San Diego Trophy (Western) Rifle Team Badge

Rifle Certificate


Pistol Certificate


"IT'S OURS AGAIN" - Marine Corps Recruit Depot's rifle team members admires San Diego Bear Trophy, back in its possession after absence of nine years. MCRD regained it in competition with other West Coast Marines. From left are SSgt. Robert Diaz, Maj. William McMillan, Cpl. Jack Gracey, Cpl. Robert Shaver and Pfc. David Thorstad. Cpl. Shaver's 296x23 paced MCRD's victory.

News Photo

COVETED TROPHY - San Diego Mayor Frank Curran and Depot CG MajGen. B. A. Hochmuth display Bear Trophy won by Depot shooters in WD Rifle Matches. Team shooters, kneeling (l-r): PFC David J. Thorstad, and Cpls. Jack L. Gracey and Robert D. Shaver. In back: SSgt. Robert Diaz (l), team coach, and Maj. William W. McMillan, team captian.

Depot Deadeyes Top W. Division Matches

A nine-year drought was ended Friday with the return of the San Diego Bear Trophy to MCRD following the Western Division Rifle Matches at Camp Pendleton.

The Depot's shooting team fired a blazing 1178x95Vs to claim the coveted trophy, which is awarded to the best Western Division team representing West Coast Marines Corps units of 600 or more personnel.

The last time the Depot won the trophy was in 1957.

MCRD shooters also took top honors in individual competition. Maj. William W. McMillan, captain of the team, triggered off a 584x22Xs pistol score to grab the pistol action, while Cpl. Jack L. Gracey zeroed in for a 594x55Vs rifle make to take that competition.

In the race for the Bear Trophy, Cpl. Robert D. Shaver paced local shooters with his 293x23Vs mark, while Gracey followed with 295x25Vs. PFC David J. Thorstad hit 294x26Vs and McMillan fired 293x21Vs to finish out the winning score.

All told, seven rifle awards and six pistol awards were presented to MCRD team members during the individual rifle and pistol matches.

Gracey and McMillan received certificates for their rifle prowess, and Shaver and SSgt. Martin F. Reith received a Gold and Silver Medal, respectively, also for the rifle action.

Bronze Medals went to Sgt. Paul D. Christensen, Thorstad and Cpl. Douglas M. DeHaas.

Shaver and DeHaas received enough points in the contest to become Distinguished Rifle Shooters.

Certificates for the pistol went to McMillan, SSgt. Billie E. Price and Sgt. Richard A. Harris. SSgt. Robert G. Gunnells, Pvt. Michael R. Hardaway and GySgt. C. L. Weaver received Bronze Medals for their efforts.

The Wharton Trophy, award to the best Western Division team representing West Coast Marine Corps Units of less than 600 personnel, went to MCB Twentynine Palms.

The Holcomb Trophy, named in honor of Gen. Thomas Holcomb, the Corps' 17th Commandant, went to Force Troops, Twentynine Palms.

MCRD and Camp Pendleton finished second in the pistol and rifle competition, respectively, involving those commands with 600 or more personnel.

MCRD's shooting team will participate in the Marine Corps matches June 6-10 at Quantico.

S.D. Bear Trophy Designed In 1921

The San Diego Bear Trophy was designed in 1921 by the late Dr. Alonzo D. Jessop of San Diego.

It was then named the "San Diego Perpetual Trophy" and, as inscribed on a plate in the center of the trophy, was "Presented by the citizens of San Diego through its civic organizations for the winner of the annual rifle competition between West Coast Marine posts and as a token of friendship."

Back in 1921, Jessop prevailed upon a young sculptress, Mabel Smith, to make a clay model of a grizzly bear to be mounted on the top of the trophy. A plaster cast of the model was taken to a foundry in Los Angeles and the bear was cast there.

According to Jessop, the bear is coming up over the stump - on the near side of which is a target - "to see what the shooting is about."

According to the San Diego Union of Sunday, May 15, 1921: "The base is made of redwood, a symbol of endurance. The bronze bear, mounted on the top, signifies strength and determination; the silver, the sterling qualities of Marines, and the gold, purity. The seal at the bottom is of hand-carved gold and is exact replica of the seal of the City of San Diego. At the top of the stump, which was also hand-carved, is a copy of the targets used by the Marines in their competition." Just below this is the donors' inscribed plate."

Photo by Cpl. C. M. Hall
MCRD Chevron, Friday, May 20, 1966

'66 Western Div. Matches End


Two records were toppled in the 1966 Western Division Rifle and Pistol Matches fired here May 9-13.

The first record fell when Maj. William W. McMillan posted a 584x600 in the pistol competition to top the old mark of 581x600. The major outpointed second-place SSgt. Harold D. Philpott by nine points to win the Western Division Pistol Championship title.

This year's Wharton Trophy winners shattered the former record of 1158x1200 when the rifle team from Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, Calif. fired a 1164x1200.

More than 150 shooters competed in the matches, which was climaxed May 13 by an awards ceremony in the 16 area theater.

Highlighting the awards ceremony was the presentation of the top rifle and pistol awards and three team trophies. In addition, seven Marines received Marksman Badges during the ceremony.

Taking top honors in the rifle competition was Cpl. Jack L. Gracey from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. The corporal fired 594x600 with 55 "V's" to edge out Capt. Kenneth J. Erdman, whose score was one point shy of Gracey's mark.

The San Diego Bear Trophy, presented to the top rifle team from a command with a strength of more than 600, was won this year by a team from Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego. Maj. McMillan captained the team of Cpls. Gracey and R. D. Shaver and Pfc. D. J. Thorstad. SSgt. Robert Diaz was the team coach.

The San Diego team complied a total of 1178x1200 with 95 "V's" to take the trophy. The Camp Pendleton Red Team placed second, 10 points behind the winners.

The Wharton Trophy, named after a former Commandant of the Marine Corps, is presented yearly to the top rifle team from a command of less than 600.

Firing on the trophy-winning team from Twentynine Palms, Calif. was Maj. R. J. Finn, captain of the team, GySgt. B. L. Harshman, SSgt. F. Spradlin and Pfc. B. J. Rogers. SSgt. W. B. Dobbie was coach of the team.

The Force Troops team from Twentynine Palms walked off with the Holcomb Pistol Team Trophy in the matches.

Capt. R. C. Onslow served as captain of the team composed of GySgt. L. T. Scoggins and SSgts. J. M. Keaton and O. D. Reid.

Coached by Capt. E. A. Warnicke, the team mounted a score of 1114x1200 to top the second-place Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, by six points.

Receiving Distinguished Marksman badges at the ceremony were SSgts. Charles J. Anderson, Thomas H. Baker and Billie E. Price; Sgt. James L. Keller; Cpls. Grace and Shaver and LCpl. Douglas M. Dehass.

MajGen. John H. Masters, commander of the Marine Corps Supply Depot, Barstow, Calif., presented the distinguished badges.

Col. George W. Killen, Camp Pendleton chief of staff, presented the Bronze rifle medals to the competitors on behalf of MajGen. Robert E. Cushman, Jr., base commander.

MajGen. Bruno A. Hochmuth, commanding the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, presented the silver and gold medals.

BrigGen. Virgil Banning, commander of Marine Corps Base, Twentynine Palms, Calif., presented the bronze and silver pistol medals.

Col. Cruger L. Bright, commander of the Marine Corps Air Facility, Santa Ana, Calif., presented the gold pistol awards.

The presentation of the Wharton Trophy was made by Col. William E. Barber, Director of Marksmanship at Headquarters Marine Corps at the Western Division Matches.

Omar L. Brenna, President of the San Clemente Chamber of Commerce, presented the Holcomb trophy and MajGen. Ian M. Bethel USMC, (ret.), former Quartermaster General of the Marine Corps, presented the San Diego Bear Trophy.

Maj. S. G. Millar, executive officer of the Western Division Matches acted as master of ceremonies.

The Camp Pendleton Scout, Saturday, May 20, 1966

San Diego, 29 Palms Triumph

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. — A nine-year drought was ended here with the return of the Bear Trophy to Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego, following Western Division Rifle Matches. The MCRD shooting team captured the trophy for the first time since 1957 on the basis of an 1178x95Vs score. The Bear Troph is awarded to the best rifle team representing West Coast Marine units of 600 or more personnel.

Marine Corps Base, 29 Palms, won the Holcomb and Wharton Trophies, for small unit pistol and rifle winners.

MCB shooters, GySgt. B. L. Harshman, Maj. R. J. Finn, SSgt. F. Spradlin and PFC B. J. Rodgers put together 1164x1200, to set a new record and capture the Wharton Trophy.

The big pistol trophy went to a Force Troops team of Capt. R. C. Onslow, SSgt. J. M. Keaton, GySgt. L. T. Scoggins and SSgt. O. D. Reid who fired 1114x1200 to bring the Holcomb Trophy to 29 Palms.

SAN DIEGO SHOOTERS also garnered several individual honors, among them the top rifle and pistol awards. Cpl. Jack L. gracey of the Depot's Weapons Training Battalion was top man in the rifle competition, while Maj. William W. McMillan, also of WTBn, was high man in the pistol action.

Seven rifle awards and six pistol awards were won by MCRD team shooters in the one-day firing.

GySgt. L. T. Scoggins, 29 Palms, captured the California State Rifle Championship with a blazing 499-49Vx500, a new record. This match was held before the division matches. GySgt. Ben Harshman placed second in the overall standings while taking a 1st Masters in the service rifle division.

Navy Times, Friday, June 1, 1966

CMC, Depot CG Praise Riflemen On Match Win

The Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Wallace M. Greene, Jr., last week conveyed his congratulations to the Depot Rifle Team via a letter to Depot CG MajGen. B. A. Hochmuth.

In his letter to Gen. Hochmuth, the CMC said, "I have noted with pleasure the performance of your Rifle Team in winning the San Diego Trophy in the 1966 Western Division Matches."

"Your entire command can justifiably share in the pride of the achievement of the Depot Team," the letter continued.

The Commandant ended by asking Gen. Hochmuth to "Please convey to the Rifle Team my congratulations and my personal pride in their display of superb marksmanship skill."

Gen. Hochmuth added his congratulations to the Commandant's in passing the letter on to members of the team - "Your performance in winning . . . was a source of great, personal pride to me, as I am sure it was to every member of this command.

"I know of the many hours spent by each member of the team in preparing for the matches, and I wish to commend those Marines for a job well done."

MCRD Chevron, Friday, July 22, 1966

Members of the MCRD Rifle Team


(l ro r) SSgt Robert Diaz (Team Coach), Maj William W. McMillan (Team Captain) and Cpl Robert D. Shaver

Individual Rifle Match
Rank Name Station Score
1 Cpl Jack L. Gracey MCRD
San Diego, Ca.
2 Capt Kenneth J. Erdman - 593
3 - - -
4 GySgt Lewis T. Scoggins Force Troops
Twentynine Palms, Ca.
5 MSgt Michael Pietroforte Camp Pendleton, Ca. 591
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -
11 Maj William W. McMillan WTBn
Camp Pendleton, Ca.

Individual Pistol Match
Rank Name Station Score
1 Maj William W. McMillan WTBn
Camp Pendleton, Ca.
2 SSgt Harold D. Philpott 1st MAW 575
3 - - -
4 - - -
5 - - -
6 - - -
7 - - -
8 - - -
9 - - -
10 - - -

Rifle Team Match
San DiegoTrophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 MCRD San Diego Rifle Team
J. L. Gracey (295-25V), D. J. Thorstad (294-26V)
R. D. Shaver (293-23V) & W. W. McMillan (293-21V)
2 Camp Pendleton 'Red'

Pistol Team Match
Holcomb Trophy
Rank Service Branch/Agency Score
1 Force Troops Twentynine Palms
R. C. Onslow, L. T. Scoggins, J. M. Keaton & O. D. Reid
2 MCRD San Diego Pistol Team

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