Olive-Drab.com Military HQ
What's New? | Olive-Drab Directory | Adv Search  
  Home >> Military Vehicles >> Charts >> SP Artillery >> M-50 Ontos

Vehicles Weapons History Uniforms/Gear Rations War Dogs Photos/Video Info/Intel FAQ Store Facebook/Blogs

Loading...
Military Theme
T-Shirts & Stuff
Visit Olive-Drab.com's sister site for
over 8,000 free military vehicle photos!
Today in WW II: 1 Aug 1943 Ploesti Raid: 178 B-24 Liberator bombers flew over 1200 miles from a base in North Africa to Ploesti, Romania for a daring, low level attack on oil production facilities.  More 
1 Aug 1944 Polish Home Army emerges to attack the German garrison in Warsaw [1 Aug-2 Oct].
1 Aug 1945 US Army Air Force dropped one million leaflets over Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and 33 other Japanese cities warning of an imminent attack, advising residents to leave.
Visit the Olive-Drab.com World War II Timeline for day-by-day events 1939-1945! See also WW2 Books.

Rifle, Self Propelled, Full Tracked, Multiple 106mm M50 and M50A1

The Ontos is a lightly-armored, tracked antitank vehicle carrying six 106mm recoilless rifles. Its full nomenclature is "Rifle, Self Propelled, Full Tracked, Multiple 106mm M50 and M50A1." Both the M-50 and M-50A1 variants were produced for the U.S. Marine Corps. The word Ontos comes from Greek, meaning "the thing."

The first combat use of the Ontos was in the summer of 1958 during a Marine Corps intervention in Lebanon. Ontos provided suppressive fire and counter-sniper fire in urban areas, a rehearsal for tactics later used in Vietnam.

Ontos was used very effectively in Vietnam. Its light weight and maneuverability made it available for combat in situations where tanks and other guns could not operate. During the March 1968 Battle of Hue, part of the Tet Offensive, the USMC Ontos provided direct fire to suppress enemy positions and to blow holes in the buildings so the Marines could advance. They were also extremely useful for providing suppressive fire and as counter-sniper weapons.

Ontos was disliked by its crews because they had to load and fire the recoilless rifles from an exterior, exposed position. The massive backblast also made it easy for enemy gunners to locate the Ontos.

The Ontos was deactivated by the USMC in May 1969 but some serviceable vehicles were transferred to a US Army Light Infantry Brigade where they were used for approximately one year. Civilian agencies of the US Government received a few de-mil Ontos, using them as forestry or construction vehicles. A small number were sold to collectors and museums (or transferred to service museums) where they have been preserved.

Find additional photos and hi-res versions of the M-50 Ontos at the Olive-Drab Military Mashup:

Three US Marine Corps M50 Ontos tracked vehicles, Vietnam, October 1966. Each Ontos carries six 106mm recoiless rifles.
USMC Rifle, Self Propelled, Full Tracked, Multiple 106mm M50A1, Ontos.
T165E2/M50 Ontos. This vehicle was Lot 1084 of The Jacques M. Littlefield Collection, Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, Portola Valley, CA, auctioned 11-12 July 2014 by Auctions America. Courtesy:   Auctions America by RM.
M50 Ontos recoilless rifle tank destroyer, Vietnam.
M67 'Zippo' flamethrower tank, based on the M48 Patton tank.  On the right is an M50A1 Ontos.  USMC OCS, Quantico, VA circa 1965.
M50 Ontos and its crew of two Marines, accompanying 1st and 2d Battalion, 7th Marines during Operation Franklin, Quang Ngai Province, Vietnam, June 1966. Nomenclature:  Rifle, Self Propelled, Full Tracked, Multiple 106mm M50 or M50A1.

M-50 Ontos manuals:

  • TM 9-7222 Technical Manual, June 1957
  • TM 9-2350-212-12 Operator's and Organizational Maintenance Manual, December 1959
  • TM 9-2350-212-35 Ordnance Field and Depot Maintenance, September 1958

M50 Ontos Photos Gallery

M-50 Ontos
M-50 Ontos.

Ontos on Chu Lai beach, Vietnam, 1 June 1965.  Photo taken shortly after descending from landing craft aboard the USS Thomaston (LSD 28)
Ontos on Chu Lai beach, Vietnam, 1 June 1965. Photo taken shortly after descending from landing craft aboard the USS Thomaston (LSD 28).

USMC M-50 Ontos.  One 106mm round is on the front slope
USMC M-50 Ontos. One 106mm round is on the front slope.

M-50 Ontos
M-50 Ontos.

Find at Amazon:  Military Issue equipment, clothing, boots, MREs, MOLLE gear and much more.

  Home >> Military Vehicles >> Charts >> SP Artillery >> M-50 Ontos What's New? | Olive-Drab Directory | Adv Search