Gun Truck Brutus.

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Another Ahab

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Talked today for the first time with Ron who was driving the day they lost Larry Dahl. Great conversation and I got to fill in some gaps on the timeline that I have going.
one thing you will learn if you ever attempt to build one and want to be accurate. You will quickly find that no truck stayed the same. Each crew would be assigned and often do something different, it could be as small as painted details or weapons type or location changes. Some even went as far as name changes.
Many changes were for Brutus in its history but the name and it's script was never one of them.

And THAT is what makes the Gun Trucks so special within the worldwide MV motor pool:

- They saw action and carry the story of the combatants who worked them during hostilities.

How great would it be to have the story highlights from all personnel who had connections with any and all MV's being preserved anywhere?. Peacetime, or War; it doesn't matter. The stories of each of us are important. And what's important about stories is that you pass them on.

And that's part of why deucedriver's project here is so important. You go, Brother.
 
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vtdeucedriver

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And THAT is what makes the Gun Trucks so special within the worldwide MV motor pool:

- They saw action and carry the story of the combatants who worked them during hostilities.

How great would it be to have the story highlights from all personnel who had connections with any MV's being preserved anywhere?. Peacetime, or War; it doesn't matter. The stories of each of us are important. And what's important about stories is that you pass them on.

And that's part of why deucedriver's project here is so important. You go, Brother.
I think ANY MV has its stories to tell. There are some special ones out there that we are now just discovering. But to the right person, any of our trucks can be something special and I know it all to well and is the reason why I do what I do.
I've been talking with guys who were on Guntrucks since 1997 so it is nothing new to me when it comes to how special they are. Its the details that you find along the way that bring out the special surprises and the honor that comes with them.
Yes this one will be a bit more special than all the others.............it has to be that way. For a select few, I believe this may bring some closure. Others it will open some doors to the past. I am honored to have those who were involved the first time are wanting to see it happen and be involved in the 2nd.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Talked today for the first time with Ron who was driving the day they lost Larry Dahl. Great conversation and I got to fill in some gaps on the timeline that I have going.
one thing you will learn if you ever attempt to build one and want to be accurate. You will quickly find that no truck stayed the same. Each crew would be assigned and often do something different, it could be as small as painted details or weapons type or location changes. Some even went as far as name changes.
Many changes were for Brutus in its history but the name and it's script was never one of them.
Got a message today. Shortly after our conversation on the phone and left the house of someone I know, Ron went to the VA hospital as he was not feeling well. They discovered some internal bleeding and is having a procedure to find where it is coming from today. If anyone has some pull with the man upstairs, lets pray for a good outcome. I need him to be well down here as I'm not done with him.

A FYI. Ron was at a friend of mine's house to re submit some paperwork to finally receive his Bronze Star. On Feb 23, 1971 the NVA sprung a ambush on a returning convoy to Pleiku. Two Gun Trucks of the 545th supported the 359th Convoy of tankers and the Gun Trucks of BRUTUS, UNTOUCHABLE & MISFITS. A RPG took out the GT of the 545th named the CREEPER and the call went out to the others. When the attack was suppressed Ron backed the truck up to the bank at the side of the road where the RPG came from that hit the CREEPER. The Mini on BRUTUS had malfunctioned and two of the crew had gone to work repairing it when a lone NVA tossed a grenade into the back of the Gunbox and Larry Dahl had seen it and threw himself on it saving his friends. Ron knew his crew had been hit and hauled ass back down the road to a checkpoint where they radioed for a medical chopper. Larry was awarded the CMH and the rest of the crew a Bronze Star. Ron would never drive a truck again and would work in the motor pool for the short remainder of his time and due to a mix up and lost paperwork, he never received his medal. Its 2014 now and there is a couple of his fellow vets that are trying to finish what was started in 1971.
 

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Another Ahab

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Got a message today. Shortly after our conversation on the phone and left the house of someone I know, Ron went to the VA hospital as he was not feeling well. They discovered some internal bleeding and is having a procedure to find where it is coming from today. If anyone has some pull with the man upstairs, lets pray for a good outcome. I need him to be well down here as I'm not done with him.
I don't have pull, but I can still pray:

- A prayer of all my strength that this man is healed, and returns home whole and comforted. Amen.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Quick update on this thread and for Ron the driver of Brutus for 3 months. He has a case of diverticulitis and it still at a point where a change in diet will fix.
:razz:
Not much going on with the truck end other than planning and talking to people who can help replicate the steel armor. Got a steel quote for the panels and its not bad. Still will see on how much to have them replicated. Some ask me why have the steel cut when it comes to the gun box of BRUTUS since most of it is covered over with welded steel or angle iron? Well I've always wanted it to be documented on how it was done and to cheat what I think is a pretty significant step is not tolerable when it comes to this truck. Besides I think "I" would be my own worst enemy by not seeing the cut out from inside the gun box when I know it should be there. I wont elaborate on how I would toss and turn at night knowing I originally started this project with a MF engine under the hood!!:driver:
 

patracy

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I've had the 'tics before. No fun!

PB can probably give you pointers on the armor. I know prouds "armor" is thinner and more for aesthetics than anything. I'd go that route as well if I were building a guntruck. Even if it's a mack powered truck. I still wouldn't want all that weight if I didn't have to have it.
 

vtdeucedriver

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I've had the 'tics before. No fun!

PB can probably give you pointers on the armor. I know prouds "armor" is thinner and more for aesthetics than anything. I'd go that route as well if I were building a guntruck. Even if it's a mack powered truck. I still wouldn't want all that weight if I didn't have to have it.
Yep I got the T-shirt for that as well.......Somewhere on here is a thread about me and my battle with it and how I almost lost. That will be 4 yrs ago coming up next month. The last 4, every day has been a blessing.

As for the armor, my only shortcut is the side walls are 5/16". The reason I did this is that I will be carrying a 7' x 12' sheet of 3/8" for a gun box floor.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Here is a recap of 2013. I got the bed and tank off with the help of Evil Dr. Porkchop :tinkerbell: and BlackOps :p. Between the 40 hr work week, crappy NewEngland summer weather and a pregnant wife with twins, I managed to get the truck painted Semi gloss and do some maintenance that was needed. Now that I am home more and the girls go to daycare, once this white crap is gone, it should go quick. Maybe June!:shock:
 

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215Dave

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Looks great! I'll be in touch very soon. Went through some tough times ( job loss). But things are on the up and up. Project looks awesome! Keep up the great work!
 

vtdeucedriver

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What has been a 2 year search has come to a end today with a knock at the door from UPS. After beating the brush around on a few connections and some random posts in the want ads in various forums. One was seen and was able to be blessed with a unexpected condition of NOS. You might think that it would be easy building one of these, sure I could have had some fab work done and had one made in shorter time but would it be right? Not for this one.

So after I started screaming with excitement like my 2 yr old when Calliou comes on, I opened the box and got out my mount for a test fit. Need less to say, my screaming commenced one last time.
 

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FrankUSMC

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The mount you used for a test fit, I had two of them and some one got a great deal on them. I had a good friend take them to Aberdeen to sell for me with some other parts. He misunderstood me on the price, what I wanted for one, he thought I meant for both! Things happen, he is still a good friend.
One of the few, Frank USMC RET
 

vtdeucedriver

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The mount you used for a test fit, I had two of them and some one got a great deal on them. I had a good friend take them to Aberdeen to sell for me with some other parts. He misunderstood me on the price, what I wanted for one, he thought I meant for both! Things happen, he is still a good friend.
One of the few, Frank USMC RET
Frank I think I know who got those mounts. It might have been you that told me this story once before has I had been tracking them down at one time. I had one for a long time but needed two more. I eventually found two more at a good price that were left over from a couple of M-113 restorations. This stuff is drying up that's for sure. Ive often thought about building a 2nd one but frankly its been so long for me to get ONE done (15yrs) that I just need to stay focused with this one. I just spent the last 3 hours on the phone with a former NCOIC and I know its been worth the wait.
 

vtdeucedriver

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Quick update..............Truck is up by my barn. Removed a few things off of it, might spray some primer in the next couple of days to get the bed closer to Semi-gloss.
Tonight I finished 5 crew uniforms. I have enough patches to do 4 more. My turn signal arm has been found and has been shipped.:driver:
 

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whiskey357

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WOW looking good ...lots of stuff to play with when history is in place....great job so far.......place I work at has a couple of great history pieces.....gun mounts included...not orginal I am guess......4.5 inch bore single shot....made in England...1845....rifled bore.......USN got them as a part and parcel from a southern blocked runner....1863.......both are in great condition as the students polish them every weekend.........Both were test fired in 2000 and work fine....range around 400 yards....2 bronze cannons as I work with the U.S.Navy gunners Mates school....lots of cool things around here........12,13,5 and 16 inch shells from battleships........You are doing great work......lots of viet vets work here.....looking good my man.....
 
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