January 16, 2014

Revelation 6, Prophecy, and Gun Trucks

"I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see. And I saw, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him had a bow; and a crown was given unto him: and he went forth conquering, and to conquer."

The isolated mountain road was bordered in some places by wide-open fields and in other places, heavy woods, making ideal ambush sites. In some areas the grade was very steep with winding hairpin turns, causing the heavily laden trucks to drive even slower. There were two major mountain passes - An Khe and Mang Giang - which quickly became known as "Ambush Alley."

The only preserved Vietnam guntruck is Eve of Destruction, that can be seen at the U.S. Army Transportation Museum (Fort Eustis, Virginia)

Gun trucks in Vietnam:

In the event of an ambush, their role was to drive into the kill zone during the first few minutes of the attack, and saturate the attackers with their firepower.
Early designs proved flawed, as the sandbag protections quickly became waterlogged in the frequent rains, weighing down the whole vehicle. They were later replaced with ad hoc steel armor plating, salvaged from scrap yards.
The crew consisted of a driver, two gunners, a non-commissioned officer, and sometimes a grenadier armed with an M79 grenade launcher.
On November 24, 1967, during an engagement in "Ambush Alley", a group of gun trucks managed to thwart an ambush. The convoy lost six transport trucks and four gun trucks damaged or destroyed, and several drivers were killed and wounded, but the Viet Cong lost 41 KIA and were forced to withdraw. ...
In all, an estimated 300 to 400 trucks were transformed in this way.

[Some of the other names given them were: Steppin Wolf, The Abortion, The Baby Sitters, The Boss, The Creeper, The Hawk, The Mercenary, The Misfits, The Pallbearers, The Protector, The Rebel, The Saint, The Smiling Death]

They were intended as a temporary solution, but the Transportation Corps never received enough of their proposed replacement, the V-100 armoured car, so the gun trucks continued to serve until the end of the American involvement in Vietnam, in 1973.
With the end of the Vietnam War, the need for such vehicles disappeared and most were either scrapped or returned to cargo carrying. One truck, an M54 named by its crew "Eve of Destruction," has been restored and is on display at the Army Transportation Museum at Fort Eustis, Virginia.
But then..... they came back!


"Necessity is a mother."

A gun truck damaged by an IED in Iraq. All the crew members survived.

Next Gun Truck Gathering #12 August 5th to 9th, 2014 :
Holiday Inn Columbus North
2800 Manchester Expressway Columbus, GA 31904

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 16, 2014 10:59 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I remember them well. Badass all the way. Did a few road runs in a 40mm Duster.

Posted by: Lazarus Long at January 16, 2014 2:29 PM

Those are 5 ton diesel/multifuel trucks with cargo beds. I drove 21,000 simulated combat miles in a dump truck version in 1976 in the Wildflecken, Germany area, pulling a 2 ton bolster trailer full of demolitions. I won an award for those miles that year and the 2nd place winner had just over 7,000 miles.

Posted by: ghostsniper at January 16, 2014 5:26 PM

That's the way win. Overscore by a huge amount!

Posted by: vanderleun at January 16, 2014 6:11 PM

Here is the story of "Brutus"

Posted by: Lazarus Long at January 16, 2014 8:54 PM

Proving once again that in combat, there's no such thing as too much firepower...

Posted by: waltj at January 17, 2014 6:32 AM

IIRC, many vehicles were given such ad-hoc armor and roles before the Normandy break-out. And in the Philippines before Corregidor fell, small boats were given armor and machine guns - 'Mickey Mouse battleships' - so they could support the US Army and Philippines Scouts along the Bataan coast.

When a need calls, it will be answered.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at January 17, 2014 8:48 PM

A 2 word phrase impossible to ignore in an open truck:

Molotov cocktail

but the minigun @ 0.30 in would be cool...

Posted by: itor at January 17, 2014 10:03 PM