All-Marine Meet Attracts 200 Experts

Some 200 top Marine Marksmen began their second day today of firing the full course which they will fire in the first leg of the All-Marine Matches beginning here next Monday, June 4. The two day rehearsal, with all things as they will be during the actual matches was staged to smooth out the rough spots and give the operating crews a chance to become familiar with the routine.

Participants are almost equally divided between Eastern and Western Division teams that have gathered here for these matches, following completion of their own matches. Fifteen of the Eastern Division Team members are Island personnel.

Tuesday, June 5, is kick-off day for the Marine Corps Rifle and Lauchheimer Trophy Matches. The National Match Course of 20 rounds off hand, slow fire, and 10 rounds rapid fire, sitting, from 200 yards; 10 rounds rapid, prone, from 300 yards; and 20 rounds, slow, prone from 600 yards will make up the first firing detail.

The same course will be fired June 6, which, added to the June 5 score, will comprise the rifle score for the match.

The high shooters in this match will receive the McDougal Trophy won last year by 1stLt. William W. McMillan, of Weapons Battalion with a score of 567x600.

The Davis S. McDougal Memorial Trophy was established in 1947 to honor LtCol. David S. McDougal, a member of the winning 1940 Marine rifle team who was killed in action on Okinawa. It is presented annually to the winner of the Marine Corps Rifle Match. Individual awards will be made for other deserving scores.

The Marine Corps Pistol Matches will get underway with a preliminary match being fired Wednesday afternoon. The National Match Course of 10 rounds, slow fire at 50 yards; 10 rounds timed at 25 yards; and 10 rapid at 25 yards, fired twice over, will comprise the match firing.

The entire match will be fired June 7, and the high shooter will be awarded the Marine Corps Pistol Trophy. This trophy was won last year by Captain C. E. Reese with a score of 551x600. Individual medals will also be awarded those posting sufficiently high scores.

The Lauchheimer Trophy winner will be known immediately following completion of the pistol matches June 7, since the highest score obtained by combining individual rifle and pistol scores elects the winner. This trophy is also held be 1stLt. McMillan who won it last year and set a new Marine Corps record of 1123x1200, three points higher than the previous record.

The Lauchheimer Trophy was established in 1922, in honor of Major Charles H. Lauchheimer, who at the turn of the century took steps to increase marksmanship qualifications among Marines.

the Inter-Division Rifle Team Match will be fired beginning June 8 and completed June 9. The National Match by 10 - man teams competing from the Eastern and Western Divisions Course will be fired with the 200 and 300 yard position being fired June 8. The 600 yard position will be fired June 9 to complete the match. This course is fired only once over.

Saturday afternoon, June 9th, will complete the All-Marine Matches when the Inter-Division Pistol Team Match will be fired.

The Parris Island BOOT, Friday, June 1, 1956


Takes McDougal Trophy From PI's McMillan

At the BOOT deadline Wednesday afternoon, results of the Marine Corps Rifle Match were in with the winning spot, for 1st Gold being taken by SSgt. Walter F. Oglesby from MB, USNB, Norfolk, Va., with a score of 567.

The top spot was taken by Oglesby from a 3-man tie with his day's scores of 288 over two other shooters who also posted scores of 567. TSgt. L. Williams, from MCB, Camp Pendleton, took second place with 285 and Sgt. P. G. Gerdes of the 1st Marine Division, third with a 280.

This win gave Oglesby his second leg toward becoming distinguished, with only one more needed. He won his first leg during the Eastern Division Matches at Camp Lejeune, May 15 - 16, where he took First Silver with a score of 566.

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Oglesby is a newcomer to the shooting game, having never fired in the matches before.

Parris Island's nearest contenders for the McDougal Trophy, which will now pass form the hands of 1stLt. W. W. McMillan of Parris Island, to Oglesby, were SSgt. A. A. Estes and Sgt. J. D. Wilson, both of Weapons Battalion. Estes posted a 564 for sixth place while Wilson dropped into tenth place with a 562 to win him Third Silver. Estes could not take the medal since he is a Distinguished marksman.

Preliminaries for the Marine Corps Pistol Match got under way Wednesday afternoon, the Match was fired Thursday. Results of this match will determine the winner of the Lauchheimer Trophy and the Marine Corps Pistol Trophy.

First Lt. McMillan is the present holder of the Lauchheimer, having won it last year with a new Marine Corps record score of 1123x1200. The Pistol Trophy is presently held by Capt. C. E. Reese with his 1955 score of 551x600.

Lt. McMillan, who just completed firing in the Eastern Division Matches also, set a new Eastern Division Pistol record there with a score of 567x600. The previous record was 562x600. MSgt. Ralph R. Cox holds the Marine Corps record with a 568x600, set at the Western Division Match in 1954.

The Inter-Division Rifle Team Match will commence firing today and be completed tomorrow morning.

The Inter-Division Pistol Team Match will be fired tomorrow afternoon, completing the All Marine Matches for 1956.

Following completion of the matches here tomorrow, both rifle and pistol shooters will be selected for the 1956 Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Teams to compete in the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio.

Members of this years Marine Corps Rifle Team will again train here at Parris Island.

The Parris Island BOOT, Friday, June 8, 1956


First Marine Division Sergeant Cops Lauchheimer Trophy

The All-Marine Corps Rifle, Pistol, Lauchheimer Trophies, Rifle Team, and Pistol Team Matches were completed afternoon Saturday, with the Western Division shooters winning the lion's share of individual medals and trophies and both the pistol and rifle team matches.

The matches got under way Monday, June 4, with the firing of the first stage of the individual Marine Corps Rifle Match.

This match consisted of the National Match Course of 20 rounds, slow fire, off hand, and 10 rounds, sitting, rapid fire, all from 200 yards; 10 rounds prone, rapid, from 300 yards, and 20 rounds prone, slow from 600 yards. The second stage (600 yds only) of this course was fired the following day (June 6) and added to the previous day's score to make up the individual rifle score for the match.

The individual Rifle Match was won by SSgt. Walter F. Oglesby from MB, U.S. Naval Base, Norfolk, Va., with a score of 567x600. He took the top spot from a 3-man tie with his second state score of 288 over two other shooters who also posted scores of 567x600. TSgt. Lester Williams, Camp Pendleton, took second place with 285, and Sgt. Phillip G. Gerdes, 1st MarDiv, third, with a 280.

This win gave Oglesby his second leg toward becoming a Distinguished Marksman. He won his first leg during the Eastern Division Matches at Camp Lejeune, May 15 - 16, where he took a first Silver Medal with a score of 556x600.

Oglesby is a newcomer to the shooting game, having never fired in the matches before. This show of marksmanship won for him the McDougal Trophy which had been held by 1stLt. William W. McMillan of Parris Island, who won it in the 1955 All Marine Matches with a score of 576x600.

The David S. McDougal Memorial Trophy was established in 1947 in honor of LtCol. David S. McDougal, a member of the winning 1940 Marine Rifle Team who was killed in action on Okinawa June 14, 1945. The trophy is awarded annually to the officer or enlisted man who attains the highest score in the Marine Corps Rifle Match.

The individual Marine Corps Pistol Match was fired June 7, with winning spot going to SSgt. Donald D. Thorne, of MB, Bremerton, Wash., with a 555x600 score. Second place went to 1stLt. McMillan, from a 3-man tie, with his second stage score of 280.

Sgt. Thorne received the Marine Corps Pistol Trophy and Gold Badge which are awarded annually to the winner of the Marine Corps Pistol Match.

The 1955 winner of the Marine Corps Pistol Match was Capt. Chester E. Reese, MCAS, Cherry Point, with a score of 55?x600.

The match consisted of the National Match Course of 10 rounds, slow fire, at 50 yards; 10 rounds, timed fire, at 25 yards, and 10 rounds, rapid fire, at 25 yards. An aggregate score of this course fired over twice constituted the pistol score.

Immediately following the pistol match the winner of the Lauchheimer Trophy for 1956 was announced as Sgt. Phillip G. Gerdes of the 1st MarDiv. Combining his pistol score of 533 with his rifle score of 567 gave his a final score of 1100x1200 to win the coveted Marine Trophy.

Second place in the trophy match went to Marine Reserve Maj. Richard J. Hardaway of the 64th Special Infantry Company, USMCR, Tulare, Calif., who also posted a 1100x1200 score. Maj. Hardaway lost to Gerdes only by virtue of his rifle score being lower, Rifle scores take seniority over pistol in breaking ties for the Lauchheimer. Third place went to Capt. Max L. Darling, MCS, Quantico, Va.

The Lauchheimer was won by 1stLt. McMillan in 1955 when he set a new Marine Corps record of 1123x1200, which still stands.

This trophy was presented to the Marine Corps by the family of Brigadier General Charles H. Lauchheimer in 1921.

The Western Division's Red Team captured top spot with a score of 1355 in the Inter-Division Pistol Team match which was fired June 8. Members of the winning team, which was captained by Maj. William H. Nuckols, Force Troops, 29 Palms, Calif., were MSgt. John A. Fowler, 3rdMarDiv; MSgt. Jewel C. Palmer, MCRDep, San Diego; MSgt. James A. Davis, 1stMarDiv; and Pfc. Lawrence N. Gibson, 1stMarDiv. Maj. Nuckols was also firing member of the team.

The Inter-Division Pistol Team Match was fired by competing 5-man teams from the Eastern and Western Divisions, firing the National Match Course, once over.

Winner of the Inter-Division Rifle Team Match, the first stage of which was fired June 8, and completed June 9, was the Western Division's Grey Team with a score of 2804. Members of the team were TSgt. William J. Dynes, Jr., 3rdMarDiv; SSgt. Robert F. Coffey, 3rdMarDiv.; SSgt. Howard M. Hucks, 3rdMarDiv.; SSgt. Ben L. Harshman, 1stMarDiv.; SSgt. Paul V. Brothers, 3rdMarDiv.; MSgt. J. A. Moore, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, Calif.; Capt. Robert E. Martin, 29 Palms, Calif.; Sgt. Harold B. O'Connor, Jr., 1stMarDiv.; CWO Charles H. Gebhardt, 3rdMarDiv; MSgt. Charlie H. Oliver, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and TSgt. Karl Arnold, Jr., 3rdMarDiv. Team captain was Maj. Rex Z. Michael, 3rdMarDiv., and team coach was TSgt. Dynes. Alternates were MSgt. Raymond R. Becker, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; and SSgt. Eric R. England, MCRDep., San Diego.

The Inter-Division Rifle Team Match was fired by competing 10-man teams from the Eastern and Western Divisions, firing the National Match Course, once over.

Presentation of trophies and individual awards was made Saturday afternoon at the Weapons Battalion picnic area with noted shooters of the past and other dignitaries in attendance.

LtGen. Julian C. Smith, USMC (ret'd), presented the McDougal Trophy to SSgt. Oglesby and BrigGen. Chester R. Allen, USMC presented the individual Rifle Match awards.

MajGen. Randolph C. Berkeley, USMC (ret'd), presented the Marine Corps Pistol Trophy to SSgt. Thorne and also made individual Pistol Match awards.

LtCol. Raymond T. Pressell, USMC (ret'd), twice winner of the Lauchheimer, in 1924 and 1929, made the Lauchheimer award to Sgt. Gerdes and Capt. Darling. Maj. Hardaway was not present for the award.

Capt. Claude Harris, USMC (ret'd), presented rifle and pistol medals to nine shooters who distinguished themselves during the matches.

Distinguished shooters in the Rifle Match included SSgt. James E. Hill, Quantico; TSgt. Gordon V. Parnell, 3rdMarDiv.; CWO Morris D. Goodner, Camp Pendleton, Calif.; Sgt. Donald R. Stuart, Camp Lejeune; SSgt. Robert F. Coffey, 3rdMarDiv.; and TSgt. Donald C. Pope of Parris Island.

Those distinguishing themselves in the Pistol Match were SSgt. Donald W. Henry, 1stMarDiv.; Pfc Lawrence N. Gibson, 1stMarDiv.; and MSgt. Vernon H. Woodworth of Quantico.

1stLt. William Easterling, USMC (ret'd), presented the Inter-Division Rifle Team Trophy to team captain, Maj. Michael, and also presented individual medals.

CWO Henry M. Bailey, USMC (ret'd) who fired with the International Olympic Pistol Team in France in 1924, presented the Inter-Division Pistol Team Trophy to the winning team captain, Maj. Nuckols.

Refreshments and lunch, picnic style, were served the shooters, their guests, and visitors following the presentation ceremonies.

The Parris Island BOOT, Friday, June 15, 1956

Well in at PI

PARRIS ISLAND'S rifle range crackled with excitement last June as the Corps' top marksmen gathered for the annual Rifle and Pistol Matches. The qualifying price of admission for the P.I. trip: an award won at the Eastern or Western Division matches fired the previous month at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and Camp Pendleton, Calif.

The goals sought by this elite, sun bronzed group of heavy hitters, were the Corps' individual Rifle, Pistol, Lauchheimer, and McDougal Trophies, and the Interdivision titles. Good scores fired in this kind of fast company also assured Marine marksmen of a chance to make the Corps team that will go to Camp Perry, Ohio, in mid-August.

Besides these awards, the East and West Coast teams got the rare opportunity to settle a friendly but perennial rivalry as to which coast produces the better marksmen.

The rifle and pistol matches, fired from June 4 to 9, departed from the traditional pattern previously employed. This year, the 500-yard line was dropped entirely in the rifle competition. This was done, said the coaches, to parallel the Corps' course with that at Camp Perry, which uses no 500yard firing. Two deviations from the Perry style however, are: the V-rings are not counted in Marine Corps matches, and Marines fire on a 10-inch bulls-eye instead of a 12-inch "A" target as Perry has.

The individual rifle course now consists of firing: 20 rounds slow (offhand, standing) at "A" targets, with a one minute time limit per shot, and 10 rounds, rapid fire (standing to sitting), 200 yards at "A" targets; 10 rounds, rapid fire (standing to prone), 300 yards at "A" targets; and 20 rounds of slow fire (prone), 600 yards at "B" targets. Twice over the course on two separate days, for a total of 120 rounds of fire, constitutes the full course.

In slow rifle firing, most expert shooters loaded each round separately. They did this so that no round would he heated by the hot chamber of the weapon. This, according to experienced shooters, can sometimes change ballistic qualities enough to throw a contestant out of the black at a crucial point. While there is relatively little danger of a round "cooking off," as experts refer to a round that is exploded by heat before the trigger can be squeezed, that danger sometimes docs exist in combat areas, when rifles have to be fired for prolonged periods.

In the pistol firing, Marines fired the National Match Course twice for record. This course consists of 10 rounds, slow fire, 50 yards at Standard American Targets; 10 rounds, timed fire and 10 rounds, rapid fire at 25 yards-for a total of 30 rounds. In the timed fire, two strings of five shots each must be fired, with 20 seconds allotted for each string. In the rapid fire each string is fired within 10 seconds.

The team of experts selected by the Commanding General of the host command to handle the matches were distinguished marksmen and pistol shots themselves. Colonel Glenn C. Funk, Executive Officer, had over-all charge of the matches. Major John M. Jagoda, renowned marksman who fired in the world tournament at Caracas, Venezuela, was Chief Range Officer.

Chief Pit Officer for the Corps matches wins Major Anthony O. Castugna.

The task of handling stoppages and ordnance problems fell to two match conditioners from MCSC, Albany, Ga., Master Sergeants Charlie Morgan and William V. Alford. They walked up and down the Tiring line seeking malfunctions. Each armorer carried a small leather mallet for unfreezing bolts that sometimes jammed.

Among the experts firing at Parris Island this year was Lieutenant Colonel Richard Tonis, USMCR, who is presently a candidate for sheriff of Plymouth County, Mass. The colonel reported to the range with a novel method of keeping the pistol blasts from annoying him. He inserted tiny flashlight type bulbs in his ears to deaden the crackling sound of the blasts. Other shooters, like Captain Charles A. Ranberg, MCSC, Albany, Ga., inserted empty cartridge shells in their cars, instead of the usual cotton.

"You can tell how long a shooter has been firing," joshed the captain, "by the caliber of the cartridge. If it's a .22, he's probably a newcomer. If it's a .45, you can be sure he's been around the rifle range awhile."

The matches this year marked the end of a lengthy wait by Master Sergeant Robert C. Glenn of the First Marine Division. Glenn had to wait 35 years for his distinguished marksman award. He got his first two legs for distinguished back in 1921-and the third leg this year. Glenn explained that he hadn't fired from 1921 until 1950. He enlisted in the Corps shortly after World War I, then went out in 1922. As World War II approached, Glenn came back into greens in 1940, going through boot camp a second time as a private.

To win n distinguished marksmen badge, a shooter must place three times in either a division area match, Marine Corps match, national trophy individual match, or national trophy team match as a shooting member of the winning team. It is possible to do all this in one year and win the distinguished badge, with either or both weapons.

Only one man, however, has ever accomplished this feat: TSgt. John G. Jones in 1931, then a private.

A faithful visitor at the P.I. range, but one who won no prizes, was Master Sergeant Frank O. Freeman's little mongrel dog, "Fluffy." Little Fluff has accompanied his owner to more rifle matches than many Marine riflemen have seen. He has been to matches at Camp Perry, Ohio, Fort Benning, Ga., Camp Roberts, Calif., Arizona, Washington and California State Matches, Western Division Matches at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and at Quantico, Va., before accompanying his master to P.I.

"You know," explained Freeman, "we dropped the 500-yard line firing this year for the first time. Poor little Fluff can't understand this and we couldn't tell him about the change. He's used to waiting for me there when we move back from the 300-yard line. He still stops at the 500-yard mark, automatically, and gives us all that puzzled look when we move by it without stopping there anymore."

Among the great concentration of shooting talent at P.I. was enlisted jet pilot, Master Sergeant Calvin R. Duke, of VMR-152, Cherry Point, N.C. Duke still holds the record for jet photo missions in Korea. He has completed 101 photo runs in his unarmed jet.

Rifle range humor, always a welcome relief from the tension at rifle matches, was introduced this year when Staff Sergeant Albert Hauser, armorer from MCSC, Albany, Ga., and member of the Albany rifle team, brought along an impressive Bakelite desk plate with the name "A. T. Barnsmell." The sign was posted on a vacant, canvas-top chair.

At the Eastern Division matches at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Hauser had used the sign to good advantage. When he spotted a vacant target, which had no fourth relay. Hauser made up a fictitious score and posted it after fictitious Barnsmell's name. Unaware of Barnsmell's identity, the competitors vied with one another to outshoot him, spurring on team shooting.

"He had me working there for a while tryin' to catch up," admitted First Lieutenant Robert H. Freeman of Philadelphia. "It seemed that no matter how well I fired, this guy Barnsmell would fire even higher."

It was reported to Hauser that Barnsmell was even put on working details, "but he never showed up."

When the competition grew serious, however, and Rifle, Pistol, and Lauchheimer Trophy matches got under way, every shooter did his utmost to win. When the individual M-1 match was concluded on June 7, a newcomer to Marine Corps matches turned out to be the most accomplished Marine with a rifle. Staff Sergeant Walter F. Oglesby, Marine Barracks, USNB, Norfolk, Va., with less than 10 years' service, topped a field of 153 other experts. He scored 567x600 (288 second stage) to win the individual rifle match and a gold badge.

At the conclusion of the Parris Island matches, Major George Kross announced the teams that would represent the Corps at Camp Perry

Oglesby, from Knoxville, Tenn., earned his first silver award at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and now has two legs toward his distinguished medal. At Lejeune, he fired 556x600 to finish 11th in the Eastern Division match.

Technical Sergeant Lester Williams, MCB, Camp Pendleton, Calif., came in second with 567x600 (285 second stage); and Sergeant Phillip O. Gerdes, First Marine Division, placed third with 567x600 (280 second stage score). Because three shooters had tied scores, the second stage scores were used to break the deadlock.

The most talented Marine with the .45 pistol this year turned out to be Staff Sergeant Donald D. Thorne, of Bremerton, Wash. Thorne defeated a field of 113 pistol experts with a score of 555x600.

First Lieutenant William W. McMillan of Parris Island, S.C., captured second place with 552x600. Third place went to Staff Sergeant Martin W. Findsen, of Camp Lejeune, N.C., who also fired 552x600 but lout out on his second stage score.

Thorne's regular job is that of caretaker at the Camp Wesley Harris Rifle Range in Washington State, where he has an unusual opportunity to get plenty of snappin' in time. He has been firing the pistol, however, for only four years. Thorne considers himself more experienced with the M-1, which he has been firing competitively for 10 of his 12 years In the Corps. He has previously won a national NRA match with the .45, but this victory, he says, is his highest award. Thorne has also set a new 11th Naval District record at San Diego, Calif., with 570x600, his highest score. The Marine Corps pistol record, however, still belongs to Master Sergeant Ralph R, Cox, who fired a score of 568x600 in the 1954 Western Division Matches.

The Lauchheimer Trophy, annual award to the Marine who attains the highest aggregate rifle and pistol score in the Marine Corps matches went to Sergeant Phillip G. Gerdes, First Marine Division, who fired a score of 1100x 1200.

The Lauchheimer Trophy is an artistically designed memorial, donated by the family of Brigadier General Charles H. Lauchheimer. At the time of his death, the general was Adjutant and Inspector at Marine Corps Headquarters. The bronze, oval-shaped plaque bears a reproduction of a stirring battle scene that initially appeared on a Marine Corps recruiting poster. First winner, Gunnery Sergeant John M, Thomas, captured the award for three consecutive years, 1921-22-23, a feat which has never been duplicated.

Gerdes, 1956 winner of the Lauchheimer Trophy, belongs to the crop of promising new, younger shooters in the Corps. This year there were more newcomers in the matches than normally, which pleased the Commandant who is vitally interested in younger Marines joining the marksmanship program. Gerdes has only four years in the Marines, but he won the Western Division pistol match at Camp Pendleton in 1955, with 551x600, and in 1953 and 1955, he won the Leatherneck Trophies. This, says Gerdes, fired his interest in marksmanship and started him off on a shooting career. Gerdes, from Cincinnati, Ohio, believes his civilian firing experience, consisting mainly of skeet and trap shooting, was a great help to him, "I'm only fair at that kind of shooting, though," he admitted modestly.

Second place in the Lauchheimer Trophy match was won by Major Richard J. Hardaway, 64th SpecInfCo, USMCR, Tulare, Calif., with a 1100x 1200. Major Hardaway finished among the top despite his Reserve status in which he failed to get as much practice as the Regulars received. Third place went to Captain Max L. Darling, MCS, Quantico, Va., who blasted out 1099x 1200.

The David S. McDougal Memorial Trophy was established in 1947, in honor of Lieutenant Colonel David S. McDougal, member of the 1937 and 1940 rifle teams, who was later killed at Okinawa. He was also the son of Major General Douglas C. McDougal, USMC (Ret.) of La Jolla, Calif., who was Commanding General of Parris Island in 1938. General McDougal was a firing member of the 1905, 1906, 1908 and 1909 Marine Corps teams and was the captain of the 1911 and 1912 teams. The McDougal Memorial Trophy goes to the Marine who attains the highest score in the Marine Corps Rifle Match each year. This year's winner was SSgt. Walter F. Oglesby.

When the East and West Coast pistolmen were pitted against each other, Western marksmen proved superior to the Eastern Division team, winning with a score of 1355. The Eastern Division team score was 1335. The winning team was captained by Major William H. Nuckols, Force Troops, 29 Palms, Calif., a firing member of the pistol team. The other firing members were: Master Sergeants John A. Fowler, Third Marine Division, Jewel C. Palmer, MCRD, San Diego, Calif., James A. Davis, First Marine Division, and Pfc Lawrence N. Gibson, First Marine Division.

The West also won the International Rifle Match with a score of 2804. Winning team members were: Technical Sergeant William J. Dynes, Jr., Third Marine Division, Staff Sergeant Robert F. Coffey, Third Marine Division, Staff Sergeant Howard M, Hucks, Third Marine Division, Staff Sergeant Ben L. Harshman, First Marine Division, Staff Sergeant Paul V. Brothers, Third Marine Division, Master Sergeant James A. Moore, Marine Corps Supply Center, Barstow, Calif., Captain Robert E. Martin, 29 Palms, Calif., Sergeant Harold B. O'Connor, Jr., First Marine Division, CWO Charles H. Gebhardt, Third Marine Division, Master Sergeant Charlie H. Oliver, MCB, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and Technical Sergeant Karl Arnold, Jr., Third Marine Division. Major Rex Z. Michael, Third Marine Division, was team captain and Technical Sergeant Dynes, team coach.

The coaches for this year's Marine Corps Matches were generally agreed that over-all rifle and pistol scores were "outstanding."

Assistant captain of the pistol team, Major Edward A. Harwood, of Quantico, Va., who has 20 years' pistol and rifle team coaching experience, has this to say to would-be experts:

"Firing demands terrific mental discipline. You must concentrate on only one thing to the exclusion of everything else. I think," he added, "that Lieutenant Colonel Walter Walsh personifies best what I mean. You can walk up and talk to him when he's working out on a range. You think he hears you, but he doesn't. And if you're unsteady, this usually reflects that you are in poor physical condition. That can be overcome."

"Also, there is no 'D' target to shoot at in rapid fire. Instead, he must fire at the 10-inch bulls-eye on the 'A' target at 200 and 300 yards, then move back to 600 yards to fire 20 rounds of slow fire. All a Marine has to do for a chance to shoot is make his wishes known to his commanding officer when the next matches are fired."

The sign at P.I.'s pistol range sums up all the tips coaches can give you: "Good pistol shooting," it reads, "requires:

  1. Steady holding
  2. Accurate sighting
  3. Perfect trigger squeeze
  4. Proper grip
  5. Uniform resistance for each shot
  6. Lots of snapping' in"

The top riflemen, selected from among the shooters in this year's competition, will remain at Parris Island until mid-August. Then they will move on to Perry to represent the Marine Corps in the National Matches. They will undergo intensive training and eliminations during this period.

The top pistolmen moved out to Quantico, Va., to train and eliminate for the Camp Perry Matches.

This year's Marine Corps team is considered to be one of the finest groups of bull's-eye artists in the Corps' history. Major Mesko considers them to be the best group of rifle shooters in the world. "They can take on anybody-at any time," he says, "and that includes the Russians."

Designated to lead the 1956 Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Team in the national matches, is Major George Kross, of El Toro, who has been selected to be team captain. Major Kross, who has corned a Distinguished Marksmanship and Distinguished Pistol Badge, has more than 16 years' rifle and pistol match experience, and is one of Marine Corps Aviation's hottest pilots. He can fly any plane the Corps has. His two assistants are Major Edward E. Harwood, MCS, Quantico, Va., who will try to second-guess the opposition strategy in the pistol category, and Captain Lemoin Cox, Third Marine Division, who will handle the rifle department.

When it was time to distribute the awards, most of them were presented by retired Marines who traveled to P.I. as guests of General Pate to watch the Corps' top shooters.

Lieutenant General Julian C. Smith, USMC (Ret.), team captain of the 1928 and 1929 Marine Corps Teams that fired at Camp Perry, presented the McDougal Trophy to SSgt. Oglesby. The Individual Rifle Match awards were made by Brigadier General Chester R. Allen, Executive Officer, Supply Department at HQMC.

The Corps' oldest living retired Major General, Randolph C. Berkeley, USMC, winner of the Medal of Honor at Vera Cruz, and an avid marksmanship fan, presented the Pistol Trophy to SSgt. Thorne, and the individual awards to the pistol marksmen.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Raymond T. Presnell, USMC, who has twice won the Lauchheimer himself (1924 and 1929), and who probably has more Lauchheimer badges than any other living Marine, presented that award to Sgt. Gerdes.

When the pistol and rifle matches were concluded, and the 1956 scores went into the scorebook, the marksmen were treated to a picnic lunch featuring fried chicken and refreshments.

As the expert riflemen and pistolmen drifted away, no "good-byes" were heard. The parting greeting was:

"See you at Perry."

Leatherneck, August 1956

Pistol Certificate

Individual Rifle Match
David S. McDougal Trophy
Rank Name Station Score
1 SSgt. Walter F. Oglesby MB, USNB
Norfolk, Va.
567 (288 2d Stage)
2 TSgt Lester Williams Camp Pendleton, Ca. 567 (285 2d Stage)
3 Sgt Phillip G. Gerdes 1st Marine Division
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
567 (280 2d Stage)
4 - - -
6 SSgt. Albert A. Estes MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 Sgt. James D. Wilson MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.

Individual Pistol Match
Marine Corps Pistol Trophy
Rank Name Station Score
1 SSgt Donald D. Thorne MB, USNB
Bremerton, Wash.
2 1stLt William W. McMillan, Jr. MCRD
Parris Island, S.C.
3 SSgt Marlin W. Findsen Rifle Range Det.
Camp Lejeune, N.C.
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -

Rifle & Pistol Aggregate
Lauchheimer Trophy
Rank Name Station Rifle Pistol Score
1 Sgt Phillip G. Gerdes 1st Mar Division
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
567 533 1100
2 Maj Richard J. Hardaway 64th SpecInfCo, USMCR
Tulare, Ca.
551 549 1100
3 Capt Max L. Darling MCS
Quantico, Va.
- - 1099

Rifle Team Match
Inter-Division Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score

Western Division 'Grey'
R. Z. Michael (Captain), Wm J. Dynes (Coach), R. F. Coffey, H. M. Hucks, B. L. Harshman
P. V. BrothersMoore, R. E. Martin, H. B. O'Connor, C. H. Gebhardt & C. H. Oliver

2 -
3 -

Pistol Team Match
Inter-Division Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 Western Division 'Red'
Wm H. Nuckols (Captain), J. A. Fowler, J. C. Palmer, J. A. Davis & L. A. Gibson
2 Eastern Division
3 -

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