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Marine Shooters Compete Today

The Marine Corps' Western Division shooting matches begin today on the Camp Matthews range, with some of the Corps' "heaviest hitters" firing in the three-gun pistol championships.

Today's firing will be in the .22 caliber class. Thirty-eight caliber shooting is scheduled for tomorrow, with .45 caliber championships to be decided next week.

The pistol field includes Capt. William W. McMillan of Marksmanship Training Unit, a 1958 World champion who last week swept nearly all the pistol honors in the California State Matches.

San Diego Union, Monday, May 4, 1959

Western Matches Open Monday At Matthews

Expert shooters from the Marksmanship Training Unit, a defending champion, and a 21-year-old college student lay their laurels on the line Monday in the Corps' Western Division Matches at Camp Matthews.

More than 400 marksmen will fire the M1 rifle and .45 caliber pistol next week, with CWO Harold Larkin, 3dMAW, El Toro, defending the individual rifle title he won in 1957 and 1958.

Shooting will begin at 7 a.m. each day, with award ceremonies set for 2 p.m. Saturday. MTU, the Camp Matthews based unit is entering men in Western Division competition for the first time.

In the past, MTU has conducted and administered the matches, and its members were restricted from match competition. This year, the WTBn. Marines are running the event and HQMC is allowing MTU shooters to compete in both the Western Division and Marine Corps individual matches.

The actual match competition is expected to sharpen MTU shooting eyes for the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio in July and August. It also gives the unit's younger men a chance to win Distinguished ranking, an honor which can be earned only in Marine Corps competition.

Middleton Tompkins, a sophomore at Long Beach (Calif.) City College, was barely old enough to vote when he won the National bolt rifle championship last year. He is one of a half-dozen top civilian shooters who'll try their prowess with the service weapons in the Division matches.

Capt. William W. McMillan, MTU, took the lead in the special three-gun, 2700-point aggregate in preliminary Western Division pistol firing this week. He shot 879 of a possible 900 with the. 22 caliber pistol, and 873 in the .38 caliber event.

The three-gun competition, part of the Division matches for the first time this year, will be completed next Wednesday and Thursday with .45 caliber shooting.

MCRD Chevron, Friday, May 8, 1959

FIRES 582

Pietroforte Takes Marine Rifle Title

Acting Gunnery Sgt. Michael Pietroforte yesterday fired a score of 290 out of a possible 300 to win the Marine Corps western division rifle championship at Camp Matthews.

Pietroforte had 292 of 300 Tuesday for a grand total of 582 of 600 to take the title. Capt. William W. McMillan finished only one point behind Pietroforte with a 291-290-581.

The top 10 finishers in yesterday's competition bettered the 577 score that set a new eastern division record at Camp Lejeune last week. Seventeen western riflemen topped the 574 record set in the Pacific division matches last week at Pearl Harbor.

Western, eastern and Pacific winners will shoot against each other at Camp Matthews June 1-6 in the All-Marine Corps matches.

Acting Sgt. Donice Bartlett took third place yesterday. His 579 earned him first gold medal as the top non-distinguished rifleman. Pietroforte, McMillan and Bartlett are all attached to the Marksmanship Training Unit at Camp Matthews.

Second Lt. Roger Knapper of the First Marine Division had a 576 as the top first-year western division shooter.

Competition contiunes today with individual pistol championships.

San Diego Union, Thursday, May 14, 1959

Pietroforte Tops Individual Shooters
In Western Division Rifle Match

by ActCpl. Wayne Woodlief

The 1958 National Rifle Champion, Acting Gunnery Sergeant Michael Pietroforte, MTU, topped the best shooting of the year in Marine Corps competition to finish first in the Western Division rifle match Wednesday at Camp Matthews.

"Mr. Perfect" and other Western Division winners will receive awards in Ceremonies beginning at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow at Camp Matthews.

Major General Thomas A. Wornham, Depot CG, will present the San Diego "Bear" Trophy to the champion rifle team.

Also scheduled to participate in the awards ceremonies are: Lt. Gen. Vernon Megee, CG, FMF-Pac; Maj. Gen. Edward W. Snedeker, CG, 1st MarDiv; Brig. Gen. Harvey C. Tschirgi, CG, LF-TU, and Maj. Gen. David H. Blakelock, USA (Ret)., of San Clemente.

Competition for the San Diego and Wharton rifle team trophies was scheduled today, and the Holcomb Trophy team pistol match is set for tomorrow morning.

Individual pistol championships were decided yesterday.

ActGySgt. Pietroforte picked up the rifle team title with 582 of a possible 600. He fired twice over 60-shot, 300-point National Match Course.

In a letter to Maj. Gen. T. A. Wornham, Depot CG, last Friday, Louis F. Lucas, Executive Director of the National Rifle Association, commended the Camp Matthews Marines on their fine cooperation and assistance in handling the California State Rifle and Pistol Matches.

Special compliment was given to Col. J. H. Brower who acted as Executive Officer for the matches and Capt. E. D. Anderson, Match Supervisor

The matches were held April 25 through May 3 and Camp Matthews.

Captain Wm. W. McMillan, MTU, who hadn't fired in rifle competition in four years, finished only one point behind ActGySgt. Pietroforte. The captain fired 291-290 - 581.

Acting Sergeant Donice Bartlett, MTU, took third place Wednesday. His 579 score earned him First Gold Medal, the award which goes to the match's highest non-Distinguished rifleman.

Veteran marksmen, such as Capt. McMillan and ActGySgt. Pietroforte, who have already earned Distinguished rating, are not eligible for medals.

Sgt. Bartlett barely edged ActGySgt. J. A. Lightbourne, MCRD, for First Gold honors. Both had 579 final totals, but Bartlett fired 292 to Lightbourne's 291 on the final tie-breaking day of competition.

Second Lieutenant Roger Knapper, 1stMarDiv, won the Van Dyke Trophy for top score among first-year Western Division shooters. He fired 576.

MCRD Chevron, Friday, May 15, 1959

FINDSEN WINS CROWN

3 Shatter Corps Pistol Mark

Three Marine marksmen shattered the corps' individual pistol record yesterday in Western Division competition at Camp Matthews.

Acting gunnery Sgt. Marlin Findsen, 29 Palms, topped the Marine Corps record by 10 points with a 580 out of a possible 600 to claim the Western Division competition crown.

Capt. W. W. McMillan, Camp Matthews, current world pistol champion, edged Acting Master Sgt. L. J. Creech, San Antonio, Tex., for the runner-up spot with a 573.

Tying the old Marine Corps mark was Capt. Thomas R. Mitchell, Camp Matthews, who ended in fourth place with 570. Two other marksmen broke the old Western Division mark 567.

The former Marine Corps mark of 570 was only a week old. It was set in the Eastern Division matches at Camp Lejeune, N.C. by Acting Staff Sgt. C. F. McConnell.

McMillan also took a first place in a special three-gun 2,700-point aggregate, completed yesterday's .45 caliber championships, with a score of 2,604. Acting Sgt. Larry Hausman fired a second-place 2,600.

McMillan and Hausman pulled far ahead of the field in the three-gun event, scoring high in .22 caliber and .38 caliber competition.

Team matches begin today in the Western Division action, with riflemen vying for the San Diego and Wharton Trophies. Tomorrow morning pistol shooters aim for the Holcomb Trophy.

Awards will be made tomorrow afternoon at Camp Matthews, beginning at 1:30 o'clock.

San Diego Union, Friday, May 15, 1959

News Photo

TRIUMPHANT DEVILDOGS - Acting Sergeant Michael Pietroforte, left, checks his scorebook while Capt. William W. McMillan puts away his rifle after finishing one-two yesterday in the Western Division Individual rifle matches on the Camp Matthews Marine Corps range.

Record Rifle Tally Needed for Victory

It took the best shooting of the year in Marine Corps competition but Act. GySgt. Michael Pietroforte was equal to the occasion in winning the Western Division rifle championship yesterday at Camp Matthews.

Pietroforte added a 290 yesterday to his opening 282 Tuesday for a 582 total that gave him the title by a narrow margin over a top field. The high 10 finishers all equaled or surpassed the 577 score that set an Eastern Division record at Camp Lejeune and 17 bettered the 574 that was good for a Pacific Division record at Pearl Harbor in competition last week.

Capt. William W. McMillan gave the new champ his main contention, finishing just a point back at 581. McMillan's performance was considered remarkable in that he had not fired the rifle in competition the last four years.

Act. Sgt. Donice Bartlett finished third with 579 and claimed the First Gold Medal, an award which goes to the match's highest non-Distinguished rifleman. Veteran marksmen, such as Sgt. Pietroforte and Capt. McMillan, are not eligible for the medal, having already attained distinguished status.

The Van Dyke trophy, emblematic of the top score among first-year Western Division shooters, was captured by Lt. Roger Knapper. A member of the 1st Marine Division team, Knapper managed a 576 tally.

The shooters were to vie in individual pistol firing today with Capt. McMillan as the favorite.

Unknown news article, May, 1959

Marksmen Groom For MC Matches

by ActCpl. Wayne Woodlief and PFC Stan Durk

Morth than 70 Western Division marksmen are primed for the Marine Corps Rifle and Pistol Matches in June, after producing the finest shooting of the year in Corps competition last week.

In the 1959 Western Division Matches, which ended Saturday at Camp Matthews, West Coast shooters turned in these marks.

  • Six marksmen shattered the Western pistol mark.
  • Seven teams topped the Western Division rifle match standard
  • The top ten Western Division individual rifleman beat the 577 score that set an Eastern Division record this year and 17 West Coast Marines bettered the 574 that established a Pacific Division rifle mark.

The Western Division winners will join approximately 77 marksmen from the Eastern Division and same 38 men from the Pacific Division for the Marine Corps Matches June 1-6 at Camp Matthews.

From the Marine Corps finals will come the select team which will represent the Corps in the National Matches at Camp Perry, Ohio in July and August.

Acting Gunnery Sergeant Marlin W. Findsen, Force Troops, 29 Palms, led the assault on the .45 caliber pistol record with a remarkable 580 of a possible 600 score. He and three others broke or tied the record of 570 put up May 7 by the Eastern Division Acting Staff Sergeant C. F. McConnell.

The top six pistol finishers downed the former Western Division mark of 568.

The 3rd Marine Air Wing team from El Toro smashed the Division rifle team mark by 11 points with an 1144 total. CWO Harold Larkin scored 294 of a possible 300 points to spark the victory, and give the squad the San Diego Trophy.

Six other teams also beat the old record of 1133.

ActGySgt. Michael Pietroforte, MTU fired a 582 of a possible 600 to win the individual rifle title.

The 1958 National Champion had to be at his best to beat the pack of West Coast Leathernecks who outshot the records set in other Divisions.

Capt. William W. McMillan, Marksmanship Training Unit, won a special three-caliber pistol aggregate with a 2604 total. He also finished second in both rifle and pistol individual events. It was the first time since he won the Marine Corps Match in 1955 that Capt. McMillan had fired the rifle in competition.

Other Western Division winners:

Holcomb (pistol team) Trophy: Separate Battalion, First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., 1095 Total
Van Dyke Trophy: 2nd Lt. Roger Knapper, First Marine Division, high among the meet's first-year rifle shooters with a 576x600 total.

MCRD Chevron, Friday, May 22, 1959

2700 Aggregate Trophy
Rank Name Service Branch/Agency .22 Caliber .38 Caliber .45 Caliber Aggregate
1 Capt. William W. McMillan, Jr. MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
879 873 852 2604
2 ActSgt Larry Hausman - - - - 2600
3 - - - - - -

Individual Rifle Match
Rank Name Station Score
1 ActGySgt Michael Pietroforte MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
582
2 Capt William W. McMillan, Jr. MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
581
3 ActSgt Donice Bartlett MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
579
4 ActGySgt Jose A. Lightbourne Weapons Training Battalion 579
5 ActGySgt Karl Arnold 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
El Toro, Ca.
579
6 ActMSgt James Davenport MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
578
7 Capt John William Chinner 1st Marine Division
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
578
8 ActGySgt Marlin W. Findsen Force Troops
Twentynine Palms, Ca.
577
9 ActGySgt Edwin J. Jones 1st Marine Division
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
577
10 ActSgt Hayden B. Russell, Jr. 1st Marine Division
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
577

All ties decided by last string of slow fire.

Individual Pistol Match
Rank Name Station Score
1 ActGySgt Marlin W. Findsen Force Troops
Twentynine Palms, Ca.
580
2 Capt William W. McMillan, Jr. MTU
Camp Matthews, Ca.
573
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -

Rifle Team Match
San Diego Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, El Toro
C. E. Larkin (295), D. O. Faulkner (288), D. A. Phillips (283) & O. E. Fackrell (279)
1144
2 -
-
-

Pistol Team Match
HolcombTrophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 Separate Battalion, 1st Marine Division, Camp Pendleton
A. R. Wilkinson (276), P. J. Shank, Jr. (275), R. E. Herrington (274) & M. P. Kadja (270)
1095
2 -
-
-

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