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Thread: Lam Son 719--Living & Transporting

  1. #21
    4 Star General atankersdad's Avatar
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    Great job of show and tell. Thank you Driver for taking the time and putting forth the effort to pull all of this together for us. I can only imagine the firepower that they could provide.
    I wonder how many are still in use, that were abandoned, when we pulled out?

  2. #22
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    Thanks for the positive comback and the PMs, This just needs to be told--It may be the dirtyest, nastyest, worst time in transportation in VietNam, and undoubtedly ranks up there for all of transportation history--------

    Other companys began moving up north--the 563rd moved its 57th Bat. and brought with them six gun trucks, The Preacher, The Lifer, War Monger, Peace Maker, The Private, and Smiling Death--They were in Phu Bai for awhile but the first night there the enemy probed the wire, I'm sure all were real happy to have those gun trucks on the perimeter, cept maybe those that were on the otherside of that wire, they then began some night convoys---nights on the road were always a frightening experience to say the least----here's what I have for photos of their gun trucks--you'll see I'm missing some-----Driver ----Well--only one photo will take--I'll work on it later-----Here's the only one I can post-----
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    The 363rd "Road Runners" left Da Nang and moved north to Red Beach, Camp Haskins--They had three gun trucks--The Colonel, Pallbearers, and Canned Heat--The Colonel had problems running at speed up the pass and with maintence, being a APC truck it was terrible heavy, they soon built another gun truck named Mercenary, shortly thereafter the 363rd went back to its regular mission of supporting the Americal Div.-----Driver
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    Thats about all I know about some of these units, but now there were other units that supported our troops during this push, four of them that were with the 39th trans Bat. were the 515th (page 1) the 585th at Gia Le, the 666th at Camp Evens, and the 805th at Phu Bai, I am sure there were more and hopefully we'll learn more about them as we go, I'm no historian just fortunate in knowing some vary great people, I'll now start posting the stories I have been privy to--there will be some mistakes made but they won't be on purpose and I will not embelish these stories-they are just too amazing in there own right------------------Driver

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    Driver, for this and the V100 photo thread I deeply thank you. We really appreciate you taking the time and effort required to record the stories and share those fantastic photos.

    Cheers
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    Thanks M813rc---working nights again and doing some research, talking to people and such--never done anything like this before and just want to do it as right as I can, I'll be back posting--soon--Here's a photo of Little Sure Shot, it was with the 805th trans---Driver
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  11. #27
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    Driver was on THE MATCH BOX gun truck
    General Westmorland is pictured on IRON BUTTERFLY
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  13. #28
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    I'm going back through my papers, photos, and will be making some phone calls, I'll be back at this thread with a vengence real soon, but for now I'd like to tell you all a little of what I have heard about the lifestyle these drivers went through---most the time they slept behind the wheel of their truck as it was being loaded or off loaded, and then they hit the road again, at the other end it was the same thing--grab what you can when you can, The gun trucks were always being put on the perimeter where ever they went and those forward operating bases, LZs, and fire bases were always real glad to them, the crew could then grab alittle sleep but they always left one guy on a gun---Convoys ran 18 to 20-hour days and now this was under combat conditions on narrow two or one lane roads often with the elephant grass hitting the mirrors on each side of the truck, that along with a long streach of one lane uniproved road that had a bank one one side and a drop on the other side of 50 to 100 foot to a river below---I've been told that at one point you had to stick your bumper into the bank to be able to make the turn---huh---everyday stuff-----Here's some photos from Danny Cochran--they are a little blury but you can imagine bouncing along at 10 er 15 MPH on the back of an APC truck trying to take pictures--Danny was on King Kong--------Driver
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  15. #29
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    Default Moderators, Please

    I'd like to suggest the Mods move this thread to the 'Gun Truck Forum' so as not to be lost in less relivent topics here in Conversations.

    There's a great deal of priceless information and pictures in here that should be saved in the correct forum.

    - Thank you -
    Bill

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  16. #30
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    Let me back up just a little--The info on the Protector and its driver Charles Soule being killed (page 1) that night should be at this point, here's some more about that night---Some EMPTY pol tankers were sent out see if they could navigate the narrow roads around Vandergrift, they showed up at the Khe Sanh check point, the drivers were not liking this at all, they talked about all the maintence problems that would be going on, and the roads--all knew the turns were to tight for their wide loads, sometime after midnight a MP radioman was heard saying "you gotta be kidding me" everyone knew what he ment--they couldn't understand why those POL tankers were out there at night, why not during the day when they could have air support----troops on an APC with the 1/77 scouts woke up to a thunduring blast and huge fireball toward the area of the Rockpile, they could hear the explosions and shots of the small arms, they took off in that direction to lend any assisstance they could, when they arrived there was one fuel tanker over an embankment burning as were two others in the roadway, they reported people running evidently the drivers after abandoning their trucks were running back to Vandergrift, the crew on the APC began firing up the area, they moved across the bridge where the Protector had ran passed those that tried to stop it and beyond the burning tankers they could see the gun truck, burning with its guns hanging down and no one to be seen on it---1 KIA--8 WIA and six tankers destroyed-------------Charles Soule was only 19---Feb 8th 1971---RIP---------------------------------------------------Driver

    Rockpile below
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