Guntrucks were a vital component in providing convoy security in Vietnam. They were built by the units that used them and they all had personalities of thier own. Unfortunately, only one of them was returned to the United States (Eve of Destruction, now housed at the Army Transportation Musuem at Fort Eustis, VA) and not many people seemed to pay much attention to them or thier crews. I stumbled accross the photos of OttoII and Wild Honey when surfing the internet and have been learning more about them and thier bigger brothers ever since.
|1||This photo of OttoII was taken from the Army Transportation Museum at Fort
Eustis, Virginia. The guntruck concept was born in Vietnam in an effort to provide
protection to convoys. Most of the guntrucks where built out of 2.5 or 5 ton 6x6
tucks, but OttoII obviously was a M37.
The actual caption from the Museum's Portraits of Guntrucks in Vietnam on their webpage is:
"Otto II," named for the Beetle Bailey comic strip, is
I'm sure the Museum, as well as I, would love to have more information on this.
|2||This photo is reportedly of Wild Honey. and was pulled off the internet
one day but was not captioned on that site.
I didn't have any information about this guntruck, or the guys whom I think are the actual subject of the photo, when I first posted the photo. I recieved the following on December 27, 2003, via the BigElectric M37 forum as part of a thread discussing guntrucks. Many thanks to Larry for posting this.
"TO C GARBEE-----THE M-37 THATS ON YOUR WEB SITE THAT IS UNIDENTIFIED IS WILD HONEY, THIS PHOTO WAS TAKIN DURING OPERATION LAM SON AND I THINK AT THEIR CAMP IN VANDERGRIFT, THE NAME HAS BEEN TAKIN OFF BUT AS YOU CAN SEE THE MALTES CROSS IS A GIVE AWAY, MIKE HALL WHEN BUILDING THIS TRUCK CUT MALTES CROSSES OUT OF THE ARMOR IN THE DOOR FOR THE HOLE TO SEE THE MIRROR AND THEN WELDED THEM TO THE REAR ARMOR, THE TRUCK WAS LATER INVOLVED IN A BAD AMBUSH AND I'VE BEEN TOLD WAS FINISHED, I HAVE SEEN PHOTOS OF IT SHOT UP AND IT DON'T LOOK TO BAD AND NO ONE WAS HURT ON IT, BUT THEY MAY HAVE DROVE IT INTO THE GROUND GETTING AWAY----DRIVER523RD--(LARRY)--OH YEAH---I DON'T KNOW WHO THE GUYS ARE--(YET)"
|3||Mr. Nice, Dan LaCombe photo|
|4||Satin's Lil Angel, Dan LaCombe photo|
|5||Snoopy, Dan LaCombe photo|
|6||Raz on the quad. Raz Reed was the quad gunner on Great Eve of Destruction and also was the quad gunner on Good Luck Charm. Raz Reed photo.|
|7||The quad 50 mounted on Great Eve of Destruction. Raz Reed photo.|
|8||Raz on the quad. Raz Reed photo.|
|9||Great Eve of Destruction Dan La Combe via Ranger White, Dan LaCombe photo|
|10||Good Luck Charm being airlifted by chopper Raz Reed photo.|
|11||Good luck Charm, dismounted with crew Raz Reed photo.|
|12||Black Widow, Dan LaCombe photo|
|13||Black Widow, note the M37 in the background to the right of Black Widow with armor plate around the cab but nothing in the bed. Wonder what is stenciled on the cargo bed side of the plate around the cab??, Dan LaCombe photo|
Photos 3-13 where sent to me by Hal from the www.g741.org website forum (the replacement for the old BigElectric which folded in the summer of 2004). He reported that he had recieved all of them from Ranger Randy White who served as a LRRP with L Co./75th Inf. Ranger, 101st Airborne Div (70-71)... Randy then provided me with some updates to the captions including the sources of the photos. Randy is currently web master/historian 101st LRRP/ Rangers. www.lcompanyranger.com
Mark H. on the www.g741.org website posted the following note and links when he saw the above photos inJanuary 2005: "Here is the 815th Engineers Site with lots of Gun Truck pictures. I road in one on my way back to leave Vietnam on QL19 switch backs. We had several that protected our heavey equipment and convoys. The Quad 50s were bad along with the ones that had Mini Guns mounted on them. You should have seen them rip up the landscape and tracer shows at night!! I was with the 20th Engineers and 815th Engineers when I was over there. I also was at Fire Base Blackhawk a Heavy Arty and Cav Compound in the middle of no where. Great Fire Power shows with Dusters, 8in, 175mm, 155mm and lots of Tanks and APCs."
815th Engineers Site with lots of Gun Truck pictures:
Mark also sent me this link to a site with lots of other good pics and links to other sites with albums:
As always, if you have any more information about these trucks, the crews, folks who worked with them, on them, or where around them, I'd love to have it as would the transportation museum up at Fort Eustis. I also welcome any further additions that anyone has in the way of photos...
Other Vietnam vehicles
While Hal was busy sending me guntruck photos, he also ran across some other ones that he had collected that he sent along...
|A-C||Pics of vehicles from L/75. All were provided by various members of the 101st LRRP/Rangers. Note the red triangle logo on several of the vehicles which is the outline of the 101 RECONDO school logo.|
Randy confirmed the logo question posed in photos A-C by sending a copy of the RECONDO School logo shown on the right to Hal. Hal sent along a pic of a patch worn on pocket of jungle jacket and on caps from my collection of Airborne, Special Forces and Ranger insignia which is place on the left of the combined image.
|E-F||Pics of M37's belonging to L Co./75 Inf Ranger, 101st Abn Div. Both pics are from Ned Schmitt via Randy White.|
|G||This is an NVA Russian built truck captured by the 101st in '68. Note the broken windshield and bullet holes behind the cab in the wood. Photo by Darol "Top" Walker. He was 1st SGT of F-58 when it went over in '68.|
|H||The guys walking are F-58 LRPs, 101st abn. Div.)..note the CAR-15 rifles and headgear...no helmets. That's a 106 recoilless rifle in the lower right. When the 101st moved north just after Tet, the 82nd was stationed just outside of Hue at a place Randy While believe's the 82nd called LZ El Paso. It would later be called Camp Eagle when the entire Division consolidated in I Corps, using Eagle as HQ for the 101st. The 82nd moved south shortly after the 101st had a couple brigades operational. Photo by Darol "Top" Walker. He was 1st SGT of F-58 when it went over in '68.|