey and Master Sergeant Charles O. Newton got 1st, 6th and 12th Bronze respectively at the Western Division, giving them their second legs. Then, needing only one more apiece, they came through in the Marine Corps Rifle Matches in exactly the reverse order, Newton, Dickey and Scott, for 3rd, 4th and 5th Bronze. Capt. Dickey, by the way got his first "leg" in 1929, exactly 20 years before, and never had the opportunity to shoot again in any matches until this year, when he bagged the two other legs needed. Is there a harder way of getting a Distinguished Badge?

Again one heard the yearly plaint of the "older" shooters, once more threatening to quit; "this is the last year, by Gad, etc." Loudest of the lot was MSgt. W. Fletcher, holder of the Lauchheimer record of 1114, who maintains the other shooters have seen the last of him at the matches. He's being transferred to the 13th Reserve District for duty; that's only about an hour's ride from Camp Wesley Harris, one of the better rifle and pistol ranges in the Marine Corps. Five will get you six that the portly "Fletch" will be there next year when the targets come up.

Leatherneck, September 1949

Individual Rifle Match
David S. McDougal Trophy
Rank Name Station Score
1 TSgt Stanley G. Miller 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
568
2 MSgt John A. Ward MCS
Quantico, Va.
558
3 TSgt Harold E. Taylor 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
558
4 Sgt Michael Pietroforte 2ndMarDiv
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
558
5 CWO Mark W. Billing RRSec, MCS
Quantico, Va.
556
6 TSgt Walter L. Devine MCRD
Parris Island, Ca.
555
7 Sgt Charles R. Knapp Camp Pendleton, Ca. 555
8 WO Armon J. Sealey MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
554
9 MSgt Olaf C. Nelson RRSec, MCS
Quantico, Va.
554
10 TSgt Warren W. Hillis MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
552
11 TSgt Joe K. Marshall MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
552
12 Sgt John E. Boitnott MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
552
13 Cpl George H. Hurt RRSec, MCS
Quantico, Va.
551
14 MSgt Vito Perna MCS
Quantico, Va.
551
15 Capt James J. Bott MD, USS Valley Forge
San Francisco, Ca.
551
16 SSgt Magnus D. Schone MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
551
17 Pfc Fred Wright, Jr. RRSec., MCS
Quantico, Ca.
550
18 1stLt G. B. McPherson 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
550
19 MSgt Frank O. Freeman MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
550
20 MSgt Charles O. Newton FMAW, MCAS
El Toro, Ca.
550
21 2ndLt Henry J. Witowski 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
549
22 MSgt Thomas R. Mitchell MCS
Quantico, Va.
549
23 SSgt John G. Jones MCS
Quantico, Va.
549
24 Capt Robert L. Dickey FMAW, MCAS
El Toro, Ca.
548
25 TSgt Raymond L. Barrie MCAS
Cherry Point, N.C.
548
26 Cpl Osborne C. Harvey MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
547
27 TSgt James R. Killough MCS
Quantico, Va.
546
28 SSgt Joseph A. Jagiello MCS
Quantico, Va.
546
29 MSgt Edward J. Scott FMAW, MCAS
El Toro, Ca.
546
30 Sgt Charles D. Sheley MB, USNB
Bremerton, Wash.
546
31 1stLt George Kross MCAS
Cherry Point, N.C.
546
32 2ndLt LeMoin Cox MD, NDB
San Pedro, Ca.
546
33 WO Eugene D. Anderson 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
546
34 Pfc Rudolph M. Layo MB, USNS
Annapolis, Md.
545

Individual Pistol Match
Marine Corps Pistol Trophy
Rank Name Station Score
1 WO Armon J. Sealey MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
555
2 CWO Mark W. Billing MCS
Quantico, Va.
554
3 1stLt John M. Jagoda 22d Marines (Rein) FMF, MCS
Quantico, Ca.
553
4 WO Robert C. McIntyre 2dComSerGrp
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
551
5 MSgt Thomas R. Mitchell MCS
Quantico, Va.
550
6 SSgt Magnus D. Schone MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
549
7 LtCol Noah J. Rodeheffer MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
549
8 TSgt Walter L. Devine MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
547
9 SSgt Joseph A. Jagiello MCS
Quantico, Va.
547
10 1stLt Victor F. Brown 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
544
11 MSgt Walter E. Fletcher MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
541
12 MSgt James C. Hardy MCS
Quantico, Va.
540
13 MSgt Frank O. Freeman MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
539
14 SSgt John G. Jones MCS
Quantico, Va.
539
15 1stLt Gordon B. McPherson 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
538
16 Sgt Charles R. Knapp MCSD
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
537
17 MSgt Avant M. Brannock MCS
Quantico, Va.
537
18 MSgt Ralph H. Hagan MCS
Quantico, Va.
536
19 SSgt Alman J. Redmond 2ndMarDiv
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
536
20 MSgt William L. Jordan MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
535
21 SSgt Guy C. Graves 1stMarDiv
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
535
22 MSgt Olaf C. Nelson MCS
Quantico, Va.
533
23 MSgt Charles J. Wiley MCAS
El Toro, Ca.
532
24 MSgt William C. Hoyt, Jr. MAW
El Toro, Ca.
531
25 Maj Franklin B. Nihart MCS
Quantico, Va.
530
26 TSgt John A. Fowler 2ndMarDiv
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
529
27 Tsgt Raymond R. Becker 1stComSerGrp
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
529
28 MSgt Vito Perna MCS
Quantico, Va.
529
29 LtCol Glenn C. Funk HQMC
Washington, D.C.
529
30 CWO Earl W. Whitaker MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
529
31 WO Harold Cleghorne 2ndMarDiv
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
527
32 Sgt Raymond Nielson 2ndMarDiv
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
527
33 MSgt Harry F. Bullock MCAS
Quantico, Va.
527
34 Cpl William W. McMillan, Jr. MB, Navy Yard
Brooklyn, N.Y.
526

Rifle & Pistol Aggregate
Lauchheimer Trophy
Rank Name Station Rifle Pistol Score
1 CWO Mark W. Billing MCS
Quantico, Va.
556 554 1110
2 WO Armon J. Sealy MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
554 555 1109
3 TSgt Walter L. Devine MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
555 547 1102

Rifle Team Match
Inter-Division Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 Eastern Division
M. W. Billing, J. M. Jagoda, F. O. Freeman, Ward, O. C. Nelson, V. Perna
J. G. Jones, J. A. Jagiello, G. H. Hurt & F. Wright
2736
2 Western Division
-
2724
3 Southeast Division
-
-
4 Pacific Division
-
-

Pistol Team Match
Inter-Division Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 Eastern Division
M. W. Billing, J. M. Jagoda, T. R. Mitchell, J. A. Jagiello & J. G. Jones
1368 (RF 464)
2 Western Division
-
1368 (RF 458)
3 Southeast Division
-
-
4 Pacific Division
-
-

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